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Can Hollywood Counter GOP Super PACs?

Jul 19, 2012, 5:54 pm EDT
Can Hollywood Counter GOP Super PACs?

With today’s announcement that actor Morgan Freeman has given $1 million to the Obama-supporting super PAC Priorities Action USA today, some Democratic supporters are hopeful that it’s the start of a positive trend.  With Romney out-raising Obama, and Romney’s super PAC running circles around Obama’s, they’re hoping some Hollywood glitz, glamor, and money can turn the tide.

Some big names in Tinseltown have already written some big checks on behalf of Obama. DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has given $2 million to Priorities Action USA, comedian Bill Maher has given $1 million, director Steven Spielberg has given $100,000, and Lost creator J.J. Abrams and his wife have given $100,000.

While these are significant sums of money, they pale in comparison to what Romney’s super PAC, Restore Our Future, has done. Restore Our Future raised a record $20 million last month. Romney’s super PAC has been buoyed by large donations from the likes of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, former Swift Boat Veterans for Truth financier Bob J. Perry, and New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. Chairman James S. Davis. Read 

Financial Service Stocks Should Fear an Obama-Warren Win

Jul 19, 2012, 1:17 pm EDT
Financial Service Stocks Should Fear an Obama-Warren Win

Financial service providers should be very fearful if both President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Democratic senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren win their elections in November.

Now, I’m not trying to rant against Warren. I’m merely pointing out that her statements and record indicate that she’s not a friend to financial service firms — and that means that investors should take heed.

There’s a reason she isn’t running the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, despite having been appointed to oversee its construction. That’s because she would never get enough votes in the Senate to confirm her to that position. In addition, she wasn’t recess-appointed the way CFPB chief Richard Cordray was because she’s too polarizing. Obama would have gotten significant pushback from his financial services donors. Read 

Democrats Don’t Fear ‘Fiscal Cliff’

Jul 18, 2012, 5:35 pm EDT
Democrats Don’t Fear ‘Fiscal Cliff’

One of the biggest debates and points of contention between Democrats and Republicans in Congress has been over what to do with the Bush-era tax cuts. Set to expire at the end of the year unless renewed, they’ve become an important sticking point between the two parties.

Republicans want the tax cuts to stay in place for all income brackets, while Democrats want to eliminate the tax cut for those making more than $250,000.  Attempts to find a compromise that would satisfy both parties have not born fruit.

Now, it seems that Democrats may not bother. On Monday, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., signaled her party’s willingness to let all the tax cuts expire unless the Republicans budged from their refusal to raise taxes on incomes above $250,000. Read 

House Candidates Have Raised Half a Billion Dollars

Jul 17, 2012, 3:21 pm EDT
House Candidates Have Raised Half a Billion Dollars

Candidates for the House of Representatives have a steep monetary hill to climb if they want to be elected this fall. According to Federal Election Commission figures, they have already raised more than half a billion dollars this election cycle.

The $556 million raised so far in this election cycle is $57 million more than the same point two years ago, and more than double what had been raised at the same point in 2002.

The results of the escalating fundraising war is both incumbents and challengers spend more time than ever fundraising for their campaigns, leaving less time for Congressional work or other forms of campaigning. Read 

Boehner Worth $80M to GOP

Jul 16, 2012, 1:00 pm EDT
Boehner Worth $80M to GOP

Since becoming Speaker of the House in January 2011, John Boehner, R-Oh., has become a central figure in the Republican Party. He has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration, and helped the GOP form its hard line against any new tax increases. He’s also been a crucial party fundraiser.

How important has Boehner been to fundraising? According to figures released by his political team, Boehner has raised $80 million for House Republicans and party candidates since taking the speaker’s office.

Boehner’s take comes from several different fundraising projects that he participates in. He has three fundraising arms that he is affiliated with, has appeared at National Republican Congressional Committee fundraising events, and uses his name on mailers to solicit donations. Read 

Romney Super PAC Raises Record Amount In June

Jul 16, 2012, 11:27 am EDT

Here’s more proof that this election will almost certainly be impacted by the rise of the super PAC. The Mitt Romney-supporting super PAC Restore Our Future set a record for super PAC fundraising by pulling in $20 million in June.

The $20 million haul was more than four times what it brought in for May and more than three times what Barack Obama’s super PAC, Priorities USA Action, raised in June. It is also twice the amount that Restore Our Future had raised in any other month.

It appears that at least some of this record-breaking amount comes from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who announced a $10 million donation to Restore Our Future in June. Reports filed by Romney’s super PAC did not say how much of that $20 million came from Adelson’s donation, though. Read 

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