MSNBC: Voter ID debate could change 2012 landscape

Wisconsin governor to sign photo ID law Wednesday, with bills being debated in Ohio, North Carolina, and other battleground states

-By Tom Curry

May 25, 2011- After raising the alarm in 2008 that voter fraud could tip the election to Democrats, Republicans are using their victories in last fall’s gubernatorial and state legislative contests to ensure that their fears of deception at the polls don’t materialize in future elections.

In key 2012 battleground states, Republican legislators and governors have been moving to change election laws in order to deter vote fraud, or Democrats say, to limit the number of voters.

In the latest move, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, signed legislation on Wednesday that will require people to show photo identification when they vote.

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Talking Points Memo: Dem PACs To FEC: If ‘Republican Super PAC’ Can Coordinate With Candidates, We Will Too

-By Ryan J. Reilly

May 20, 2011- Two Democratic political action committees are asking the Federal Election Commission if the Republican Super PAC's plan for politicians to solicit donations on their behalf is legal. And if it is, you can count them in.

"In light of the news media reports suggesting that the Republican Super PAC plans to ask covered officials to solicit such contributions on its behalf, the PACs ask the Commission whether covered officials may solicit unlimited individual, corporate, and union contributions on their behalf as well," lawyers for Majority PAC and House Majority PAC wrote in a letter to the FEC.

"If the Commission does not find that such solicitations violate [the law], the PACs plan to ask covered officials to make such solicitations on their behalf," they write.

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Press Release: Advocacy Organization Urges FBI To Investigate Justice Clarence Thomas

Group Charges Thomas And His Wife Engaged In Criminal Conduct

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The advocacy group sent a letter to the FBI in Washington, DC on Tuesday calling for an immediate criminal investigation of Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Virginia for what appears to be clear violations of criminal law.

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Christian Science Monitor: What lessons will GOP take from losing New York-26 House seat?

Medicare is indeed a perilous issue for Republicans, Tuesday's House race in New York's 26th District showed. But so are third-party candidates and tepid campaigns.

-By Gail Russell Chaddock

May 25, 2011- A Democratic upset on GOP turf in upstate New York signals that Medicare reform is a perilous issue for Republicans – but so are tea party candidates in a three-way race, tepid campaigns, and a flood of outside money.

That’s the mixed message from Tuesday’s special election in New York’s 26th Congressional District, a special election that drew national attention and funding as a bellwether for the 2012 campaign cycle.

Democrat Kathy Hochul came from behind in the campaign's last weeks to defeat GOP nominee Jane Corwin, 48 percent to 42 percent. Tea party candidate Jack Davis took 8 percent of the vote.

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Huffington Post: IRS To Take On Karl Rove? Tax Laws Could Take A Bite Out Of Secret Political Spending

-By Dan Froomkin

May 25, 2011- Top Republican political strategist Karl Rove's method of secretly funneling unlimited contributions from big donors was so hugely successful in the 2010 campaign that Democrats are now trying to copy it. But his model may yet end up backfiring spectacularly.

In one scenario, groups like Rove's Crossroads Grassroots Political Strategies could find themselves subject to massive fines, ranging as high as 35 to 70 percent of the money they received in secret donations.

In another scenario, their deep-pocket donors could be hit by a 35 percent tax on their contributions.

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Bloomberg: Secret Donors Multiply in U.S. Election Spending

-By J. Crewdson, A. Fitzgerald, J. Salant and C. Babcock

May 19, 2011- In the weeks before last November’s election, television viewers in South Carolina were treated to an animated caricature of Representative John Spratt high- kicking in a chorus line with President Barack Obama and then- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“It’s the worst economy in decades,” the ad intoned, “and the folks in Washington are living it up, spending our tax dollars like there’s no tomorrow.”

That ad and a second one mocking Spratt appeared at least 723 times between Sept. 25 and Election Day and were paid for by a group called the Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity, according to ad trackers at Campaign Media Analysis Group, a unit of WPP Plc. Spratt, a 14-term Democrat, saw a seven-point lead in an early poll vanish and lost the election.

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Wisconsin State Journal: GOP legislative aide under investigation for voter fraud

May 20, 2011- A Republican legislative aide is under investigation for possible vote fraud after she cast her ballot in the November election in Onalaska although she lives in Madison.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke said he has forwarded the report from the Onalaska Police Department to Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne to see if criminal charges are warranted against Marcie Malszycki, 30, an aide to state Rep. Warren Petryk, R-Eleva.

Records from the Government Accountability Board show Malszycki voted in Onalaska on Nov. 2, 2010, and Nov. 4, 2008, at the same time she had a home in Madison and worked at the state Capitol. Messages left with Malszycki by email, phone and Facebook weren't returned.

Before the November election, Malszycki worked on the campaign of 92nd Assembly District candidate Dennis Clinard. The district lies just northeast of Onalaska.

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Press Release: POE Applauds Rep. Weiner’s Demand for Justice Clarence Thomas to Immediately Disclose His Financial Statements

Protect Our Elections Applauds Rep. Anthony Weiner's Demand for Justice Clarence Thomas to Immediately Disclose His Financial Statements

Group Urges Department Of Justice To Apply "Equal Justice" To Thomas

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Yesterday New York Congressman Anthony Weiner called on Justice Clarence Thomas to immediately release his 2010 financial disclosure statements.

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NYT: G.O.P. Senators Question I.R.S. Scrutiny of Donors

May 18, 2011- A group of Republican senators wrote to the head of the Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday seeking internal correspondence and other information about the agency’s heightened scrutiny of donations to some nonprofit advocacy groups that are playing a growing role in political campaigns. 

At least five donors to such groups have received letters from the agency stating that their donations may be subject to federal gift taxes, invoking a provision of law long on the books but rarely enforced.

The Republicans, all members of the Senate Finance Committee, which has oversight of the I.R.S., said they were concerned that political considerations might have played a role in the agency’s decision to scrutinize such donations more closely. The senators are seeking the names of any agency staff members involved in that decision, along with internal documents and any correspondence with White House officials.

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