An appeals court has upheld a ban on political advertising on public broadcasting — reversing an earlier ruling by members of the same court.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, ruled against a public broadcaster seeking to have the ban overturned on 1st Amendment grounds. The broadcaster was also seeking to be able to run paid advertisements from for-profit companies.
First, the good news: It doesn't have to disclose the identities of its contributors, the political committees and candidates it either backs or receives support from, those lending money to it, and people it pays for services.
Organizing for Action raised $4.9 million in the first quarter of this year, the group reported Friday, with an average donation of $44.
In an e-mail to supporters, the group's executive director Jon Carson boasted that "109,582 supporters stepped up and invested what we're building together -- from the grassroots up."
Republican candidate Mitt Romney and his wife have each given $75,000 to the Romney Victory Fund, the joint fundraising group that collects money for his presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee, campaign sources said Friday.
The amounts, first reported by CNN, are the maximum that outside individuals are allowed to contribute to Romney’s campaign, the RNC and four state-level committees that he has set up. The sources asked to be anonymous because the donation has not yet been publicly reported.
But Romney himself could actually give much more as a personal gift or as a loan to the campaign, though he has not indicated he will do so.
In 2008, Romney dipped into his personal money to contribute $45 million toward his unsuccessful effort to gain the Republican presidential nomination. Romney, who made most of his $250 million fortune as co-founder of the Bain Capital private equity firm, also used his own funds in his successful 2002 campaign to be Massachusetts governor and a failed 1994 bid to unseat the late senator Ted Kennedy.
President Obama’s reelection campaign has returned $50,000 raised by a New York supporter who was accused in court of defrauding a businessman out of $657,000, impersonating a bank official and dodging creditors, officials said Friday.
Spokesman Ben LaBolt said the Obama campaign returned a donation of $35,000 from the fundraiser, Abake Assongba, and another $15,000 from her husband, Anthony J.W. DeRosa. Assongba had been listed on the campaign’s public list of campaign bundlers in March, but was absent from an updated list released Friday.
The Washington Post reported last month that Assongba was dogged by a collection agency and a court order to pay more than $10,000 in unpaid rent for her former Brooklyn apartment, among other issues. A Swiss businessman also sued Assongba in Florida, accusing her of engaging in an e-mail scam to take his money. Assongba disputes the allegations.
President Obama and his top aides took aim at Mitt Romney Thursday night, calling on the likely Republican presidential nominee to release more of his tax returns and questioning whether he has used loopholes to avoid publicly disclosing more information about his personal wealth.
Seizing on a Washington Post report that Romney is using an exception in federal ethics laws to avoid disclosing the full extent of his investment holdings, Obama sent three tweets under his personal Twitter name attacking Romney. In his final tweet, the president wrote: “So what’s Romney hiding? Tweet @MittRomney to demand he release his tax returns. #WhatsRomneyHiding.”
In a statement, Messina accused Romney of having “put his personal financial assets in a black box and hid the key.” Messina called on Romney to release more than the two years of tax returns he released in February.
This story has been updated.
A campaign that’s already seen its fair share of sharp attacks took a novel turn Wednesday morning when the spokesman for a super PAC backing former House speaker Newt Gingrich took aim at former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum’s ability to speak the English language.
Speaking on MSNBC’s Jansing & Co., Rick Tyler said that the outcome of last night’s primaries in Arizona and Michigan gave Gingrich an opening.
“Rick Santorum failed to win, but Mitt Romney failed to inspire,” Tyler said. “Rick Santorum might win if he could speak English.”
Tyler is a senior adviser to “Winning our Future,” the super PAC backing Gingrich.
Where in the world has Mitt Romney been?
There were no public events on his schedule today, except for an appearance this evening at an office furniture manufacturer near Grand Rapids, Mich. The campaign has been uncommunicative about where he was and what he’s been doing.
But one good source close to the campaign has spilled the beans: Romney and some of his biggest fundraisers spent part of the day in the executive lunchroom of a New York law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges, making phone calls to recruit other financial rainmakers.
The Fifth Avenue firm has one of the country’s leading bankruptcy practices.
The big excitement of the day was not the candidate, however, but the Donald.