Anyone with a glancing familiarity with middle-school humor could tell you that a name like “ C. Moore Bacon ” is probably a pseudonym.
A gentleman with that peculiar name appears on a recent letter from the Federal Election Commission to Romney Victory Inc., a joint fundraising organization led by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The FEC suggested that the PAC should return Mr. Bacon’s $50,000 contribution. Not, though, because he is possibly a figment of someone’s rather juvenile imagination, but rather because the generous fellow appears to be otherwise ineligible to contribute to Romney: He claimed to hail from Maidenhead, England, and he listed his employer as the British Royal Army (could be he’s Capt. Bacon, then, or even Gen. Bacon).
Foreign nationals, of course, are not permitted to donate to U.S. elections, and the FEC flagged him as a “possible foreign national.” A representative of Red Curve Solutions, the company that handles compliance for the PAC, did not return the Loop’s calls seeking comment on the FEC’s beef with Bacon.
Fictitious donor names are no innovation. In the 2008 presidential campaign, a donor named “Jgtj Jfggjjfgj” contributed to Barack Obama, for example, and a “Jesus II” gave to the campaign of John McCain.
Perhaps the mysterious Bacon is a distant cousin of Seymour Butts, the popular American author of the bestselling “Under the Bleachers.”
Constitution Day isn’t the most raucous of American holidays — none of the fireworks or excessive drinking that traditionally accompany many of our other civic celebrations.
Nevertheless, attention must, by law, be paid to the holiday, which fell on Tuesday, the 226th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution by the delegates meeting in Philadelphia in 1787. (It’s also the 106th birthday of former chief justice Warren Burger, but we digress.).
As we all know, the Bill of Rights — which protects us, among other things, from having to let soldiers crash in our homes without our permission, at least “in time of peace” — was not ratified until four years later.
But how much do you know about the Constitution?
Do you know that a 2004 federal law (Public Law 108-447) requires that the head of each federal agency or department “provide educational and training materials concerning the United States Constitution to each employee” on Sept. 17?
Do you know that law, thanks to an amendment slipped into a Senate appropriations bill by Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), also requires all schools receiving federal funds to teach the U.S. Constitution?
This year’s anniversary was a relatively quiet affair, with some agency employees not even sure how their workplace was marking the day. Over at the Capitol though, Byrd would at least be pleased to see some festivities taking place in his old stamping ground: The Senate Historian’s Office sponsored a talk for staffers and local high-schoolers about the 17th Amendment (which established direct election of senators), and the Capitol Visitors Center kicked off a week-long lecture series to celebrate Constitution Week.
Perhaps getting into the spirit, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) even peppered a speech on the Senate floor about Obamacare with a reference to the Federalist Papers (No. 57, to be exact).
And alas, we didn’t hear anything about the National Security Agency requiring all employees to memorize the First Amendment.
Finally, an explanation for the job hopping that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has done in the Obama administration.
During an appearance Tuesday at the Economic Club of Washington, Lew revealed the reason that he’s held three posts (budget director, White House chief of staff and his current perch at Treasury) in the past five years.
“Why have you had a hard time holding a job in this administration?” the group’s president, David Rubenstein, jokingly asked Lew. “Does the president not like you?”
“My wife has teased me that if I could keep one job for longer, we could reduce unemployment in this country,” he parried. “I haven’t developed the ability to say no when they ask me to serve.”
Things seem to be going well with those negotiations to resume direct mail between the United States and Cuba. And, of course, there was that goodwill tour of the island by Jay Z and Beyoncé.
But make no mistake, we’re still not pals with Havana.
In a pro forma move, President Obama renewed for another year the “Trading With the Enemy Act,” which bans trade with Cuba. That law gives the president authority to restrict trade between the United States and its adversaries.
Maybe one of these years we’ll upgrade to “frenemies” — but not just yet.
President Obama said Tuesday that he would nominate Time magazine’s managing editor, Richard Stengel, to replace Tara Sonenshine as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. Stengel had also been president and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia from 2004 to 2006 and had been senior adviser and chief speechwriter for former senator Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential campaign.
As expected — though we thought it was going to be last week — Obama tapped former Enron prosecutor Leslie Caldwell to head the Justice Department’s criminal division. Caldwell, who led the Enron Task Force, is now in private practice in New York. She has also been chief of the criminal division and the securities fraud section in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.
With Emily Heil