Opinion: RI Gov’s Ethical Push Undermined by Fundraiser with Government Contractor

Go Local Prov: “Just four days after her inauguration, Rhode Island attorney Jon Savage, sent out a fundraising email stating that was hosting a luncheon at the prestigious University Club, located in; you guessed it, Providence’s East Side. The event took place last Thursday. Anyone and everyone were welcome, as long as they had a check for $1,000 written out to the Governor’s campaign account in hand.

“The email states that Governor Raimondo will go on to do great things as Governor, but to do so she needs the “continued support” of donors. Why does Raimondo need campaign contributions to do great things is beyond comprehension?

“It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Savage’s law firm, Shechtman Halperin Savage, have received state contracts in the past with entities such as the Commerce Corporation. Savage is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the RI Airport Corporation–an appointment that comes from the governor. By raising literally tens of thousands of dollars for the Governor, is it really that far of a stretch to call that pay to play?”

Some Governors Considering Presidency Face Limits on Wall Street Fundraising

NBC News: “That’s because of federal pay-to-play rules put into place by the Securities and Exchange Commission that effectively bar many state officials from receiving substantial political contributions from financial advisers interested in the often-lucrative business of state contracts – particularly the management of huge state pension funds.

“The possible 2016 candidate likely to be most dramatically affected by them: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a sitting governor with deep Wall Street ties in a state where the governor is subject not only to the SEC rules but to a plethora of state and local level restrictions as well.

“The SEC rules can be fuzzy and even experts say it’s not always entirely clear which donations trigger a violation. Determining which officials are covered by the rules requires a deep reading of state law. And while donations to outside groups — like the leadership PAC Christie is reportedly launching – could be kosher, lawyers warn that the nuances of the rules remain the subject of much debate.”

100 Candidates Finish Campaigns with $700,000 in Bank

Sunlight Foundation: “The 100 candidates above each finished the election cycle with more than $700,000 in their campaign accounts. The majority of whom kept their war chests intact by coasting to re-election in a safe district. The top five on our leaderboard — all incumbents — each won re-election by margins of 20 points or more. A safe seat and a perch on one of the House’s top committees, or among party leadership, seems to be the recipe for big campaign cash surpluses.

“Republican congressman Darrell Issa, whose campaign had $3.7 million on hand at the latest tally, is the outgoing chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Paul Ryan, a prominent national figure, cruised to re-election. The surfeit of campaign dough will soon come in handy, as he will soon replace outgoing congressman Dave Camp as Chair of the House’s top tax committee.”

Former IN Gov Used Official Residence to Raise Funds for His PAC when Not Living There

Journal Gazette: “The latest revelations come from ‘Run Mitch, Run: The Hard Decisions One Man Faced for the 2012 Presidential Election’ by Don Cogman.”

“But one new slant from the book was that Daniels and his “group” used the Aiming Higher Political Action Committee to get the dollars flowing.

“Aiming Higher was organized to elect a Republican majority in the General Assembly. But the book reveals it was used for more than that.

“The book said the only way to get people from outside Indiana to contribute to the PAC ‘is to position it as a way to support him and encourage him to seriously think about the presidential race.”

“In another part of the book, it said the PAC ‘was also a good avenue for people who didn’t want to commit immediately or who had already committed to someone else but believed in what Mitch was doing. It was a way to support him ‘under the radar.’ ”

“Aiming Higher also was tied to a dozen or more private dinners held at the residence during 2010 in which hundreds of top GOP business leaders, policy experts and donors from around the country were invited to dine with Daniels to hear his political philosophy on what he termed the country’s ‘survival issues.'”

Democracy Alliance Meets in DC to Coordinate Liberal Millionaire Spending

Free Beacon: “The Democracy Alliance held its biannual donor conference at the ritzy Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington, D.C., last week. The secretive meeting of liberal donors garnered some press attention, but a number of misconceptions about the organization remain.

“The Alliance coordinates the activities of high-dollar liberal and Democratic donors and leading left-wing activist groups, political action committees, and nonprofits. It does not accept donations; instead, it strategically vets and recommends groups for support by its donors, which include some of the wealthiest people in the world.”

Article claims to debunk three myths about the group, with a conservative viewpoint

Myth: Only 21 groups get Democracy Alliance support

Myth: DA-supported groups are minimally involved in electoral politics

Myth: DA fights political corruption and opacity

MD Publicly Financed Governor Raised Money for State Party, $250,000 at One Event; Party Set Up Victory Fund for Candidate

Washington Post: Maryland Governor-elect, “Hogan opted to participate in Maryland’s public financing system this year and was prohibited from raising money directly into his campaign. For the general election, he was given a grant by the state of about $2.6 million.

“But Hogan was allowed to help the state GOP raise money to promote his candidacy, and with Monday’s event, he was continuing to do so after the election. To help Hogan, the state party set up an account called ‘the Hogan Victory Fund.'”