I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Outside Money

Sean Sullivan writes at National Journal:
The next time you hear a candidate talk about shifting his or her posture toward the influence of outside groups, it's a pretty safe bet that, like most things in politics, the calculation is rooted much more heavily in self-interest than scrupulousness.

Take the game of one-upmanship going on in Montana right now. Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, armed with an almost 2-1 cash advantage over Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, proposed an agreement last week to curb the influence of outside groups, even offering to abide by cash penalties in instances where allied groups boost their preferred candidates or slam the opposition in an ad.

In addition to his cash advantage, Tester is familiar with the influence wielded by powerful GOP-aligned outside groups like American Crossroads, which have been raising and spending money at a clip outpacing its Democratic counterparts so far this cycle.

Rehberg, meanwhile, returned serve with a counteroffer that raised the stakes a step further, decrying the influence of out of state donors, including PACs and lobbyists. The biggest recipient of lobbyist cash in the Senate? Tester, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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