campaign finance


First Lady Michelle  Obama was in western Massachusetts Friday to raise money for her husband’s re-election campaign.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports

The First Lady was the featured speaker at a luncheon  with more than 100 people  held at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.   Tickets started at  $1,000, with a top donation  set at $2500. Local organizer, John Pucci, a Springfield attorney, said the sold out even  exceed ed  the goal which was to raise $250 thousand.

Government reform groups say there are a number of loopholes in New York’s campaign finance regulations, and that LLC’s, or Limited Liability Corporations, are part of the problem. Jimmy Vielkind of the Albany Times Union has been looking into these organizations and how they can be used to get around some of the campaign donation limits. WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke to Vielkind about his front page story in today’s paper.

Yesterday, President Barack Obama's campaign and the democratic party said they raised $71 million dollars in the month of June, well below the $106 million hauled in by rival Mitt Romney and the republicans. Obama campaign officials have warned the fundraising deficit could harm the president's chances of winning re-election.  

This year’s U.S. presidential and congressional contests are expected to be the most expensive elections in the nation’s history. Despite the still struggling economy, millions of dollars are being poured into campaign war-chests and the accounts of political action committees, leaving many wondering, “Where does the money come from?”

Democrats and Republicans in the NYS Senate engaged in partisan squabbling over reform of the state’s campaign finance system.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Senate Democrats, who are the minority party in that house, held a news conference with government reform advocates to push for public financing of campaigns, a bill Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson says will lessen the influence of big money special interests in politics.

“Government is being hijacked right now by the Super PACs,” Sampson said.  “You have the haves versus the have-nots.”

The State Assembly has introduced a bill to permit for the first time in New York State  voluntary public financing of some election campaigns.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports...

The Assembly bill would offer an optional public financing system for campaigns for state legislative and statewide offices, giving candidates six dollars for every one dollar in contributions. It is modeled after the New York City system and would be financed, in part, through a $5 check off option on state income taxes.