February 5, 2010

TPM takes a screwy Citizens United angle on the subject of Larry Kudlow vs. Chuck Schumer.

Evan McMorris-Santoro raises the alarm:
Kudlow has expressed some interest in mounting a bid. One of the men who's urging him to run, self-proclaimed "Wall St. guy" and Kudlow friend John Lakian, told me today that Kudlow is at "the 70 or 80 or 90% tipping point" toward throwing his hat in the ring. According to Lakian, one of the men behind the Draft Kudlow movement on Facebook and the web, the time is right for a man with Kudlow's extensive Wall St. connections to make a run for office.

"There's no question we'd be an underdog," Lakian said when I asked him how tough it would be for Kudlow or any other Republican to challenge Schumer's considerable war chest. But Lakian said that the new campaign finance rules set down in the Citizens United case would help close the money gap for Kudlow quite quickly.
Citizens United is not about campaign contributions. It's about independent spending. McMorris-Santoro would like his readers to think that corporations can fill up a "war chest" for a Republican challenger to match that of the long-time incumbent's. Alito-like, I'm mouthing the words: not true.
 ... Schumer is a formidable fundraiser who's sitting on $19 million in campaign funds. The DSCC did not respond to a request for comment about Schumer potential vulnerability.
So "Citizens United case would help close the money gap for Kudlow quite quickly" and the gap is $19 million?!

36 comments:

Peter V. Bella said...

The NY papers have been reporting on general dissatisfaction with Shumer. His poll numbers are going south.

I don't think Kudlow will be the only one testing the waters.

As to TPM, consider the source. They will keep pounding the Democrat memes and talking points. They do not know nor care about the difference between truth, rumor, myth, or propaganda.


wv:fingster=Michael Jackson's nickname

Widmerpool said...

Ann,

Your hope that liberals might accurately describe Citizens United and its likely efffects, and not use it inaccurately as a cudgel to beat evil conservatives and corporations, is touching. I lost this hope long ago.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Well, it was Lakian's error. McMorris-Santoro should have corrected it, though.

If equality is our concern, isn't the money gap something we should want to see closed?

Lem said...

Kudlow was a big Reagan disciple...

Ronald Reagan was headlining a rally in Nevada. He said the options were the same as "when I stood before you." Reagan framed the Democratic "choice" as one for "liberal policies of tax and spend, economic stagnation, international weakness, accommodation, and always, always blame America first."

Reagan-era framing is regaining its relevance. Fair or not, liberalism's worst stereotypes have returned from the dead to haunt Democrats. "Tax and spend liberal," it's back with the charge of being soft on security threats – a claim that dogged Democrats from debates over crime to the Soviets to terrorism
.

Its morning in America again.

Widmerpool said...

Paul,

No. Campaign finance laws, it seems to me, are generally just incumbent-protection laws. They really should be struck down on a non-partisan basis. I want to make it easy for insurgents.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Larry Kudlow has a high profile in the NYC media market. Aside from his talk show on CNBC (a favorite network for those of us in the investment industry who don't have Bloomberg terminals on our desks), Kudlow also has a Saturday radio show on the blowtorch AM talker WABC.

Money is always an advantage, but it's not necessarily a deciding factor. I think Kudlow would be doing a great public service by taking on Cheesy Chuck even if he had a slim chance of winning against him. Kudlow has a lot more brain power than Schumer. Their debates would be stimulating and enlightening.

(Reposted: added a "c" to Schumer's name.)

Paul Zrimsek said...

You misunderstand me, Widmerpool. The funding gap in this case belongs to the incumbent, and it's to be closed not by law but by Kudlow's (at least partly imaginary) ability to get corporate help.

AllenS said...

Kudlow needs to constantly point out the money gap. "Chuck Schumer is in the pocket of big..."

AprilApple said...

Of course - It is quite acceptable for Democrats to have millions upon millions of dollars in a campaign "war chest". Not so for Republicans. If a republican takes in any money - it's all bad money.

Bad bad bad.

former law student said...

Citizens United is not about campaign contributions. It's about independent spending.

Independent spending on things like candidate biopics, for example. It seems to me that running campaign ads supporting "Lisa Kudrow" would benefit the candidate no matter who wrote the checks. Becoming all coyness, blushingly saying, "That's not my campaign chest, but my supporters'," doesn't change the effect.

Widmerpool said...

Paul,

Sorry to have misunderstood you. I have always thought it laughable that supporters of these laws can maintain that they help the little guy. They just keep the bums in.

edutcher said...

Lem said...

Kudlow was a big Reagan disciple

...

Its morning in America again.


Only if people elect fiscal conservatives, no more RINOs, Assistant Democrats, whatever. This is where interest in the primaries is important. I think the Tea Partiers get it, whether the general population does depends on where they went to grade school and when.

Widmerpool said...

...

Campaign finance laws, it seems to me, are generally just incumbent-protection laws. They really should be struck down on a non-partisan basis. I want to make it easy for insurgents.

That was the big gripe against McC-F and why Junior lost so many Conservatives.

AprilApple said...

Of course - It is quite acceptable for Democrats to have millions upon millions of dollars in a campaign "war chest". Not so for Republicans. If a republican takes in any money - it's all bad money.

You broke the code.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Kudlow is a drug burnout who repeats slogans fed to him by Steve Forbes.

What a great choice - duh.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

I didn't see what you did in the original piece, Althouse.

It seems to me that TPM is saying that Schumer has a big "war chest" and that third-party-- not direct-- campaign spending will make up the difference, thereby making Kudlow competitive.

That's what Citizens United opened the door to.

Kudlow seems to be more friendly toward Wall Street than Schumer is. He seems to especially more friendly toward some of the dicier sectors of the financial industry. One ought to expect that these firms, who would benefit by having their friend Kudlow in office, would step up and use their newly-untangled "speech rights" to support him in his bid.

Of course, that's just corruption-- Kudlow implicitly advertising that he'll go easy on regulating those firms if they spend third-part money and get him elected. But it's no different than what goes on all the time right now.

William said...

If Larry Kudlow can run as populist, the world has lost its moorings..... Charles Schumer is devoid of personal charm. In NY, that's not a handicap. Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Elliot Spitzer, Michael Bloomberg, Christine Quinn, Sheldon Silver, and that guy who pushed a broken glass in his girl friend's face: not a dimple or a self deprecating chuckle in the bunch. Perhaps New Yorkers feel that the absence of charm indicates the presence of competence.

ricpic said...

Shumer is hated with a passion upstate. Kudlow has great name recognition and is respected both upstate and down. Also he's a Jewish-Catholic or a Catholic-Jew or something like that so only the voodoo community hates him.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That's what Citizens United opened the door to.

It seems to me that the lefties have their panties in a bunch because corporations can take out ads that can influence elections.

You know there are a lot of really rich people out there. I mean really rich. Lots of mega millionairs and billionaires whose personal wealth can be used to take out ads too. Does it bother the left that someone like a Forbes or Gates or Pickens or Soros can use their immense individual wealth to buy ads promoting one candidate or policy? Cause the average John Q. Citizen can't do that but they can if they wish.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I always chuckle when I see Schumer standing behind someone who has the microphone. He almost looks like a heroin addict who hasn't had a fix for a couple days/

c3 said...

Only if people elect fiscal conservatives, no more RINOs, Assistant Democrats, whatever.

Please identify RINO's and "non-RINO's" who voted for NCLB United States Senate passed it on June 14, 2001 (voting 91-8).[6] President Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002

Please identify RINO's and "non-RINO's" who voted for MMA (Medicare Prescription Drug benefit)

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Paul Zrimsek said...

Well, it was Lakian's error.

You can't really tell from the article. The most questionable part seems to be But Lakian said that the new campaign finance rules set down in the Citizens United case would help close the money gap for Kudlow quite quickly. Note that this is not a direct quote. So you don't know what he actually said, or how the meaning might have changed in paraphrasing.

traditionalguy said...

The screwy view of Citizens United is that it repeats the Obama myth about that case again. The donations are still restricted in amount and methods as before. Kudlow could do well enough within that system. Money will find a way. The Citizens United holding only allows issue oriented ads done by a group that incorporates themselves. With that said, the Schumer Machine will sputter like every other Democrat candidate in the next election. Kudlow should go for it.

holdfast said...

I actually had the pleasure of watching Kudlow moderate a debate between Newt Gingrich and Howard Dean on Monday. All three looked quite good - Dean looked and sounded far more reasonable than I expected, but the debate was generally about economic issues, not foreign affairs or social values. Both debaters gave detailed, fairly substantive answers, and Dean was not shy to point out where he thought that Obama was going adrift. Kudlow asked some good questions, but I am not sure his speaking style will work well in a campaign sound-byte setting. Still, I would love to see someone mount a decent challenge against Schumer - even if he has some powerful incumbency, I'd like to see him at least have to exert himself.

Too many jims said...

traditionalguy said...
The Citizens United holding only allows issue oriented ads done by a group that incorporates themselves.


Not true.

former law student said...

The Citizens United holding only allows issue oriented ads done by a group that incorporates themselves.

If only that were true. The CU holding allows pro and anti campaign ads by any corporation: Exxon, IBM, Sony Pictures, Siemens, Philips, etc.

former law student said...

The difficulty that giant corporations would have to poll stockholders to ascertain their beliefs reminds me of the landmark case of Windsor Board of Education v. Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. et al., [1939] S.C.R. 412.

As part of the compromises made to join the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada (basically, English-speaking and French-speaking), along with preserving official use of both languages, the parties involved agreed to preserve and continue the educational system of each province.

The English-speakers had set up non-denominational public schools (but with Bible study every Friday), while the French-speakers had set up what we would call parochial schools. The compromise worked out was that Catholics' taxes would support the Catholic (Separate) schools, while the non-Catholic taxes would support the regular public schools.

All was well until giant US corporations set up operations in Canada. As was usual, Ford Motor Company's property was taxed. The problem was to determine what percentage of taxes would go to the Catholic schools. Who owned Ford Motor Company? Specifically, how many shares were owned by Catholics?

Ford made a good-faith estimate, but was not about to poll its shareholders to ascertain their religious beliefs. The non-denominational school board in Windsor sued, and Canada's Supreme Court held that all of Ford's taxes would go to the non-denominational public schools, and none would go to the Catholic public schools.

traditionalguy said...

@ FLS and ToomanyJims...The holding is the facts of the case and not the dicta in the decision. Obama and buddies are using the confusion to stir up a counter attack on free speech at every level. The liberals politicos are pulling the wool over your face, like the Wing nuts do to their followers on their issues. It is about a Constitutional limitation on Congressional schemes that outlaw speech in this type of case only. Evils of speech are like supposed evils of antibiotics for sick people. Get real. The Supreme Court is not out to get Little Boy Obama.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Note that this is not a direct quote. So you don't know what he actually said, or how the meaning might have changed in paraphrasing.

That's a pretty good point. For all we know, the real quote could have been "I know a few firms that would be happy to spend some serious money on independent ads, which would do a lot to make up for the money gap."

former law student said...

Tradguy: from page 50 of the slip opinion:

Due consideration leads to this conclusion: Austin, 494
U. S. 652 [1990], should be and now is overruled. We return to the principle established in Buckley and Bellotti that the Government may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker’s corporate identity. No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations.


Even though Austin dealt with a non-profit corporation, and Citizens United dealt with a non-profit corporation, Tony stretched the holding to cover for-profit corporations.

traditionalguy said...

@ FLS...Good point. Were the Citizens United a non-profit? I never heard that. My point still stands that a group that has formed a corporation and sponsored political speech is not in an illegal status because Congress says so. The donations to candidates are all still as regulated as before. The extra speech that goes around the Media strangle hold of free propaganda for the friends of the liberals and every one else shuts up is a benefit to free people. It is only a threat to Rulers that expect they can control thoughts by controling the spoken ideas heard by voters.

AlphaLiberal said...

I read that piece this morning. And I just re-read it.

Nowhere in the piece does it say that the corporations would donate to Kudlow's campaign. Does. not. say. it.

The corporations can spend money via independent committees to boost Kudlow and/or tear Schumer down via attack ads.

This is really a simple concept, Ann. Your knee jerk TPM bashing is obvious.

former law student said...

If you go to citizensunited.org and click on support us, you will see a list of states. Citizens United has registered as a non-profit in those states.

Ann Althouse said...

@Alpha Read the section "war chest... close the money gap." That says it, in so many words. I concede there is room for denial, but I think the deception was absolutely intentional and gross. It is the same thing Obama did at the SOTU, and it is despicable.

former law student said...

Is EMM-S misquoting Lakian? Or is Lakian misdescribing the boon the CU decision will provide "his friend, Kudlow"?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

But politicians were always free to spend their own wealth on their own campaigns, and if Kudlow's not worth at least a few tens of millions already then some shitty "supply-side economist, television personality" and syndicated columnist he is!

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann, have you ever had involvement in campaigns? They've already been spending money for candidates in various ways via independent expenditures which, combined with the candidate's committee, defines "the gap."

Take the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry. They did alot of the negative campaigning for Bush through an IE committee and that was very helpful for Bush.

"The gap" includes BOTH candidates funds plus independent expenditures.