Your story of the day is this weird one from ProPublica about penny stocks and super PACs: "But a closer look at the company and the PAC suggests a different story. Operating in lightly regulated areas of Wall Street and politics, the two entities were closely entwined and their finances weren’t what they seemed."
And don't miss Fred Wertheimer's latest: "As we approach the end of the primary season, here are eight money-in-politics lessons we have learned midpoint in the elections."
I'm heading to West Virginia for the long weekend. See you again on Tuesday.
Washington Post: Sen. Orrin Hatch reacts to meeting with Merrick Garland before it occurs
For Orrin Hatch, fair consideration of Merrick Garland means making up your mind ahead of time.
Washington Post: Eight ‘is not a good number’ for the Supreme Court, Ginsburg says
"The Supreme Court has deadlocked 4 to 4 in several cases since Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February. Ginsburg told judges at a conference in New York that the situation is unfortunate because it essentially means important issues are being denied Supreme Court review, according to a copy of her prepared remarks."
Post and Courier: S.C. House tacks ‘dark money’ regulation amendment on income disclosure bill
In South Carolina, Republicans are moving on disclosure: "House members Thursday amended a bill that requires elected officials to report income from private companies so that it also requires nonprofit organizations to reveal the source of their money that is spent on elections."
Independent Record: Judge issues stay reinstating campaign contribution limits from political parties
Interesting: "A federal judge on Thursday put back into place limits on what Montana's political parties can give to campaigns."
The presidential public financing system, a history.
National Journal: Democrats Prepare Major Campaign Finance Reform Push
People are clearly angry about money in politics and maybe some in Congress are paying attention. Sheldon Whitehouse: "“The purpose is to respond to the public’s frustration about a Congress that is jammed up by special interests and as a result isn’t meeting the needs of the American people."
Journal-Sentinel: U.S. Supreme Court allows secret debate in John Doe filing
Hmm: "The U.S. Supreme Court for now is allowing arguments partly in secret in a case over whether the high court should hear a dispute over the shutdown of an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and conservative groups backing him."
Center for Public Integrity: Libertarian presidential hopeful’s spending on consultants draws ire
"More than 70 cents of every dollar Libertarian Gary Johnson — a man who could play spoiler in battleground states in November — has spent so far in his 2016 presidential bid has gone to the consulting firm of his campaign manager, Ron Nielson, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of federal campaign finance filings."
New York Times: Woody Johnson Takes On Role as Fund-Raiser for Donald Trump
Donald Trump continues to self-fund his campaign by asking other billionaires for help: "Mr. Johnson said that Mr. Trump sought his help during a meeting on Monday at Trump Tower. They did not discuss Mr. Trump’s criticism of Mr. Johnson as a major donor during the primaries, Mr. Johnson said."
Bloomberg: Clinton Broadens Money Network as Trump Gets Started
Will Donald Trump release info on his bundlers? "Since the beginning of 2016, Clinton's campaign added 125 major fundraisers to its list of 'Hillblazers,' supporters who have helped pull in at least $100,000 for her presidential campaign. As of April 30, they had already raised a combined $41.2 million, roughly one-fifth of her war chest."
Columbus Dispatch: Donor wars continue in U.S. Senate race
The campaigns of Ted Strickland and Rob Portman are arguing over each other's donors.
Time: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe Invited Chinese Donor to Hillary Clinton’s Home
"Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe invited the Chinese businessman whose donations to him have been named as a focus of Justice Department investigators to a 2013 fundraiser at Hillary Clinton’s personal Washington, D.C., residence."
Buzzfeed: Drama! Trump Super PAC Strategist Suggests Roger Stone Is Jealous Of Him
LOL, Ed Rollins on Roger Stone: “We have a long history. I always kind of got jobs that Roger thought he should have. I don’t want to say it’s jealousy, it maybe something else. But there is nothing I can do about it.”
Tom Toles on Donald Trump's fundraising.
New York Times: Washington Sends Off a Capitol Hill Watering Hole
Members of Congress will have to find a new place to raise money: Johnny’s Half Shell has closed.
Salon: Marco Rubio’s dark-money legacy: The failed 2016 candidate created a blueprint for thwarting transparency
Simon Maloy looks at CRP's report this week on Marco Rubio's dark money group: "It’s a complex arrangement that is designed to thwart transparency and maximize the influence of wealthy political donors while violating the spirit the law and capitalizing on the toothless regulatory framework."
With the Peter Thiel news this week, this old quote of his is being thrown around (emphasis added): "Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron." Women, amirite?
OpenSecrets: Florida LLC makes contribution to super PAC after receiving Ex-Im loan
"But what went unreported about the luxury yacht vendor run by Florida businessman Lou Sola was that it arranged a large infusion of cash from the federal government less than two months before making its $100,000 political contribution, again highlighting the trickiness with giving to a super PAC through an LLC."
The Hill: Koch group launches ground war — against GOP lawmaker
"The Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity is pulling out all the stops to end Rep. Renee Ellmers’ career in Washington." Ellmers' chief of staff: "Perhaps AFP regrets Rep. Ellmers winning because she isn’t beholden to them — or any other Washington special interest groups like AFP,”
Center for Public Integrity: Mystery donors pumped millions into liberal ‘dark money’ group
A look at America Voters' spending: "About 60 percent of the nonprofit's haul between July 2014 and June 2015 was provided by 11 anonymous donors who all gave at least $500,000."
Miami Herald: Self-funding Carlos Beruff spends $3 million-plus on TV ads in Senate campaign
"With another surge in advertising, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff has spent more than $3 million on television spots statewide — most of that money from his own pocket."
CNN: Under investigation, McAulifffe cancels appearance for Strickland
"Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has canceled an appearance on behalf of Ohio Senate candidate Ted Strickland, just a few days after CNN reported the longtime Clinton confidant was the subject of a federal investigation."
Why is this guy in Washington helping to gather signatures for a ballot inititive campaign? "I do this for a lot of different reasons but mainly because I have two teenage daughters and I want them to have a decent democracy to inherit when they grow up."
NY1: Many Companies Who Stand to Benefit from LaGuardia Overhaul Happen to Be Big Donors to the Governor
"many companies that stand to benefit from the LaGuardia project also happen to be big donors to the governor."
DCist: Report: Majority Of D.C. Election Funds Didn't Come From Residents
On the new PIRG report: "More than 60 percent of fundraising for competitive candidates came from individuals and corporations outside of the District, the report finds. And of those District donors, only 5 percent of campaign funding came from D.C. residents contributing less than $100."
OPB: Effort To Cap Campaign Contributions In Oregon Sputters Again
"Oregonians won’t be voting this fall on whether to limit campaign finance contributions in state and local races. The Oregon Secretary of State’s office has rejected wording on a proposed initiative that would have changed the state’s Constitution to allow that."
Dothan Eagle: Lobbyist says his company handled transactions between GOP, Hubbard
Update from Alabama corruption trial: "A lobbyist said Tuesday that his company handled what state prosecutors are calling illegal transactions between the Alabama Republican Party and indicted Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard on the first day of Hubbard’s felony ethics trial."