Happy Leap Day!
Politico – Romney outspends Santorum 2-to-1 in Michigan – An eye-opening analysis of Mitt Romney's campaign and super PAC spending in Michigan, Arizona and elsewhere, courtesy a senior Democratic party official who monitors air buys. So far, Romney and his associated super PAC have spent about $38 million on primaries and caucuses -- about 65 percent more than the rest of the field and their surrogate PACs combined. READ MORE
National Journal – Super PAC lifelines keep weakened candidates in the game – Newt Gingrich has all the marks of a dead candidate walking: He hasn’t won a contest since South Carolina nearly six weeks ago and he never seriously competed in either Michigan or Arizona, where he finished at the back of the pack. But instead of winding down, Gingrich’s campaign—or at least the one being waged on his behalf—is set for its most aggressive push yet. According to a source close to Winning Our Future, the super PAC supporting Gingrich, the group begins an ad blitz on Wednesday in seven upcoming primary states, including many holding contests next week on Super Tuesday. The ads are thanks to yet another contribution from Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who, along with his wife, has already contributed $10 million to the PAC. READ MORE
Bloomberg – Wall St. bonus drop means trading Aspen for discount cereal – The smaller bonus checks that hit accounts across the financial-services industry this month are making it difficult to maintain the lifestyles that Wall Street workers expect, according to interviews with bankers and their accountants, therapists, advisers and headhunters. “People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress,” said Alan Dlugash, a partner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP in New York who specializes in financial planning for the wealthy. “Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?” READ MORE
Talking Points Memo – State level super PACs look to enter the fray – National super PACs have had a major impact in the 2012 cycle to date. Now, as the presidential primary is joined by state level contests, it looks like they may be coming to a town near you. Two former aides to former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D), Jeff Ruppert and Louis Capobianco, have filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission and are actively building Ohians for Opportunity, a super PAC focused solely on the crucial swing state that they hope will be an influential force on the liberal side of the political spectrum. READ MORE
The New York Times/Editorial – Undermining state campaign laws – On Friday, a federal district judge granted a preliminary injunction against a Montana law, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1912, that bans corporations from making independent expenditures in political campaigns. Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court, in a separate case from the state courts, issued a temporary order preventing Montana from enforcing that law. These cases and others in the country show how the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has upended important state campaign spending laws. As the Montana Supreme Court has said on this question, “Clearly the impact of unlimited corporate donations creates a dominating impact on the political process and inevitably minimizes the impact of individual citizens.” READ MORE