The Process is Political: Branding 'No Labels' with Starbucks

Our daily look at the details that can change everything. 

Political Junkie Calendar: Wednesday with GOP contenders, Thursday with Obama, Tuesday with Starbucks CEO?: The centrist political group No Labels has joined forces with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who's trying to organize corporate executives to withhold campaign contributions "until Washington reaches a fair, bipartisan deal on our country's long-term economic future." This call to join a conference call was helped by full-page ads in the The New York Times on Sunday and in USA Today on Tuesday. This pitch for bipartisanship, of course, will be followed by Republicans and Democrats making their own pitches. Given all the confusion last week, I'll make those details super-clear. The latest GOP debate at the Reagan library on Wednesday at 8pm and televised on NBC. Obama's jobs speech to Congress on Thursday starts at 7pm and will be over by the NFL season kickoff, the White House promises. (No Labels)

Wisconsin Court Considers Campaign Disclosure, Minus One Judge: The state Supreme Court in Wisconsin is hearing oral arguments today in a First Amendment challenge of campaign finance disclosure rules in the state, but there will be one fewer justice sitting at the bench. Late last week, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser stepped down from the case, reversing his position that he had no conflict in hearing the case. Critics had argued that Prosser could not give the case a fair hearing because the attorney representing the Tea Party groups challenging the disclosure rules also represented Prosser in a reelection recount earlier this spring. Prosser has also recently been in the news because another justice charged that he put her in a chokehold during a disagreement about the collective bargaining rights in the state. Prosser objected to that account, and a special prosecutor decided not to pursue criminal charges, but noted, "It's not my job to determine what's becoming." In the shadow of this partisan rancor, which prompted the New York Times to editorialize last month that "the court’s credibility, and justice in Wisconsin, are on the line" -- a decision on the constitutionality of state's election campaign disclosure rules could now come down to a 3-3 split decision in Prosser's absence, in which case the Journal Sentinel reports, "the regulations would likely remain in place, but the state Government Accountability Board has already said it will not enforce the most controversial aspects of the regulations." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) 

Lobbyists with Friends (and Old Bosses) on the Debt Supercommittee: As lawmakers return to Washington this week, the supercommittee digs into its work of identifying $1.5 trillion in spending, The Washington Post took a look at lobbyist disclosure data, and found "nearly 100 registered lobbyists used to work for members of the supercommittee, now representing defense companies, health-care conglomerates, Wall Street banks and others with a vested interest in the panel’s outcome." Six Republican Senators wrote a letter in early August calling for "an open process rather than a series of close-door meetings," the Huffington Post reported, which accompanied the introduction of a bill that would require disclosure of campaign contributions that supercommittee members receive during their deliberations. The Sunlight Foundation, a government transparency advocacy group, has launched its own campaign to open up the supercommittee's process, accompanied by the noir-y video below. (Washington Post)