It's another record year for campaign spending, with special interests unleashed as never before. How does money influence what happens on Capitol Hill? Also, President Obama's Gulf restoration plan is released, and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is reportedly poised to leave the White House -- as soon as this Friday.
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Supreme Court decisions have unleashed a tide of corporate and special-interest spending that is setting records for mid-term election campaigns. Conservatives and liberals are both using new rules to raise buckets of money, but Republicans are getting three times more than Democrats are. For the most part, it's perfectly legal, but what's the message about the integrity of the Senate and Congress? Are contributions directly related to votes on Capitol Hill? Has the dependence on money eroded public trust in the second branch of government?
Dave Levinthal, Center for Public Integrity (@davelevinthal)
Lawrence Lessig, Director, Harvard University's Safra Foundation Center for Ethics
David Keating, Club for Growth (@campaignfreedom)
Stephen Ansolabehere, Professor of Government, Harvard University
Insiders believe and report that President Obama's Chief of Staff will be leaving on Friday to campaign for Mayor of Chicago. How will the White House and Presidential policies be different without Rahm Emanuel? Who are the likely candidates to replace him? Yesterday, President Obama told NBC's Matt Lauer that if Emanuel wants to run for Mayor of Chicago, he'd better get going. Lynn Sweet is Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune and a columnist for PoliticsDaily.com.
Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief, Chicago Sun-Times
The Obama Administration has responded to this summer's Gulf oil spill with an unprecedented plan to convert fines into restoration of the environment and the economy. A new task force will be run by the current head of the EPA. Mark Schleifstein reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.