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Hillary Clinton Doing Finance Industry Fundraiser Just Before Iowa

(UPDATE: The Hillary Clinton campaign has postponed a New York City fundraiser scheduled for Thursday until Feb. 16, according to Marisa Faltelson, New York finance co-director at Hillary for America. This story, previously headlined Hillary Clinton Doing Back-to-Back Finance Industry Fundraisers Just Before Iowa, has been updated to reflect the postponement.)

Despite being dogged with questions about her ties to Wall Street, Hillary Clinton will take a detour from the campaign trail in Iowa to do a finance industry fundraiser on Wednesday.

Clinton will appear in Philadelphia at a gala fundraiser hosted by executives at Franklin Square Capital Partners, a $17 billion investment fund. Rocker Bon Jovi will reportedly play an acoustic set for friends who pledge $1,000 and hosts who bundle up to $27,000. (Giancarlo Stefanoni, a Clinton campaign staffer, confirmed that as of Tuesday afternoon, the event is still on.)

The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that Franklin Square employs Ivy League-educated money managers and salespeople with experience at big Wall Street firms — plus four personal trainers and a dietitian to keep staff happy and productive amid the gym, yoga and nap rooms, Sol LeWitt art installations, and fancy cafeteria.

Clinton was then scheduled to head to New York City on Thursday, where she was to speak at a lunchtime Conversations With Hillary fundraiser, now set for next month. This one is co-hosted by Matt Mallow, a senior managing director and general counsel at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management firm. As we’ve reported before, having a conversation with Hillary is not cheap.

BlackRock’s ties to Clinton go particularly deep: Cheryl Mills, one of Clinton’s closest advisers at the State Department, sits on BlackRock’s board, and perhaps not surprisingly, Clinton’s plans for the industry align with the company’s financial strategy.

As David Dayen wrote for The Intercept, the company buys and holds most of its investments, meaning that any policy punishing short-term capital gains and rewarding longer-term strategies would personally benefit the firm. You could see Clinton’s proposals [to limit high-frequency trading] as clearing much of the competition to BlackRock’s asset management business.

While Clinton certainly has an interest in raising money for her campaign, the organizers are banking on less government regulations in the future.

One of Franklin Square Capital’s investment funds, the FS Energy amp; Power Fund, is heavily invested in fossil fuel companies, including offshore oil drilling and fracking. A disclosure posted by the company cautions that changes to laws and increased regulation or restrictions on the use of hydraulic fracturing may adversely impact the fund’s performance. As secretary of state, Clinton worked to spread fracking around the world.


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The agency that enforces our campaign finance laws doesn’t do its job. And many people like it that way.

In the 2010 election, the CHGO spent about $4 million on campaign advertisements without disclosing its donors. After an investigation, the Federal Election Commissions general counsel reported that the CHGO was trying to influence federal elections and thus should let the public know where its funding came from.

Despite this evidence, the FECs membership repeatedly deadlocked on enforcement action. Finally, in November 2015, the FEC ruled that the statute of limitations had expired and no action would be taken against the CHGO. This sad tale has been only too typical for the commission.

The Federal Election Commission was created in 1975 to carry out the campaign finance laws passed in the wake of Watergate. Previous laws had failed, in part because of the lack of an entity charged with enforcement. But the FEC was always hindered by a structure that undermined its effectiveness.

Originally, only two of the six commissioners were named by the president, with others chosen by leaders of the House and Senate. The Supreme Court ruled that this appointment process was unconstitutional, but it continued in practice.

Congressional leaders recommend appointees to the president, with no more than three coming from the same party.While this curbs any partisan abuses by the FEC, it also set up the commission for repeated deadlock, especially since Congress required four votes to conduct many actions. In addition, Congress has frequently saddled the FEC with an inadequate budget and time-consuming procedural requirements.

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Why a Digitally Savvy Finance Brand Decided to Go ‘Old School’ With a Super Bowl Ad

Despite some initial skepticism about whether it was the right move, financial services company Social Finance, or SoFi, is now all in on the Super Bowl.

Part of a larger introductory campaign from creative shop Muh-tay-zik Hof-fer, one 30-second ad will appear during the game, with another running shortly before kickoff. The in-game spot looks to give consumers a taste of what exactly SoFi is and how it is different from traditional banking.

The humorous approach seeks to explain the companys unique business model in a lighthearted way.

Not everyone qualifies for our products, so we didnt want to say, Hey everyone come in here and get a loan, said Joanne Bradford, chief operating officer of SoFi.

The 30-second spot, which will run in the first half of the Super Bowl, was shot by director Marc Forster who is known for films like Finding Neverland, Monsters Ball and Quantum of Solace.

With this campaign SoFi is looking to boost its brand awareness, though Bradford was initially leery of Muh-tay-zik Hof-fers suggestion to go to the Super Bowl to do that.

With [my] background in digital, I was like, thats so old school, why would we do that? said Bradford. In the end, I went and got proposals from many digital publishers and I went and added them all, and it didnt get you the reach, the excitement or the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the marketplace in a cost-effective way. No amount of homepage takeovers, no amount of native content, no amount of posting would bring you the reach and the impact that a Super Bowl ad would.

SoFi will also be running another spot shortly before the Super Bowl, leaning on consumers distrust of traditional banking following 2008s financial crisis. The ad uses phrases like Too big to fail, before the Big Game to get consumers curious about the company.

For more Super Bowl 50 news, check out Adweeks Super Bowl Ad Tracker, an up-to-date list of the brands running Super Bowl spots and the agencies involved in creating them.


Client: SoFi
Project: Great Loans for Great People

Executive Creative Directors: John Matejczyk, Jay Berry
Associate Creative Directors: Adam Ledbury, Guy Lemberg
Director of Strategy: Matt Hofherr
Associate Strategy Director: Rachel Gold
Designer: Bob Dinetz
Head of Production: Michelle Spear Nicholson
Senior Producer: Jona Goodman Suarez
Producer: Megan Ubovich
Account Director: Noel McKenzie-Johnson
Account Supervisor: Veronika Luquin Campbell
Director of Media: Eric Perko
Media Strategist: Nadia Last

Production / Tool
Director: Marc Forster
Director of Photography: Nicholas Loir
Executive Producer: Robert Helphand
Executive Producer:Oliver Fuselier
Producer Lindsay Skutch

Editorial / Arcade
Editor: Kim Bica
Executive Producer: Nicole Visram
Post Producer: Adam Becht

Senior Visual Effects Producer: James Alexander
Senior Executive Producer: James Razzall
Visual Effects Supervisior: Michael Ralla
Executive Creative Director: Aron Hjartarson

Color / Frame Store:
Senior Colorist: Beau Leon

Record and Final Mix / Eleven
Senior Engineer: Jeff Payne

Music / Squeaky Clean
Composer: Rob Barbato
Executive Producer: Carol Dunn
Music Producer: Chris Shaw

Client: SoFi
Project: This Is the Beginning of a Bankless World

Executive Creative Directors: John Matejczyk, Jay Berry
Associate Creative Directors: Adam Ledbury, Guy Lemberg
Creative Director: Todd Bois
Designer: Bob Dinetz
Head of Production: Michelle Spear Nicholson
Senior Producer: Jona Goodman Suarez
Producer: Megan Ubovich
Account Director: Noel McKenzie-Johnson
Account Supervisor: Veronika Luquin Campbell
Director of Strategy: Matt Hofherr
Associate Director of Strategy: Rachel Gold
Director of Media: Eric Perko
Media Strategist: Nadia Last

Production / FURLINED
Director: Douglas Avery
Director of Photography: Max Goldman
Head of Production: Sheila Eisenstein
Senior Executive Producer: David Thorne
Executive Producer: David Richards
Producer Greg Haggart

Editor: Brandon Porter
Head of Production: Joanna Manning
Post Producer: Jennifer Mersis

Finishing / CARBON LA
Executive Producer: Matthew McManus

Color / COMPANY 3
Senior Colorist: Dave Hussey

Record and Final Mix / ONE UNION
Senior Engineers: Eben Carr, Matt Zipkin

Executive Producer: Kala Sherman

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What Sanders Doesn’t Say About Campaign-Finance Reform

For all of Bernie Sanders populist crusading against the political influence of “millionaires and billionaires,” when faced with a rare chance to pass major campaign-finance reform, he voted against it, putting the party’s biggest donors first. The vote is worth remembering not only for what it says about Sanders, but also as a reminder of the Democratic Party’s history of saying one thing about reform and doing another.

QuickTake US Campaign Finance

In 2006, House Republicans backed a bill to rein in spending by 527 groups (named for a section of the tax code), the forerunners to Super PACs. In the 2004 election, those groups raised more money for Democrats than their Republican counterparts in unlimited contributions from wealthy donors, especially George Soros, while Republican Party committees attracted more in regulated donations.

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UW finance official — and ex-DNR chief — heading to Texas

University of Wisconsin-Madisons vice chancellor for finance is leaving to take a job at the University of Texas.

Both schools posted news releases Tuesday saying Darrell Bazzell will leave Wisconsin in March and begin a stint as senior vice president and chief financial officer at the University of Texas at Austin on April 18.

The UW-Madison release said officials at that school will appoint an interim vice chancellor as soon as possible.

Bazzell graduated from UW-Madison in 1984 with a degree in sociology. He served as secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources from 2001 until 2003 under then-Gov. Jim Doyle. According to the UW release, Bazzell has family in the Houston area and his nephew is a recent UT graduate.

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Constitution Check: Is there a basic flaw in campaign finance law?

Lyle Denniston, the National Constitution Center’s constitutional literacy adviser, looks at the ongoing debate over political speech and political transparency in campaign financing.


“Both an individual’s right to speak anonymously and the public’s interest in [campaign] contribution disclosure are now firmly entrenched in the Supreme Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence. And yet they are also fiercely antagonistic….Disclosure chills speech. Speech without disclosure risks corruption.The Supreme Court’s track record of expanding who may speak while simultaneously blessing robust disclosure rules has set these two values on an ineluctable collision course….This jurisprudence subsists on a fragile arrangement that treats speech, a constitutional right, and transparency, an extra-constitutional value, as equivalents. But the center cannot hold.”

– Excerpts from a decision on January 21 by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, upholding a rule issued by the Federal Election Commission giving corporations and labor unions that spend money on national elections permission to disclose the identities of only those who give money specifically to support campaign efforts, and not all donors who give at least $1,000. The rule may be tested in the Supreme Court.


Congress has been attempting since 1907 to put some limits on money in politics, especially the regulation of money in huge amounts that are thought to risk the actual “buying” of elections by the wealthy. The Constitution has generally made room for such regulation, but the regulatory urge has been challenged more often since the Supreme Court in 1976 began treating spending on campaigns as a form of speech broadly protected by the First Amendment.

Campaign finance law, in fact, has grown so complex in the past four decades that only a highly specialized group of lawyers really know what is or is not allowed by federal law, from one election to the next. There is a specialized federal agency with the sole task of writing and rewriting the election finance rules – the Federal Election Commission.

A major part of this modern development is that the court has increasingly applied the First Amendment as a brake on regulation – most notably with its 2010 decision in the case of Citizens United. v. Federal Election Commission. That ruling, freeing corporations and labor unions to use their own money to spend as much as they want to influence federal elections, is very likely the court’s only election law decision that many Americans know by name.

It is as controversial today as when it was issued six years ago this month. For example, that decision is one of the contributing factors to the remarkable success in the current presidential campaign of Vermont’s Democratic-Socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders. His populist message, against big money in politics and big money in Wall Street, has clearly drawn an impressive following. There is even a public conversation, not entirely frivolous, suggesting that the Citizen United decision may be overturned, some day, by a constitutional amendment.

The Supreme Court is no doubt aware of the controversy, because it hears protests over it from within the court itself, with some Justices dissenting from the general tolerance for ever-greater campaign spending.

Interestingly, though, there is also controversy among the Justices over the one finance reform measure that the majority has counted upon as a means of reducing the risk of big money to the integrity of federal elections. The majority has fervently embraced broad disclosure of the sources of campaign money, so that the voting public has some idea of who is trying to influence their votes. Disclosure, too, has some constitutional overtones, since it supposedly contributes to an informed voting public – presumably, a First Amendment goal in itself.

It is true that, over the years, the Supreme Court has also spoken approvingly of allowing people to speak out on political and other public issues through anonymous leafletting or other expression. After all, the famous Federalist Papers urging ratification of the Constitution were themselves anonymous, published by three authors using the common pen name “Publius.” The court, however, has not appeared to rank anonymity as high in the field of campaign finance law as it has disclosure of campaign money sources.

Some Justices, though, have picked up on a refrain among conservative pundits and scholars that too much disclosure is, itself, not good for political participation. The belief is that many donors wish to remain anonymous, in part because they fear harassment or worse if their identities become known. Campaign funding organizations are often set up these days in forms that allow them to get around forced disclosure of their donors’ identities.

Now, corporations and labor unions themselves appear to be gaining a measure of added privacy for their campaign finance operations. Perhaps the most prestigious of the federal courts below the Supreme Court – the appeals court that sits in Washington, DC – has now become a potentially influential voice on this side of the campaign finance issue. The quotation above is from a recent decision by that court, allowing a narrowing of the disclosure required of the identity of contributors to corporations and unions.

That court, in fact, has attempted to devalue somewhat the civic virtue of compelled disclosure, treating it as an ideas created by judges outside of the Constitution; it refers to the idea as “an extra-constitutional value” embracing “transparency” and it strongly implied that the Supreme Court has erred in treating it as the equivalent of speech rights in the form of campaign finance.

Treating political speech and political transparency as equals, the appeals court suggested, creates an “important constitutional question” that courts in general – including the Supreme Court – will have to confront at some point. This decision, of course, will gladden the hearts of political organizations who want to do more to secure privacy for their contributors. A decision like that from an important court adds significantly to public discourse on the subject.

At the same time, however, advocacy organizations that work to curtail big money in politics are an energetic and well-financed group, too, and it would be no surprise at all if they attempted to test the Supreme Court on its commitment to disclosure sooner rather than later.

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Warren County to increase lodgings tax

The Warren County Board of Commissioners is expected to raise the county lodgings tax 1 percent to finance a $10 million sports complex.

Despite opposition, the board is expected to raise the county tax from 3 percent to 4 percent on stays at hotels, motels and other overnight lodgings in Warren County after a public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

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He gives up finance job with big bucks to make a difference

He used to be a highly paid economist and equity analyst, but Mr Daniel Soh gave that up to do something he felt was more important: helping the less fortunate.

Mr Soh was an economist and foreign exchange strategist at market intelligence firm 4Cast, and later an economist at policy advisory group Centennial Group. He left it all behind to chase his dreams of becoming a social entrepreneur.

The 37-year-old recalls a simple act of kindness that still inspires him today.

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The Figures of Finance Who Died in 2015

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The 16 most powerful people in finance

Business Insider recently released its list of the most powerful people in the world, and 10 of the top 50 included hedge fund managers, bank CEOs, and other magnates in the finance industry.

To determine the ranking, we considered more than 100 of the most influential players in business, politics, and entertainment and evaluated their influence using metrics in four major areas: economic power, command, newsworthiness, and impact – a subjective measure that captures how important they are in their respective spheres.

We then narrowed down the list to just those in the finance industry, adding six finance heavyweights who narrowly missed our top 50. You can read the full methodology here.

Read on to see the 16 most powerful people in finance in the world.

Editing by Alex Morrell with additional research by Andy Kiersz.

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