Opening Act: Down on the Street

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and co-founder of Tea Party Patriots Jenny Beth Martin arrive at a news conference May 16, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Jeff Smith, the promising young professor/politician who went to jail in a pretty dumb finance scandal, has a terrific analysis of modern “walking-around money” in campaigns. It’s the “scandalous” sort of money that ended Michele Bachmann’s congressional career.

Republicans may see the blossoming of arrangements like what’s alleged against [Kent] Sorenson, glorified-street money arrangements, especially in early-voting states like Iowa where a state legislative endorsement can deliver an 100 extra votes and victory in a small county. In a Politico-soaked era of local officials who fancy themselves presidential-level operatives, a deluge of low-level politicians will likely hang out shingles as “consultants,” a phenomenon national Democrats glimpsed during the 2008 South Carolina primary. Well-funded candidates from both parties will be sorely tempted to make these payments, which in an age of media saturation and fragmentation might just yield more votes per dollar than yet another television ad.

Dan Diamond sums up the latest court case that threatens Obamacare around the edges.

Michael McAuliff and Sabrina Siddiqui attempt a congressional thought experiment: Why is a national background check system for firearms bad, but NSA snooping good?

“Washington” hates Edward Snowden, according to Alex Burns. I see what he’s saying, but am starting to resent how a column by Richard Cohen can be made to speak for “journalists” et al. Cohen columns are imbecilic, and everyone’s known it for years.

Correction, June 12, 2013: This post originally misspelled Dan Diamond’s last name.