Political activity law A.M. report for Thursday, Dec. 2

Good morning.  Here are today’s links.

House and Senate ethics news

There are a few stories floating around related to House and Senate ethics matters.

Roll Call has the update on a matter involving Sen. Ensign.  Roll Call is also covering the matter involving Rep. Waters closely, including developments involving Ethics Committee staffers.  The vote on the Rangel matter may happen today, according to this report.  Is there a Justice Department probe into CBC-related trips?  Roll Call covers that story, too.  In other news, a vehicle allegedly paid for with Rep. Conyers’ office funds is the topic of this report.

Groups organize to save OCE

Saving the Office of Congressional Ethics is the goal of a coalition of ten groups holding a press conference today at 10:30 on the Hill.  The groups include Judicial Watch, National Taxpayers Union, and Taxpayers for Common Sense.  More here.

The John Edwards matter

Is in the news again here.

In a sign that the federal investigation of former candidate John Edwards remains very much alive, the FBI this fall approached and interviewed a number of his campaign aides, two former Edwards aides told POLITICO.

New York to lose seats

The Times explains.

The Census Bureau will announce later this month that the New York Congressional delegation will shrink to the smallest it has been in 200 years, continuing to erode the state’s clout in Washington.

Ethics in Alabama

Alabama may get a new set of ethics rules.  The Times.

Efforts at an ethics overhaul have for the most part faltered in Alabama since the nationwide wave of state ethics initiatives that followed the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. Some rules were strengthened in the mid-1990s, but large gaps have remained.

FTC’s Do Not Track and politics

I see the FTC has considered a proposal on the commercial use of internet consumer data.  The Times.  I haven’t delved into the plans deeply, yet, but I wonder if political use of the data is also subject to the planned rules.   The FTC has more information here.  The staff report notes that these technologies are used in the political and issue areas.

Following the freshmen

The Post reports:  “Four freshman lawmakers are entering Congress amid questions and controversy over their campaign and personal finances.”

Love and lobbying

Allegations in Oklahoma are that a lobbyist/lawmaker affair occurred during the award of a contract.

Prince George’s County news

Campaign finance rules in PG County (in the DC area) are the topic of this Post report.

“The single greatest boon to lobbying ever conceived”

You’ll have to click here to read about a Virginia proposal.

New coordination rule effective yesterday

The final rules are here.  The Commission’s August press release is here.

Have a good day

And I’ll see you tomorrow.

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