Political activity law A.M. report for Monday, Dec. 13

Good morning.  Here are a few political law stories today.

Billion dollar campaign

Potential numbers for the Obama reeleect are discussed here.

$1.7 million penalty in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case

The DoJ release is here.

CFTC ready to add to pay to play tidal wave

A CFTC press release is here and explains new proposed rules involving certain poltical contributions.

The Dodd-Frank Act adds Section 4s(h) to the Commodity Exchange Act (“the Act”), which provides the Commission with rulemaking authority to impose business conduct standards for swap dealers and major swap participants (SDs/MSP) dealing with counterparties generally and additional requirements for counterparties that are “Special Entities.” Special Entities include Federal agencies, States and political subdivisions, municipalities, employee benefit plans as defined under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), governmental plans as defined under ERISA, and endowments.

According to a CFTC FAQ,

The Commission proposes to prohibit SDs/MSPs dealing with municipal entities from making certain political contributions to certain officials of those municipal entities. There will be exceptions for de minimis contributions and newly covered associates, and SDs/MSPs will be able to apply to the Commission for an exemption on an individual basis.

The Times had a major story on derivatives trading yesterday.

Impact of earmarks on DC area

Is the topic of this Post article, one of a set.

Poker politics

Plays prominently in this Post piece.

As it scrambles to consider landmark legislation on taxes, immigration and gays in the military, the lame-duck Congress is suddenly engaged in a debate it didn’t anticipate: whether to legalize online poker.

Page on OCE

Clarence Page discusses the Office of Congressional Ethics here.

Alabama update

Changes to the state’s ethics and campaign finance laws are the topic of debate here.

Under Riley’s bills, a lobbyist couldn’t buy a legislator more than four $25 lunches over the course of a year. But that same lobbyist could give $1 million — or $1 trillion, for that matter — to that legislator’s re-election campaign.

“Financial arms race underway in Washington”

We’re not talking trillions, of course.  From the LA Times.

Have a good day

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