Earmarks, Facebook, super PACs, and issue advocacy in political law links for today

WHAT IS AN EARMARK? That’s the topic of this Hill report.  “‘One of the questions that will be worked out over the next year is the question of “what is an earmark,”‘ said Matt Dempsey, Inhofe’s spokesman. ‘Sen. Inhofe has been strong in saying that as long as something is authorized and appropriated, it’s not an earmark.'”  The Post has another story on earmarks today.

DEMS TO LAUNCH SUPER PAC. Politico reports.

TARGET’S POLITICAL ACTIVITY. Last year I linked to a number of stories covering Target’s participation in Minnesota politics.  The LA Times editorializes here in support of an announcement of a new Target policy on civic activity.

UPDATES FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE DATA NERDS. Check the FEC’s Data Blog for what’s coming in 2012.

FACEBOOK CITES THE FEC. Facebook’s Michael Richter filed comments on the FTC’s preliminary report on a privacy framework for businesses and policymakers.  What’s the FEC connection?  On page 11, the report notes: “As technology advances, individuals understand that their data may be used or made available in new ways.¹¹”  An attempt to reassure users that Facebook users are comfortable with “evolving” privacy notions?  Footnote 11 explains the FEC link:  “For instance, following 1995 legislation authorizing electronic filing of campaign finance reports, the Federal Election Commission began allowing visitors to its website to search a database of individuals’ reported federal campaign contributions. See Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, Amendment, Pub. L. No. 104-79, section l(a), 109 Stat. 791 (Dec. 28, 1995) (requiring the FEC to “permit reports required by this Act to be filed and preserved by means of computer disk or any other electronic format or method, as determined by the Commission”). The FEC determined that this innovation served the public interest even though it involved the use of information about individuals in a new way.”

In other developments, Facebook’s Andrew Noyes made the cover of this month’s issue of Washington Life as part of a feature, “The Young & The Guest List.”

CROSSROADS GPS WEIGHS IN ON BUDGET ISSUES. The Post reports.  “Crossroads GPS, a conservative-aligned outside group, is launching radio ads in nearly two dozen House districts today, aiming to influence the ongoing debate over President Obama’s budget proposal while Members are back home in their districts during recess.”

MPAA GETS DODD. The Times reports.

LOBBYIST REGISTRATION FOR TALLAHASSE? Maybe, according to this report.


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