Wu and Ethics Comm., foreign agents, OCE avoids cuts, and more political law links

ETHICS COMMITTEE AND THE WU MATTER.  Politico.  “With a defiant Wu staying put, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on the Ethics Committee to investigate the explosive allegations against him.”

FOREIGN AGENTS AND DC OFFICEHOLDER.  The Post’s Colbert King discusses a D.C. Council member’s work under the Foreign Agents Registration Act here.

THIRD PARTY PROSPECTS.  The Post.  “Those who closely monitor these third-party efforts say that not only is there an array of groups with similar goals but there also is money flowing to them from wealthy individuals trying to change the two-party dynamic.”

OCE AVOIDS CUTS.  Roll Call.  “The House defeated a proposal Friday to slash the funding of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, but Members who have been the subject of past investigations and those who sit on the House Ethics Committee signaled their dissatisfaction with the office.”

TIMES ON OCE.  The Times has an editorial on the Office of Congressional Ethics here.  “The office has built an excellent record in performing preliminary investigations of allegations and making referrals to the Ethics Committee. But it needs subpoena power and should be able to make formal allegations. Then committee lawmakers would no longer sit ludicrously, and incompetently, as prosecutor, judge and jury of House integrity.”

SUPER PAC VIEW.  From the LA Times.

FOREIGN AGENTS REGISTRATION ACT IN THE NEWS.  The Post.  “[Libya’s Transitional National Council] signed a contract in May with the lobbying powerhouse Patton Boggs to help it win U.S. diplomatic recognition and gain access to the frozen funds. The contract allowed fees of up to $50,000 a month but also stipulated that Patton Boggs would not seek payment until the council was on sound financial footing.”  The agreement can be read in full here.

DOING BUSINESS ABROAD.  The Post discusses the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in this feature story.  “Federal law prohibits the bribery of some people but not others. And the business world argues that the rules of the road are not clear. One guy’s bribe, as it turns out, is another guy’s cost of doing business.”

POST ON NAMING BUNDLERS.  Here.  “All candidates complied with federal election law by identifying individuals who contributed $200 or more to their campaigns. But none of the Republican candidates revealed the names of their “bundlers,” the big fundraisers who use their connections to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. In other words, the identities of those to whom the candidates are most indebted remain hidden from the public.”  The Romney campaign’s Report of Contributions Bundled by Lobbyists/Registrants is online here.

VIRGINIA DONATIONS IN THE NEWS.  The Post.  “A Virginia Public Access Project analysis of 18 months of itemized campaign contributions reveals that businesses that lobby the General Assembly or the lobbyists and firms that represent them gave 99.61 percent of their cash to incumbents.”

PUBLIC LOBBYISTS’ VALUE NOTED.  Here. “The lobbyists themselves say that with so many competing demands on lawmakers’ time, there’s a need for specialists who can cut through the clutter and navigate the intricate web of agencies whose decisions dramatically affect local governments and their institutions.”


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