Political law links for Nov. 9, 2011

LETTERMARKING AND PHONEMARKING UPDATE.  The Hill.  “The draft memo from the Obama administration could make disclosure of lettermarking and phonemarking routine — a possibility welcomed by watchdog groups, but feared by lobbyists who make their living off the appropriations process.”

STEVENS CASE QUESTIONS.  Politico.  “Senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Attorney General Eric Holder today over whether Justice Department prosecutors who oversaw the corruption case against former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) will face any punishment or professional sanction for their actions.”

POLITICAL AD SPENDING IMPACT ON STATIONS.  The Times.  “Television stations are among the biggest beneficiaries of political ad spending — one of the primary reasons for the increase in sales activity. The election cycle of 2012 is expected to be exceptionally lucrative for stations in competitive states.”


FORMAL ADVICE ON WEBSITE DISCLAIMERS.  News from California here.  “The Commission has issued formal advice applying disclosure requirements to Internet websites that constitute independent expenditures paid for by a primarily formed or general purpose committee supporting or opposing a candidate for office.”  The letter is online here.

ACQUITTAL FOR CURRIE IN MD.  The Post.  “A federal jury acquitted a prominent Maryland state senator Tuesday of corruption charges alleging he accepted more than $245,000 to advocate for a grocery store chain while he was chairman of a powerful budget committee.”

NEW ETHICS COMM. IN OK.  Story here.  “[House Speaker Kris] Steele, R-Shawnee, said the Ethics Committee will develop ethics standards for House members and evaluate questions of ethics in legislative business.”

PROPOSED FINES FOR LOBBYING RULE VIOLATIONS.  In Australia.  “Government lobbyists will have to be registered and abide by a code of conduct or risk hefty fines under new legislation aimed at preventing corruption.”

$100 LIMIT IN IOWA CITY.  Story here.  “Iowa City is likely the only municipality in the state to impose a cap on city council campaign contributions from a single donor — a longtime local law designed to prevent the appearance of corruption, but one that candidates say makes fundraising a challenge.”

TEXAS CAMPAIGN FINANCE TRIAL.  Story here.  “A jury of six men and six women will decide whether money used to finance the 2008 political campaign of District Judge Suzanne Wooten were bribes or was received legally.”


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