Monday’s political law links

WELCOME.  I hope you got to enjoy some time off during Thanksgiving.  There are a few extra links in today’s set of links to make up for some lost ground.

SUPER PAC SNAG. Story here. “The commission issued a draft advisory opinion Wednesday that if adopted would shoot down the Utah senator’s request to turn his Constitutional Conservatives Fund into a political action committee capable of accepting big dollar checks directly from corporations and unions. The commission set the vote for Dec. 1.”

PERRY AD FOOTAGE USE. Politico. “In its Thanksgiving video, the campaign uses two clips from an slickly produced advertisement aired on Perry’s behalf by Make Us Great Again, a SuperPAC run by a longtime Perry associate, Mike Toomey.” The author of the story solicited the election law listserv for comments and the results of his survey are presented in his follow-up here.

STEVENS PROSECUTION INVESTIGATION.  Story here.  “A 2 1/2 year investigation into the bungled prosecution of then-U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens found widespread and sometimes intentional misconduct by Justice Department attorneys in that and other Alaska corruption cases. But the special prosecutor who led the review isn’t recommending they face any criminal charges.”  More here.

ALLEGED USE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS. The alleged personal use of campaign funds is the topic of this editorial. “Andrews came under criticism after The Star-Ledger of Newark reported he tapped campaign contributions to cover the costs of a multiday stay at a luxury hotel in Edinburgh, where Andrews and his family attended the wedding of a political supporter.”

SENATE GIFT RULE CHANGE. The Post. “The Senate altered its rules, but only to allow senators and other employees to accept ‘donations or clothing, toys, food and housewares . . . relating to serving persons in need or members of the Armed Services and the families of those members during the holiday season.'” More on S.Res. 336 here.

SOLYNDRA 101. The Hill. “After more than two months of news coverage and thousands of pages of leaked documents, keeping up with the Solyndra story has become difficult even for people following it closely. With that in mind, The Hill developed a short primer on the subject that outlines the history of the company, its collapse and the resulting investigation.”

AMERICANS ELECT’S PROGRESS. The Post. “A bipartisan group of political strategists and donors known as Americans Elect has raised $22 million and is likely to place a third presidential candidate on the ballot in every state next year.”

HATCH ACT REVISION ENDORSEMENT.  The Post.  “The draft legislation proposed by Special Counsel Carolyn N. Lerner fits on a single page. Congress should take up these changes and write them into law in time for the next election.”

K ST. AND THE SUPERCOMMITTEE.  The Post.  “The 12-member panel tasked with coming up with $1.2 trillion in spending cuts was a golden opportunity for lobbyists to try to reach an elite concentration of powerful lawmakers. But now that the committee has admitted defeat, lobbyists’ work is far from over.”


REZKO SENTENCED. The Trib. “Rezko will be credited the 3 1/2 years he’s already served since his 2008 conviction on 16 of 24 counts, including bribery, fraud and money laundering. He still must be sentenced in a loan fraud case before a different judge.”

FRACKING LOBBYING. The Times. “Energy companies have been pouring millions of dollars into television advertising, lobbying and campaign contributions as the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo enters the final phase of deciding when and where to allow a controversial form of natural gas extraction that is opposed by environmental groups.”

REWRITE FOR CO CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS? Story here. “Secretary of State Scott Gessler has proposed a wholesale rewrite of Colorado campaign-finance rules — changes Gessler says are long overdue but critics call a heavy-handed attempt to allow big money to dominate elections.”


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