Super PAC and political law links for Monday, Jan. 9th

WHO’LL TAKE PUBLIC FUNDS?  Story here.  “Not a single major candidate has signed up to take taxpayer-supported matching funds for his presidential campaign this year, signaling the death of the system that had controlled campaigns since the Watergate era.”

NELSON’S $3MM DECISION.  Story here.  “Now that Sen. Ben Nelson has taken a pass on a re-election bid, he has to decide what to do with the millions of dollars remaining in his campaign coffers.”

SUPER PACS FLOW. USAT. “Newly empowered outside groups have spent more than $13 million to shape the unfolding presidential contest and are racing to deploy television and direct-mail attacks in South Carolina and other early GOP battleground states, federal elections data and interviews show.”

SUPER PAC FUNDRAISING DYNAMIC.  The Post.  “Well-established candidates have always had the edge in fundraising, but under the new rules governing money in politics, it looks as if the rich are just getting richer.”

SUPER PACS IN THE DEBATE.  Politico.  “There’s no better evidence that the Republican presidential field has embraced super PACs as a driving force in their campaign than the debate over what to do about them.”

SUNUNU SUPER PAC SPARRING.  Story here.  “A very feisty John Sununu got into a heated debate with Chris Matthews this morning over Mitt Romney’s responsibility for super PAC ads.”

SUPER PAC OVERVIEW. Atlantic. “This election year will see an exponential growth in their number and in the funds available to them.”

SUPER PAC FILING. Story here. “Independent political groups backing top Republican candidates are taking advantage of federal rules that will effectively let them shield the identities of their donors until after key primary elections this month.”

WHAT IT TAKES TO SHOW COORDINATION.  In MUR 5887, the FEC considered allegations of coordination between a campaign and a PAC.  The case settled in 2009 with a PAC and a campaign paying civil penalties of $2,500 each.  A General Counsel’s Report summarizing the case is online here.  The conciliation agreement for the campaign is online here and the agreement for the PAC is here.

ADELSON GIVES. Story here. “Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson donated $5 million to a super PAC supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Republican presidential campaign, The Washington Post reported today.”

SUPER PAC MOVIE SET. Story here. “Supporters of Newt Gingrich have bought the rights to a new short movie that is very critical of Mitt Romney’s tenure as head of Bain Capital.”  More on the movie and ads this morning from The Times.

ETHICS PANEL SET. Story here. “Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has named a special committee to review the state’s ethics laws that apply to legislators and other state and local officials and make recommendations for reforms that could be voted on as early as this year.”

WHAT WILL SUPREMES DO ON MT CASE? Politico. “The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to wade into the hot-button debate over corporate cash in politics again, just in time for the 2012 election season.”


OVERTURN CU? Story here. “As the Iowa Caucus kicked off the official beginning of the 2012 presidential election race Tuesday, California lawmakers announced at a press conference they are introducing a resolution urging Congress to pass a Constitutional amendment overturning the Citizens United campaign finance ruling.”

LOBBYIST CLEARED IN NC. Story here. “The judge found parts of North Carolina’s lobbying reform law enacted in 2007 were ambiguous and that the secretary of state had overstepped her authority in issuing the fines.”

DC’S CONTRIBUTION RULES. The Post. “On their face, contribution limits are straightforward: no person can contribute more than $2,000 in the race for mayor; $1,500 for D.C. Council chair; $1,000 for an at-large council seat; and $500 for a ward council seat. The contribution maximum applies to the primary and general elections combined.” Colbert King takes it from there.

THOMAS CASE AND DC. The Post. “But the tale also offers two separate lessons, which are much less satisfying. It demonstrates the weakness of the D.C. government’s internal accounting systems. And it highlights anew the tendency in much of the city’s Democratic political establishment to ignore — or at least minimize — evidence of political corruption.”


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