Monday’s political law links

WH PETITION HITS 13K SIGNATURES. Althouse notes that an effort to petition the White House sparked by recent comments of Chris Dodd has over 13,000 signatures.

COLBERT POKING FUN. Story here. “He said he must stand for corporations because, without legs, they cannot stand for themselves.”

COLBERT AND HIS UNFUNNY RUN. Colbert King explains here. “It’s one thing to play presidential politics for laughs. It’s quite another matter to run ads against candidates.”


SCALIA ON SUPER PACS. Story here. “Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has a simple solution for people who do not like all the political advertisements unleashed by the court’s decision two years ago that ended limits on corporate contributions in political campaigns – change the channel or turn off the TV.”

SUPER SUPER PAC.  Politico.  “Here’s how it works: under new federal rules, a traditional PAC and super PAC may operate under one roof. These hybrid operations can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash to promote or oppose candidates, as any super PAC can, while simultaneously giving limited amounts of money directly to campaigns and committees, like a traditional political action committee.”

SUPER PACS 101.  Q&A here.  “Technically known as independent expenditure-only committees, super PACs can’t work directly with candidates or their campaigns, but they may raise and spend unlimited funds to pay for online, television and radio advertising and handbills.Because there are no limits on contributions, super PACs can raise vast amounts of money to support a cause or a candidate. As of Friday, 286 groups organized as super PACs reported receipts of $32.01 million and total expenditures of $33.11 million.”

SMITH ON CU AT 2. WSJ. “The U.S. government argued in Citizens United that it had the right to ban the publication of books, pamphlets and movies that advocated the election or defeat of a candidate if they were produced or distributed by unions or corporations, such as Random House, Barnes & Noble and DreamWorks. That position is the one that deserves scorn. Fortunately, no new amendment was needed to defeat it—only the First Amendment and a Supreme Court willing to uphold it.”

FORMER MEMBER AND PROJECT HE SUPPORTED. The Times. “Experts in federal earmarking — a practice of financing pet projects that has been forsaken by many members of Congress as a toxic symbol of political abuse — said they could not recall a case in which a former lawmaker stood to benefit so directly from an earmark he had authorized.”

GINGRICH ETHICS MATTER IN THE NEWS. Story here. “Newt Gingrich offered further explanation Sunday of the 1997 ethics investigation against him that resurfaced in recent days on the presidential campaign trail.”

FREDDIE MAC ATTACK.  The Post.  “Romney intends to attack Gingrich for his work with Freddie Mac at a housing-themed round-table session in Tampa on Monday morning and, at a media availability shortly thereafter, plans to call for Gingrich to release his work product with the firm, the official said.”

ROMNEY TAX RELEASE.  The Post.  “Hoping to put to rest the mounting controversy over his personal finances, Mitt Romney said Sunday that he will release his 2010 tax returns and an estimate for 2011 Tuesday. The Republican presidential candidate had said previously that he would make some of his tax information public in April.”

SANTORUM TAX RELEASE.  Story here.  “Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum promised Sunday that he will release his tax records as early as Tuesday—and certainly sometime this week.”

CHAMBER LOBBYING.  The Hill.  “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce cut its lobbying spending nearly in half in 2011, according to lobbying disclosure reports filed Friday.”

GIFFORDS RETIREMENT AND ELECTIONS.  News here.  “Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ decision to step down this week instead of finishing her term means many of the voters in what’s now Congressional District 8 will see two rounds of primary and general elections this year.”

SCOTUS OCCUPIED.  Story here.  “Protesters descended on the U. S. Supreme Court on Friday as part of the nationwide effort that Occupy Wall Street has dubbed ‘Occupy the Courts.’ The rallies at courthouses around the country were to challenge a 2010 Supreme Court decision that largely removed limits on union and corporate spending in support of political campaigns.”

NM GOV ON LOBBYING REFORM.  Story here.  “Gov. Susana Martinez on Sunday called on state legislators to prohibit themselves from becoming lobbyists for two years after leaving office.”

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND LOBBYING BILL? Story here. “Lobbyists who fail to register their activities could be fined €30,000 and jailed for two years under proposed legislation to be published by Fianna Fáil today.”

THANKS AND WELCOME. Many thanks to Rick Hasen for mentioning my site last week. Just so any new subscribers know what to expect, you’ll get one email a day with my set of links, usually around 9 a.m, Monday through Friday.  Need to read them earlier in the day?  They’re online at around 7:30 a.m. My links are mainly intended for those with an unusually high interest in political law news and views, including the topics of campaign finance rules, lobbying laws, House and Senate ethics and travel rules, and related areas on the local, state, and sometimes international level. I don’t necessarily read everything I link to or endorse views found in items I link to.  I hope you find the links valuable and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or links you’d like to share.


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