Good morning, here are political law links for 2/22/12

WHO WAS THE MYSTERY WITNESS? Point of Order discusses the recent news that a witness in a House Ethics matter invoked the Fifth.

REFORM TRAVEL REPORTING?  Roll Call.  “In response to reports that Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was double-reimbursed for travel, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) is drawing up a resolution to strengthen travel reporting requirements in the House.”

SUPER PAC REFUND. News here. “A super political action committee supporting Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has refunded a $50,000 donation from a London-based securities firm because the contribution could have violated a U.S. law that guards against foreign money in American political campaigns, a spokesman for the group said Tuesday.”

SENATORS ON SUPER PACS. Politico. “Senate Democrats are calling on the Federal Election Commission to crack down on super PACs, arguing that voters deserve more information about who is funding independent political advertisements.”

SUPER PAC QUESTIONS.  Roll Call.  “Mega-donors giving six- and seven-figure contributions make up the bulk of the money raised so far by GOP presidential super PACs, which in January pulled in more collectively than the candidates they back.”

GODZILLA SUPER PACS.  Politico.  “Republican super PACs are routinely raising or spending more money than the presidential candidates they are supporting, new filings show — a situation that just four years ago would have been equally bizarre and improbable.”

BREEDING MEGADONORS.  The Times.  “About two dozen individuals, couples or corporations have given $1 million or more to Republican super PACs this year, an exclusive club empowered by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and other rulings to pool their money into federal political committees and pour it directly into this year’s presidential campaign.”

DONORS AS KINGMAKERS.  The Post.  “The dominance of a handful of well-to-do donors has suddenly reshaped campaign finance, but it could also pose a political risk to candidates in both parties at a time of economic distress, particularly as President Obama and his Republican rivals debate issues relating to tax fairness and income inequality ahead of the November election.”

CITIZENS UNITED TOFFEE CRUNCH? News here. “The launch of Get the Dough Out occured on the fifth anniversary of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, AmeriCone Dream, a flavor inspired by late-night talk show host, Stephen Colbert. The Get the Dough Out message will be featured on AmeriCone Dream containers.”

CU 2 VIEW.  The Times.  “If the Supreme Court takes the case, it should call on the state court and the parties to gather data on the impact of Citizens United — including the rise of “super PACs” and their dominant role in campaigns — so that the justices make a decision based on a real case and controversy, as the Constitution requires.”

AMENDED DISCLOSURE. Story here. “Newt Gingrich amended his personal financial disclosure form today to include $291,250 in income from Gingrich Productions, one of the companies in Gingrich’s network.”

STOCK ACT NAVIGATION.  The Hill.  “House GOP leaders are waiting on Reid, who voted against the Grassley amendment, to announce conferees or work out a deal among the leaders to advance the final measure.”

OVERSIGHT’S YEAR.  The Post.  “Since assuming the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in January 2011, the California Republican has held hundreds of hearings, made more than 700 requests for information and issued almost two dozen subpoenas.”

INDEXED AMOUNTS RELEASED BY THE FEC. The FEC announced some indexed thresholds and limits and they’re online here.

RETREAT IN FCPA CASE.  News here.  “After a series of courtroom setbacks, the Justice Department has given up on further prosecution in a foreign-bribery sting targeting military and security contractors.”


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