Good morning, here are political law links for Monday, March 12

SUPER PACS AND COORDINATION.  Roll Call.  “At issue is whether unrestricted super PACs are illegally working hand-in-hand with the candidates they support. Campaign finance watchdogs say the collusion is flagrant. Super PAC organizers argue just as loudly that they are meticulously following the rules.”

RETIRING TO K ST.  Politico.  “Some retiring members of Congress are openly talking about life downtown and beyond with months in office still ahead of them. It’s an awkward position for lame-duck members as they continue to help craft legislation and take votes that could present a conflict of interest, or at least perceived conflict, as they consider their next employer.”

SUPER PACS AND LEADERSHIP.  Story here.  “While a federal officeholder or candidate for federal office cannot legally coordinate with a super PAC, he or she can have an ally run it and appear at its fundraisers. The Federal Election Commission ruled that Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) can’t mix his leadership PAC and super PAC. But the veil between a candidate and his or her super PAC is threadbare.”

WHAT’S NEXT ON JUDICIAL ETHICS?  The Times.  “Any recusal motion would be sent to both the justice involved and to the chief justice (or the senior associate justice if the motion concerned the chief justice); if the justice decided not to recuse, the reviewing justice would consider whether the motion had merit and, if so, he would refer it to the full court (minus the justice at issue) for a ruling, with recusal requiring a majority. Any decision by the full court, to recuse or not, would require a written opinion.”

CONVENTION AND THE ECONOMY.  The Times.  “The housing gold rush is on in Charlotte, and thousands of residents throughout this city of 750,000 are weighing whether they should rent their homes for a week or two at rates so high that the money could cover the mortgage for months.”

SEN. HATCH ON (C)(4)’S AND SUPER PACS.  Story here.  “Mr. Hatch, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, was responding to a letter by seven Senate Democratsdemanding that the Internal Revenue Service establish a clearer test limiting the politicking of 501(c)(4) groups like American Crossroads, a Republican group, and Priorities USA, a Democratic outfit. The letter, which still has not been sent, also requests stronger rules preventing corporate donors from deducting Super PAC contributions from their taxes, and it threatens legislative action if the I.R.S. fails to act.”

SUPER PAC REPORTING.  Story here.  “Four days before Ohio’s primary election, Democratic voters in the 2nd Congressional District received a blitz of automated telephone calls supporting William R. Smith, a candidate who didn’t campaign, raised no money and gave no media interviews before the election.”

BRIBES OR DONATIONS IN AL.  Story here.  “Campaign contributions are the lifeblood of politics. But when exactly does a campaign contribution be­come a bribe?”

MICHIGAN RULES.  Story here.  “There are limits to the amount of money you can donate to the candidate of your choice in Michigan. But, as with other elements of Michigan’s lobbying and ethics rules, the state’s campaign finance limits are somewhat loose.”

LT. GOV. RESIGNS.  Story here.  “July was when a State Ethics Commission investigation found the former lieutenant governor had misled investigators about using campaign cash to buy personal items, including iPads and a cellphone plan.”

DC LIMITS.  Story here.  “Under D.C. campaign finance law, a company and its subsidiaries are supposed to ‘share a single contribution limit,’ meaning that a parent company and its businesses combined could give no more than $1,000 in an at-large race such as the one Mr. Mendelson, at-large Democrat, won in 2006.”


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