Good morning, here are Thursday’s political law links (7/26/12)

PAC WINDS DOWN.  Politico.  “A controversial super PAC with an explicit mission of unseating House members in primaries — and that played a role in the defeat of four incumbents — is scaling back if not ending its efforts for the rest of the election year.”

12 NEGATIVE ADS.  The Times.  “Using attack ads in heavy rotation across battleground states like Virginia, along with carefully worded campaign speeches and barbed sound bites on cable television, Mr. Obama, Mr. Romney and their supporters are pushing these competing story lines as polls show negative views of both men are on the rise.”

IRS LOOKING AT NONPROFITS?  The Post.  “Campaign watchdog groups see a glimmer of hope in a new letter from the Internal Revenue Service, which suggests that the agency might consider changes to the rules governing tax exemptions for politically active groups.”  The HoltzmanVogelJosefiak Blog discusses the letter here and asks if the letter is “anything more than a courtesy response.”

ADELSON IN THE NEWS.  The Times.  “When Mitt Romney arrives in Jerusalem this weekend for a round of government meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials, a key group of American supporters will be waiting nearby, including the billionaire Sheldon Adelson and other top Jewish supporters traveling from the United States.”

ABC NEWS ON PAC NAMES.  Here.  “Here’s a look at some of the most awesomely unusual Super PAC names and what these quirky groups are up to during the 2012 election.”


NIKE AND DISCLOSURE.  Story here.  “North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell wants Nike Inc. to more fully disclose its political contributions.”

CHALLENGE TO LIMITS.  Story here.  “Liberty Justice Center – through its client, Illinois Liberty PAC – filed the suit challenging the constitutionality of the limits Tuesday in federal court. Dan Proft, chairman of Illinois Liberty PAC, said the law violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and the First Amendment.”

RGA IN INDIANA.  Story here.  “The RGA Right Direction PAC is a Washington, D.C.-based super PAC, registered with federal regulators to make independent expenditures supporting or opposing candidates. So what is it doing giving $1 million directly to the Republican running for governor of Indiana?”

PA ID CASE OPEN.  Story here.  “The first round of the 2012 presidential campaign is being waged in courtrooms nationwide, and one of the most important battles got underway Wednesday in the swing state of Pennsylvania, where challengers told a judge that a new voter-identification law violates the commonwealth’s constitution.”

GA ETHICS EXPRESS.  Story here.  “While touring 14 cities in four days, the Ethics Express pulled into Albany Wednesday afternoon.  Those aboard the bus say now is the time for voters to demand honesty from the government and they say a good start is by limiting the amount of money a lobbyist can spend on those in the general assembly.”  Question 2 is on the July 31st ballot in Georgia.

NY:  INVESTING CAMPAIGN FUNDS.  Story here.  “Two of New York’s most powerful lawmakers have bolstered their massive campaign accounts by investing millions of those dollars in municipal bonds and companies, some of which have business before the state and have made campaign donations to the legislative leaders.”

RECALL COST.  Story here.  “The recall race for governor cost a record-busting $80.9 million, with Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his supporters enjoying a more than two-to-one advantage over his Democratic rivals, according to a new report.”

CHICAGO ETHICS REFORM.  Story here.  “The approved amendments strengthen the gift ban and rules for financial disclosures, eliminate honoraria, add a ‘reverse revolving door’ restriction, add a whistleblower protection for reporting misconduct, penalize Political Action Committees (PACs) for knowingly accepting improper campaign contributions and increase penalties for violations of the ethics ordinance.”

VT ALERT.  Story here.  “Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell has determined that there’s no limit to the size of contributions that can be made to so-called independent expenditure PACs — groups that try to influence elections but aren’t working with a specific candidate.”  The source of this breaking news is online here.


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