MENENDEZ ALLEGATIONS. The Hill. “The bad news keeps coming: a Senate Ethics probe, allegations involving underage prostitutes, an FBI investigation of a key campaign donor, undisclosed flights on the donor’s private plane, and now, reports linking Menendez to an existing multi-million dollar contract he urged officials to enforce for the disgraced donor.”
MENENDEZ ALLEGATIONS II. Politico. “Senior Democratic aides noted that with Ethics Committee investigating the matter, party leaders like Reid have cover not to take any action against Menendez until that panel completes its review of the case. The Ethics Committee would step out of the way if Menendez becomes formally involved in a criminal probe by the Justice Department.”
OFA IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT. Politico. “Those putting together the new Obama-backed organization insist that they will disclose the identities of donors. However, the law doesn’t require such disclosures for a 501c4 group, so there would be no legal consequences for any omission. And it’s unclear whether the voluntary donor disclosure will provide the same detail as legally mandated reports and whether that detail will be as timely.”
PAC VIDEO HIGHLIGHTED. HuffPo. “In another sign of the close ties between super PACs and elected officials, seven newly minted Democratic House members appear in a promotional video for a super PAC that helped them win election in 2012.”
APPROPS NO LONGER COVETED. Roll Call. “The Republican ban on earmarks has undermined the ability of appropriators to mete out money to their own congressional districts and win favors by sending funds to other districts. The cardinals, as subcommittee chairmen are often called because of their sway, now are expected to sing along with the rest of the choir.”
NEW GROUP FORMED. The Times. “The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.”
WHAT YE REPORTS SHOW. Story here. “President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee ended 2012 with large debts.”
NEW LIMITS. IBT. “Next election cycle, Americans will be able to donate even more money to their candidate of choice.”
A LOOK AT THE FEC YEAR IN REVIEW. Covington.
HUNGRYLOBBYIST.COM RE-LAUNCH. DCEater. “If anyone can talk about the intersection of restaurants and lobbyists, it’s Brian Marshall Johnson.”
TX: TXT. Roll Call. “The Texas Ethics Commission gave its blessing Thursday to campaign donations via text messaging in state races, according to a website run by the Republican attorney who pushed for the change.”
AUSTRALIA: HUAWEI IN THE NEWS. Story here. “For Chinese technology giant Huawei, it appears $11,000 doesn’t buy as much as it once did. According to details released on Friday by the Australian Electoral Commission, Huawei contributed $11,000 to the federal Labor Party in financial year 2011-12.”
HAVE A GOOD DAY.