5-23 political law links

SEN. MCCONNELL ON IRS AND CFR. Here. “The First Amendment was not written to protect popular speech. It was written to protect speech that was not popular. The moment we lose sight of that, we betray the principle of equal justice that lies at the heart of our system. We can hope the president and all who do the work of government have relearned that lesson in recent days, but we can’t count on that. The American people need to remain vigilant against any effort by the powerful to stifle speech — and do everything they can to prevent it.”

POST RESPONDS. Here. “The road to passage for any legislation this year is going to be uphill, but the push for greater openness deserves support. In a political system saturated with cash, transparency is the last, best hope for accountability.”

WHAT’S IN A (SUPER PAC) NAME? HuffPo. “Federal law, in most cases, only permits political committees authorized by a candidate to use that candidate’s name — which super PACs, by definition, are not.”

LERNER AND THE FIFTH. The Post. “While Internal Revenue Service official Lois G. Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment in her refusal to testify before Congress Wednesday, the fact that she gave a lengthy opening statement defending her innocence infuriated some lawmakers and prompted them to suggest she had inadvertently waived her right against self-incrimination.”

LERNER AT THE FEC. BuzzFeed. “In 1998, while heading the Federal Election Commission’s enforcement office, she was accused by the House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform of failing to investigate a fundraiser who had connections to then-Vice President Al Gore.”

AL: VOTE ON CAP. News here. “Alabama lawmakers have agreed to a litany of changes to state election law, including eliminating the cap on corporate political contributions and making it easier for regulated utilities to influence campaigns.”

CO: SELF-AUDIT. Story here. “Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler appears to have had himself audited.”

NJ: EASY ETHICS FIXES. Here. “In a state where the media is obsessed with the relationship between government officials and campaign contributions, so many more obvious ethics issues with much easier fixes are ignored.”

SC: SENATOR FIGHTS CHARGES. Here. “Sen. Robert Ford’s attorney said Wednesday that ethics allegations against the Charleston Democrat should be thrown out because he didn’t realize he was under investigation.”

VA: GIFT DISCLOSURE ISSUE. The Post. “A Richmond prosecutor is investigating whether Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell violated state gift and disclosure laws — a probe that was initiated by state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II.”

HAVE A GREAT DAY. I’ll send around the next set of links on Tuesday. Have a nice weekend and I’ll see you then.

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