Here are today’s political law links (3/17/14)

SUNSHINE WEEK.  You’d never know it from the snow and cold we have here in Washington, but it’s Sunshine Week: “Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know.”

ELECTRONIC FILING EDITORIAL.  KC Star.  “Join us and make sure that the next Senate candidate donors are easy for anyone with a computer to review. Requiring disclosure while not making information available in a timely fashion is unreasonable.”

ICKES IN THE NEWS.  WP.  “In February 1995, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Harold Ickes sent White House Counsel Abner Mikva a two-page memo sharing class-action lawyer Bill Lerach’s concerns about bills that would make securities class actions harder to file. ‘He is a very successful attorney in this area and is a substantial contributor to the Democratic Party,’ Ickes wrote.”

SUPER PAC HEADS UP.  Tampa Bay Times.  “Though the Values are Vital PAC is pro-[Paige] Kreegel, he is barred by law from coordinating with the group.”

SUPER PAC CIVILITY.  WRAL.  “Super PACs were created by recent court rulings. They may raise and spend unlimited money but may not coordinate with any particular candidate.”

CO:  FINES NOT PAID.  “A 9NEWS investigation has uncovered nearly $90,000 in unpaid fines by Colorado lobbyists, among them a current state senator, and an ineffective system in state government to force those fines to be paid.”

IL:  CHICAGOLAND.  Hyde Park Herald.  “In addition to his legislative duties, state Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-26) has been a registered lobbyist and staff member at a public affairs firm, which has led opponents to question his ethics.”

LA:  NEW PERSONAL USE RULES?  “Preventing Louisiana politicians from using campaign contributions for personal expenses will require stricter enforcement and clearer laws, including a specific ban on uses such as paying for country club fees and personal clothing, a watchdog organization said Friday (March 14).”

MA:  MUNICIPAL CANDIDATE REPORTING.  Salem News.  “Candidates in municipal elections will be held to the same record-keeping standards as those running for county and state office, once Gov. Deval Patrick signs into law new campaign finance reporting legislation.”

UT:  REPORTING BILL PASSES.  WT.  “Both chambers in the Utah Legislature have approved a measure aiming to improve campaign finance reporting and better disclose lobbyist efforts at the state Capitol.”

VA:  MCDONNELL UPDATE.  WP.  “A federal judge on Friday rejected requests from former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell’s attorneys that prosecutors immediately turn over a variety of documents they sought to prepare for a corruption trial this summer.”


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