Earmark death blow, Super Bowl lobbying, and VA SBE news in political law news this A.M.

EARMARK DEATH BLOW? Politico reports on Sen. Inouye’s position on an earmark ban:  “A renowned earmarker, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), said Tuesday that his panel will ban earmarks in any bills for the next two years.”  More from the Times.

WHY WAS OCE SPARED? “[Rep.] Bonner, now the chairman of Congress’ internal House Ethics Committee, a separate group, said political realities prevented new Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, from making that wish come true when he took power.”  Blog.al.com.

WHY LOBBYING NUMBERS DROPPED? “Some of the decreases in lobbying spending can also be explained by a simple change in reporting preference. A number of companies, most notably BP and Exxon Mobil Corp., switched in 2010 to a more limited definition of what is reportable lobbying revenue. Prior to last year these oil giants selected the IRS method for reporting lobbying revenue, which includes disclosing money spent on expensive advocacy advertising as well as lobbying in the states. They now are using the method allowed by the Lobbying Disclosure Act, which includes advocacy before Congress and the executive branch but excludes television ads and lobbying in state Capitols.”  Roll Call.

SUPER BOWL LOBBYING. Getting ready for the big game?  The Post’s sports section took a look at the NFL’s lobbying efforts a few days ago.  The story is here.  “The NFL has dished out nearly $5.5 million to a cadre of D.C. firms since Roger Goodell became commissioner late in 2006, tripling its lobbying expenses over the previous four years. League officials and supporters also have directed an additional $680,000 to key political leaders and allies through a recently formed political action committee.”  The story says the NFL spend about $1.45 million on lobbying last year.

OFFICE OF POLITICAL AFFAIRS FALLOUT. The Times discusses OSC’s recent report on the Bush White House Office of Political Affairs here.  “The report, by the federal Office of Special Counsel, found that the Bush White House routinely violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits most federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity. It depicts the Bush Office of Political Affairs, run by Karl Rove, as virtually indistinguishable from the Republican Party. And it makes a strong case that the office — shut down by the Obama administration last week just before the report came out — can no longer co-exist with the law.”

CORPORATE FACILITATION STATEMENT. A Statement of Reasons in a Federal Election Commission enforcement matter discusses corporate facilitation after Citizens United.

FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION MEETING ON FEB. 3, 2011.  And the agenda is here.


SPECIAL COUNSEL IN ENSIGN MATTER. Roll Call reports. Here’s more from Roll Call on how the investigation is picking up speed.

RANGEL WRONGED? The Post examines the Rangel legacy here.  “How did one of the shrewdest operatives in the House of Representatives, a man who rose to become chairman of the most powerful committee, Ways and Means, an expert in tax law and spending procedures, a hero to black America, get caught chiseling on his taxes? How did he let himself become the latest example of ethical lapses in Congress?”

STAFFER IN THE NEWS. The Hill reports:  “Sen. Edward Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) former office manager was convicted on Tuesday of stealing more than $75,000 from the Senate.”

MORE ON KOCH. Politico’s Kenneth Vogel covers the Koch brothers here.

FOREIGN REPRESENTATIONS. Who represents Egypt in DC?  The Post reports.  “The country’s main U.S. lobbying team includes [Toby] Moffett and two of Washington’s biggest power brokers: Democrat Tony Podesta and former Republican congressman Bob Livingston (La.). An umbrella company formed by the three lobbyists, called PLM Group, has collected $1.1 million from Egypt’s government each year since 2007, records show.”

PAC DONATION TRENDS. In the WSJ: “Seeking to curry favor with the winners of the November elections, companies and business groups have flooded new House Republicans with money.”

ETHICS IN ALABAMA. The new ethics laws in the state will soon be clarified, according to this report.

CONGRATULATIONS TO DONALD PALMER. Donald Palmer was named Secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections by Gov. McDonnell.  Washington Post.


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