Political law links for Tuesday, July 5

ETHICS PANEL CONFIRMS MATTERS. Roll Call. “The House Ethics Committee on Friday afternoon confirmed that it is looking into possible ethics violations by Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) and two House staffers.”

RECESS CHANGES.  Roll Call.  “Some lobbyists like the new schedule House Republicans put in place this year. But even they bemoan the silliness of the two chambers planning major recesses, such as July Fourth, for different weeks.”

LOBBYING REBELS. The Hill notes a recent engagement here.  “Patton Boggs, perennially the top-earning K Street firm, is lobbying for the rebels to be accepted as the ‘legitimate government of the sovereign nation of Libya,’ according to documents filed this week with the Justice Department.”

FREE SPEECH, THE INTERNET, AND THE TIMES. Free speech and the internet this the topic of this Times editorial.

FISH ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT.  Here.  “In the two First Amendment cases handed down last week — one about limiting sales of violent video games to children, the other about Arizona’s attempt to make public financing more attractive to candidates — the dissenting justices contend that the protection of speech is not really the issue at all.”

ALLEGED POLITICAL USE ON WH PROPERTY. That’s the topic of this report.  “A video of President Barack Obama filmed in the White House and included in a fundraising e-mail sent to supporters is not legal, two election law experts say, CNSNews.com reported.”

THE RISE OF THE SUPER PAC.  The Post.  “The rise of these independent groups, which can raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions and other wealthy donors and spend it to help their favored candidates, could end up defining the 2012 campaign.”

SETTLEMENT IN FOREIGN MONEY CASE. Story here.  “A foreign subsidiary of U.S. corporate giant Koch Industries acknowledged making thousands of dollars in illegal contributions to state candidates between 2005 and 2009 and agreed to settle a case brought by the Federal Election Commission, the agency announced Friday.”

FACEBOOK MAKING FRIENDS.  In Sacramento.  “In the last year, Facebook has spent more than $102,000 on lobbying in California and made its first contributions to political campaigns in the state. It has taken lawmakers out for lunch in Sacramento, hosted them at its Bay Area headquarters and lobbied on bills concerning Internet privacy, commuter benefits and use of social media by registered sex offenders.”

CONSERVATIVES AND CLEAN ELECTIONS IN AZ.  Story.  “When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of an Arizona campaign finance law last week, the court divided along ideological lines — with a five-justice conservative majority opposing the way Arizona uses public money to finance campaigns, and four liberals supporting it.  But in Arizona, the greatest beneficiaries of the state’s Clean Elections Act have been conservatives.”


NYC LAW NEXT TO FALL?  Brad Smith asks here.  “So New York City’s law isn’t as blatantly unconstitutional as Arizona’s — but the court’s ruling plainly invites a legal challenge to the city’s program. Will having a cut-rate matching-fund program be enough to save the city?”

DEFENDING GA LOBBYIST DOLLARS.  Timesfreepress.com.  “In all, lobbyists reported spending more than $21,000 on the area’s 10 lawmakers and more than $1.1 million on officials across the state.”

HOW DID DC GET ONLINE GAMING?  The Post asks here.


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