Political law links for Tues., Feb. 21, 2012

SPITZER BACKS CU. Story here. “Friday on HBO during ‘Real Time with Bill Maher,’ former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer broke with liberal tradition, saying the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was the right call.”

SAMUELSON ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORMS. Here. “Except for contribution disclosures, campaign finance laws should be scrapped.”

POST SUPPORTS DISCLOSE 2012. Here. “The explosion of super PACs has obscured the even more disturbing involvement by tax-exempt groups that run barely disguised campaign ads but, under current rules, never have to reveal the identities of their donors.”

NEW GUIDE ONLINE. K&L Gates has prepared a new guide to political and lobbying activities and it’s online here.

TRUST ACCOUNT FORMED. Roll Call. “Rep. Spencer Bachus established a trust account earlier this week to pay for his legal fees, indicating that the Alabama Republican is preparing for what could be a protracted ethics probe.”

SUPER PAC DEPENDENCY.  The Times.  “The spending reports revealed the breadth and power of super PACs as the campaign hits a critical and perhaps decisive period, with outside groups poised to pick up a growing share of political spending during the costly primary battle that lies ahead.”

PAUL FLIGHTS IN THE NEWS.  Roll Call.  “Beyond the 26 flights, documents show an additional 31 flights where it appears Paul was double-reimbursed but the records lack sufficient detail to prove duplicate payments.”

WATERS ETHICS CASE UPDATE. Story here. “All five Republicans on the House ethics committee and the panel’s ranking Democrat withdrew from a long-standing investigation of Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California on Friday to avoid further questions about their impartiality.”

SUPER PAC DONATIONS.  Politico.  “[Harold] Simmons, owner of the Contran Corp., whose net worth is $4.5 billion, donated $5 million in January to the Karl Rove-linked super PAC American Crossroads, according to federal filings released Monday night. That’s in addition to the $7 million he poured into the conservative group last year.”

PERRY’S OPTIONS. News here. “Gov. Rick Perry has a chunk of change left over from his failed presidential bid and is asking the Federal Election Commission if he can use it to form a political action committee.”

LOBBYIST MISSING. Story here. “Columbia police are asking for help in locating Tom Sponseller, president and chief lobbyist for the S.C. Hospitality Association, who has been missing since Saturday.”


DATA HELPS CAMPAIGNS.  The Times.  “Political campaigns, which have borrowed tricks from Madison Avenue for decades, are now fully engaged on the latest technological frontier in advertising: aiming specific ads at potential supporters based on where they live, the Web sites they visit and their voting records.”

FLORIDA ELECTIONS COMMISSION MOVES.  Story here. “A Deerfield Beach man who has formed political groups for supermodels and Taco Bell customers could face more than $2 million in fines from the Florida Elections Commission after being accused of filing false campaign finance reports.”


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