Good morning, here are Monday’s political law links

CLARITY AND CONFUSION.  The Post.  “For the first time since 1959, nonprofit advocacy groups face new Internal Revenue Service rules governing their political activities, an area of the tax code that has been crying out for greater clarity.”

IRS POWER GRAB.  CSM.  “In moving to clarify Internal Revenue Service tax rules regarding nonprofit groups that are active in politics, the Obama administration has opened a can of controversy over whether, in fact, the move is a power grab for Democrats.”

JUMPING ON ANOTHER LAND MINE.  Shreveport Times.  “After stepping on numerous land mines recently, the Obama administration jumped on another one this week with proposed rules designed to rein in campaign spending by nonprofit organizations.”

SEC RULE NOT A PRIOTITY. WP. “Missing from the Security [sic] and Exchange Commission’s list of regulatory priorities for the coming year is any plan to consider whether public companies should disclose their political spending, a setback for investor advocates who rallied behind the cause.”

FILIBIUSTER AND CFR.  Brindle.  “With a newly constituted D.C. court, reformers may have an ally in their cause.”

PANEL DEFERS.  Star Tribune.  “The House Ethics Committee is again deferring an investigation into Rep. Michael Grimm, a former FBI agent, for possible campaign finance violations — leaving the matter in the hands of the Justice Department, which is conducting a criminal probe.”

BITCOIN HEAD-SCRATCHING.  LAT.  “The FEC and other federal agencies have recognized that bitcoins hold value — they can be exchanged for goods and for dollars online — but continue to debate whether campaigns can treat them as currency.”

AD WARS.  Messenger-Inquirer.  “The chairman of the Kentucky Republican party wants radio stations to pull a Super PAC ad off the air.”

MCFARLANE PROBE ENDS. WP. “Federal investigators have concluded their probe of Robert ‘Bud’ McFarlane, whom they once suspected of having an inappropriate relationship with the government of Sudan, and will not file any criminal charges against the Reagan administration national security adviser, his attorney said Wednesday.”

DC:  ZUKERBERG REVERAL.  “Well, that was fast.”

MD: PEOPLE’S PLEDGE UPDATE. WP. “Donald F. Norris, the chairman of the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s political science department, said he was skeptical that either Gansler or Brown is trying to accomplish his stated aims with the proposed pledges.”

MA:  CFR.  Boston Globe.  “One unwelcome change that the campaign ushered in, however, was a troubling increase in outside spending on the behalf of candidates.”

PA:  UNION ACCUSED.  NBC10.  “An investigation by the Berks County Election Board concludes that a powerful Philadelphia union appears to have funnelled $20,000 in campaign contributions through a Reading political committee to two Philadelphia candidates in violation of state election law.”


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