Links re: political law for Monday, March 28, 2011

REVOLVING DOOR REMINDER. “Ethics experts suggest former Senate aide Doug Hampton’s indictment last week over allegations that he violated Congressional ‘revolving door’ rules will serve as a stark reminder on Capitol Hill and K Street that lobbying rules carry real penalties.”
Roll Call.

CUPCAKES AND LOBBYING. The Times reports. “In this covetous town, the delicacies of the Georgetown Cupcake shop stand alone as symbols of wish fulfillment — heaping swirls of luscious confection atop rich, creamy pastry. Therefore: Operation Cupcake. As the Federal Communications Commission debated final rules last December on how Internet service providers should manage their traffic, AT&T delivered 1,500 of these opulent desserts to the F.C.C.’s headquarters here.”

PUBLIC FINANCING BEFORE THE COURT. The Post previews today’s argument in the public financing cases before the Supreme Court here. ”The only thing certain about Round 2, which begins Monday, is that those who favor government restrictions are far more nervous than their opponents about what comes next.” The Times editorializes here. “Striking down the mechanism would reduce speech and undermine Arizona’s effort to rid itself of political corruption. It would provide new proof that the court is hostile to campaign finance laws without good reason.” The Post editorializes here. Steve Simpson writes here.

SEC GUIDANCE ON PAY TO PLAY. “The staff of the Division of Investment Management (the “Division”) has prepared the following responses to questions about rule 206(4)-5 (the “pay to play rule”) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.” More here.


SPRING NOT AS SWEET. Roll Call reports on what an earmark ban means for a rite of spring at lobbying firms. “Spring was the deadline for most Member-sponsored earmark requests, and so this was the silly season for much of K Street. But with earmarks out of favor, lobbyists who specialize in the federal appropriations process have watched their business transform dramatically. In many cases, they have lost business and are working to figure out how to woo new clients on the hunt for government dollars.”



ETHICS LAW TARGETS PG COUNTY. The Post. “The measure would apply only in Prince George’s and does not affect members of the General Assembly, which sparked tensions among local officials and led to suggestions that state lawmakers should also scrutinize their own campaign finance practices.”


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