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Political law links for Wed.

FORMER AIDE SENTENCED. Story here. “Charged in Washington federal district court with filing a false tax return, [Trevor] Blackann, 37, was sentenced today to about five hours in a cell block. U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts also ordered Blackann to serve two years of probation and to perform 50 hours of community service. He pleaded guilty in November 2008.”

HOUSE TRAVEL IN THE NEWS. Roll Call. “Though Congress amended its ethics rules in 2007 to restrict private groups that retain registered lobbyists from arranging, organizing and financing most forms of Congressional travel, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations funded by lobbying groups and corporations with a political agenda can still sponsor Member travel — and even feature representatives from their lobbying benefactors as speakers and experts on the trips.”


JACKSON PROBE UPDATE. USAT. “The House Ethics Committee announced today it has voted to end a hold on its probe of possible ethics violations by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in his efforts to secure President Obama’s old Senate seat.”


GEORGE KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION IN THE NEWS. The Post. “The nonprofit organization that was the largest investor in the failed solar company Solyndra contributes only a small portion of its assets toward community work, raising ‘serious questions’ about its charitable tax status, according to Senate investigators.”

CAIN SUPER PAC UP. Politico. “While the Federal Election Commission’s website shows no registration for the group, its campaign director Jordan Gehrke, a direct mail veteran, told POLITICO it filed this week as a so-called independent-expenditure-only political action committee, more commonly known as a super PAC.”

TOMORROW AT THE FEC. The agenda for tomorrow’s Federal Election Commission meeting is online here.

MURTHA WAS INVESTIGATED. Story here. “Several months before Rep. John Murtha died, the FBI was moving to expand its ongoing investigation of the powerful lawmaker into a full public corruption probe, newly released records show.”

K STREET ON TWITTER. Politico. “About half of the year’s top-grossing lobby shops have no discernible presence on either Facebook or Twitter, the nation’s two most popular social-media sites, a POLITICO analysis indicates. Most of the rest have two- or three-figure followings that would embarrass a not-particularly-popular ninth-grader.” I discussed some of the legal (and non-legal) implications of lobbying and Twitter in a Public Affairs Council webinar in July.

CAMPAIGN CASH FOR BOOKS. Story here. “Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is facing questions about his purchases of his autobiography ‘This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House.’”

ARIZONA CITIZENS UNITED IN THE NEWS. Story here. “The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office believes a group that has spent more than $100,000 backing Wes Gullett for mayor may have violated campaign finance law and wants the Arizona attorney general to investigate the matter.”


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