Vino, FARA guru, big asks, anti-tea news, and other political law links for today

IN-KIND VINO VERITAS. Roll Call reports. “Since 2001, donors attending [Mike Thompson’s] parties and other contributors have given the California Democrat more than 800 gifts of wine worth about $340,000, according to a CQ MoneyLine study of campaign finance reports.”

EARMARK REQUESTS. Mike Thompson is also noted in this story about earmark requests.

LAWSUIT OVER LOBBYING. WSJ Law Blog explains. “How’s this: A lawsuit that pits a former Ross Perot presidential running mate against the king of patent aggregating/molecular cooking — with a cameo role from organized labor?”

FARA GURU. “The FCPA, which outlaws the overseas bribery of public officials, is a gray law, and the DOJ’s decisions on whom to prosecute are a bit of a mystery.” Who better to help explain its mysteries than the former head of the DOJ unit responsible for FARA? Story here.

DEM ASK: $350K. The Times.

LOBBYISTS ON THE HILL. The Post. “A surge of lobbyists has left K Street this year to fill jobs as high-ranking staffers on Capitol Hill, focusing new attention on the dearth of rules governing what paid advocates can do after moving into the legislative world.”

MAKING “PERSON” MORE NATURAL IN MN. The Minnesota Independent explains. “The bill, SF683/HF914, puts forward a simple question to voters: ‘Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to define ‘person’ to mean natural person?’”

TWO FACE FELONY CHARGES FOR ANTI-TEA WORK. Here’s a report from Michigan.

PG ETHICS BILL MOVES. The Washington Post reports. “The measure, approved unanimously and headed for likely passage in the full General Assembly, would limit the [Prince George’s] County Council’s ability to delay development deals, ban credit cards for county employees and strengthen the county’s ethics commission.”

BLOGS AND PAY WALLS. The New York Times announced that it’s establishing a pay wall, but readers are allowed to read a certain number of stories for free. More here. Eventually, sites like mine that primarily aggregate links might be confronted with the harsh reality of the news marketplace. Not yet, though. It looks like a reader who clicks-through from a site like mine will be able to read part of the story (assuming you don’t subscribe). I link to a lot of Times stories and will probably sign up for digital access given how much I read the site already. Check out David Pogue’s Personal Tech here if you’re not already a fan.


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