Daily Media Links 1/15: Bill would tighten some Montana campaign finance laws, California’s lobby laws keep many influence-peddling details secret, and more…

Bauerly Vacancy May Not be Harbinger of Things to Come 
By Sarah Lee
Cynthia Bauerly, one of the three Democrats on the Federal Election Commission, has decided to vacate her seat, and there’s some debate as to what this means for a Commission designed to be bi-partisan and, therefore, deadlock frequently. 

Candidates, Politicians and Parties

NY Times: Fund-Raising Is Lagging, So Far, for Inaugural Plans 
President Obama’s inaugural committee is at least $10 million short of its $50 million fund-raising goal, officials have told top donors, with just over a week before Mr. Obama is sworn in for his second term.  
Huffington Post: Call Time For Congress Shows How Fundraising Dominates Bleak Work Life 
By Ryan Grim and Sabrina Siddiqui
A PowerPoint presentation to incoming freshmen by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, obtained by The Huffington Post, lays out the dreary existence awaiting these new back-benchers. The daily schedule prescribed by the Democratic leadership contemplates a nine or 10-hour day while in Washington. Of that, four hours are to be spent in “call time” and another hour is blocked off for “strategic outreach,” which includes fundraisers and press work. An hour is walled off to “recharge,” and three to four hours are designated for the actual work of being a member of Congress — hearings, votes, and meetings with constituents. If the constituents are donors, all the better. The presentation assured members that their fundraising would be closely monitored; the Federal Election Commission requires members to file quarterly reports.  
Roll Call: Cornyn Predicts Brokered Compromise on Filibuster Issue  
By Humberto Sanchez and Niels Lesniewski
The new No. 2 Republican in the Senate says that if history is any judge, the chamber’s leaders will likely work out a deal and not pull the trigger on the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules with a simple majority vote. 
Battle Creek Enquirer: Get serious about campaign finance disclosure 
President Barack Obama seems to have given up the fight to rein in the power of money in politics. Good thing a Republican senator from Alaska is reaching across the aisle to lead the charge.  
NY Times LTE: Sunday Dialogue: Is a Bigger House Better? 
The founding fathers intended that voters should have personal knowledge of the people they sent to govern in Washington. Few of today’s voters really know the candidates; this makes misrepresentation easy and effective, and creates the need for large sums of money for political campaigns, leaving the candidates beholden to those moneyed interests. So, what happened?  

Lobbying and Ethics

Washington Post: How NRA’s true believers converted a marksmanship group into a mighty gun lobby 
By Joel Achenbach, Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz
In gun lore it’s known as the Revolt at Cincinnati. On May 21, 1977, and into the morning of May 22, a rump caucus of gun rights radicals took over the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association.  
State and Local
California –– Sacramento Bee: California’s lobby laws keep many influence-peddling details secret 
By Laurel Rosenhall  
Interest groups that spend the most money trying to influence policy in California’s Capitol spend the bulk of it in secret, including hiring former politicians as consultants and launching ad campaigns to push their agenda with virtually no financial disclosure.  Despite state laws that require detailed reporting of payments to registered lobbyists and activities such as wining and dining lawmakers, the largest share of what the big labor unions, trade groups, health care and energy companies spend to influence public officials falls into a mysterious category that requires no detailed reporting to authorities.   
Montana –– Missoulian: Bill would tighten some Montana campaign finance laws 
HELENA – No one showed up to oppose a bill Friday to tighten and make more specific some of Montana’s campaign finance laws after a federal judge struck down some of them as unconstitutionally vague last year.  

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.