Daily Media Links 1/16: One sweet lawsuit, Christie won’t seek state matching funds for primary election, and more…

In the News
New York World: Bold campaign spending rules in the spotlight 
By Curtis Skinner
Allen Dickerson, legal director of the Virginia-based advocacy group Center for Competitive Politics, a leader in campaign finance reform opponents was the only speaker to combat the regulation at the hearing. He asserted that disclosure regulations would be execessively onerous.  
“The most likely outcome is that groups will refrain from speech, if speaking would result in providing the government with the functional equivalent of a membership list,” Dickerson testified. And that fear, he continued, could end up undermining government accountability.
Independent Groups
Mother Jones: Ex-IRS Director on Dark-Money Groups: “Investigate Them and Prosecute Them” 
By Andy Kroll
Big dark-money groups like the Karl Rove-advised Crossroads GPS promised the IRS they would have “limited” involvement in politics—in order to protect their nonprofit tax-exempt status—yet went on to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the 2010 and 2012 federal elections. Now several tax policy experts, including a former high-ranking IRS official who ran the division overseeing nonprofits, say the IRS must bring the hammer down on these shadowy nonprofits or risk looking weak and useless.  
Politico: Ilyse Hogue announced as new NARAL president 
By Kathryn Smith
NARAL Pro-Choice America announced Monday that its new president will be Ilyse Hogue, a longtime advocate for liberal causes who the organization hopes will help pass the torch to a younger generation of abortion-rights leaders.   
Sunlight Foundation: NRA fights campaign finance reform, disclosure 
By Nancy Watzman 
In fact the NRA’s lawyers were so quick on the draw that the group beat the law’s strongest congressional opponent, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to court. Because it filed first, the NRA had earned the naming rights to the high profile case. However, the NRA, which had backed McConnell, himself an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, with nearly $187,000 in campaign support over the years, agreed to give the Republican senator the lead position. The signature challenge to McCain-Feingold was known as McConnell v. FEC, but could just as easily have been called NRA v. FEC.  

Candidates, Politicians and Parties

NY Times: One Republican Steps Forward 
Until now, the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, has not seen a single member of his caucus dare to buck his fierce opposition to a law requiring fuller disclosure of campaign contributions. But last month, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, broke through the partisan wall to propose a badly needed mandate for transparency by the growing army of unrestricted, unidentified donors who underwrite attack ads and other stealth tactics that have so disfigured American politics. 
Newsmax: Obama Campaign Workers Shut Out of Inauguration 
By Bill Hoffman
More than a dozen of President Barack Obama’s campaign staffers say they have been shut out of the president’s inaugural festivities despite their tireless, low-paid work on the campaign trail.   
Roll Call: Joint Inaugural Committee Unveils Mobile Application  
By Emma Dumain and Jason Dick
Exactly one week out from Inauguration Day, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is battening down the hatches to prepare for many of the logistical challenges that affected the event four years ago. 
State and Local
Florida –– Florida Times Union: PolitiJax: Ethics bill filed in Florida Senate 
The bill (SB 272) would prohibit lawmakers from voting on issues that provide financial or personal benefit to themselves, their relatives, businesses or corporate affiliates. Penalties range from censure to removal from office and may also include a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000. The measure was last filed in 2012 by former Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland.   
Florida –– Orlando Sentinel: Front & Center: Don Gaetz: Time for an ethics makeover
Senate President Don Gaetz,  a Niceville Republican,  is laying down the law in Tallahassee,  placing a premium on higher ethical standards for Florida’s elected officials.
Georgia –– Associated Press: Ga. Senate passes weak cap on lobbyist gifts 
New state Senate rules adopted Monday set some weak limits on what lobbyists can give lawmakers, but those restrictions include big loopholes.  
New Jersey –– North Jersey: Christie won’t seek state matching funds for primary election
By Melissa Hayes
Governor Christie will not seek state matching funds for the primary election cycle, his campaign announced today.  
New York –– NY Post: One sweet lawsuit
McDonald has said he won’t take public dollars, so the city’s limits on contributions shouldn’t apply. The city says otherwise.
Welcome to politics in New York — where honest folks suffer from Gotham’s campaign-finance “reforms,” while professional politicians gorge on free money.  

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