Daily Media Links 1/18: Former Counsel to Paterson Is Fined on an Ethics Law Violation, House Leaders Make Appointments to Keep Independent Ethics Board Running and more…

Independent Groups
LA Times: Seeking to harness Obama’s campaign resources for a second term 
By Matea Gold
“This just dwarfs any part of the Democratic coalition,” said Democratic strategist Joe Trippi. “This is the biggest leg of the stool. There are really significant implications in terms of the permanent power center within the party.”  
Roll Call: Rallies Protest Big Money, Voter Restrictions  
By Eliza Newlin Carney
“Maybe it’s time for us to use the tactics that Dr. King taught us to take back government,” Common Cause President and CEO Bob Edgar said on a media conference call Thursday. The call also included representatives from Public Citizen; the NAACP; U.S. PIRG; Demos and the Center for Media and Democracy. 
Politico: Obama campaign to relaunch as tax-exempt group 
“The one question is whether the new group will disclose their donors,” Hasen said. “There will be a considerable amount of irony if the group did not — even if the group is not going to function like Crossroads GPS.”   
Huffington Post: A Key Issue President Obama Should Include in the S.O.T.U. 
By Pearl Korn
President Obama’s inauguration also happens to fall on the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s final decision on Citizens United, which unleashed untold amounts of shady money into our political process in an attempt to influence the outcomes of federal, state and local campaigns nationwide. There will be massive actions this week with “Money Out, Voters In” events across America to mark this occasion and disenfranchisement in America. You can find out more about this campaign at Public Citizen’s website, democracyisforpepeople.org.  
Roll Call: Activists Mobilize to Enact Parts of Obama Gun Plan  
By Janie Lorber
Just hours after Obama called on lawmakers to pass a series of measures, an alliance of liberal groups, unions and gun control activists gathered at the Washington headquarters of the National Education Association to develop a path to 218 votes in the Republican-controlled House. 

Candidates, Politicians and Parties

Bloomberg: Obama’s Inaugural Fundraising Lays Groundwork for Legacy 
By Lisa Lerer & Jonathan D. Salant
The former Illinois senator who in 2008 campaigned for president pledging to curb the role of money in politics has decided to accept unlimited corporate dollars for his second inauguration. His shift from four years ago, when he banned company funding, marks an early strategic step toward building the organization that will finance his presidential library, foundation and other post-White House aspirations, advisers say. 

Lobbying and Ethics

Roll Call: House Leaders Make Appointments to Keep Independent Ethics Board Running  
By Amanda Becker
House leaders on Wednesday made eight appointments to the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics, enabling the independent fact-finding agency to continue its work in the 113th Congress. 
State and Local
Montana –– AP: Emails document GOP leadership power struggle in Montana   
The documents also outline a long-term strategy that includes “changing the face of the Montana Supreme Court” and remapping legislative districts to favor Republicans, according to an email written by Sen. Jeff Essmann of Billings last September.  
New York –– NY Times: Former Counsel to Paterson Is Fined on an Ethics Law Violation 
A lawyer who served as chief counsel for Gov. David A. Paterson has paid a $3,500 fine for violating a state law limiting the interactions between former employees of the governor’s office and the state government. 

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