Daily Media Links 3/8: Bill allowing larger political contributions passes House committee, Mitch McConnell’s Latest Attack Ad Is Actually Pretty Funny, and more…

New Mexico Disclosure Bill Could Chill Political Speech in the State 
By Sarah Lee
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Center for Competitive Politics’ Director of External Relations Matt Nese submitted comments today to the New Mexico Legislature on Senate Bill 15, which proposes to create broad and burdensome disclosure requirements for individuals and organizations that make communications to the public that merely mention the name of a candidate in a specified time period before a primary or general election. The comments were submitted ahead of a hearing on the legislation this morning by the House Voters and Elections Committee.  
Independent Groups
CNN: Why we’re raising money to support Obama agenda 
BY Jim Messina
While Organizing for Action is a nonprofit social welfare organization that faces a lower disclosure threshold than a political campaign, we believe in being open and transparent. That’s why every donor who gives $250 or more to this organization will be disclosed on the website with the exact amount they give on a quarterly basis. We have now decided not to accept contributions from corporations, federal lobbyists or foreign donors. 
Washington Times: Super PACs are here to stay 
By Matthew Petersen
What are we to make of such assessments? First of all, contrary to the arguments that super PACs were ineffectual in 2012, these groups substantially affected the presidential race by keeping it closer than it might have been otherwise. At the end of April 2012 — the month when the Republican nomination contest effectively ended — Mr. Romney was short on cash following a bruising primary battle and was about to face a spate of negative ads by President Obama’s campaign and its allies that lasted throughout the summer. Heavy spending by GOP-leaning super PACs during this span helped keep Mr. Romney’s campaign afloat until it could replenish its campaign coffers. Without those outlays, Mr. Romney may well have been a dead man walking by Labor Day.   
NY Times: Charity Takes Gun Lobby Closer to Its Quarry 
By Mike McIntire
The occasion was the “Changing of the Guard” reception and dinner for the incoming leadership of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, which counts more than 250 members in the House and Senate. Hosting the gathering was a little-known but well-connected organization, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.  
The Hill: Draft Hillary group hires Clinton’s former attorney 
By Cameron Joseph   
Ready for Hillary, a super-PAC formed by Hillary Clinton supporters to convince her to run for president, has brought in her former attorney Jim Lamb as their general counsel. 

Candidates, Politicians and Parties

NY Times: Republicans, Led by Rand Paul, Finally End Filibuster 
1:27 a.m. | Updated WASHINGTON — A small group of Republicans, led by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, stalled the Senate on Wednesday by waging a nearly 13-hour old-school, speak-until-you-can-speak-no-more filibuster over the government’s use of lethal drone strikes — forcing the Senate to delay the expected confirmation of John O. Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.  
Slate: Mitch McConnell’s Latest Attack Ad Is Actually Pretty Funny 
By Josh Voorhees
TPM this morning flags Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s latest attack ad, which takes aim at a whole host of possible challengers the Kentucky Republican could face in a general election battle next year, including actress Ashley Judd and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Lobbying and Ethics

USA Today: Ex-Sen. Jon Kyl joins D.C. firm’s lobbying group 
By Catalina Camia
Covington & Burling announced Wednesday that Arizona’s Jon Kyl, who retired from Congress in January,has joined its public policy and government affairs practice.  
State and Local
Arizona –– Arizona Republic: Horne, employee ask judge to toss campaign-funds case 
By Lindsey Collom
La Sota referred to testimony Montgomery gave before the state House Judiciary Committee in February on a bill that would increase campaign contribution limits tenfold, citing his comments about “unconstitutionally low contribution limits.” Montgomery said current limits give citizens incentive to “find other avenues to participate in the election process.”  
“That gives us the rise of independent expenditure committees,” Montgomery said. “We’re going to see more money spent through the independent expenditure process if we do not allow individual citizens to participate more fully and exercise their rights to free speech.”  
Minnesota –– MPR: Bill allowing larger political contributions passes House committee 
By Tom Scheck
The House Elections Committee approved a wide-ranging elections bill that would increase contribution and spending limits for candidates for statewide office and the state Legislature. It would also require additional disclosure from independent groups that spend money to influence elections.  

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