Daily Media Links 4/12: Jury Pool in Ex-Aide’s Trial Will Be Queried About Liu, Pro-gun lobbyist vows to fight ethics investigation, and more…

April 12, 2013   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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Video: Bradley A. Smith Testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism United States Senate April 9, 2013

Watch hearing…

Independent Groups
The Blue Review: Two Cheers for Citizens United
By Scott Yenor
We should start, however, asking ourselves the question of whether the extension of “speech rights” to corporations is itself a problem. Corporations are indeed formed to organize economic activity (Prof. Gardner calls this profit seeking) and laws of incorporation are indeed constructs of civil government. Yet I think that this is where Prof. Gardner commits his first error. 
Laws of incorporation are much like laws establishing police: they are meant to effectuate natural rights. Police are there to protect life and property—two important natural rights prominent in the Declaration of Independence. Laws of incorporation effectuate the right human beings have to associate—or to form themselves into a body with a common purpose. In this (and only this) way, we can find an analogy between laws of incorporation and laws of marriage, where a man and a woman join together to make one.
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NY Times: In Political Campaigns, Do You Get What You Pay For? 

Stevens argued that the “most important answer” in explaining the ineffectiveness of the super PAC ads “was that they were not coordinated with the campaign. They produced ads that were good as they stood alone, but they weren’t directing one message.”  
Obama, according to Stevens, did not have this problem because he was less dependent on super PAC support and his campaign directly controlled a much higher percentage of the money spent on his behalf. Obama’s control of cash empowered his campaign to deliver messages and themes that his strategists wanted to stress with little competition from independent groups pushing for him.  
Political Law Briefing: Senate Hearing Illustrates Gridlock at Federal Level in Forcing Donor Disclosure; Utah is Latest State to Charge into the Vacuum

With uncertain enforcement prospects at the federal level and with no clear agency taking the lead, some states have chosen to take action targeting more politically active 501(c)(4) organizations and corporations through new donor disclosure requirements. The most recent is Utah, which earlier this month passed a law requiring disclosure of donor names by for-profit and nonprofit corporations that make political expenditures.
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USA Today: Democrat: Super PAC activists behind McConnell tape
By Catalina Camia
Jacob Conway, a member of the Jefferson County Democratic Party’s executive committee, told Fox News that two men affiliated with Progress Kentucky boasted to him that they recorded a Feb. 2 meeting through a door at the Senate minority leader’s campaign headquarters in Louisville.  
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Politico: Haley Barbour disputes Crossroads report

By Kevin Cirilli“That effort ended last November; so did my American Crossroads effort,” Barbour continued. “I left with high regard and respect for American Crossroads and its entire team, many of whom have been friends as well as colleagues of mine for many years. I expect them to help elect a lot of Republicans over the years to come.”   Read more…

WSJ: FEC Presses Crossroads GPS on Donor List 
By Alicia Mundy
The 2012 election just won’t go away:   The Federal Election Commission has asked Crossroads GPS,  the nonprofit political advocacy group co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove,  to disclose names of donors who gave more than $200.  
In a letter dated April 9, the FEC told the law firm that represents Crossroads GPS,  Holtzman Vogel Josefiak PLLC, that Crossroads must deliver an “adequate response” by May 14.  
Read more…

State and Local

Colorado –– 9 News: Pro-gun lobbyist vows to fight ethics investigation 

By Brandon Rittiman
Gerou had Neville thrown out of the building for violating the legislature’s joint rule 36 on lobbying, which reads in part: “No person engaging in lobbying shall… attempt to influence any legislator… by threat of… political reprisal… with intent thereby to alter or affect said legislator’s… decision, vote, opinion, or action concerning any matter.”  
In the Wednesday hearing, Gerou told the ethics panel she interpreted Neville’s statement as a threat of a primary challenge.  

New York –– NY Times: Jury Pool in Ex-Aide’s Trial Will Be Queried About Liu 

In the letter, the lawyers expressed concern that continuing news coverage of the Hou and Pan case and the widespread publicity generated last week about corruption charges lodged against a state senator and several other New York lawmakers could lead potential jurors to conclude that “New York elected officials are all corrupt,” and that the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan is “struggling mightily to combat this rampant corruption” and needs “the help and support of the citizenry.”  

Joe Trotter