Daily Media Links 8/27: Court Is ‘One of Most Activist,’ Ginsburg Says, Vowing to Stay, Different Realms of Disclosure, and more…

August 27, 2013   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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NY Times: Court Is ‘One of Most Activist,’ Ginsburg Says, Vowing to Stay

By Adam Liptak
WASHINGTON — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 80, vowed in an interview to stay on the Supreme Court as long as her health and intellect remained strong, saying she was fully engaged in her work as the leader of the liberal opposition on what she called “one of the most activist courts in history.” 



More Soft Money Hard Law: Different Realms of Disclosure

By Bob Bauer
Organizations required to register and report under New York’s new lobbying disclosure laws have begun to seek exemptions to protect their donors from anticipated reprisal or harassment. This concern for donor privacy was once most prevalent among conservative critics of political regulation, more on the “right” than on the “left,” or at least its articulation there has been most prominent. It was also once primarily an issue in campaign finance disclosure. See, e.g., Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 71, 74; Brown v. Socialist Workers, 459 U.S. 87 (1982). It seems, however, that the argument is finding favor across the political spectrum and has spread to the regulation of lobbying. Putting aside particular cases and their merits, it is a development with much to suggest about the confused state of mandatory disclosure policy. 

Candidates, Politicians, Campaigns, and Parties

Politico: Keeping ‘tabs’ on campaign emails

By Hadas Gold
If fewer campaign emails have been appearing in your inbox, you might be able to thank the new tabs and filtering system rolled out in Gmail. But the people sending out those emails aren’t thanking anyone. They’re scrambling to adjust.
In May, Gmail introduced a new tabs system that automatically filters a user’s incoming mail, sorting it into various tabs like primary, updates, promotions, social and the like. Emails sent out by campaigns, super PACs, advocacy groups and politicians are mostly getting filed to the updates and promotions tabs — the second and third tiers.
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Lobbying and EthicsReuters: U.S. lawmakers travel the world on lobbyists’ tab

By Richard Cowan
U.S. lawmakers are once again taking advantage of their summer recess to race around the globe on privately financed tours to places like China, the Middle East and Scotland – trips watchdog groups cite as evidence that congressional ethics reforms are unraveling.  
Critics of such trips say it is unseemly for members of the House and Senate to take trips bankrolled by people and organizations with specific legislative desires.

State and Local
New York –– NY Daily News: De Blasio downtown fund-raising galas eyed as illegal campaign contributions
A convicted felon arranged two fund-raisers for mayoral contender Bill de Blasio at what appears to be improper discount rates.
North Carolina –– Political Law Briefing: North Carolina Voter Law Also Targets Lobbyist Fundraising  
Buried in the recently‐enacted and controversial North Carolina Voter ID law is an additional restriction on political activity by lobbyists. North Carolina already prohibited lobbyists from making personal political contributions at any time, and from collecting and transferring contributions from multiple donors (known as bundling). Starting October 1, lobbyists will be prohibited from collecting and transferring even a single political contribution from one individual to a candidate or campaign committee. Although the new restriction clearly applies to physically collecting and transmitting contributions to candidates and campaign committees, the impact on the mere solicitation of contributions remains unclear.    


Virginia –– Washington Post: Virginia gubernatorial candidates attack each other’s ethics again 

By Fredrick Kunkle

The contenders in Virginia governor’s race on Monday took aim at each other’s ethics using some now familiar weapons: Terry McAuliffe attacked Ken Cuccinelli with a new television ad about gifts the Republican received from a prominent GOP donor, while an op-ed by Cuccinelli about McAuliffe’s struggling car company questioned the Democrat’s ability to tell the truth.  

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Joe Trotter