Votelaw, Edward Still's blog on law and politics: July 2002 Archives

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July 23, 2002

Yesterday's Roll Call: Heard

Yesterday's Roll Call: Heard on the Hill column contains a couple of quick items that we are interested in. First, is a disagreement between Sen. Clinton and Sen. Feingold re the effect the new BCRA may have on politicians. The second item is about Rep. James Moran of Virginia. Moran has recently been in the news because of a story by the Washington Post that Moran took out a mortgage on his home (to pay off large debts accumulated during the illness of his daughter). Here's the problem: the money was loaned by MBNA, the amount loaned was more than the value of the home, and Moran suddenly because a vocal proponent of bankruptcy provisions favored by MBNA. On last Friday, Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine said that Moran had shown poor judgment in the matter and called for an investigation by the House ethics committee.

Rep. James Traficant's days in

Rep. James Traficant's days in Congress appear to be numbered. Roll Call has a detailed article on the unanimous vote of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. One charge against Traficant was dismissed; the article says that it would have broken new ground by making a "continuing pattern" of the misuse of the office to be an offense.

July 10, 2002

A group called Investigative Reporters

A group called Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., has a website specifically on campaign finance . It's a great resource for seeing what it being written about campaign finance around the country -- not the high-level, "what's going to happen after McCain-Feingold" sort of stuff, but the "follow the money" articles that investigative reporters are really good at. The best feature may be the Tracker newsletter with stories by reporters about the campaign finance stories they wrote for their newspapers or magazines.

July 5, 2002

Transparency: Today's The New York

Transparency: Today's The New York Times: Politics section has an interesting story on the use of lobbying coalitions to hide the identities of the folks who are paying for the lobbying. Let's see ... if I want to get together with a bunch of my friends to chip in money to give a political candidate, our committee has to disclose who gave and how much. But if we wait until the candidate is elected, we can lobby him/her through an anonymous group. Hmm, I suppose only a cynic would point out the difference, or lack thereof.

July 4, 2002

Congress has passed the Bipartisan

Congress has passed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act and the president signed with no fanfare. The National Rifle Association and Sen. Mitch McConnell sued the same day. To follow the consolidated suits (there are about 20), take a look at the Stanford Law School site. This is great site, with PDFs of all the pleadings plus links to the law, some scholarly commentary, and editorial comment. Since the cases are in the discovery phase, there has been nothing much posted recently.