Skip to content
Archive of entries posted on June 2009

Renzi Magistrate Makes Speech or Debate Even More Confusing

           The Magistrate Judge in the Renzi case has issued this report and recommendation on Renzi’s claim that the indictment violated the Speech or Debate Clause.              To recap, (now former) Congressman Renzi is alleged to have told landowners who wished to obtain federal land exchange legislation that he would sponsor the bill only if [...]

Lobbyist’s Invitation Raises Ethical Issue

            Via Election Law Blog and Political Activity Law comes this story from The Washington Times:  Senator Diane Feinstein cancelled a fundraiser after the lobbyist hosting it sent out an invitation using the Senator’s committee assignments as the theme for the event’s meal:  Washington lobbyist Heather Podesta mentioned the intelligence committee in an e-mail invitation attached [...]

Secretary and Clerk Close Lobbying Loophole

The Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House have just issued a “clarification” that closes the “one free lobbying contact per quarter” loophole that I have discussed here, here and here in the last few days.  Under the clarified guidance, a registered lobbyist cannot be de-listed merely because that “individual did not in the [...]

Secretary and Clerk Acknowledge Review of Lobbying Loophole

From The Hill:  “These new questions have prompted us to review the guidance to ensure that there are no inadvertent loopholes,” said Beth Provenzano, deputy chief of staff for the Senate secretary’s office. She added that the guidance was thoroughly vetted with Senate and House institutional attorneys before it was issued. “We are actively reviewing [...]

Why did the President Cross the Road?

            Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight has posted some thoughts regarding the President’s removal of the Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service.  While Brian notes various troubling aspects of this matter (for more details see here), she contends that the removal complies with the letter, if not the [...]

Loophole Closing?

Via Election Law Blog, Ken Gross notes that the Clerk and Secretary are reconsidering the guidance that would allow de-listing of a lobbyist who engages in no more than one lobbying contact per quarter.  This comports with my information.  I suspect that there will be additional guidance in the near future that closes this loophole. [...]

More on Lobbyist De-listing

Covington’s Political Law Update (hat tip again to Rick Hasen) also discusses the “de-listing” of lobbyist issue, stating as follows:  “Many in Washington had interpreted the structure of the statute to mean that the 3-month period applies to the 20% time threshold, but not to the two-or-more-contacts requirement. The Clerk and Secretary apparently read this [...]

Lobbying Loophole?

            The Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate last week released new guidance on the requirements of the Lobbying Disclosure Act.  Among other things, this guidance addressed when a registrant may “terminate” a lobbyist (i.e., remove an individual from the list of persons who act as lobbyists on that registrant’s reports).  This [...]

More on the British FOIA and the House of Commons

Those who follow matters of legislative privilege and transparency may find the U.K. FOIA case against the House of Commons to be of some interest.  One wonders how the observations of the British courts as to the lack of legislative transparency might be applied to the operations of the U.S. Congress.  As mentioned in a [...]

Did Republicans Violate HPSCI Rules? Does it Matter?

           Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have alleged that Republican members violated committee rules by speaking with The Hill newspaper following a classified briefing by the CIA on interrogation methods.    Specifically, Representative Kline (R-Minn.) was quoted by the paper as follows: “The hearing did address the enhanced interrogation techniques that have [...]