National Journal Online

Big Business Asks To Be Exempted From Regulatory Reform

From this morning's Earlybird: • "As negotiations continue in the Senate over the financial services regulatory overhaul, non-banking entities are pressing Congress to leave them out of the final package," Roll Call reports. • "The Senate's top Democrat on military matters," Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., "is pressing the Department of Justice to investigate whether the company formerly known as Blackwater and Raytheon Co. made false or misleading statements when bidding for an Army contract in Afghanistan," The Hill reports.

Posted: Friday, March 5, 2010 - 9:30am

Broadband Stimulus Spending Questioned

During a House Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee hearing Thursday, Republican lawmakers criticized how stimulus dollars devoted to broadband have been handed out so far. Their concerns focused on the destinations of money handed out by the National Telecommunications and Information Association and the Rural Utilities Service, with members arguing that the dollars have not wound up in the communities that most need them.

Posted: Friday, March 5, 2010 - 9:09am

Talks, But Not Negotiations, Trudge Forward

Former Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., the president of the National Association of Broadcasters, hopes he can be the one to resolve the endless standoff between artists and radio stations over royalties, which AM and FM stations pay to publishers and songwriters but not musicians when the stations air songs. Smith said he "certainly" hopes the issue can be resolved while he is top guy at the NAB, noting talks are ongoing with the Recording Industry Association of America. "I'd love to be the person to do that, but not if it costs us the radio industry," he said. After passing

Posted: Friday, March 5, 2010 - 9:02am

Friday's Starting Lineup

Good Friday morning. Congratulations to WI GOP chair/RNC general counsel Reince Priebus, who welcomed a new addition to the family yesterday. Another GOP voter hits the WI voter rolls in '28.

Here's today's Starting Lineup, previewing the people who will matter in politics today:

Posted: Friday, March 5, 2010 - 8:46am

Grant Program Opens Door Wide, Some Lament

Updated at 8:58 a.m. on March 5 .Fifteen states and the District of Columbia made the cut Thursday as finalists for the first round of the Race to the Top program -- a few too many for some education experts."I expected a finalist list of 5 and was quietly hoping for 3. My worst-case scenario

Posted: Friday, March 5, 2010 - 1:00am

Delahunt Retiring

Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA) told the Boston Globe tonight that he won't seek re-election this year to an eighth term. He'll announce his decision publicly tomorrow.

The move had been widely expected for months, but the chatter surrounding a retirement grew after Scott Brown's upset victory in the MA SEN race. Brown easily won Delahunt's CD, and sensing an opportunity, GOPers began to target the seat.

Posted: Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 9:30pm

Money-In-Politics Oscars

Milking the Oscar craze to the max, Opensecrets.org has analyzed the donation records of the top actors in the nominated films this year.

Posted: Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 6:43pm

Study: CT. Public Finance Mixed

A new system of public financing for state candidates in Connecticut resulted in a decrease in large donors and an increase in individual contributors in 2008, according to a Campaign Finance Institute study out this week. Under a state law that went into effect with the 2008 campaign cycle, candidates must collect a certain number of contributions between $5 and $100 in order to qualify for public funding. According to the preliminary findings, the law "stimulated" candidates seeking public funding to steer away from large donors and instead involve a larger number of small donors.

Posted: Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 5:57pm

Mongiardo Latest With Tiny Ad Buy

KY LG Daniel Mongiardo (D) is the latest SEN candidate to launch his first round of ad buys, though he's hardly jumping in with both feet.

Instead, Mongiardo is dipping a toe in the water with a tiny purchase of less than $4K.

Posted: Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 5:30pm

Dems Compare NRCC Chief To Tiger

Dems hoping to inoculate themselves from GOP slams on ethics are accusing NRCC chair Pete Sessions of his own ethical indiscretions.

"Pete Sessions talking about ethics in Congress is like Tiger Woods talking about fidelity," DCCC spokesperson Jesse Ferguson said Thursday.

Ferguson cited emails between Sessions and indicted financier Allen Stanford, who has been charged with swindling investors out of $7B. Sessions wrote a personal note to Stanford after federal agents charged him with a crime.

Posted: Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 5:07pm