Sunrise (6/1/11)

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AT&T GIFTS TO LAWMAKER NONPROFITS

Politico: “AT&T has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past several years to charities affiliated with top lawmakers — several of whom oversee telecom policy — as part of a broader effort by the company to win favor on Capitol Hill. …. These relationships, which cross party lines in both chambers, could prove valuable for the Dallas-based telecom giant as it seeks federal approval of its $39 billion merger with T-Mobile. The resulting company would be by far the largest wireless provider in the United States. … AT&T’s money has flowed to charities connected to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Federal Communications Commission; Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee; and Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 House Democrat. Mignon Clyburn, his daughter, is a member of the Federal Communications Commission.”

JUDGE MAY REVERSE CORPORATE DONATION RULING

AP: “A judge who last week ruled that the law banning corporations from contributing to federal political candidates is unconstitutional may be reconsidering his decision. … U.S. District Judge James Cacheris tossed out part of the indictment against two businessmen who were accused of illegally reimbursing straw donors to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. Critics accused Cacheris of overestimating the impact of last year’s Citizens United case, a landmark campaign-finance ruling from the Supreme Court.”

FEC FINES LAWMAKER’S CAR DEALERSHIP

Roll Call: “The Federal Election Commission filed a motion Friday asking a federal court to impose a $67,900 fine on a car dealership once partially owned by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), according to the Bradenton Herald. … The FEC accused Hyundai of North Jacksonville, while it was partially owned by Buchanan, of breaking campaign finance law by exceeding the legal contribution limit by paying back employees who donated to his campaign. … According to the Herald, “the owner of the company said Tuesday he has acknowledged the company reimbursed employees, but said it was a ‘directive’ issued by Buchanan.” … “I’ve done nothing wrong,” Sam Kazran told the Herald. “I am not a politician, just a regular Joe. I had no idea.”

GOP DONORS SEEK 2012 HOME

WaPo: “You’ve got 50 percent of Republican donors, maybe 40 percent, who a month ago were saying, ‘Just hold on, I’m waiting to see if Haley runs or Huckabee runs or Daniels runs,’ ” said Slayton, a former venture capitalist who teaches at New Hampshire’s Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. “But now those guys aren’t running. The race now is very clear.” … Rick Hohlt, a Washington lobbyist and veteran GOP fundraiser, is one Daniels supporter who is getting a lot of sudden attention. The day after Daniels’s departure, Hohlt said, he got phone calls from Vin Weber, the former congressman who is now a Pawlenty adviser, and Spencer Zwick, Romney’s national finance chairman. … It wasn’t the first time that he’d heard from them. Zwick even invited Hohlt to New Hampshire to spend a day with Romney about two years ago. … “The Romney operation has been very, very, very aggressive and very sophisticated for a long time,” Hohlt said. “Where Pawlenty is out there trying to build it, Romney’s already built it.” … Hohlt said he hasn’t made up his mind on whom to support, partly because he hasn’t gotten to know Pawlenty. “You’re obviously making an investment in that person as far as their success, so you have to make some judgment about who would go the distance,” Hohlt said. “At the same time, you want to have someone who believes in some of the same policies.”

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