- Lobbying revenues have been down for the past two years after a decade of steady growth. However, the changing nature of the influence industry has special interests relying more on public relations, grassroots organizing, mass media, and the internet. All told, influence spending up. (Washington Post)
- A group of anonymous donors in Germany are using a novel technique to promote their favored candidate. PeerBlog.de is funded by a shadowy group of businessmen and will produce content promoting the candidacy of Peer Steinbruck, a Social Democrat running to be chancellor. (Tech President)
- The State of the Union address is the Super Bowl of politics and many lobbyists work hard to get their products mentioned. Although, just like at the super bowl, a high profile commercial can back fire. Some lobbyists to advise their clients to try to avoid being mentioned in the speech in order to maintain support among the minority.(Roll Call)
- Karl Rove’s new dark money group’s goal is simple. The Conservative Victory Project is hoping to fend off unelectable candidates who thrive in conservative dominated primaries only to wither and die come general election time. One potential target, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is already using Rove’s specter to raise money from his conservative base. (Politico, Politico)
- Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who has been a vocal supporter of greater transparency in US Drone policy, pushed for more declassification in advance of the start of nomination hearings for John Brennan, who President Obama has tapped to be the next head of the CIA. (Politico)
- A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to make it easier for FCC commissioners to meet in secret. Currently, three or more commissioners cannot speak to each other in private, even if they are not taking any agency action. (The Hill)
- H.R. 539. The FCC Collaboration Act. To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to authorize a bipartisan majority of Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission to hold nonpublic collaborative discussions, and for other purposes.