“Flush with trial lawyer cash, the PAC’s public face is ‘Texans 4 Justice,’ which portrays itself as a conservative grassroots group.” It didn’t work: Texas GOP primary voters yesterday returned incumbent Supreme Court justices. [Texas Observer, Houston Chronicle, earlier]
Related: Plaintiff’s lawyer Steve Mostyn, “omnipresent” in Austin, and his involvement with “Conservative Voters of Texas” [Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine]
Half a century ago, selling the Tennessee Valley Authority was regarded as a free-marketeers’ politically impossible dream. Now guess who’s for it — and who’s against. (Hint on the latter: R-Tenn.) [Knoxville News via Future of Capitalism]
P.S. More on this welcome Obama initiative from Chris Edwards: “former Cato chairman Bill Niskanen was barred by Congress for even looking into TVA reform when he was on President Reagan’s CEA.” So progress marches on. And: Fortune 1933 article on TVA.
The House Republican Study Committee calls for reconsideration of over-restrictive copyright law, then un-calls for it a day later [TechDirt, rueful update; Alex Tabarrok]
P.S. And check out this upcoming Dec. 6 Cato discussion of the newly published Copyright Unbalanced: From Incentive To Excess (Mercatus Center; Jerry Brito, ed.)
World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon is again running for a Connecticut seat in the U.S. Senate, two years after she won the Republican nomination for the state’s other Senate seat but then lost badly to Democrat Richard Blumenthal. Chris Powell of the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, a prominent commentator on Connecticut politics, expressed scathing opinions on the type of entertainment purveyed by WWE under McMahon’s leadership, deeming it a “business of violence, pornography, and general raunch.” On Friday a WWE vice president, in a letter sent to news media throughout the state, “threatened the Journal Inquirer with a libel lawsuit.” In response, the newspaper contends that “The programs were issues in the Senate election two years ago and, by distributing its libel lawsuit threat throughout Connecticut’s news media, the McMahon campaign aims to prevent them from being mentioned this year.” [via Jared Eberle](& Rick Green, Hartford Courant)
It only took Charlie Crist a few months, and was no particular surprise given his record in office [Daily Caller, WSJ Law Blog]. More: Turkewitz.
Former Florida Governor Charles Crist has signed on with the big Orlando personal injury firm of Morgan & Morgan, “run by one of his longtime political supporters, Democrat John Morgan.” [St. Petersburg Times] More: Timothy Carney, Examiner.
Not long ago the U.S. Senate refused to accept an amendment to the stimulus bill by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) that would have reformed some CPSIA provisions and delayed the implementation of others. Last night it rejected a similar DeMint effort in the form of a budget amendment, and this time there was a roll call, which confirmed that the rejection was largely along party lines: every Democrat voted against the measure except for Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), and Ben Nelson (Neb.), while every Republican voted in favor except Susan Collins (Maine), John Cornyn (Tex.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Mel Martinez (Fla.), and John McCain (Ariz.). Independent Bernie Sanders (Vt.) voted against, while Sens. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) did not vote.
Following Wednesday’s rally on Capitol Hill, small business people who fanned out to visit their Senators brought back many encouraging-sounding stories of the favorable “We hear you!” “We get it!” reactions they had received visiting the offices of Democratic Senators like Roland Burris (Ill.), Joseph Lieberman (Conn.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.), and Charles Schumer (N.Y.). Whether or not anyone in those offices hears or gets the outcry, it sounds as if the members even more clearly hear and get a different message: that of party discipline.
Kimberly Payne feels oddly hopeful: “The original vote on the CPSIA was nearly unanimous – this one was 39-58. I call that progress!”
The WSJ editorializes on the law again today, its third, concentrating this time on the youth motorcycle/ATV ban. More: Montana senators fiddle while small businesses perish (Mark Riffey, Flathead Beacon); the rally and the Democrats (Rick Woldenberg).
Public domain image: Yankee Mother Goose (1902), illustrator Ella S. Brison, courtesy ChildrensLibrary.org.
One subtheme at the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s annual meeting, held this summer in San Francisco, was ATLA’s big plans to develop influence within the Republican Party to go with its strong clout among the Democrats. A trial lawyer/GOP caucus expects soon to have chairpersons in all fifty states. “Asked by the lawyers how to talk to representatives who see them as the enemy,” a pollster and former Newt Gingrich aide offered several pieces of advice including, as a National Law Journal reporter paraphrases it, “tell them you want to give them money”. (David Hechler, “The Elephant and the Trial Lawyer”, National Law Journal, Aug. 5). Scheduled speakers at the meeting included Sens. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), John Edwards (D-N.C.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Reps. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
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