We’re adding a new weekly roundup of must-read stories in the world of money and politics. Check back on Tuesday afternoons for more on the increasing influence of the super-rich on the American government. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts about these stories and any we may have missed in the comments section below.
Here is what’s being said this week:
— US District Judge James R. Spencer, as he sentenced former Gov. Bob McDonnell to two years in prison and two years probation for public corruption, as covered in The Washington Post.
— A joint Sunlight Foundation/Open Secrets analysis of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which is intended to prevent former Congress staffers from jumping immediately into lobbying positions. Of the 104 former politicians and personnel whose “cooling off” periods ended today, 29 were already working very close to government — including 13 who were actually registered as lobbyists.
— Washington lawyer John Pomeranz to ProPublica, on upcoming IRS changes restricting campaign spending by dark money groups. The IRS says it won’t release the proposed rules until late spring at the earliest, leading experts to doubt changes will be implemented by the 2016 elections.
— Chamber of Commerce political adviser Scott Reed to Bloomberg, as part of a rundown of 2014 megadonors and their expectations for the 114th Congress.
— POLITICO analysis of campaign finance filings, demonstrating the increasing concentration of political influence in the hands of the very few.