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Levick Monthly: Keystone XL: All Lobbied Up With No Place To Go - June 2014, Edition 11

In This Issue: - Keystone - XL: All Lobbied Up With No Place To Go - CRISIS - The 5 Apology rules that Sterling broke - DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT - Abramson Gets The Axe, But It's Sulzberger Who Lost His Head - FINANCIAL...more

Last Week at the FEC: Opinion Requested on Credit Card Rewards Programs for Political Committee Contributions

Last week, the Federal Election Commission did not meet, but released two Advisory Opinion Requests (AORs) and the results of several enforcement actions. Earlier in the month, the Commission’s Office of Inspector General...more

“Big Chocolate” Gets Injunction Against Whack-A-Mole Senator; Trademark “Services” Include Political Activities

Last week, Judge William Quarles of the District of Maryland issued an injunction preventing Maryland Republican State Senator Steve Hershey from using his own campaign literature. The case was brought by the Hershey...more

Californians To Vote On Stripping Common Cause Of Its First Amendment Rights

I recently wrote about SB 1272 (Lieu) which calls a special election for this November 4 at which California voters will be able to cast an advisory vote on whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended to overturn the U.S....more

Australia's proposed spy law perceived as Governmental Mismanagement

Buzzing through the social media sphere yesterday was the story about how a proposed new bill would see potential whistleblowers facing up to 10 years in prison for leaks. So after lifting my jaw up off the floor, I thought...more

Capital Thinking: Technology and Communications

Legislative Activity - House Commerce SUBCommittees Will Hold Hearing ON 21st Century Technology for 21st Century Cures - The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittees on Communications and Technology and Health...more

U.S. House Passes Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act

On July 15, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA), by a voice vote. PITFA would permanently extend the moratorium on state and local taxation of Internet...more

"STOP THE ISLAMISATION OF AMERICA" Is Disparaging

In re Pamela Geller and Robert B. Spencer - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) refusal to register the mark “STOP THE ISLAMISATION OF AMERICA” in...more

The Bifurcation Blues

In the last Letter from Europe, I looked at the potential financial impact a single judge could have on the economy. As I alluded to in my conclusion, the United Patents Court (UPC), a proposed common patent court open for...more

UPDATE: Supreme Court Denies Certiorari For Challenge to Regulation of Speech on Public Broadcast Stations

Two weeks ago, we speculated that the Court would grant certiorari in Minority Television Project, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission (9th Cir. 2013) 736 F.3d 1192 (en banc) (lead opn. of McKeown, J.). In the case, a...more

New Senate Bill Introduced to Clarify Definition of General Solicitation

The text of S. 2498, introduced by Senator Murphy in late June, was finally released. The bill is titled the “HALOS Act”, or “Helping Angels Lead our Startups Act.” Angel investors have expressed concerns regarding the...more

The Reporter's Privilege: Where Does The Proposed Federal Shield Law Stand And What Impact Would It Have?

The right of journalists to refuse to testify regarding information or sources obtained as part of the news-gathering process, known as the reporter’s privilege, has been recognized by 49 of the 50 states and the District of...more

Supreme Court To Consider Cert. For FCC Regulation Speech On Public Broadcasting Stations

Federal law prohibits non-commercial broadcasters from airing paid advertisements (a) for for-profit entities, (b) issues of public importance or interest, and (c) political candidates. In Minority Television Project, Inc....more

Nancy Hamilton's Notes: 18½ Minutes vs. 2 Years: Then and Now

During the Watergate scandal of 1973 and 1974, which ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, the Nixon White House tapes were the focal point of a media firestorm and the nation's rapt attention,...more

GE food-labelling bill fails in California Senate

Despite the recent passage of a genetically engineered (GE) food-labelling law in Vermont, and similar bills appearing in legislatures in other states, proponents of labelling have again failed to pass such a law in...more

Capital Thinking: Technology and Communications

Legislative Activity Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act of 2014 Introduced in the House and the Senate Last Tuesday, June 17, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Representative Doris Matsui (D-California)...more

Weight Loss Claims and Dr. Oz Gain Congressional Interest

We’ve all heard the statistics showing obesity rates rising in the U.S. year after year. Most of us are well aware of the billion dollar diet and weight-loss supplement industry to which millions turn with the hope of finding...more

Supreme Court Decides Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus

On June 16, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, No. 13-193, holding that a credible threat of enforcement of a law is sufficient to establish an Article III injury in fact....more

Hershey Is Not So Sweet on Maryland Senator’s HERSHEY Campaign Logo

When you think of The Hershey Company, you think of delicious chocolate candy bars, chocolate kisses, and a fabulous amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The company’s brown candy bar wrappers with the HERSHEY’S trademark...more

U.S. House Approves Law Targeting Sex Trafficking Ads, Threatens to Undermine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

On May 20, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2014 (“SAVE Act”). If enacted, the bill would expose websites and other media to federal criminal penalties for...more

Genetically engineered food labelling bill moves through legislature

SB 1381, California's revived genetically engineered food labelling bill, has passed through the California Senate Judiciary Committee. If enacted, SB 1381 would take effect on January 1 2016. As the bill has moved through...more

Getting To The Real Issue On The Senate Subcommittee's Advertising Report

The "Security" Part - When reading the Majority and Minority Staff Report from the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations ("The Subcommittee") regarding the "Hidden Hazards to Consumer Security and Data Privacy" was...more

Senate Committee Turns Attention to Online Advertising Security

The Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a report on May 14, 2014, regarding the security of online advertisements. Entitled “Online Advertising and Hidden Hazards...more

Copyrights, Fair Use And Elections

The mid-terms are coming up, so you know there will be stories of politicians getting into clashes with artists over the use of songs and other content in ads and at rallies. In Texas, for better or worse, the real...more

Federal Bill Seeks To Establish Uniform GMO Labeling Requirements

Earlier this month, Representative Mike Pompeo, along with 4 co-sponsors, introduced the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 4432). This bill sets forth three main objectives: it establishes a process for evaluating the...more

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