Search Results for ‘pryor cpsia’

Recalling Sen. Mark Pryor’s role in CPSIA

Readers who followed Overlawyered in 2009-10 will recall that the closest this site has ever come to a crusade was in covering the truly horrible Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, enacted after a media-fed tainted-toy panic, a law that needlessly drove out of business many small retailers and manufacturers of children’s goods posing no hazard whatsoever to consumers. Some will further recall that the chief Senate handler of the legislation was Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), who cut a poor figure throughout as both ill-informed and dismissive about the side effects his own legislation was having.

Now Sen. Pryor is locked in a tight race for re-election with challenger Rep. Tom Cotton, and a group called the Arkansas Project has been reminding readers of Pryor’s record on CPSIA, digging up many new details in an August series written by Washington, D.C.-area policy analyst Marc Kilmer (who generously credits Overlawyered coverage as a source throughout). Most of the series can be found at this tag or via search. Here is a guide to individual installments in the series, supplemented by links to further coverage from our archives:

Arkansas voters — and everyone who wants to learn how a Congress can fail spectacularly at its legislative responsibilities — should read this series in full.

CPSIA chronicles, February 27

Their hands are tied

  • Finally! Today’s Boston Globe covers the thrift-store calamity:


    In recent weeks, Goodwill pulled all children’s merchandise from its nine stores in the state. Thrift chain Second Time Around eliminated kids’ clothing from several of its 16 shops. St Vincent de Paul is currently removing children’s clothing with metal zippers, buttons, and painted fabrics from its processing center, which sends out merchandise to its six stores in Massachusetts.

    It’s exactly the sort of coverage that’s been overdue in the biggest newspapers since Feb. 10: well-reported, making clear the human costs of the law for both cash-strapped shoppers and charitable sponsors, and including words like “devastating” and “heartbreaking”. And on page one.

  • If you missed it yesterday, Overlawyered gets results! Although sometimes the opposite of the kind we intend. Yesterday we hailed as a breakthrough the House Small Business Committee’s willingness to hold a hearing next week on the costs of CPSIA. Within a few hours, as Rick Woldenberg relates, Congressional staffers hastily put out word that they were canceling the hearing and that the idea is “not likely to ever be brought back”. There’s no way for us to know just who placed the phone call, but odds are good it was someone who realized that letting people from around the country get in front of a microphone and talk about this law’s effects would not exactly do wonders for the image of Henry Waxman, Bobby Rush, Jan Schakowsky, Public Citizen, PIRG, or their allies. More on the cancellation from Rick Woldenberg, who reports that this is the third time he’s been disinvited from Capitol Hill testimony. Sounds like someone really dislikes the message he would deliver.
  • About ten colors too many

  • Hair bow makers on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
  • The Examiner, which has a wide readership in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and other cities, is out today with a great editorial on CPSIA which also generously directs readers to this site and its “chilling” reports. It concludes: “This law is an utter disaster. Congress ought to fix it, immediately.” The Examiner also quotes Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), one of the law’s sponsors, as saying “the law allows the CPSC to make ‘commonsense exceptions’ to anti-lead requirements.” This is not the first time I have been obliged to wonder whether Sen. Pryor actually has a close familiarity with the terms of the bill he helped guide to passage, and if not, whose summaries he has been relying on when he talks to the press. arkansasstateflag
    It is precisely because the law does not confer on the CPSC any “commonsense exception” authority that the commission was obliged to turn down the makers of kids’ minibikes in their plea for an exemption the other day. Same for many other instances that could be cited, such as the pre-1985 books and the size 10 winter coats with zippers and snaps that are being yanked from thrift store shelves. Had the commission such a “commonsense exception” discretion, it would almost certainly have acted by now to defuse these sources of public outcry. To repeat the question: who does Sen. Pryor rely on for his briefings?
  • For adult use only

  • Speaking of products with vanishingly low risk of poisoning that have trouble obtaining commonsense exemptions, we’ve been remiss in not staying on the case of ballpoint pens, mentioned in our Feb. 6 and Feb. 13 roundups. Deputy Headmistress has quite a bit more on the legal limbo occupied by the writing implements, which appear now to be unlawful when intended primarily for under-12 use. And visitor “Scott” wrote last week in our comments section:



    What still amazes me is that the story about ballpoint pens being in violation of the CPSIA isn’t getting more notice. The CPSC admits that ballpoint pens intended for children are covered. As it happens, the US trade association for the makers of pens, pencils and erasers has sent a letter to the CPSC that ballpoint pens are not-compliant and no existing alloy satisfies the lead limits. It may take 2 years to develop an alloy, if one exists. I can only conclude that there must be very very very many stores not in compliance and ‘poisoning’ our children with lead. Are these stores not facing strict liability and risking felony criminal liability including 5 years in prison and $250,000 fines? The stay by the CPSC doesn’t help the pen-makers or sellers, because they’re in knowing violation of the lead limits. All they can hope for is that none of the 50 state attorney generals decides to prosecute what would appear to be a slam-dunk case. There is a chance that the CPSC may eventually decide to make an exemption for pens, however the CPSC admits that its staff is ‘not yet aware of any substance as to which the required showing [of no absorption of any lead into the human body] can be made.’.

CPSIA chronicles, February 21

digdeeper

  • For the Handmade Toy Alliance, Jill Chuckas responds to the NYT’s ever-so-clueless CPSIA editorial. The Alliance also recently published a Myth vs. Fact sheet. Among the points addressed: “Myth: Violations of the CPSIA this year will not result in penalties.” “Myth: Further clarification is all that is needed.” and “Myth: Products Tested to European Union Standards will Satisfy New US Standards”. And did you know it’s now unlawful to donate to a charity (let alone sell) a children’s item with paint on it, even if you painted it yourself using lead-free paint, if you haven’t put it out for third-party testing?
  • It’s my impression that beyond the precincts of the “consumer”/Litigation Lobby groups, the bill’s original sponsors on Capitol Hill, and of course the New York Times, it’s getting harder to find all-out boosters of the law who still maintain there’s nothing wrong with it. On Tuesday, however, the Houston Chronicle did publish a perfectly inane editorial taking this view, the refutation of which is left as an exercise to the reader.
  • Deputy Headmistress at Common Room has taken the lead in blogging many angles of the law and her latest must-read examines the legislative history of CPSIA’s enactment, including the roles of Public Citizen, the Consumer Federation of America, PIRG, and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), as well as business groups like NAM, the latter of which warned against some of the law’s more extreme provisions as placing various advantages into the hands of plaintiff’s lawyers. This makes a good jumping-off point for further research on whether the ongoing CPSIA calamity should truly be regarded as a case of “unintended consequences” and, if so, unintended by whom. One tidbit among many: she says that Travis Plunkett, testifying for the Consumer Federation of America, spoke in favor of rules (not adopted) under which “all product sellers [would] be required to post bonds sufficient to cover the costs of a recall in advance of any ‘potential’ recalls.” Typical New York Times coverage of the day, by the reliably pro-regulation Stephen Labaton, can be found here.
  • Tom Pearson, Punditry by the Pint:

    I’ve written before how law and regulation can be an insurmountable impediment for the weakest, poorest and most powerless in our society. In this case at least we will partly realize what we’re missing when the great independent thrift and book shops start going under and fewer people make handcrafted clothing and toys for children. Still, we’ll never see what could have been in this small niche of our largely self-created social order. This is how the American dream of hope and opportunity dies, one well-intentioned, but misguided rule at a time.

    Life is a messy and wonderful experience. If you try to hermetically seal life, even children’s lives, from risk, you will kill all that messiness and creativity that makes life worth living. Yes, risk can be damaging, painful and even fatal, but, in this case, the cure is worse than the disease.

    Another libertarian view from J.D. Tuccille in the Examiner: “In the name of the children, we cut the kids off from their own history.”

  • Yesterday (Friday) the Consumer Product Safety Commission published a bundle of letters it received pro and con on proposed exemptions from the lead rules. Plenty of raw material here for CPSIA-watchers (long PDF file);
  • Since many people these days visit Overlawyered for the ongoing coverage on this topic, I’ve added a new display on the rightmost sidebar (under the red teddy-bear-as-St.-Sebastian icon) with sub-category tag links for libraries, apparel and needle trades, toys, and so forth. I’ve populated these categories with old posts somewhat in haste, so if you see omitted posts that aren’t tagged with relevant labels, give me a shout.

Public domain image: Grandma’s Graphics, Ruth Mary Hallock.

CPSIA: fifty stars and an asterisk

Fifty glimpses of the law and its impact, plus one at the end for D.C:

Hawaii: Kailua doll shop closes despite CPSC enforcement stay (w/video); Honolulu Honey Baby shakes leis and hula skirts in dismay;
Alaska: “Why you should care about CPSIA, and what you can do about it”.
Washington: Don’t miss this helmet anecdote from Whitman County;
Oregon: Milagros Boutique of Portland: “One of our local vendors has decided to throw in the towel rather than wait and see if the CPSIA is amended.”
California: Thanks to stay, Whimsical Walney will close down only temporarily, not permanently;
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Utah: “We will have to lock our doors and file for bankruptcy,” said Shauna Sloan, founder of Utah-based children’s resale chain Kid to Kid. Glory Quilts: “My longest blog post ever — and the most angry“;

Colorado: Emily Werner: “Today, I have diaper making to do. But I also am ready to stuff envelopes“;
Idaho: Squares of Flair, from Eagle, is on the Endangered Whimsy list. And if you’re thinking of making something bulky for children, like a furniture line, have you considered that none of the nation’s lead testing labs are anywhere near Idaho?
Nevada: Let’s hope Sen. Harry Reid is listening to constituent Molly Orr;

Wyoming: For Kooky Dolls it’s a distinctly non-kooky issue;
Montana: Mark Riffey’s Business is Personal (Rescue Marketing) has helped focus blog attention;
Arizona: “No way” Other Mothers resale stores “can be completely compliant”;
New Mexico: Fashion Incubator and National Bankruptcy Day;

quilt2

Oklahoma: Farewell jingle dresses, powwow dance clothes, buckskin leggings, concho belts and other Native American celebratory kids’ gear;
Texas: Distress sale at My Pink Zebra Boutique in Katy;
Kansas: Owner of Baxter Springs company that makes organic nursing pillows doesn’t think threat of being “hauled off to prison” is very constructive;
Nebraska: Omaha-connected Baby Leather Moks is on Endangered Whimsy list;
North Dakota: Sunrise Hill Decor, making blocks for play or display, is member of the Handmade Toy Alliance;
South Dakota: Question after our own heart: what would Laura Ingalls Wilder have thought of this law?

Iowa: I may know there are no phthalates or lead in that whimsical chenille baby bib, and you may know it, but have you documented it to the satisfaction of the wary retailer’s lawyers?
Minnesota: Things seem to be going great, with your product line featured on the Martha Stewart show. And then this happens (auto-plays video);
Missouri: Fleece scarves, going too cheap;
Illinois: List-keeping in Naperville. Oprah, please help!
Wisconsin: Owner of Jacobsen Books in Clinton is also worried about small-run adaptive devices used by special needs children;
Indiana: Rebecca Holloway gives ’em a deserved slamming; doll outfits and hair bows;

Ohio: Nicer-than-mass-produced diaper covers; Toledo Physical Education Supply takes a hit;
quilt3
Michigan: Brandi Pahl wonders: What are they thinking?; NARTS efforts couldn’t save Ionia resale store;
Arkansas: Closing of A Kidd’s Dream consignment shop in Conway doesn’t seem to have done much to change Sen. Mark Pryor’s mind;
Louisiana: The stay: “Hope but no solution“, kids’ Mardi Gras masks;
Mississippi: Sen. Roger Wicker is co-sponsoring DeMint reform bill;
Alabama: About that stay: “Read the fine print“; at least the pink whale got adopted;
Florida: “Many stores have fallen for the false report from the media that consignment stores are exempt.”
Georgia: Thank you, 11 Alive News, for listening to consignment sellers;

Tennessee: eBay seamstresses and Spanish baby gift sellers watching with concern;
South Carolina: Rock and mineral kits: do not eat contents unless you are at least 12 years of age;
North Carolina: Quilt Baby appeals to reason;
Kentucky: Menace of soft texture block set probably overrated;

quilt4

Maine: Any reform will come too late for Farmington’s Blessed Baby Boutique, shut down last weekend;
New Hampshire: As Commerce Secretary, d’you think Sen. Gregg could help?
Massachusetts: Rob Wilson of Ashland, importer of earth-friendly toys, has done much to spread the word, and impact on libraries noted in Newburyport;
Vermont: “Somewhere in the neighborhood of 95 percent of the merchants on our site would have to shut down,” says Michael Secore of Craftsbury Kids, with co-owner Cecilia Leibovitz a major spreader of word about the law, ditto Barre’s Polkadot Patch;
Rhode Island: Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed “don’t seem terribly concerned“.
Connecticut: Stamford maker faces $400 testing bill for each $360 run of bibs and napkins, while paperback exchange owner in Bethel terms application of law “insane“;

New York: Issue has captured attention of book publishers, if not of certain newspaper publishers;
New Jersey: You made play food for kids out of felt? No wonder Rep. Waxman is so worried they’ll eat it!
Delaware: Wilmington store Yo-Yo Joe’s is a member of the Handmade Toy Alliance;
Pennsylvania: Going out on a limb, Somerset librarian contends most kids are old enough to know not to put the books in their mouths;
Maryland: The Baltimore Etsy Street Team is on the wing;
West Virginia: Project Linus, which does great charity work in the donation of quilts and blankets, puts on a brave face but its friends are worried;

Virginia: Back away from that ribbon hair bow slowly, now, and we’ll just wait for the hazmat team to arrive;

*District of Columbia: Almost forgot Washington, D.C.! Well, in Washington, D.C., it’s easy to get them to pay attention to problems like these. For example, less than a month ago, the offices of Reps. Henry Waxman and Bobby Rush were instructing colleagues that if they get calls from constituents “who believe they may be adversely impacted by the new law,” it was because the constituents had fallen victim to “confusion” and “inaccurate reporting”. The most important advocacy group behind the law, the implacable Public Citizen, has launched a new campaign to defend it from critics; it was PC’s David Arkush who in December notoriously assailed (scroll to #1) “hysteria” about the law on the part of crafters and small businesses, broadly hinting that they were serving as dupes and stooges of Big Toy interests — perish the thought that they might have figured the issue out on their own! Trial-lawyer-defense groups like the misnamed Center for Justice and Democracy (along with their friends) chimed in with the thought that critics of the law needed to “grow up” (no, don’t bother commenting). CPSC Commissioner Thomas Moore, hewing to a similar line, blames the ongoing ruckus on “orchestrated campaigns to undermine the Act” that “are sowing the seeds of confusion that are upsetting so many small businesses.” Lobbyists and trade associations for mass-production importers and merchandisers are eager to prove their cooperation with the powers that be: “We were early proponents of mandatory laws to require toy testing,” said a Toy Industry Association spokesman the other day.

Washington, D.C. always does so well at listening to the rest of the country.

CPSIA chronicles, February 6

A Wall Street Journal editorial this morning:

The runaway train that is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is heading toward a collision next Tuesday. … The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted to delay the requirements for one year but this will have little practical impact: The lead standards still apply and retailers don’t want to carry uncertified products lest they become targets of plaintiffs attorneys and state attorneys general. … Senator Jim DeMint is planning to offer an amendment to the stimulus package to [introduce some rationality into the law], though getting support for it will be a taller order.

Advocates of a maximally stringent CPSIA on Capitol Hill and among purported consumer groups won two victories yesterday. In one, a New York federal court struck down an interpretation by the CPSC that would have banned only the manufacture or importation, and not the sale, of children’s products containing certain phthalates (chemicals used in softening plastics) as of Feb. 10. The effect of that policy would have been to allow businesses to sell off old inventories until they were gone. The judge ruled that the law by its terms clearly bans sale as well, which means existing toy inventories either not free of the chemicals, or which cannot be practicably tested to disprove their presence, will presumably become valueless as of next Tuesday and headed for landfills. “It won’t be hard for them” (makers of children’s goods) to comply, said attorney Aaron Colangelo of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and one must assume Mr. Colangelo is willing to take the risk of becoming a laughingstock if that prediction doesn’t pan out. In the other ruling, the CPSC turned down an emergency request to suspend the law’s operation for six months.

In other news, the New York Times finally covered CPSIA yesterday. Well, actually, it only covered one sub-sub-category of the CPSIA catastrophe, the effective ban on kids’ dirt bikes, and only on its automotive blog Wheels rather than in the newspaper proper. But you have to start somewhere. And this morning it ran a brief AP item presenting the court decision on phthalates from the consumer groups’ point of view. As I’ve mentioned, the Times sets the tone for news coverage at many other news organizations, and it has still not seen fit to inform its readers that the law poses any problem whatsoever for crafters, small apparel makers, publishers of children’s books, libraries, resale and thrift stores, or the makers of board games, comic books, musical instruments, religious goods, hair scrunches, or ballpoint pens. Oh, except for that blog item on dirt bikes.

To pass from the ridiculous to the sublime, Lissa Harris has another great piece of reporting in the Boston Phoenix (“Congress’s War on Toys”), detailing the effects of the law — stay or no stay — on an importer of eco-friendly handicrafted European playthings, “hippy knitters in Somerville”, and a kids’ boutique in Jamaica Plain, among others.

New trade associations are springing up, like the recently formed “CPSC Legwear Coalition,” whose members felt it necessary to declare in a recent press release that “lead is not commonly used in legwear manufacturing.”

Ashland, Mass. toy importer Rob Wilson says

the consumer groups have lost a lot of credibility among the indie artisans, organic advocates, and environmentalists that should have been their biggest supporters on children’s safety.

Says Wilson: “I’m canceling my Consumer Reports subscription.”

Heartkeeper Common Room continues her great commentary with critiques of the reports that ran in CNNMoney.com and USA Today, as well as of a more recent (very belated and inadequate) Associated Press gesture toward reporting the story:

The AP says the law is applauded by parents and consumer advocates and jeered by industry — I am a parent, not in the industry, and I am jeering.

Great Gravy. [Sen. Mark] Pryor says it’s all [CPSC Acting Chairwoman Nancy] Nord’s fault because she had, like, five or six months and he doesn’t know what else she’s been doing. There is no mention of the fact that Congress also put all the nation’s swimming pools under CPSC jurisdiction, Nord says she’s met every deadline imposed by Congress, and there was a new gasoline burn prevention act they had to regulate, nor does the AP note that the Commission is seriously, and deliberately, undermanned by Congress and underfunded as well.

There’s also new coverage on NPR “Morning Edition” and the Des Moines Register.

CPSIA chronicles, February 5

Five days until the law’s effective date, and far more to round up than space allows:

  • Hundreds rally in front of Macy’s in New York’s garment district to protest the law [AP/AM New York; pic, and estimate of crowd at 1,000, at Publisher’s Weekly] Plans for Feb. 10 day of protest [Fasanella/Fashion Incubator]
  • Several Senators are reported to have joined as sponsors of Sen. DeMint’s reform bill, which his staff says he wants to offer as an amendment to the stimulus bill (more). More welcome news: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) calls for hearings on CPSIA [his office].
  • “Using a bazooka to kill a (lead-free) gnat”: the inimitable Prof. Richard Epstein on the law’s high costs and low benefits [Forbes.com]. “Huge job losses” could result unless Congress goes back to drawing board
    [Quin Hillyer, Washington Examiner, and more at American Spectator] More from Iain Murray at National Review “Corner” [here and here] and much coverage from Carter Wood at NAM “ShopFloor” as well.

  • At Crooked Timber, generally a pro-regulation site, John Holbo looks kindly on CPSIA reform — but a guy from PIRG pops right up to defend the measure. Scroll to comments #25 and #28 for good comments by familiar names, and then to Holbo’s own #30 (“I’m increasingly convinced that this is an unusually horrible law.”)
  • Reps. Rush and Waxman, Sens. Rockefeller and Pryor blame the whole mess not on their own offices’ drafting, but on CPSC Commissioner Nancy Nord, who resisted many of the law’s extreme provisions, and they demand her ouster [Little Ida]. CPSC Commissioner Thomas Moore likes the law just fine as is, which may help explain why Waxman et al. didn’t call for his head [same]. And yet another “we’re calling the shots here, but any failures are your fault” letter from Rush, Waxman et al to CPSC [Fashion Incubator]. NPR Marketplace’s coverage tends, with the law’s advocates, to promote the “inept agency” rather than the “insanely drafted law” narrative;
  • A news account in the WSJ attributes last Friday’s stay to “pressure from manufacturers”, with no mention of grass-roots movement at all. Lame. Meanwhile, CNNMoney quotes safetyists and trade associations, but not small producers, leaving readers clueless about costs. USA Today does a better job at presenting all sides.
  • The ultimate acronym? “Congress Passes Stupid Ill-conceived Act” [Three By Sea]
  • Rick Woldenberg and Heartkeeper Common Room have both been incisively taking on and refuting the assertions of the law’s diehard promoters, namely, the groups like PIRG, Public Citizen and Consumers’ Union; check out both sites and scroll through multiple posts. And Kathleen Fasanella’s Fashion Incubator promises to stay on top of activist and protest developments.

Public domain image, Ruth Mary Hallock: Grandma’s Graphics.

CPSIA, continued

On Friday there was a noteworthy development on CPSIA: Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) sent a letter to Nancy Nord, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, endorsing some softenings in the law’s regulatory interpretation, which seems to represent a modest shift (if not an admitted one) from their earlier position. At the same time, Waxman, Rush et al held the line against any demand to revise the law itself, despite the outcry being heard from small producers, retailers and secondhand sellers across the country (more: my recent Forbes piece, some reactions).

threebears

On the same day they sponsored a closed-door briefing for Hill staffers which was billed as correcting supposed misreporting and confusion about the law and its onerousness. Such briefings are common when members’ offices are being hit by a torrent of constituent inquiries and want to know how to respond.

An editor at a large publication has asked me to write something about these new developments, so I’ll be working on that piece over the next day or two. In the mean time, let me recommend as a good place to start two excellent blog posts by Rick Woldenberg of Learning Resources Inc. (first, second).

The first post responds to the apparent new strategy of Waxman and Co. of proposing to exempt a couple of categories of generally safe products (ordinary children’s books, fabric-only garments with no plastic or metal fasteners) in the apparent hope that 1) Congress will look like it’s reasonable and “trying to do something”; 2) a few of the more visible (and politically salient) critics of CPSIA will be placated, at least for the moment. (One might add a third objective, whether consciously formulated or not: running the clock until Feb. 10 in the expectation that many of those protesting will at that point be out of the game — no longer in the kids’ product business — and so in less of a position to cause them political mischief.)
Read On…

Election open thread

Trial lawyer and inveterate Litigation Lobby booster Bruce Braley lost his Iowa senate bid (“He comes across as arrogant, and I think it’s because he is,” said an unnamed Democratic official.) Sen. Mark Pryor, chief Senate handler of the awful CPSIA law, lost big.

Massachusetts voters again rejected Martha Coakley, whose prosecutorial decisions we have found so hard to square with the interests of justice. The Wisconsin Blue Fist school of thought, which sees organized government employees as the natural and truly legitimate governing class, met with a rebuff from voters not only in Wisconsin itself but in neighboring Illinois (where Gov. Quinn, of Harris v. Quinn fame, went down to defeat) and elsewhere. Colorado voters rejected GMO labeling, while a similar Oregon bill was trailing narrowly this morning but not with enough votes to call.

California voters rejected Prop 46, to raise MICRA medical liability limits, require database use and impose drug testing of doctors, by a 67-33 margin, and also rejected Prop 45, intensifying insurance regulation, by a 60-40 margin (earlier).

I’ve written a lot at my Free State Notes blog about the governor’s race in my own state of Maryland, and unlike most others was not surprised at Larry Hogan’s stunning upset victory. The politics category there includes my letter to Washington Post-reading independents and moderates about why they should feel comfortable electing Hogan as a balance to the state’s heavily Democratic legislature, as well as my parody song about what I thought a revealing gaffe by Hogan’s opponent, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown.

Politics roundup

  • “Who’s Afraid of Political Speech?” (spoiler: incumbents) [Roger Pilon, Cato] “None of this was perceived as a major problem so long as the 501(c)(4) category was dominated by the political left” [Brad Smith, WSJ]
  • Texas trial lawyers not all of one mind over extent of political involvements [Texas Tribune, Southeast Texas Record]
  • Sen. Mark Pryor, a key architect of the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad CPSIA law, faces tough re-election race in Arkansas [Politico]
  • RNC asked to take stand for Americans overseas hurt by FATCA tax law [McClatchy]
  • Richard Epstein recalls Chris Christie’s unlovely tactics as a prosecutor [Ira Stoll, Future of Capitalism]
  • That time Texas politico Wendy Davis sued the Fort Worth paper over its coverage of her campaign [Andrew Stiles, NRO]
  • “Low political knowledge levels mainly due to lack of demand for info, not lack of supply” [Ilya Somin, Jack Shafer]
  • SEC backs off plan to expose companies to harassment over outlays to politically oriented nonprofits, and NYT (thinking only of shareholders’ welfare of course) is sad about that [Marc Hodak, David Silvers/CEI, NYT] Sen. Warren seems to enjoy new capacity to use position, Durbin-like, to punish political foes [David Henderson]