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Ear to the Ground

Bachmann Accused of FEC Violations, Fox News Hires Kucinich, and More

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Posted on Jan 16, 2013

Reverse Course: Many Republicans have expressed their displeasure with President Obama’s gun control proposals. Among those is Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who was prepared to make Obama’s efforts to curb gun violence “illegal” even before the measures were announced Wednesday. In a letter to fellow Republicans, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and state Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, Bryant wrote: “I am asking that you immediately pass legislation that would make any unconstitutional order by the President illegal to enforce in Mississippi by state or local law enforcement.” (Read more)

Here Comes Trouble: A former top adviser to Rep. Michele Bachmann has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, accusing the former Republican presidential candidate of violating campaign finance laws during her White House run. Peter Waldron, who served as Bachmann’s national field organizer, claims the Minnesota congresswoman’s presidential campaign received money from her political action committee, MichelePAC, to pay a fundraising consultant, something that is against FEC rules. The allegation comes several days after Waldron said Bachmann still owed money to former staffers who worked on her failed presidential bid. (Read more)

Punishment, in Name Only: JPMorgan Chase’s embarrassing $6.2 billion trading loss cost CEO Jamie Dimon more than half of his compensation, the company announced Wednesday. Don’t shed any tears, though: Dimon will still be making $11.5 million. Compensation consultant James. F. Reda calls out the pay cut for what it is: a “ceremonial” gesture. “He was probably very proactive in accepting this to keep people off his back. To get punished, if you will, so he can then point to that and say, `Look, I was punished. Isn’t that enough? Leave me alone. Let me run my business.’ ” Bottom line: It’s good to be a bankster. (Read more)

Revolving Door: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will step down at the beginning of President Obama’s second term, becoming the latest member of the president’s first-term Cabinet to depart. Salazar is expected to leave by the end of March. One person whose name is being floated as a possible replacement: outgoing Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire. (Read more)

Right-Wing Territory: Fox News has hired former Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich to serve as a paid contributor for the conservative cable news channel, making him one of the network’s highest profile liberals. Kucinich will make his debut on Thursday’s “O’Reilly Factor.” He said in a statement: “Through 16 years in Congress and two presidential campaigns, Fox News has always provided me with an opportunity to share my perspective with its enormous viewership. I look forward to a continuation of our relationship, this time as a Fox News contributor.” Kucinich is also a contributor for Truthdig. (Read more)

Video of the Day: Jimmy Kimmel weighed in on the debate surrounding gun control on his program Tuesday night, introducing a parody ad by the fake political lobbying group Americans Against Context. The group’s name pretty much says it all.

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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