2-15-18 Political Law Links

ETHICS REPORT.   FORT.  “The Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ chief of staff doctored an email and lied about the purpose of his trip to Europe with his wife that was paid for by taxpayers, according to an investigation by the agency’s inspector general.”

PROBE CALL.  HILL.  “A left-leaning government organization on Wednesday called for an investigation into Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson.”

ETHICS WATCHDOG.  NW.  “An ethics advocacy group says it has identified multiple instances where Congressional watchdogs meant to maintain high standards on Capitol Hill have not enforced the rules and have given elected officials a slap on the wrist when they could have been punished more severely.”

UPDATE ON PAYMENT.   NYT.  “Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, said on Tuesday that he had paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a pornographic-film actress who had once claimed to have had an affair with Mr. Trump.”

CONTRIBUTION ISSUE ARISES.  WSJ.  “Campaign attorneys and legal scholars are divided on whether Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to an adult film star weeks before the presidential election is a violation of campaign-finance law.”

BOOKER PLEDGE.   WE.  “Sen. Cory Booker announced late Tuesday that he will no longer accept campaign contributions from political action committees of for-profit companies, following the example of some of his fellow Democrats.”

ID:  BILL INTRODUCED.  SM.  “Candidates and political action committees would have to report more detailed information more often about their campaign contributions under legislation introduced in the Idaho Legislature on Tuesday.”

NY:  PAY TO PLAY MOVE.   RO.  “Orange County lawmakers may gut the 2013 law that has reduced the amount of campaign money County Executive Steve Neuhaus can accept from companies that hold or are seeking county contracts.”

OR:  MULTIPLE VIOLATIONS.   USN.  “An investigative report released Wednesday says former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber allegedly violated state ethics laws 11 times during his third and fourth terms as governor.”

SC:  WARNING ON FUNDS.   USN.  “South Carolina House members are being warned not to use campaign funds to defend themselves from personal misconduct allegations.”

HAVE A GOOD DAY.   I’ll send around the next set of links after the holiday.

Good morning, political law links

CU AND CHANGE.    OS.  “Eight years ago, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC defined the modern federal campaign finance system. How did we get there, and how has the system continued to evolve?”

NEW NOMINEE.   HILL.  “President Trump on Wednesday nominated a new director for the federal government’s ethics office, several months after the previous director resigned over frustration with the administration.”

DEPARTING COMMISSIONER.   WP.  “With Goodman’s departure, the FEC has a bare-minimum quorum of four members — two Republicans, one Democrat and one independent — whose unanimous votes are now required to take official action.”

MD:  COMPLAINT ON REPORTING.   BS.  “Howard County’s Republican Central Committee has filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections against Democrat Calvin Ball’s county executive campaign, claiming Ball’s team made intentional errors in campaign finance reports from January 2017 and January 2018.”

WA:  TROUBLE FOR FB.   FN.  “Facebook could be facing major penalties after the executive director of the Seattle Ethics and Election Commission accused the social media giant this week of violating a city campaign finance law.”

WA:  CONSIDERING CHANGES.   NWN.  “According to the version in the House right now, nonprofits and other similar organization that spend $25,000 or more to advocate for or against ballot measures and candidates will have to disclose the names of donors that give more than $10,000.”


Political Law Links of the Day

CREW ALLEGATIONS. FB. “Mainstream media outlets rarely identify activists tied to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) as working for the leftwing activist organization that raises money from a secretive dark money network of liberal donors, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis.”

OVERBY ON THE SYSTEM. NPR. “After the Watergate scandals in the 1970s, Congress passed a series of laws to reduce the influence of big donors in politics and to increase transparency. Forty years later, those laws have been weakened by additional legislation and a series of court decisions.”

DC: SHOWDOWN ON BILL. WP. “The D.C. Council on Tuesday gave final approval to legislation authorizing publicly financed campaigns, clashing with Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), who vowed she wouldn’t fund the program.”

NY: CONTRIBUTION AT ISSUE. NY1. “Steve Aiello, a real estate executive at Syracuse-based COR Development, is on trial for allegedly bribing Joe Percoco, a longtime aide and confidant to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Percoco allegedly performed favors in return.”