8.21 political law links

SUPER PAC ATTACK.  Roll Call.  “Put Alaska First, a group formed to support Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, launched an ad Wednesday against Republican Dan Sullivan targeting his lack of Alaska roots and using a controversial mining project in the state as a wedge issue.”

MONEY SOURCE NOTED.  Montana Standard.  “Only one-third of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Daines’ $5 million in campaign money has come from Montanans – yet that percentage is more than usual for a key Senate race, political observers say.”

ETHICS ISSUES.   Wausau Daily Herald.  “The independent Office of Congressional Ethics studied Petri’s case for several months before referring it to the Ethics Committee. Both are seeking to determine if Petri broke House rules by going to bat for Oshkosh Corp., a defense contractor in his district, while owning hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock in the company.”

DC:  BROWN CONTINUES FIGHT.  WP.  “But Brown’s battle with authorities has not ended with his prison sentence. Documents show that the 49-year-old son of late Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown Jr. continues to fight the District government’s ethics board over charges that could result in large fines. Among his arguments: that city ethics rules ‘do not cover the circumstances of an FBI sting operation.’”

FL:  CHALLENGE TO ETHICS.  Tallahassee.com.  “The city of Tallahassee is challenging a proposed ballot initiative that would create a new ethics code, saying in court documents that the proposal is ‘unclear and ambiguous’ and would ‘mislead voters.’”

MT:  CANDIDATES REMOVED FROM BALLOT.  Billings Gazette.  “The state will remove three legislative candidates and two candidates for county commissions from the Nov. 4 ballot after they failed to file campaign finance reports, the commissioner of political practices said.”

HAVE A GOOD DAY.  I’ll send around the next set of links on Monday.  Have a great weekend.

8.20 political law links

CORPORATE POLITICAL ACTIVITIES 2014 SOON.  PLI. “To stay above reproach, be sure to attend this acclaimed program. High-level officials from the Federal Election Commission, the Department of Justice, Congressional ethics committees, and state ethics agencies, as well as corporate compliance officers and expert private practitioners, will explain how to navigate the laws that regulate political, lobbying and gift activities.”

GUIDES FOR RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS AND POLITICAL ACTIVITY.  Interfaith Alliance.  “Interfaith Alliance’s guides, ‘A Campaign Season Guide for Houses of Worship’ and ‘Running for Office in a Multi-Faith Nation,’ serve as valuable resources that will help religious leaders, candidates and voters navigate the complex relationship between politics and religion.”

TRAVEL RULES ISSUES.  WP.  “Ethics rules for travel have proved one on the biggest tripping points for candidates. If candidates use a taxpayer-funded flight for constituent services, but make  a campaign stop along the way, they are treading in a gray area that is sure to get attention. If their staff accidentally pays for a campaign trip with taxpayer funds, they’ll be in even more trouble. If they try to hide it, things get pretty ugly.”

PLEA.  Miami Herald.  “Miami congressional candidate and ex-U.S. Rep. David Rivera was officially named as a co-conspirator Tuesday in federal court when his friend and confederate pleaded guilty to criminal campaign-finance violations.”

WI:  WALKER AND REFORM.  Madison.com.  “‘Fighting Bob’ La Follette, Russ Feingold and… Scott Walker?”


8.19 political law links

PAY TO PLAY AND MA’S.  MSRB.  “The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) is requesting comment on draft amendments to Rule G-37, the MSRB’s landmark pay-to-play rule for municipal securities dealers, that would extend the rule to municipal advisors. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act expanded the jurisdiction of the MSRB to include the regulation of municipal advisors and the protection of state and local governments that often rely on these professionals for advice.”

APP FOCUS ON POLITICAL GIVING.  WP.  “Matthew Colbert, a former campaign and Capitol Hill staffer, has built an app for smartphones that allows users to scan the barcode of products in the grocery store and immediately find out which political party the company and its employees support.”

CROWDPAC IN THE NEWS.  Washington Examiner.  A “service company offering users the opportunity to browse an array of candidates and donate on site, instead of going to a candidate’s individual website to donate, has had its request approved by the Federal Election Commission.”

TRIP RULES AND LANDRIEU. Politico. “Senate ethics rules would permit official funds to cover the entire cost of this trip if that’s the case. But if Landrieu sought any political support during the ‘meet-and-greet’ event, it would become campaign-related and she would have had to use campaign funds to pay at least a portion of the overall cost of the trip. Senate rules require that campaign funds must be used to help defray the costs of a trip in which a senator mixed political and campaign events.”

BUS QUESTIONS. Politico. “The difference between what the company is charging her campaign and the fair market value of the bus rental could be considered an illegal in-kind contribution, according to legal experts.”

CHALLENGE TO LIMITS.  WSJ.  “Their lawsuit, brought by the Center for Competitive Politics in federal district court in Washington, D.C., doesn’t challenge the $5,200 base limit but asks why a donation to a candidate could be fine in June but forbidden in July, though all of the money is going to support the candidate running for a single office.”

AZ:  DID FREE ENTERPRISE CLUB BREAK LAW?  East Valley Tribune.  “The state’s elections director says an organization that has so far put nearly $1.7 million into this year’s primary election likely is violating campaign finance laws.”

FL:  CRIST FUNDS.  MyNews13.com.  “Crist on Friday received more than $474,000 when he received his second check of public matching funds. He has now received slightly more than $1 million in state money to assist his campaign.”

NJ:  PAY TO PLAY CHANGE PROPOSED.  NJ.com.  “Jeff Brindle, executive director of the state Election Law Enforcement Commission, is calling again for the Legislature to reform the state’s pay-to-play law in the wake of a loophole in the law illuminated by a Trenton blogger.”

RI:  PELL REFUND.  Providence Journal.  “Clay Pell has pledged to not accept money from state lobbyists. So, after a donation from Governor Chafee’s ‘federal liaison’ made it into Pell’s campaign coffers, the Democratic candidate for governor is returning the money.”