NO REASON TO FEAR. WE. “Today, the United States has more campaign finance disclosure laws on the books than at any time in our history. So many, it seems, that even the most ‘shadowy’ groups are often disclosing their donors. When the best examples of ‘shadowy’ groups we can come up with are Planned Parenthood and the Republican Governors Association, perhaps it’s time to put the ‘dark money’ narrative to bed.”
WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DID. WT. “Elections officials were overwhelmingly opposed to the change. But that didn’t matter, according to Christy McCormick, a commissioner on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the agency charged with being the national clearinghouse and resource for states and local election officials on the best practices and standards in administering elections.”
SPOTLIGHT ON ETHICS. Hill. “The top government ethics watchdog was just another obscure Washington bureaucrat until six weeks ago, when he entered into an explosive public fight over President-elect Donald Trump‘s business conflicts.”
LOBBYING MISUNDERSTOOD. LAT. “We’re not super-villains. If we have any effect on government policy, it’s only because public officials are swayed by our arguments. The consequence of blaming lobbyists for Washington’s shortfalls is that it limits people with expertise from helping solve government problems — and it lets elected leaders off the hook when they don’t.”
DEBT RETIRED. WP. “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign announced Friday that he has fully paid off the debt he accrued during his short-lived presidential run, thanks largely to revenue generated by renting out his donor list in the closing weeks of the year.”
DC: LOOKING TO STRENGTHEN. WT. “Several bills, including one introduced at the behest of D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, target campaign contributions from businesses that contract with the District.”
NH: DOUGHNUTS AND LAW. UL. “This loophole allows candidates to circumvent the state’s contribution limits by accepting donations from multiple limited liability companies owned by the same individuals.”
NM: REFORM SOUP. NMID. “Because New Mexico’s current campaign finance law doesn’t require disclosure of spending on specific races, it’s hard to know how much Advance New Mexico Now spent to defeat Sanchez or Democratic super PACs spent to take out GOP incumbent House members.”
SD: ETHICS AIM. TE. “South Dakota Democrats lost big in November, but Roxanne Weber celebrated a surprise victory when her favorite ballot measure narrowly passed. Now, she’s questioning her vote’s value as Republican lawmakers discuss dismantling the government ethics initiative just months later.”
CAN: VACATION ETHICS. NYT. “Canada’s federal conflict-of-interest and ethics office confirmed on Monday that it is investigating the propriety of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family’s spending part of the Christmas holidays as guests of the Aga Khan, the billionaire philanthropist and spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, on a private island in the Bahamas.”
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