NEW SCRUTINY. WP. “The Justice Department is stepping up scrutiny of the increasingly cozy ties between candidates and their outside allies, a move that could jolt the freewheeling campaign-finance atmosphere ahead of the 2016 elections.”
TESTING, TESTING. Miami Herald. “As Jeb Bush continues a torrid fundraising schedule across the country, he is pushing new boundaries of campaign finance law, exploiting his status as a noncandidate to avoid contribution limits and amass a cash pile already in the tens of millions. . . . ‘At the moment, it looks like a brilliant strategic move,’ said Dan Tokaji, an election law expert at Ohio State University.”
DONOR SEARCH. NYT. “Long before the season of baby-kissing and caucus-going begins in early primary states, a no less decisive series of contests is playing out among the potential 2016 contenders along a trail that traces the cold-weather destinations of the wealthy and private-jet-equipped.”
CU AND CORPORATE LAW. HLS Forum on Corp. Governance. “To the contrary, the strong weight of the historical evidence supports the constitutional validity of Congress’s right to regulate the corporation’s involvement in the political process through the means set forth in McCain-Feingold. As such, the decision in Citizens United to overturn a bipartisan statute appears to us more original than originalist.”
PA: NEW REQUIREMENTS. JDsupra.com. “Business entities that have been awarded any no-bid contract by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any of its political subdivisions must file Form DSEB-504 with the Pennsylvania’s Department of State by February 15, 2015.”
VA: ETHICS DRAMA. RTD. “House GOP leaders gave a blunt ultimatum to their Senate counterparts — pass ethics legislation, or delegates would adopt a resolution binding themselves to the reforms and then go home.”
WI: CFR PROSPECTS. JSonline.com. “Vos and Barca agreed new laws are needed on campaign finance, including raising the money limits individuals can contribute to parties and races. But they quibbled over many details.”
HAVE A GOOD DAY.
TRUMP SERIOUS. WP. “The billionaire real-estate mogul, who has long amounted to a one-man sideshow in GOP presidential politics, said in an interview Wednesday that he is ‘more serious’ than ever about pursuing a run for the White House in 2016.”
“LIKELY VIOLATIONS” OUTLINED. CLC. “Today, the Campaign Legal Center released a white paper examining prospective 2016 presidential candidates raising millions of dollars, while denying that they are even ‘testing the waters’ for a potential run for their Party’s nomination.”
REVOLVING DOOR VIEW. Palm Beach Post. “What we need to recognize is that a prospective job offer is the moral equivalent of a blank check.”
BISHOP SIGNS. Newsday. “Former Rep. Tim Bishop has signed on with a new Washington government affairs agency, Envision Strategy, joining a bipartisan group of four longtime Capitol Hill operatives.”
HI: DISCLOSURE BILL. N&O. “A bill in the Hawaii Legislature would make it easier for voters to understand who is supporting and funding political action committees.”
MT: SENATE ENDORSES BILL. Missoulian. “A bipartisan coalition in the Montana Senate voted Thursday to pass a major campaign finance overhaul aimed at requiring so-called “dark money” groups to disclose their donors and how they spend money.”
NV: DENIALS. ReviewJournal.com. “Republican activist and political consultant Tony Dane’s attorney is sharply denying that Dane illegally funneled conduit contributions to his political action committee through his political consulting company.”
NM: LOBBYIST COMPENSATION. NMindepth.com. “New Mexico’s lobbyists already publicly say how they spend money, although it varies lobbyist by lobbyist how detailed those reports are.”
HAVE A GOOD DAY.
FUN-DRAINING FUNDRAISING. NYT. “The price of discouraging challengers and deterring speculation is near-constant fund-raising.”
READY FOR CARLY. WT. “Looking toward the 2016 White House race, supporters of former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced Tuesday that they were rolling out a Super PAC on her behalf, as they look to strengthen her likely bid for the GOP presidential nomination.”
ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST REID. WFB. “A reported meeting between Reid and his caucus in which the Nevada Democrat promoted his 2016 reelection campaign violated Senate ethics rules, the complaint alleges.”
AL: NEW DIRECTOR. AL.com. “The Alabama Ethics Commission today named Andalusia-based attorney Tom Albritton its new director.”
CA: INVESTIGATION CONFIRMED. TheCalifornian.com. “The state’s political watchdog agency has confirmed it has launched a formal investigation into former Superior Court Judge John Phillips’ successful campaign for the District 2 seat on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.”
IL: CHICAGO VOTES. Aljazeera.com. Chicago voters endorsed public financing and limits on some political activity.
MT: GOV. TALKS REFORM. NBC. “Senate Bill 289 would monitor election spending. In the Montana Disclose Act, every dollar spent during the election process would have to be reported – including large amounts from corporate donors.”
NY: ETHICS QUESTIONS. CAP. “Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he has not spoken to federal prosecutors investigating the demise of his anti-corruption commission, but declined to say with authority whether any members of his administration had.”
TX: ETHICS COMPLAINTS. Dallas Morning News. “If there has been a single ethics complaint filed against a Dallas City Council member that has actually led to anything, I can’t name it.”
WV: BILL MOVES. Charleston Daily Mail. “Legislation that would eliminate all campaign contribution limitations and allow for unlimited donations to candidates running for public office in West Virginia was sent to a Senate subcommittee late Tuesday evening after several Democrats questioned the merits of the bill.”
HAVE A GOOD DAY.