Monday morning’s political law links are here

MEGA-DONORS FUEL CLINTON.  WP.  “An analysis by The Washington Post found that more than a fifth of the $1 billion donated to help her bid was given by just 100 wealthy individuals and labor unions — many with a long history of contributing to the Clintons. The analysis included contributions to her campaigns, joint fundraising committees, national parties, convention host committees and single-candidate super PACs.”

CONVICTION UPHELD.  RC.  “A judge has upheld a bulk of federal corruption charges against former Rep. Chaka Fattah but dropped other convictions related to mail and bank fraud.”

BUSINESS HELP FOR POLITICS?  HLS.  “But, this dreary campaign season is a good time for corporate leaders to consider specific changes in political processes—less money, more disclosure, fair facts, balanced proposals, broad coalitions, cooler rhetoric, bi-partisanship—which could help fix our broken politics and rehabilitate business’s own political standing. Such process changes proceed from an understanding that there will always be significant substantive policy differences about societal problems but that those differences require a national politics that promotes common sense, civility and compromise to move the country forward, as has happened before in our history.”

CU FIX.  Salon.  “If Clinton is serious about reducing the role of money in politics, she should appoint Supreme Court justices willing to revisit Buckley v. Valeo, a 1976 decision that said (among other things) third parties could spend unlimited amounts to influence the outcome of an election, and First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, a decision two years later that struck down state attempts to limit corporate spending to affect ballot initiatives. Those cases formed the basis for our inability to regulate money in politics.”

TRUMP’S REFORMS.  “He called for banning executive branch officials, members of Congress and congressional staffs from lobbying the government for five years; expanding the definition of lobbyist to require consultants and advisers to register; banning senior executive branch officials for life from lobbying for foreign governments; stopping registered foreign lobbyists from raising money in elections; and limiting congressional tenure.”

ONCE A LOBBYIST.  Politico.  “Trump was a registered lobbyist in Rhode Island from April 2006 through the end of that year, according to state records reviewed by POLITICO.”

DISCLOSURE ISSUE.  NBC.  “Great America PAC on Thursday night erroneously published the credit card numbers and expiration dates belonging to 49 donors, a Center for Public Integrity review of its latest Federal Election Commission campaign finance disclosure discovered.”

SETTLEMENT ELUSIVE.  WT.  “Attorneys for the Federal Election Commission say former Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell and her campaign committee have withdrawn a settlement offer under which they would pay a $10,000 penalty for violating campaign finance laws.”

IL:  CUBS AND ETHICS.  CST.  “Agency executive director Steve Berlin stepped to the microphone at City Hall on Thursday, a day after he put aldermen on the spot with a recommendation that public officials not be allowed to buy team-issued face-value tickets to Cubs playoff games unless they throw out a pitch or perform some other ceremonial duty.”

MA:  SPENDING CONTINUES.  SN.  “Cousins had announced two months earlier that he would not seek re-election after 20 years in office. But under state and federal campaign finance laws, elected officials are allowed to spend campaign donations even though they are no longer running for office and, in fact, even after they leave office.”

NM:  COST OF DISCLOSURE.  ABJ.  ” New Mexico election officials requested nearly $1 million on Friday to replace an online campaign finance information system that has been widely criticized for obscuring sources and destinations of political spending.”


Friday’s political law links are here

FACADE FOR FEC’S NEW HQ?   I don’t know if the FEC is taking suggestions, but I think borrowing this idea as I think has been suggested before from the outside of the Newseum might be appropriate.  Maybe the FEC can make it larger? img_0829

GOOD MONTH.  Politico.  “The main super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton had its best fundraising month in September, fueling a sustained barrage of ads and gifts to other left-wing groups.”

BING CASH TOOL.  M.  “Location data on vendors that serve campaigns and super PACs is fed into Circa Victor’s system in real time, giving visitors a rough picture of how much each candidate is spending in each state.”

GETTING HIT.  SF.  “For the first time, Trump is actually getting hit by a strong opposition super PAC campaign. Priorities USA Action, which backed President Barack Obama in 2012 and includes such liberal megadonors as George Soros, Fred Eychaner and Donald Sussman, is working to elect Hillary Clinton.”

SPENDING UP.  WP.  “Donald Trump’s presidential campaign spent $70 million in September — more than double the previous month — as the GOP nominee made a slew of last-minute investments in ads and voter data, according to a new campaign finance report filed Thursday.”

THE BOSS AND POLITICS.  BJ.  “The study showed that when a CEO donated to certain candidates, employees tended to also donate to those candidates, but that if that CEO was replaced by a person who donated to different candidates — even in situations when the chief executive was replaced amicably or in a planned procedure, thus suggesting no major changes in a company’s core political environment — employees followed the new leader when choosing where to donate.”

BOOKS AND MOVIES TARGET.  TDS.  “The FEC hasn’t spoken in a unanimous voice about what Goodman and others say are basic matters of free speech under the First Amendment. Rather, various commission votes open the door to applying campaign finance laws to movies, books, and other media rarely ever considered before as campaign contributions.”

ABEDIN INVOLVED.  FN.  “Just hours after Hillary Clinton dodged a question at the final presidential debate about charges of ‘pay to play’ at the Clinton Foundation, a new batch of WikiLeaks emails surfaced with stunning charges that the candidate herself was at the center of negotiating a $12 million commitment from King Mohammed VI of Morocco.”

NO QUESTIONS.  PM.  “Once again, however, I found myself disappointed. Though he delivered on certain topics, several major issues were left undiscussed. Namely: the environment and of course, campaign finance.”

REFORM FACT CHECK.  BB.  “But as far as the broader cause of campaign finance reform, Clinton is one of the worst offenders when it comes to fundraising from dubious sources and defying the boundaries of campaign finance…”

AZ:  PLEA FOR APPEAL.  AZC.  “A dark money group urged the Arizona Court of Appeals to allow it to challenge the Citizens Clean Elections Commission’s authority to levy a $96,000 fine against it after a judge ruled that it missed the deadline for filing an appeal, a case that could settle the long-running dispute over the extent of the commission’s jurisdiction.”

CT:  GIVE LAW TEETH.  HC.  “More than a decade after Connecticut passed the toughest clean election laws in the country, why are bribery, corruption, illegal donations and misuse of campaign funds still part of our political landscape?”

OR:  FILING ISSUE.  TW.  “An investigation by The World has found that while Coos Bay mayoral candidates Crystal Shoji and Joe Benetti appear to have complied with Oregon campaign finance law regarding timely filings, Mark Daily has not.”

WI:  YES FOR KIDS AND COMPLIANCE.  MC.  “Vote Yes for Kids, Inc. Attorney Mark Robinson refuted a claim from Brian Kvapil that the organization had violated campaign finance law.


Thurs. political law links

VERITAS COMPLAINT FILED.  WJ.  “The Federal Elections Commission has been asked to investigate accusations made in a series of undercover videos that show Democrat operatives explaining how they are trying to influence the presidential election by manipulating the vote.”

TECH LOBBYING SPENDING.  EG.  “Bloomberg has determined that the five largest tech firms in the US (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft) spent more than twice as much on lobbying in 2015 as the five largest banks — $49 million versus $19.7 million.”

DINNER UPDATE.  LN.  “American Horizons reported raising about $1 million since it started in June, with 75 percent of that coming in just the last three months. How much was spent backing the Republican candidate? A whopping $12,000 for ‘online voter contact.'”

DISCLOSURE AND RULES.  HP.  “As of Sept. 9 — 60 days before the election — the Federal Election Commission’s reporting ‘window’ opened, meaning spending on all ads that mention candidates has to be divulged to the agency.  Before that date, only ads explicitly calling on viewers to vote for or against a candidate had to be reported.”

CO:  BALLOT COMMITTEE ALLEGATIONS.  WW.  “The tension between the two groups is intensifying. The “No on 200″ group is accusing Citizens for a Healthy Pueblo of violating campaign-finance law through direct-mail brochures.”

KY:  SUPER PAC DONORS.  CJ.  “Thanks to huge contributions from teachers unions and labor unions, a Democratic super PAC called Kentucky Family Values reported this week it has raised more than $2.4 million between last spring’s primary elections and Oct. 7.”

MD:  POSSIBLE INQUIRY INTO TIES.  BS.  “A panel of state lawmakers were scheduled to debate Wednesday whether to open a formal ethics inquiry into Del. Dan K. Morhaim and his ties to the medical marijuana industry he helped create.”

NY:  BOARD CHIEF RESIGNING.  NYDN.  “The head of the city’s Campaign Finance Board will quit the post at the end of the year, leaving the job empty ahead of 2017’s citywide elections, she said Wednesday.”