9.20.18 political law links

DECISION STANDS.   ATL.  “Secret money in politics will soon be a lot less secret. The Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand a lower-court ruling forcing politically active nonprofit groups to disclose the identity of any donor giving more than $200 when those groups advertise for or against political candidates.”

REFORMER CHRISTMAS.   ESQ.  “What matters is that, in this case at least, there seems to have been a faction on the Court that is willing to be flexible on dark money, and that’s willing to overrule the Chief on the subject, too. Of course, it’s a 4-4 court right now. I am not optimistic about the future, but this was a nice moment.”

TIMES ON RUSSIA AND 16.   NYT. “For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack: hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies — and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means.”

FB AT WAR.   NYT.  “More than 300 people across the company are working on the initiative, but the War Room will house a team of about 20 focused on rooting out disinformation, monitoring false news and deleting fake accounts that may be trying to influence voters before elections in the United States, Brazil and other countries.”

E-FILING STARTS.   OS.  “After over 15 years of legislative attempts, Senate candidates might finally start electronically filing their campaign finance reports.”

REFORMERS IGNORE.   DC.  “Nine months ago this week, the Committee to Defend the President filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), accusing the Democratic establishment of orchestrating the most elaborate money laundering scheme in U.S. electoral history.”

COMPLAINT ON FUNDRAISING.   NYT.  “A progressive group in Utah that advocates government transparency and accountability filed a federal complaint against Representative Mia Love, a Republican, on Tuesday over alleged campaign finance violations, escalating the liberal fight against the vulnerable incumbent just seven weeks before November’s midterm elections.”

ETHICS GRADE.   CNN.  “Ethics and trustworthiness are not the exact same thing. And what people said when they voted for candidate Trump versus how they feel about President Trump may well be two very different things.”

AUSTRALIA:  LOBBYING OVERVIEW.   GUA.  “There’s only so much information available on Australia’s largely opaque lobbying system. It takes time, effort, and the right tools to wade through the federal lobbyist register and join the dots. So, we have extracted the data, broken it down, and reshaped into something digestible.”


9.19.18 political law links

STAY VACATED.   FEC.  “The United States Supreme Court today lifted the Chief Justice’s stay of the order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in CREW v. FEC (Case No. 16-0259).”

DISCLOSURE EXPANSION.   INSIDEPOLITICALLAW.  “In a startling turn of events that will alter election spending decisions in the run-up to the general election, and after, the Supreme Court reversed a temporary stay issued by Justice Roberts on Friday, and left in place a district court decision that dramatically increased the disclosure obligations for entities spending on public communications that encourage people to vote for or against specific candidates.”

SUPER PACS SPEND.  HILL.  “Super PACs funded by some of the nation’s richest people are pouring tens of millions of dollars into the midterm elections, outpacing even the party committees that were once the biggest spenders in the field.”

PROJECT VERITAS AND HATCH ACT.  WT.  “A State Department spokesperson said, ‘I can confirm that Stuart Karaffa is a Management and Program Analyst with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. We take seriously any allegation of a violation of the Hatch Act and financial disclosure rules and are closely reviewing this matter.'”

CU AND THE LAW.   WKMS.  “The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, enacted in March 2002, aimed to limit the amount of financial support interest groups and national political parties could provide to a specific campaign. In 2010, a historic court ruling overturned the reform act. Dr. Kevin Qualls, associate professor in MSU’s Department of Mass Communications and Journalism, visits Sounds Good to talk about the significant change created in campaign finance law.”

CO:  VIOLATIONS ALLEGED.  CPR.  “A group seeking to elect unaffiliated candidates in Colorado and across the country is facing a campaign finance complaint.”

IL:  REPORT TYPO.   SD.  “A local Republican candidate got an important reminder this week that the internet is fast, and the internet is forever. State Senate candidate Seth McMillan found this out the hard way after a typo in his A-1 campaign contribution filings. Shelly Grigoroff was reportedly paid $1,207,325 for work she had done. In reality, she was paid just $1,207.25.”

MD:  ALLEGATIONS RAISED.   WP.  “A Gaithersburg resident has filed a complaint with the state elections board, alleging a candidate for Montgomery County executive violated campaign finance laws when her campaign committee accepted multiple corporate donations from entities sharing the same addresses.”

NH:  PUBLIC FINANCING MOVE.   WMUR.  “Lawmakers in New Hampshire are planning to file a bill next year to create a new public campaign finance system.”


9.18.18 political law links

ELECTION LAW NEWS.  Wiley Rein’s latest Election Law News is available.

LETTER IN THE NEWS.  NYT.  “Ted Cruz’s Senate re-election campaign has been sending voters in Texas a fund-raising letter in an envelope labeled “summons enclosed,” drawing criticism from some who called it misleading and raising questions about whether such a practice was legal. It is.”

OPINION ON DISMISSAL.   BBO.  “The Federal Election Commission would prefer not to know. On a party-line vote, the FEC has voted not to pursue enforcement action against the campaign of President Donald Trump for soliciting foreign contributions in the summer of 2016.”

FUND USE BAN.   MH.  “The Federal Election Commission is for the first time seriously considering banning members of Congress from using any political donations for personal use.”

TALKING ABOUT THE LAW.   FOX.  Former Commissioner Smith talks about campaign finance law in the news in this online video.

AR:  ETHICS PACKAGE.   AT.  “Mike Lee, the Democrat challenging Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, outlined a detailed agenda to strengthen Arkansas ethics laws.”

CA:  GAS TAX INVESTIGATION.   CBS.  “California’s campaign watchdog said Wednesday it is investigating whether a campaign to preserve the state’s recent gas tax hike violated finance rules.”