2-22-18 Political Law Links

RUSSIANS AND FREE SPEECH.   NW.  “Fears about national security can foster public actions that otherwise would be rejected. This might be one of those moments when something must be done and the ‘something’ that is selected does real harm to freedom of speech.”

AL:  ETHICS REVISIONS.   AL.  “Despite media sources caterwauling to the contrary, there are good, honest reasons for some current legislative attempts to tweak Alabama’s ethics laws.”

AR:  CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWSUIT.   AT.  “The city of Little Rock’s lawsuit aiming at using a city ordinance to limit fund-raising by two men challenging Mayor Mark Stodola gets legal responses from the challengers today.”

CA:  FPPC PAY.   LAT.  “The state’s ethics watchdog panel was divided Thursday in approving a proposal to retroactively provide extra pay to its members for work done on official state business.”

IL:  SECRECY CRITICISM.   INN.  “Homer sharply criticized the secrecy created around the Legislative Ethics Commission. The eight-member bipartisan panel of lawmakers gives the legislative inspector general permission to investigate allegations she believes are ‘founded.'”

MO:  INDICTMENT IN SCHEME.   DOJ.  “Timothy A. Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former executive of a Springfield charity, who was also an Arkansas lobbyist has been indicted by a federal grand jury for his role in a nearly $1 million bribery conspiracy involving a Springfield, Mo., health care organization.”

PA:  BILL SIGNED.   CBS.  “The bill signed into law, introduced by Lancaster County House Republican Bryan Cutler, increases the penalties for missing quarterly filing deadlines, and also will soon require all lobbying disclosure reports to be filed electronically, to speed processing of those reports.”

TX:  SCHOOL DISTRICT VIOLATION.   BB.  “As concerns over potential electioneering and other election code violations hover over the upcoming state March primary, the Texas Ethics Commission recently found ‘credible evidence’ that the superintendent of a border school district violated the state election code by authorizing the spending of public funds to produce a newsletter that contained political advertising.”


Political law links for 2-21

EXTENDED REVIEW.   NP.  “U.S. Rep. John J. ‘Jimmy’ Duncan Jr. is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee, the AP reports.”

CA:  CHAIR RESIGNS.   SFE.  “The chair of the Ethics Commission has abruptly stepped down after the watchdog agency failed to place a campaign reform measure on the June ballot intended to crack down on the potential for pay-to play politics at City Hall.”

CA:  OAKLAND MONEY.   ML. “A new MapLight analysis of campaign finance records for Oakland found that local candidates raised more than $4 million over the past three election cycles – with the vast majority of funding coming from a fraction of the city’s overall population.”

KS:  EXPANDED REACH.   CJO.  “The Kansas Senate advanced a bipartisan bill Tuesday that requires registration of people lobbying any of the three branches of state government and allowing for expansion of gift and meal limits for state employees.”

TN:  AD QUESTIONS.    TN.  “Unlike recent ads launched by other campaigns, the 30-second spot promoting the Nashville lawmaker wasn’t technically funded by Harwell’s campaign. And it doesn’t mention her candidacy.”

WY:  PROVISION REMOVED.   TRIB.  ” A package of election law reforms meant to strengthen campaign finance reporting requirements took a significant step forward Tuesday as a House committee amended the bill to add clarity and sent it back to the full chamber.”


Today’s political law links

LEGAL ATTACK.   HASEN.  “The Mueller indictment of 13 Russian nationals for interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election offers a remarkably detailed account of a complex plot to sow discord and influence the presidential contest in favor of Donald Trump. The indictment critically points to something else, though: It provides a roadmap for the Russians to do it all again, without violating any current campaign finance laws the next time.”

TOUGH PROPOSAL.   SEL.  “The proposed FEC rule would require all text and display advertising to include the name of the sponsor in the ad (not merely a link) “in letters of sufficient size to be clearly readable.” This provision might be a source of objections from Google or Facebook.”

DUES PAYMENTS.   HILL.  “Eleven sitting lawmakers have used campaign funds to pay membership dues to the National Rifle Association (NRA).”

NEW CLAIM.   NW.  “Cohen also distanced Trump’s former campaign and his global company from any knowledge of the payment to Clifford.”

IL:  BREAKING RECORDS.   PRW.  “The March 20, 2018 Illinois gubernatorial primary is on track to become the most expensive in Illinois history, thanks to millions being put on the line by three billionaires.”

PA:  FINES INCREASED.   TL.  “Being late with their paperwork will cost state lobbyists more under a new law that takes effect in about two months.”

TX:  VIOLATION ALLEGED.   KVIA.  “According to the document, De La Torre and Torres-McLean ‘authorized the spending of public funds’ for a newsletter that advocated for the approval of a YISD bond measure … the newsletter was published in the fall of 2015 in advance of a November 9, 2015 YISD school bond election.”

WA:  STATE SUES.  SFC.   “A Washington attorney who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the state Court of Appeals is facing allegations of campaign-finance violations.”