5.30 political law links

MONEY HELP. WFB. “Congressional candidate Dan McCready (D.) publicly denounced dark money in the 2018 election cycle while a dark money group was spending nearly $1 million to defeat McCready’s opponent in a North Carolina House race at the same time.”

GROUP TARGETS SENATOR. RC. “The Democratically-aligned group End Citizens United on Tuesday launched a $50,000 digital advertising campaign aimed at unseating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky — before McConnell even has a credible challenger.”

CA: FINE FOR DISCLOSURE. EBT. “A state ethics commission has fined Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer for improperly disclosing a loan and failing to file several required finance reports.”

CA: RAVEL ON 1A. DC. “A ‘libertarian interpretation’ of the First Amendment is responsible for more ‘violent hate crime’ in the United States than terrorism, a former Federal Election Commission chair claimed Thursday.”

CO: BILL SIGNED. CP. “If you were to pick a package of the most partisan bills from the 2019 session, a good bet would be four bills on elections and campaign finance signed by Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday.”

MD: REFUND SOUGHT. BS. “The leaders of the Korean Society of Baltimore said Wednesday they are seeking the return of more than $60,000 in contributions their members made to former Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh’s re-election campaign.”

NJ: VETO MOVE. NJ. “Brace yourself: The open animosity between Gov. Phil Murphy and Democrats in the Legislature could soon derail efforts to expose the tidal wave of dark money that is giving wealthy special interest groups even more leverage in Trenton, all of it behind closed doors.”

NY: QUESTIONS ON FINANCE. TIN. ” Wu was hit in 2013 with $17,792 in penalties by the New York City Campaign Finance Board for 10 violations, including $4,842 for ‘accepting three over-the-limit contributions,’ $6,600 for ‘accepting a contribution from a corporation,’ and $5,000 for ‘intentionally furnishing false documentation and information.'”

TN: INVESTIGATION WELCOMED. TN. “More than two years after The Tennessean reported Sen. Brian Kelsey participated in potentially illegal donations and contributions related to his failed 2016 congressional bid, the West Tennessee Republican says he welcomes an investigation.”


5.21 political law links

SUPREMES WON’T HEAR CHALLENGE. ML. “The court on Monday announced without comment that it will not take up 1A Auto v. Michael Sullivan, a lawsuit that challenged the state’s ban on corporate campaign contributions.”

LAST WEEK AT THE FEC. It was another busy one and a summary of agency actions is online here.

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

MA: WIN FOR THORNTON. CW. “The Office of Campaign and Political Finance found Thornton may have broken the law, but Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, who was referred the case by Attorney General Maura Healey, did not find sufficient evidence of a crime.”

MI: SHIRKING ALLEGED. MD. “Failing to submit any single report or filing it late results in fees and fines. Missing the deadline results in a daily fine of $25, up to maximum of $500, if the committee received less than $10,000 in the previous two years. If the committee got more than $10,000 in the past two years, the maximum fine is $1,000 for a very late report.”

MO: YARD SIGN WIN. KCS. “A three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a suburban St. Louis man in his dispute with a municipal government over how many political signs he can have in his yard.”

TX: LOBBYING MOVE. SLM. “Senate Bill 29, sponsored by Sen. Bob Hall, R–Edgewood, would prevent an agency, organization or government subdivision funded by tax dollars from hiring a lobbyist or engaging in lobbying activity.”

TX: PROP J VIOLATION ALLEGED. AM. “After hours of politically caustic testimony, the Ethics Review Commission found at its May 8 meeting that the No on Prop J political action committee had violated city ethics codes by failing to disclose a $10,000 donation in a timely manner.”

WA: NEW TARGET. TDN. “It’s a tactic called ‘gray money’ and it’s a popular strategy in Washington and around the nation for shielding the flow of money. Through a series of ‘nesting doll’ PACs, campaigns or political parties can cloak donations by individuals, corporations, industry associations or labor unions.”


5.13.19 political law links

RAPPER CHARGED. CBS. “One of the founding members of the 1990s hip-hop group the Fugees has been charged in a campaign finance conspiracy that took place during the 2012 presidential election, the Justice Department said Friday.”

PRIVACY AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE. RCP. “HR1 requires so much disclosure of funding sources that, critics say, far from rendering politicians accountable and transparent, it creates a privacy nightmare for ordinary citizens who give to nonprofit organizations.”

FEC IN THE NEWS. CPI. “The Federal Election Commission’s four leaders are offering lawmakers clashing perspectives on the agency’s very purpose.”

MISSING THE STORY. WM. “It is true that a lot of us don’t have the financial means to write out a check for $500—much less $2,800. But those amounts are not what anyone is referring to when we talk about the kind of influence big money has in politics. As a matter of fact, they are a drop in the bucket.”

MONEY BAN CAN WAIT. NPR. “Reform-minded Democrats have long held up ‘dark money’ — political money that can’t be traced to its source — as a symptom of what’s wrong with politics in Washington. But while House Democrats this winter passed a bill to end the secrecy shielding donors behind unregulated dark money contributions, liberal activist groups now deploy those funds to boost the party’s candidates in the 2020 elections.”

CA: NEW APPOINTEE. LAT. “Tapping a political ally, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday appointed Richard Miadich as chairman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission, which enforces campaign finance and lobbying laws in California.”

MA: END TO LOOPHOLE. ML. “As of May 31, a union or nonprofit will no longer be able to donate up to $15,000 to a single candidate, party or PAC.”

NJ: VETO OR NO? NJS. “Campaign-finance reform advocates launched an 11th-hour effort Thursday to try to persuade Gov. Phil Murphy not to conditionally veto a bill that would require politically active nonprofits to reveal their funders and give New Jersey among the broadest disclosure requirements in the nation.”