Political Law Links 4-27-2017

TESTING PRIVACY.   WTSP.   “President Donald Trump supporters, listen up – someone is posting your name, how much you’ve donated, where you live and what you do all in one place online.”

ETHICS ACCUSATION.    USN.  “Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse filed an ethics complaint Tuesday against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt over a planned May 5 appearance as the keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Republican Party’s annual gala dinner. The Rhode Island Democrat says that would violate the Hatch Act, which limits the political activities of executive branch employees.”  The latest is he won’t attend.

CO:  MEASURE DIES.   GAZ.  “A Republican-controlled Senate committee on Wednesday killed two campaign finance reform measures that Democrats pushed this year as part of a package.”

CO:  GROUP FINED.  CI.  “Former Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, who ran for governor in 2014, should have registered a nonprofit as a political committee, a judge ruled.”

FL:  ALLEGED VIOLATION.   HT.  “The Florida Commission on Ethics determined that Rob Robinson, the former North Port city attorney, violated state law when he encouraged the city’s creation of a special magistrate for code enforcement and zoning hearings officer positions.”

MN:  LOBBYIST SPENDING.  PB.  “Local governments spent more than $9 million on lobbying at the Minnesota Capitol last year, according to a new report.”

OR:  EX-LEGISLATOR CLEARED TO LOBBY.  USN.  “The Oregon Government Ethics Commission has issued an advisory opinion allowing a recently retired state lawmaker to lobby the Legislature.”

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.   I’ll send around the next set of links early next week.


Political Law Links for April 26, 2017

FORMER TREASURER SENTENCED.   OCR.  “A Republican activist who embezzled more than $200,000 from Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s re-election campaign was ordered Tuesday to serve a year in jail and five years of formal probation and to pay back the money he stole.”

JUDGE SETS PENALTY.  DM.  “Former Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell and her campaign committee have been fined for using campaign funds to pay her rent, a federal judge has ruled.”

REQUEST TO DROP CHARGES.   Hill.  “Former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), who has been indicted on two-dozen fraud-related charges, wants a federal court to dismiss five counts on the falsifying of campaign finance records.”

COMPLAINT ON HOTEL.  CNN.  “A clause in the lease says no elected official can be a party to it — suggesting that Trump was in breach the moment he was sworn in.”

JOHNSON CASE UPDATE.  SLT.  “The FEC sued Johnson and former Utah Attorney General John Swallow in 2015, saying the pair engaged in a scheme that saw straw donors — Johnson’s friends and family — funnel $170,000 in illegal campaign contributions to candidates for federal offices in 2009 and 2010.”

CA:  LOWER FINE.   SMDJ.  “The Fair Political Practices Commission is still determining the amount of fine Belmont Councilman Eric Reed will pay for failing to disclose ownership of more than $2,000 in AT&T stock in a timely manner.”

MT:   BILL SNAG.   MTPR.  “Billings Republican Tom Richmond says his bill to increase contribution limits and remove loopholes in state campaign laws passed with wide support, picking up all but two votes in the Senate in March, but is now at risk of being vetoed by the governor unless changed.”

RI:  COMPLAINT MOVES.    PRI.  “The state Ethics Commission on Tuesday voted 5-2 to find probable cause that Justice Francis Flaherty violated the ethics code by failing to report his service on the board of a Catholic lawyers’ group.”

TX:  COMPLAINT AGAINST PAC.  SM.  “Don Zimmerman, head of the Travis County Taxpayers Union political action committee, has filed an ethics complaint against the Betterment of Round Rock Texas PAC, saying the group violated the ethics code by making a contribution to another PAC after they had dissolved.”

VT:  ETHICS BILL MOVES.   VTD.  “The bill to create a State Ethics Commission took a key step forward Tuesday with approval from the House Government Operations Committee.”

WI:  COMPLAINT DISMISSED.  MAD.  “The city’s Ethics Board dismissed a complaint Tuesday filed against Ald. Sara Eskrich alleging she was improperly involved in the awarding of a contract to a privately run beer garden to operate in Olbrich Park.”


Political law links for April 25, 2017

SUPREME COURT DENIES.    REU.  “The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by an Alabama black-voter outreach group with close ties to the state’s Democratic Party of a lower court’s ruling that upheld a state ban on cash transfers between political action committees.

PACS SPEND.    BNA.  “Political action committees received and spent a record amount of money in the 2016 campaign cycle, according to Federal Election Commission data analyzed by Bloomberg BNA.”

INQUIRY SOUGHT.   RC.  “A conservative-leaning ethics foundation filed an inquiry Monday with the Office of Congressional Ethics, asking it to look into Rep. Hank Johnson’s use of official resources to help Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign.”

CA:  LOOPHOLE LOOK.  FB.  “On Wednesday, the Democratic-controlled Assembly Elections Committee will get a chance to put their votes where their rhetoric is by approving Assembly Bill 1234 by Assemblyman Marc Levine. The bill would shine light on money that flows into one dim corner of California elections by restricting the size of donations from political parties to candidates. Don’t count on it passing.”

NJ:  PAY TO PLAY RE-THINK.   NJB.  “Jeff Brindle calls New Jersey’s pay-to-play law ‘convoluted and complicated’ and cites its ‘stunning inconsistency.'”

NJ:  FORMER EXEC PAYS.   NJ.  “Former Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan and two of her aides have agreed to pay a total of $2,500 to the state for breaking election finance rulesaccording to a settlement published by the state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission.”

NY:  CITY HYPOCRISY.  NYP.  “t looks like several City Council members will be opting out of the city’s public campaign-finance program for this year’s elections — although they still claim to champion the system.”

NC:  OVERRIDE.   NO.  “The state Senate voted Monday night to go ahead with a plan to reconfigure oversight of elections in North Carolina despite a gubernatorial veto.”

VA:  LOOKING AT LAWS.   NBC.  “A state advisory panel says Virginia political ethics laws might need to change.”