7.31 political law links

BRITAIN ON-LINE MAGAZINE VIEW ON US CAMPAIGN FINANCE.  Spike.  “When James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights, he and his enlightened peers believed their fellow men were potentially free-thinking, rational and autonomous agents, capable of enjoying ever-more freedom. Today we need a similar communal self-confidence; and we need to resist the calls to limit how much freedom we can handle, no matter the cost.”


IL:  ALDERMAN MOVE.  Chicago Tribune.  “The City Council today voted to give the job of campaign finance oversight of aldermen to a city agency that doesn’t want it, a move that the council’s watchdog said will be viewed as ‘a cynical ploy’ to avoid scrutiny.”

MD:  LOSING STEAM.  Gazette.net.  “As the Montgomery County Council heads on its monthlong August recess, a bill to establish public campaign financing remains unfinished, and some members are questioning what problems, if any, the reform bill solves.”

MA:  MODIFYING RULES.  Dedham Local.  “The bill would double the individual campaign contribution limit to $1,000 a year, but the first change to the donation limits in 20 years would not take effect until January. The bill also allows state committees to set up legal defense funds, and authorizes statewide candidate committees to donate up to $100 to another candidate, but not more than an aggregate total of $1,500 a year to other candidates.”

MS:  FILING AND SALARY LOSS.  Clarion Ledger.  “State Sen. Melanie Sojourner has been assessed a $500 fine for failing to file a campaign finance report that was due Jan. 31, and has been warned her state lawmaker’s salary will be cut off until she files it.”

NY: CUOMO WARNED. NYT. “In an escalation of the confrontation between the United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo over the governor’s cancellation of his own anticorruption commission, Mr. Bharara has threatened to investigate the Cuomo administration for possible obstruction of justice or witness tampering.”

HAVE A GOOD DAY.  I’ll send around the next set of links on Monday.

7.30 political law links

ROCKEFELLER SUPER PAC SUPPORTER. WP. “Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller is retiring this year after 30 years of serving West Virginia. Although he’d probably like to retire to a peaceful, non-political life after decades of elections, a new potential hobby for the affluent (like Rockefeller) has popped up in the last few years that didn’t exist before he was elected to the West Virginia state legislature in 1966: Funding super PACs.”

MAYDAY SUPPORT. Time. “The Mayday Super PAC, a crowdfunded Political Action Committee designed to support pro-campaign finance reform politicians, announced two of the candidates it will support in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections.”

FL: LOBBYIST WITNESS. Miami Herald. “When Candia pleaded guilty in May, Pizzi described the lobbyist as ‘a liar who would say and do anything to help himself.’”

KY: FELONY INDICTMENT. Kentucky.com. “State Rep. Forrest ‘Ben’ Waide, R-Madisonville, was indicted Tuesday by a Franklin County grand jury on felony campaign-finance charges.”

MA: TISEI ALLEGATIONS. Boston Globe. “When Tisei cut four checks to the political consultant between June and October 2011 for a total of $20,540, he did not pay out of a federal campaign account. Instead, he tapped a state account he’d built over 26 years as a Beacon Hill lawmaker and candidate for lieutenant governor.”

NY: NO FILINGS SINCE 13. Niagra Gazette. “Council Chairman Charles Walker has not filed campaign finance reports since January of 2013.”

INDIA: GUIDE FOR FOREIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. India Briefing. “While laws governing political contributions in the United States and Europe are relatively straightforward, restrictions in India are slightly more complex and effectively prohibit political parties and candidates from accepting contributions from foreign individuals and firms.”


7.29 political law links

STEALTH LOBBYISTS BEWARE.  Holland and Knight (C. DeLacy).  “The recently released 2014 first quarter report of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) disclosed that one ‘entity’ had been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for ‘failure to register under the Lobbying Disclosure Act.’”

SUPER PAC CAMPAIGNS.  WP.  “In fact, there is nothing in federal law that would prevent a super PAC or group of PACs from picking out a candidate and taking care of his or her entire campaign. And we’re starting to get a glimpse of what such a campaign might look like.”

KOCH TIES HIT.  The Hill.  “The Democratic Senate Majority PAC is tying Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst (R) to Charles and David Koch in a new ad, the group’s latest attempt to get voters to distrust her campaign.”

INDEPENDENT SPENDING.  NYT.  “An explosion of spending on political advertising on television — set to break $2 billion in congressional races, with overall spots up nearly 70 percent since the 2010 midterm election — is accelerating the rise of moneyed interests and wresting control from the candidates’ own efforts to reach voters.”

CA:  PAC CLOSED.  KQED.  “In a quiet ending to one of the most high-profile campaign money controversies in California history, the political action committee reprimanded for accepting $11 million from mystery donors in 2012 has closed its doors.”

MA:  SUPER PAC ADS.  Boston Globe.  “The super PAC backing state Treasurer Steve Grossman’s bid for governor released its first television commercial Monday, and it tells viewers that Attorney General Martha Coakley is the ‘wrong choice for governor.’”

MT:  GOING DIGITAL.  Bozeman Daily Chronicle.  “Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices said Thursday that his office has worked out the kinks in the electronic reporting of state candidate and committee finance reporting.

NY:  CUOMO DEFENDS.  NYT.  “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday defended his office’s dealings with a panel he appointed to root out public corruption, asserting that his aides offered only ‘advice’ to the commission meant to be helpful.”

VA:  JURY SEATED.  RTD.  “Judge James R. Spencer read the witness lists proffered by the prosecution and defense to see if any prospective jurors knew the witnesses, and had a potential connection that could make them ineligible to serve as one of the 12 jurors or four alternates chosen to decide the case.”

CAN:  CONTRIBUTIONS ISSUE.  CBC.ca.  “The documents show Vogelzang bought tickets to four Tory fundraisers — entire tables in some cases — and expensed the cost. The health region’s board chair, Jean Graham, personally approved some of the expense claims.”

HAVE A GOOD DAY.   A link to a Miami Herald story yesterday was broken.  It’s fixed here.