1.23 political law links

COMPLAINT OVER PAYMENT. WT. “Common Cause filed a complaint with both the Department of Justice and Federal Elections Commission on Monday concerning a payment made to the adult film star reported to have had an affair with President Trump.”

CO: GIFT SCRUTINY. DP. “Freebies flow regularly into Denver City Council offices from city departments and agencies, but most members gave little thought to accepting the mugs, commemorative items, city-grown holiday poinsettia plants, branded clothing and more valuable gifts that have come their way.”

NY: DA REFORM. GG. “District attorneys should separate themselves from fundraising efforts and implement tighter vetting procedures for donors to reduce the appearance of bias, says a new report by the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (CAPI) at Columbia Law School.”

SD: INITIATIVE BILL TO SENATE. USN. “A bill aimed at requiring South Dakota ballot measure campaigns to disclose their donors while supporters gather signatures to get on the ballot is headed to the full state Senate.”

TX: STATE INVESTIGATION. KHOU. “The Texas Ethics Commission is investigating whether J.J. Koch offered a pay off if a fellow candidate dropped out of the race against him.”

WI: VOTE TO FIRE. WPR. “The state Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the confirmations of Brian Bell and Michael Haas, the leaders of Wisconsin’s ethics and elections commissions. If the vote goes as planned for majority Republicans, both men will be fired, leaving vacancies at the top of both agencies with the 2018 election season on the horizon.”


1.22.18 political law links

KID ROCK MOVE.   DN.  “Kid Rock last month donated $122,000 of the money raised by selling merchandise promoting ‘Kid Rock for US Senate’ — his fake political campaign — to a voter-registration organization affiliated with the College Republicans, his publicist said.”

BAUER ON RUSSIA LINKS.   JS.  ” Political and issue advocacy organizing are burdened by the costs of complying with complex and voluminous regulations. Increasingly, political actors also worry in a hyper-polarized environment about the potential for harassment that comes with the mandatory disclosure of political spending.”

OCE EDIT.   HILL.  “Bipartisan legislation released earlier this week to overhaul Capitol Hill’s sexual harassment policies would prevent an independent ethics watchdog from reviewing complaints.”

LOBBY BIZ VIEW.   NYT.  “The numbers compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks money in American politics, might not seem surprising. The amount spent on lobbying during the first nine months of Donald Trump’s presidency, it found, was higher than in any corresponding period since 2012.”

FL:  REVIEW OF COMPLAINT.   PNJ.  “Virlindia Doss, executive director of the ethics commission, said in the initial review of Robertson’s complaint, that the complaint was mostly legally insufficient and provided no factual allegations to support a violation of Florida ethics laws.”

RI:  CASH ACCOUNT AUDITS.   PJ.  “Too many Rhode Island politicians ignore their obligations to file accurate and timely campaign finance reports. Those failures are often signals of other, more serious troubles.”


1.18.18 political law links

FARA PROPOSALS.   RC.  “The House Judiciary Committee plans to take up a bill on Wednesday that would overhaul the 1938 law governing foreign lobbying disclosures, but the measure’s fate in the Senate remains unclear.”

FL:  REFORM AGENDA.   SSN.  “Attorney General hopeful and State Rep. Frank White says it’s time to change the state’s public finance system and put Florida taxpayers’ money out of political campaigns and back where it belongs.”

IL:  SOFTWARE COSTS.   CT.  “The Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration on Tuesday authorized attorneys John Reed and Michael Tolbert to accept the return of $20,000 the county paid in 2010 to Quest Information Systems Inc. of Indianapolis for campaign finance software to settle a lawsuit filed Jan. 4 in Marion County Superior Court by county commissioners on behalf of the election board.”

NJ:  ERROR OR NOT?   NJ. “The Newark Housing Authority donated $1,800 to Mayor Ras Baraka’s re-election committee, records show — in what would be a violation of state law prohibiting political contributions by public agencies.”

NY:  MUNICIPAL RACE SPENDING.   GG.  “The recent citywide municipal election saw more than $53 million in spending, with nearly $42 million in private funds raised by candidates and more than $17 million in public matching funds disbursed by the New York City Campaign Finance Board.”