5.24.18 political law links

TODAY AT THE FEC.   The agenda for today’s Federal Election Commission meeting is available here.

SUPER PAC SUBPOENA.   POL.  “Special counsel Robert Mueller has issued a pair of subpoenas to a social media consultant who worked on Roger Stone’s pro-Donald Trump super PAC during the 2016 presidential campaign.”

FL:  STATE OF LAW.   TBT.  “Campaigns are interpreting the law so liberally — and some experts think they will get away with it — that it could essentially render the laws meaningless.”

IA:  RUNNING CAMPAIGN.  LHL.  “A Democrat running for Iowa Secretary of State operates a political action committee that is supporting his campaign, despite a state law that appears to ban the practice, filings show.”

KY:  QUICKER TRANSPARENCY.  LHL.  “Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who has raised $1.5 million for his re-election, did not file electronically. The Registry managed to get his report up by election day, but there was a needless delay in the availability of the information to the public.”

ME:  RULES ALLEGATION.   PH. “Democratic candidate for governor Diane Russell faces sanctions from the Maine Ethics Commission after its staff found she violated campaign finance reporting law by failing to explain how she spent some of her campaign funds.”

MO:  LOOKING AT INDEPENDENT MONEY.  SNL.  “On May 10, the ethics commission decided that a politically active nonprofit corporation could be considered a ‘person’ for the purposes of that provision of the Missouri Constitution and state statutes governing campaign financing.”

MT:  LAW UPHELD.   NBC.  “A federal appeals court has upheld Montana’s campaign finance reform law by rejecting a group’s claims that it is vague and overly broad.”


5.21.18 political law links

DOJ MOVE ON SCAM PACS.   DOJ.  “U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  ‘As alleged, the defendants secretly operated numerous political action committees, raising small-dollar donations from people who believed their hard-earned money would support the causes described in solicitation calls and mailings.  In reality, as alleged, these PACs were political action committees in name only – they engaged in no advocacy campaigns, education efforts, or political operations, and donated less than one percent of the money they raised to candidates for office, all while personally enriching the defendants.  Now, these so-called PACs are no longer defrauding donors, and the defendants have been charged with federal crimes.'”

REFORMING RULES.   TRR.  “Contribution limits have become obsolete in the age of the Internet and social media because technology puts at a disadvantage candidates who are not well-known celebrities, explains Gaughan.”

CA:  INQUIRY CLOSED.   UD.  “The California Fair Political Practices Commission has formally closed two inquiries into possible violations by Calaveras County District 4 Supervisor Dennis Mills.”

CO:  ALLOWING BITCOIN.   9NEWS.  “Could Colorado be ready to accept bitcoin as a way of making donations to candidates?”

HI:  ALLEGED MISUSE.   CHRON.  “A Hawaii congressional candidate is accused of misusing funds donated to his campaigns for the state House, including using campaign money for personal expenses.”

NY:  COUNCILMAN FINED.   NYP.  “A former Queens Councilman was slapped with more than $21,000 in fines by the city’s Campaign Finance Board Thursday for numerous violations during his failed 2013 bid to become borough president.”

TX:  BLOGGER LAWSUIT.   L360.  “A Texas appellate court on Thursday held that a conservative activist and blogger who was fighting a $10,000 fine from the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to register as a lobbyist cannot use a state free speech law to dismiss his own administrative appeal of the fine.”


5.17 political law links

I’M GOOD, THANKS.   FPN.  “DARK MONEY, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials.

LAWSUIT RISKS.   WP.  “The DNC lawsuit boils down to a simple question: When may the law penalize someone who disseminates truthful but illegally acquired information about a matter of public concern?”

REFORM MOMENT.   CNN.  “Direct communication and coordination is banned, but candidates from both parties are always finding new and creative ways to keep close, some of them blessed by the FEC.”

CO:  SUPER PAC SPENDING.   CI.  “Two Super PACs will advertise heavily on TV in support of Democratic candidates for governor Cary Kennedy and Mike Johnston in the month before the June 26 primary election.”

MD:  SUPER PAC ALLEGATIONS.   WP.  “One magazine-size advertisement sent to Democratic households in the county depicts Alsobrooks at the center of four rotating arrows that describe how real estate developers buy influence with political contributions and expect favors once candidates they back are in office.”

MO:  DIGGING IN.   CDT.  “The committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens will call his policy director Will Scharf to testify about a campaign memo from 2016 showing rival campaigns were digging into not-for-profit contributors in search of hidden donors.”

NJ:  LAWSUIT FILED.   NJ.  “A legal watchdog group is suing the Federal Election Commission over a $1 million donation made in 2015 to a super PAC once linked to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop’s gubernatorial bid.”

FRA:  TRIAL FOR SARKOZY.   DS.  “The Paris appeals court announced Wednesday it will rule in September on whether former French leader Nicolas Sarkozy should stand trial on charges of illicit financing of his failed 2012 presidential campaign, one of several legal inquiries which have dogged the right-wing politician since he left office.”