Political law links

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED. Inside Political Law. “Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau issued an advisory reminding political campaigns about the restrictions placed on the use of autodialed calls, prerecorded calls, and text messages by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (‘TCPA’) and the FCC’s corresponding rules.”

IRS LAWSUIT UPDATE. The Hill. “A federal judge sided with the IRS on Thursday, tossing out two lawsuits filed against the tax agency over its improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status.”


CALLS ANSWERED” HuffPo. “This infusion has finally pushed spending by pro-Republican nonparty groups past the totals reported to the Federal Election Commission by similar Democratic Party groups.”

FORMER AIDES SUPER PAC. Argus Leader. “U.S. Senate candidate Larry Pressler is finally getting some outside support — from his former Senate aides.”

TOP LOBBYISTS. The Hill. “From corner offices all over town, the members of The Hill’s Top Lobbyists list are the advocates, lobbyists and professional agitators who shape the policy decisions made in the nation’s capital.”

ROBERT TIERNAN, 85. WP. “Robert O. Tiernan, a lawyer and stalwart of Rhode Island Democratic politics who served four terms in the U.S. House and became one of the original members of the Federal Election Commission, died Oct. 15 in Providence.”

HI: SUPER PAC COMPLAINT. HI News Now. “A Hawaii Super PAC is facing a complaint that it failed to report spending more than $86,000 on fliers in the 2012 elections.”

MA: RULING AFTER ELECTION. Boston Globe. “The New Jersey state treasurer’s office said Tuesday it will not make public its review of the legality of GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker’s controversial donation to Governor Chris Christie’s state party until after the Massachusetts gubernatorial election.”

RI: SCHILLING HEARING. Prov. Journal. “The inquiry into whether ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling violated Rhode Island’s lobbying laws appears headed for a close on Friday, Oct. 31 — yes, Halloween.”

SC: PLEA DEAL. NYT. “The suspended speaker of the South Carolina House, Robert W. Harrell Jr., avoided prison but lost the legislative seat he has held for more than 20 years after he pleaded guilty Thursday to six campaign finance violations.”

VT: ISSUES FOR GROUP. Watchdog.org. “According to complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Office over the past two months, Vermont Leads Inc., a prominent advocate of single-payer health care, received a $66,000 donation in March from the Vermont NEA, the teachers union whose membership dues typically go to left-leaning causes.”

WA: MOST MEALS. Bellingham Herald. “After topping a list of legislators who received free meals, drinks and golf games from lobbyists last year, Whatcom County Sen. Doug Ericksen has accepted at least 50 meals and other goods from lobbyists in 2014, according to reports submitted to the state.”

WI: QUESTION CONFUSION. WISN. “The question reads, ‘Only human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights, and money is not speech, therefore, regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.'”


Wed. political law links

COMPLAINT AGAINST WJLA.  Multichannel.com.  “The Campaign Legal Center,  Common Cause and the Sunlight Foundation have filed another complaint against WJLA-TV Washington alleging that it ‘refuses’ to  disclose the true identity of political advertising—it was one of two stations cited in an earlier complaint filed by the groups but dismissed by the FCC.”

LOOPHOLE AKA THE LAW.  Yahoo.  “Thanks to a contentious quirk in federal law, at least six new super PACs may hide their funders from public scrutiny until early December, no matter how much money they raise or spend from now until Election Day on Nov. 4.”

ADELSON #2.  CBS.  “Tom Steyer, the Democrat-aligned hedge fund manager intent on making climate change a campaign issue, has set a new record as the biggest single donor to super PACs in one election cycle.”

CATCH UP.   Politico.  “Despite being outraised by Democratic super PACs all year long, the top conservative groups played to a draw in September and are in a strong position to continue matching — and possibly surpassing — their rivals leading up to Election Day.”

FAMILY DONATIONS.  Modbee.com.  “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land’s father was among Michigan residents who gave heavily last month to a conservative group that has spent at least $4 million on TV ads against Democrat Gary Peters.”

CA:  BROWN CRITICIZED.  News10.  “Governor Jerry Brown is facing criticism from an anti-smoking group over a campaign contribution.”

WA:  LOBBYISTS AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE.  KPLU.  “The top political spenders in Washington this election year include environmentalists, unions, trial lawyers and business interests.”

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Political law links

NEW FILINGS SHOW.   USAT.  “Dozens of the Republican Party’s biggest donors — including several hedge-fund billionaires — helped a super PAC associated with Republican strategist Karl Rove raise more than $11 million in September, new filings show.”

SOROS AND SPIELBERG.  WFB.  “The Democratic Party’s top super PAC disclosed more than $9.2 million in September contributions on Monday, listing a who’s who of wealthy liberal donors, many associated with the secretive Democracy Alliance donor network.”

SUPER PAC PAYDAY.  Marketplace.org.  “A super PAC is sometimes born out of a strong sense of mission – maybe its founder cares about gun control or education reform. But other times, says Stefan Passantino, a partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge, ‘part of that mission is to create a client for their own consulting firm.'”

CT:  RECORD AWARDS.  Courant.com.  “State officials said Monday that public campaign financing awards to candidates for 2014 will total more than $33 million – a record amount for Connecticut’s taxpayer-funded election system.”

CT:  MAILINGS FUEL DISPUTE.  Courant.com.  “The increasingly competitive gubernatorial race has led to a debate over whether publicly-financed candidates running for the General Assembly can use their taxpayer-funded grants to support their party’s nominee for governor.”

IL AND IN:  CROSSING THE LINE.  NWTimes.com.  “Crossing the line separating Indiana and Illinois sometimes means dealing with different laws and customs.”

ME:  LOOPHOLE DECRIED. CentralMaine.com.  “Unless reforms are made, outside interest groups and out-of-state contributors will continue to have undue influence over and access to legislators, to the detriment of Maine residents who cannot afford large contributions but must nevertheless live with the decisions made in Augusta.”

MT:  SOMETIMES THE LAW IS AN…  Missoulian.  “The kicking donkey was printed on both sides of Dudik’s campaign fliers (3/4 inch and 3/8 inch in size) and Motl ruled that particular symbol has ‘some objective basis’ to serve as the Democratic symbol as it was used by other Democratic candidates in 2014, notably Candidate Janet Ellis, who is running for HD 81.”

RI:  HEARING YESTERDAY.  RIPR.  A complaint says “the group Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling failed to report spending for newspaper ads, and a video produced on the group’s website.:

WV:  5 WAYS TO IMPROVE.  WVPublic.org.  “Representatives of the Brennan Center for Justice told state lawmakers Monday they’ve done a good job keeping up with the changing rules of campaign finance disclosures, especially after the 2010 Citizen’s United decision, but said West Virginia can do more to make the process more transparent for voters.”