Good morning, here are Monday’s political law links, 2/25/13

OFA UPDATE. The Post. “Unlike political parties and other organizations set up to win elections, the OFA is not subject to federal election fundraising restrictions and disclosure requirements, meaning the public will have only limited opportunities to learn about its operations, including how revenue is collected and spent.”

OFA AND DONORS. The Times. “President Obama’s political team is fanning out across the country in pursuit of an ambitious goal: raising $50 million to convert his re-election campaign into a powerhouse national advocacy network, a sum that would rank the new group as one of Washington’s biggest lobbying operations.”

NEXT FOR PRIORITIES. Politico. “Priorities USA Action, which spent roughly $65 million helping President Barack Obama win reelection, isn’t ready to close up shop, but its place in the Democratic money world is uncertain.”

WHEN IS POLITICAL ACTIVITY A CRIME? Nonprofit Law Prof Blog. “This seems a house of cards as far as criminal liability goes — at least under the charge of interfering with the proper administration of the internal revenue laws.” (Via Steven Sholk.)

QUALCOMM DISCLOSURE. The Times. “Qualcomm, the country’s largest maker of computer chips for mobile devices, has voluntarily disclosed previously secret political contributions to tax-exempt groups under a settlement with the New York State comptroller that was announced on Friday.”


MARKEY ON CU. Story here. “Representative Edward Markey is refusing to back down from comments he made this week that seemed to compare the US Supreme Court’s decision on campaign finance law to the high court’s 19th-century Dred Scott decision, which upheld slavery.”

JUDGE LOUIS OBERDORFER, 94. BLT. “U.S. District Senior Judge Louis Oberdorfer died last night at age 94, according to an announcement from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.” Judge Oberdorfer is the author of FEC v. GOPAC, a 1996 case discussing political committee status and the major purpose test.

CA: REPORTING ISSUES. Story here. “It’s a glaring weakness of California’s campaign-finance reporting system, making it ripe for abuse: It’s hard to verify whether the expenses of Bonilla and other politicians and office-seekers are legitimate.”

FL: SUSPECT CHARGED. Story here. “A former candidate under FBI investigation with former U.S. Rep David Rivera surrendered Friday afternoon and was to be charged with federal crimes over his campaign finances.”

MD: ONLINE VOTING FRAUD. Story here. “A controversial change in Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s otherwise popular bill to expand early voting could lead to voter fraud and expose the state’s elections to cybersecurity threats, according to a voting group and election technology experts.”

PA: PHILA. LOBBYING LAW CLARIFIED. Story here. “Mayor Nutter asked to clarify the applicability of the city’s lobbying code after the William Penn Foundation, which awards millions of dollars worth of grants each year in and around Philadelphia, had put on hold routine city grant-making activity.”


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