Good morning, here are Monday’s political law links

CHARITABLE MATCH RULES.  Bloomberg.  “U.S. companies, forbidden to give money directly to political action committees, are taking advantage of controversial federal rules allowing them to ask employees to do it for them in exchange for matching charitable donations.”

READY FOR 16? Time. ”Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential Campaign has rented its email list to Ready for Hillary, the Super PAC laying the groundwork for a potential second attempt at the White House.”

LOBBYIST DEFINITION.  NYT.  “So what does this new strategic adviser actually do? He or she can plan out a legislative campaign or a drive to affect the implementation of regulation, determine which officials and agencies must be dealt with, and propose potential coalition partners.”

SUPER PACS READY.  USAT.  “Experts say the federal rules regarding coordination are so narrowly defined that as long as the candidates and super PACs don’t collaborate on specifics, such as where political commercials will air, most super PACs meet the legal definition of independence.”

DONOR’S PASSING.  Politico.  “Now, in the aftermath of Harold Simmons’s death, Republicans nationwide are looking toward the tycoon’s septuagenarian widow for clues as to whether the family’s legendary political largesse might continue.”

SIGNED INTO LAW. (12/26/13 entry):  “An Act to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act to extend through 2018 the authority of the Federal Election Commission to impose civil money penalties on the basis of a schedule of penalties established and published by the Commission…”

COMPLIANCE WEBINAR OFFERED. “We will cover all the major topics you need to be thinking about as you ramp up for lobbying the new Congress and state legislatures and prepare for the mid-term elections…”

CA:  FPPC WON’T INVESTIGATE.  CBS Sacramento.  “California’s political watchdog agency said Monday it has declined to open an investigation into a lawmaker whose name surfaced in an ongoing federal investigation of a state senator.”

CA:  SUIT ALLEGES IMPROPER CONTRIBUTIONS.  LAT.  “A lawsuit filed Christmas Eve alleges that a prominent California lobbying firm sought influence by directing illegal contributions to dozens of politicians — including nearly a third of the Legislature.”

DE:  INVESTIGATION ENDS.  WP.  “A campaign finance investigation in Delaware has ended with an independent counsel finding no credible evidence that candidates for state office or their staffs knew about illegal campaign contributions.”

IA:  E-FILING WOULD BE REQUIRED.  Story here.  “Campaign finance reporting could go all 21st century if the Iowa Legislature adopts a proposal from the state ethics agency.”

MD:  SWISS CHEESE ON THE TILTED PLAYING FIELD.  WP.  “Maryland is one of 29 states that places restrictions on giving and receiving campaign contributions during legislative sessions.”

MA:  MOVE TO FIX.  Boston Globe.  “As questions linger over her campaign finance records, Attorney General Martha Coakley is trying to clean up the troubled political accounts by replacing her sister as treasurer, retaining a Washington lawyer, and bringing onto her team a Democratic expert on state election finances.”

MI:  NEW YEAR, NEW LAWS.  “Michigan politicians will be able to accept larger campaign contributions from individuals and independent political action committees under a new law signed Friday by Gov. Rick Snyder.”

NV:  MCCUTCHEON AND WHITTEMORE.  “Lawyers appealing an ex-Nevada lobbyist’s conviction for illegally contributing to Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election say he should be kept out of prison while the U.S. Supreme Court ponders a forthcoming ruling on campaign finance laws that they say have been ‘twisted into a pretzel’ through a series of recent court decisions.”

NY:  NEW CFB APPOINTMENT.  NYT.  “Rose Gill Hearn, the commissioner of the Department of Investigation throughout Mr. Bloomberg’s mayoralty, will lead the Campaign Finance Board for a five-year term, through the end of 2018.”

NC:  NEW YEAR, NEW LIMITS.  News & Record.  “Under the new state elections law, the maximum contribution to candidates rises from $4,000 to $5,000, and several disclosure provisions will be rolled back. The anticipated effect of the changes is unknown.”

NC AND OK:  GAMBLING INDUSTRY DONATIONS.  AP.  “A checking account used last year to make $235,000 in donations to the campaigns of dozens of North Carolina politicians contained the laundered proceeds of a criminal gambling enterprise, according to Oklahoma’s top law enforcement official.”

OH:  TAX CREDIT IN THE NEWS.  Peter Roff in US News.  “The idea of publically financed political campaigns is long past its expiration date. Nonetheless, the Democrats in Ohio feel unperturbed about asking taxpayers to help them pay for their efforts to win back the governorship.”

OR:  TOO LATE FOR CREDIT.  The Oregonian.  “Oregon politicians sent out notices to their constituents this week urging them to take advantage of the tax credit, which allows any taxpayer to claim one non-refundable $50 credit for a contribution to a political candidate, party or political action committee.”

VA: KAINE SUPPORTS ETHICS REFORMS. WP. “Having served under both systems, I can say that the benefits of the federal rule are obvious. I regret that I didn’t propose adopting it when I was governor of Virginia.”

VA:  LEGAL FEES MOUNT.  WP.  “Virginia taxpayers may continue to foot the bill for two private law firms representing Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his staff in connection with state and federal criminal investigations, even after the governor leaves office Jan. 11.”

WI:  NO VOTE ON BILL.  Post Crescent.  “The Wisconsin Senate won’t vote on a bill that would double the amount people could donate to political campaigns, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Friday.”


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