Political Law Links, 6-3-14

JURY SEATED.  Cleveland.com.  “A jury of eight women and four men was seated in the trial of Benjamin Suarez Monday afternoon.”

SEEKING REFORM.  SanLuisObispo.com.  “A local activist has felt so strongly about the need for campaign finance reform that he has visited the offices of 65 U.S. congressional leaders to discuss the topic.”

WHITEHOUSE ETHICS ATTACK.  The Hill.  “The Tea Party Patriots group has accused Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) in a formal complaint of breaking ethics rules by pressuring the administration to target conservative groups engaged in political activities.”  Reid also.

DON’T AMEND.  Heritage.  “Wisely, the Framers of the Constitution ensured that amending the Constitution would not be an easy task. Thus, advocates of this constitutional amendment that would severely cut back the protections of a fundamental part of the Bill of Rights will face an uphill battle.”

NEW LANDSCAPE.  WP.  “The lobbying industry, once dominated by a handful of big, powerful personalities, has given way to a bigger, broader and more grass-roots business that has more voices — and must influence more decision makers — than ever before.”

REP. IN TALKS.  Boston Business Journal.  “Lobbying firm Smith, Ruddock & Hayes is in discussions with Rep. Michael Costello, a Newburyport Democrat, who is considering joining the firm after announcing in March that he would not run for re-election.”

LOBBYING REFORM.  AssociationsNow.com.  “With fresh efforts to reform the lobbying field coming down the pipeline, a key association that represents government relations professionals says that it’s willing to play ball.”

AK SEN CANDIDATES ON SUPER PACS.  Peninsula Clarion.  “This year’s U.S. Senate race in Alaska is the first major race here in the super PAC era.”

AL:  GROUP SAYS ADS OK.  Montgomery Advertiser.  “A group that has helped fund challengers to Republican incumbents in Tuesday’s GOP primary told the Alabama attorney general’s office in April that its advertisements were for educational, not electioneering purposes.”

AZ: HORNE FIGHTING. East Valley Tribune. “In statements filed Monday with two state agencies, Horne said there is no basis to charges by Sarah Beattie, a former staffer, that she and others were told to work during business hours on campaign efforts. He wants the Secretary of State’s Office and the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, which have concurrent authority over campaign finance laws, to dismiss the claims as groundless.”

CA: DENIALS AND ECHOES. BNA. “It was the first time groups linked to Koch Industries Inc. and the company’s leaders, Charles and David Koch, had been named in such a high-profile campaign finance enforcement action.”

LA:  EXEMPTION.  Thenewstar.com.  “Gov. Bobby Jindal has agreed to carve out a special ethics exemption for a former state senator, allowing the ex-lawmaker to lobby the Legislature even though his brother is currently in the Senate.”

MA:  SUPER PAC IMPACT.  Boston Herald.  “Secretive super PACs armed with seemingly limitless cash are adopting tricky tactics to skirt campaign finance laws and tilt the outcome of the Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign and scores of other races across the country, a Herald investigation has found.”

SC:  HIGHER LIMITS UNLIKELY.  Post and Courier.  “State lawmakers also may be avoiding raising limits because that might not jibe with many people’s idea of positive ethics reform, a hot topic at the Statehouse during the past two years.”

SC:  QUIRK WARNING.  Post and Courier.  “The South Carolina Ethics Commission is cautioning candidates in next month’s primary runoff not to accept donations that put them over the per-cycle state limit.”


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