4-1-15 political law links

TESTING COMPLAINTS.  NYT.  “The groups, the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, filed formal complaints with the Federal Election Commission against four undeclared candidates for president: Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Rick Santorum, all Republicans; and Martin O’Malley, a Democrat.”

TESTING LIMITS.  FT.  “As a raft of Democrats and Republicans line up to formally announce their bids for the White House in the coming weeks, Mr Bush and other potential contenders are already raising tens of millions of dollars through a multitude of vehicles, from traditional political action committees to ‘super-PACs’ and non-profit entities known as 527s.”

LLC GIVING.  Slate.  “Super PACs, which were created in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and a related federal court case in 2010, are supposed to be transparent political committees, publicly disclosing who funds them. However, limited liability companies such as SPM Holdings can serve as vehicles for megadonors to contribute to the groups—many of which are aligned with specific political candidates—while hiding their identities from voters.”

PAC QUESTIONS.  Newsweek. “Even within the free-wheeling world of U.S. campaign finance, Vote2ReduceDebt stands out as a cautionary tale for donors, activists and voters.”

CT:  BILL MODIFIED.  NH Register.  “The bill, which seeks to correct some problems created by the 2013 campaign finance package, will now cap the amount of money a state party can spend on a publicly-financed House or Senate candidate at $250,000.”

NJ:  PAY TO PLAY WARNING.  NJ.com.  “Tom Byrne, who was elected chairman of the board overseeing the state’s $77 billion in pension funds at the start of the meeting, said the rule change, which would expand pay-to-play rules, is ill-advised.”

NJ:  COMPLAINT REJECTED.  IBT.  “The New Jersey Ethics Commission, led by a former aide to Gov. Chris Christie, has rejected a complaint targeting the Christie administration’s former top pension official. Citing jurisdictional constraints, the commission issued a one-paragraph ruling dismissing allegations of impropriety directed by the state’s largest union at Bob Grady, a private equity executive who headed the state council that oversees public employees’ retirement money.”

NY:  LAWSUIT ESCAPED.  Law360.  “A New York federal Judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit seeking multiple injunctions over Aetna Inc.’s alleged failure to fully and accurately disclose its political spending, ruling that the plaintiff didn’t adequately plead to the standards needed for injunctive relief.”

NY:  BILL SECRECY.  Capital NY.  “After the arrest and indictment of former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, Cuomo proposed a five-point ethics plan, telling lawmakers he wouldn’t pass a budget unless the reforms were adopted.”

VA:  POST SUPPORTS REFORM.  WP.  ” What seems to be a tightening is actually a loosening, as the current limit is an annual aggregate, while the new limit would apply to each separate gift.”

VT:  RGA FINED.  VTDigger.org.  “The Republican Governors Association will pay $40,000 in penalties for campaign finance violations stemming from its spending during Vermont’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.”


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