political law links for today

THROW OUT PROPOSAL.  Sen. Hatch.  “Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen calling for the agency to cancel its plans to broaden a proposed rule that would further restrict the speech and activities of a wide range of tax exempt organizations.”

CRUZ STRUCTURE.  Star Tribine.  “Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign is asking top allies to collect at least $500,000 each from their circle of friends and colleagues and is promising those elite fundraisers coveted access.”

CLINTON STRUCTURE.  WSJ.  “Hillary Clinton’s fundraising machinery cranked up on Monday, a day after she launched her presidential bid, with senior campaign officials holding an afternoon conference call aimed at recruiting people to raise the $1 billion her team hopes to collect.”

FOUR SUPER PACS.  NPR.  “Since 2010, when federal courts approved these “independent expenditure” groups, financed by unlimited but disclosed contributions, Super PACs have gone from luxury to standard equipment for a serious presidential bid. It’s changing the nature of presidential campaigns.”

ALONG FOR THE RIDE.  WP.  “Through the years, O’Malley has received more than $77,000 in donations from Coale, including in-kind contributions, as well as a $500,000 loan at the last make-or-break juncture of his political career.”

MARRIAGE ISSUES.  RC.  “Questions about the influence of lobbyist spouses have confounded lawmakers for decades, and now confront the House Ethics Committee as it probes whether Kentucky Republican Edward Whitfield broke rules because of his staff’s work with his lobbyist wife.”

DISCLOSURE VIEW.  Politico (Bauer).  “For all the intense conflicts over campaign finance law, there should be bipartisan agreement that voters are entitled to some useful information about the hundreds of millions in political spending that, as matters stand, will go unreported. Action to rework the model of regulation we inherited from our grandparents’ concern over misbehavior in the 1972 presidential election is long overdue.”

SUPER PAC TRAIL.  NYT Ed.  “Court decisions have established that super PACs are supposed to act independently of a candidate, with no coordination permitted. But the indictment focused on the suspicious timing of hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to Mr. Menendez’s re-election campaign from a generous friend who allegedly sought government favors through the senator’s influence.”

CA:  CONTRACT APPROVED.  Patch.com.  “To ensure the county’s interests are represented in the state Legislature, the Board of Supervisors this week approved a $30,000 contract with a lobbying firm that will continue to work on the county’s behalf for another seven months, despite objections from one board member.”

IN:  QUESTIONS IN CARMEL.  Currentcarmel.com.  “Now, information has come out about a company involved in an old lawsuit with the city, Hagerman Corporation, that has reportedly donated $5,000 to Sharp’s campaign.”

MD:  PUBLIC FINANCING PASSES.  WBAL.   “Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who became the first Maryland candidate to win the governor’s race using public campaign financing, proposed restoring the check off. Former Del. Heather Mizeur, who lost the Democratic primary for governor, also used public campaign financing last year.”

MT:  CONFIRMATION OPPOSED.  HIR.  “The statutes and laws under jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Political Practices, while written carefully and with specificity, leave broad discretion with the commissioner.”

NY:  LOOPHOLE TARGET.  WAMC.  “Not only is the State Board of Elections a toothless watchdog, it goes out of its way to make a bad campaign finance system worse.”


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