Thurs., 5-26 political law links

GOOD MORNING.  (Kindly scroll down if you’re interested in seeing today’s political law links.)  As I noted online yesterday, I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be relaunching soon with new content and features to fuel and further interest in political law topics! I’ll be working out some of the cobwebs on the site before going full tilt. But please be assured that is malware and virus free and open for business!  Feel free to resume sending me links, items of interests, job openings, and anything else you see fit related to political law you seek to share.

Where have I been? In June 2015 I was honored to join Cruz for President as General Counsel in the campaign’s Houston, Texas headquarters. Needless to say, the position was demanding, challenging, and exciting beyond anything I had experienced in my career. It was a privilege to work with the amazing and inspiring campaign team brought together in Houston, the spectacular and dedicated Cruz Crew volunteers across the country, and an amazing group of lawyers I affectionately call Cruz Counsel. I returned to my home in the Washington, DC area about ten days ago (with some new Texas boots), just after the campaign released its “To be continued” video.

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MCAULIFFE AND DONOR.  Time.  “Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe invited the Chinese businessman whose donations to him have been named as a focus of Justice Department investigators to a 2013 fundraiser at Hillary Clinton’s personal Washington, D.C., residence.”

FOCUS OF PROBE.  WSJ.  “A lawyer for Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday that the Justice Department is investigating whether Mr. McAuliffe may have done lobbying work for a foreign entity without registering properly as a foreign agent.”

LEAK CRITICIZED.  CBS.  “Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe repeatedly criticized the Department of Justice and FBI for leaking the fact that he is under a federal investigation.”

DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONSWSJ.  “Donors’ confusion about these issues is understandable, because political giving is governed by a crazy quilt of laws. The Federal Election Commission administers rules about contributions to federal campaigns, parties and certain political-action committees, or PACs. The FEC also oversees so-called super PACs, which aren’t allowed to contribute to candidates or coordinate with them.”

SUPER PAC AD EFFECTIVENESS.  C&E.  “In the best brand campaigns, marketers focus on repetition of an effective, but simple message to become memorable to the viewer and persuade them to take action. Many PACs and campaigns do just the opposite.”

SUPER PAC FAMILY.  BF.  “Currently, there are two main outside groups backing Trump: Great America PAC and the Committee for American Sovereignty, which was recently created by former aides to Ben Carson. But many donors have been reluctant to give to either.”

BILLION DOLLAR FORECAST.  Examiner.  “A super PAC supporting Donald Trump for president expects to raise $1 billion for the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, according to a statement released late Tuesday.”

LOBBYING WORK FOR VIETNAM.  DB.  “Foreign Agents Registration Act filings show the Vietnamese government paid the Podesta Group $30,000 per month from Dec. 2, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2015. In total, that’s about $1.08 million.”

CA:  TRUE SOURCE FINE.  TOA.  “The former 19th District senator was accused of 16 violations. The commission said Strickland, who also spent time in the Assembly, and his campaign concealed the true source of more than $65,000 in contributions.”

HI:  PENALTY ENDS CASE.  CB.  “The Hawaii State Ethics Commission announced Tuesday that it has resolved its investigation into Big Island Sen. Josh Green’s failure to disclose property he owns on Oahu.”

KS:  NEW SITE LAUNCH.  LJWorld.  “The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission was gearing up Wednesday to launch a new website that officials hope will give people easier access to information about who is contributing to political campaigns and which candidates are receiving that money.”

MO:  REVOLVING DOOR QUESTIONS.  KCS. “And under a new law passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Jay Nixon, legislators must wait six months after the end of their term before they can return to the Capitol to lobby their former colleagues.”

MT:  LATEST IN LIMITS.  HIR.  “A federal judge is considering a request by state attorneys to issue a stay on part of his ruling last week that invalidated campaign contribution limits approved by Montana voters in 1994.”

MT:  NO HOLDING BACK.  KTVQ.  “If a federal judge doesn’t postpone his own order abolishing limits on how much Montana political parties can give to their chosen candidates, both major parties indicated they may not be shy about helping out those candidates with some extra campaign cash.”

NV:  LOBBYIST REGISTRATION PROSPECT.  RGJ.  “But right now much of that influence can happen behind the scenes, with little to no sunlight. Unless a lobbyist chooses to testify publicly on behalf of a client—and often they choose not to—the public may never know who is being paid by whom to convince the Council to vote a certain way.”

NY:  FIGHT BREWS ON LLC RULE.  LOHUD.  “Gov. Andrew Cuomo ramped up the debate Tuesday when he introduced a package of bills to close the LLC loophole, which lets campaign contributors open up limited-liability companies to skirt campaign-finance limits.”

OH:  THREE BALLOT MEASURES.  WT.  ” A proposed state constitutional amendment aimed at legislator ethics will move forward as three separate ballot issues.”

PA:  ETHICS FINE.   “The Philadelphia Board of Ethics has concluded that a former deputy city commissioner solicited money from someone she helped in her office and engaged in prohibited political activity.”

RI:  REVOLVING DOOR CASE.  IND.  “On Tuesday, the state Ethics Commission found probable cause Lally violated the code of ethics and the state’s ‘revolving door’ statute, which prohibits state elected officials from accepting state employment within a year of leaving office.”

VA:  ETHICS ASPIRATIONS.  WP.  “The Alexandria City Council agreed Tuesday night to what it described as a code of ethics and conduct that is ‘aspirational in nature,’ without legal penalty.”

WA:  NRA TO PAY.  ST.  “The National Rifle Association (NRA) and a related political-spending committee have agreed to pay a combined $15,000 in fines in connection with late campaign-finance-disclosure reports made during a 2014 political campaign.”

AUS:  CHINESE FUNDS IN AUSTRALIAN ELECTIONS.  Border Mail. “A Chinese government-backed propaganda unit and a swag of companies that stand to gain from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement have made more than half a million dollars of political donations in Victoria, raising concerns about the influence of foreign donors.”

CAN:  REAL TIME PROS AND CONS.  GLOBE AND MAIL.  “British Columbia could be a leader in North America if it moved to ‘real-time’ reporting of political contributions, as proposed by Premier Christy Clark, a new report from the province’s chief electoral officer says.”


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