Friday’s political law links, 6-17-16

POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE IN THE NEWS.  WP.  “The scheme involved Sanjay Valvani, a 44-year-old New York hedge fund manager, and Gordon Johnston, 64, of Olney, Md., who spent more than a decade working at the Food and Drug Administration, according to allegations filed in a complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney of Manhattan. Johnston served as a ‘political intelligence’ consultant to Valvani, making as much as $5,000 a month for bringing the hedge fund manager confidential information mined from his relationships with former FDA colleagues, the complaints alleged.”

EPIC ACT TARGETS FOREIGN FUNDS.  IO.  “The EPIC Act makes two changes to the forms that 501(c) organizations must fill out. The IRS form 990 would include a check box for the organizations to certify they did not use foreign donations for campaign activities. They also must certify the same information on Federal Election Commission filing forms. Lastly, the Government Accountability Office would be directed to conduct a study to examine if foreign donations are used in campaign activities by corporations.”

SCHOCK ON THE FLOOR.  ABC.  “The answer to how Schock managed a ringside seat is that ‘former members of congress retain their floor privileges,’ according to house officials and the spokesman for Schock’s attorneys.”

CANTOR NOT A LOBBYIST.  WP.  “He opened the bank’s Washington office in early 2015 but says he’s not a lobbyist: ‘I certainly know a lot of people, but I operate at the intersection of political risk, where public policy meets business-making decisions.'”

CHARITY ISSUE.  DB.  “The Trump Foundation, Donald Trump’s nonprofit organization, is under fire for allegedly operating as more of a political slush fund than a charity. The foundation is accused of violating rules prohibiting it from engaging in politics—prompting ethics watchdogs to call for public investigations.”

PEOPLE’S PLEDGE IN THE NEWS.  KUOW.  “Independent expenditures are ads that advocate for or against a candidate that weren’t made in direct cooperation with a campaign. The pledge would require candidates to donate money to charity if they benefit from one of those ads.”

RT AT THE FEC.  WashExam.  “An influential Federal Election Commission Democrat who has eyed regulations on conservative internet sites like the Drudge Report tweeted cheers for a Monday court decision supporting the administration-backed net neutrality rules for the internet.”

CO:  VIOLATIONS ALLEGED.  CT.  “On the day petition signatures were filed asking for an end to commercial marijuana in Pueblo County, members of Growing Pueblo’s Future filed paperwork of their own.”


ME:  TACTICS SCRUTINY.  PPH.  “In the coming weeks, the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices is scheduled to take up complaints against Reps. Ben Chipman and Diane Russell. And questions remain about a last-minute attempt by an out-of-state group to attack Chipman by delivering supposedly handwritten letters to some of his female supporters.”

RI:  TWEAKS TO BILL.   WPRI.  “The legislation seeks voter approval of a constitutional amendment that would allow the state’s Ethics Commission to investigate and sanction lawmakers for conflicts of interest.”

SC:  ETHICS UPDATE.  PANDC.  “After a slow, four-year march toward ethics reform, the General Assembly late Wednesday adopted two bills requiring lawmakers to disclose sources of independent income and also creating an independent investigation commission to oversee lawmaker conduct.”

BRAZIL:  ALLEGATIONS REFUTED.  B.  “Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer denied allegations he sought inappropriate campaign donations for his party and pledged to remain undeterred in his efforts to pull the country out of crisis.”


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