Political law links for Wed., 1-11-17

NEW GIFT GUIDANCE.  Venable.  “With a new administration coming into office, there will be many changes in Washington. One less noticed change comes from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) and will affect how you interact with new executive branch appointees and those career employees who stay on from the prior administration.”

SUPER PAC LAUNCH.  Hill.  “American Bridge, the super-PAC founded by Democratic operative David Brock, is launching a multi-pronged effort Wednesday that criticizes President-elect Donald Trump for his potential business conflicts of interest.”

SUPER PAC LINK.  EEN.  “Pruitt would be among the first Cabinet-level appointees to enter office with such a super PAC. The political action committees, which can accept unlimited donations from corporations, unions and individuals, are a relatively new phenomenon. They’ve been evolving since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling paved the way for their creation.”

L.L. BEAN IN THE NEWS.  PH.  “The group on Friday responded by taking steps recommended by the FEC to change its registration to a super PAC that can raise unlimited funds.”

WHAT’S GOING ON AT THE FEC?  The agenda for tomorrow’s meeting is here.

SWAMP DIAGNOSIS.  NYP.  “For Trump voters, extensive regulation, massive bureaucracy and ‘the swamp’ go hand in hand. Trump’s election was not a call to try what we’ve been trying, only harder. It was a call to try something new. Democrats may not like Trump’s way of shaking up DC, but hey — elections have consequences.”

POTRAIT BILLS.  WFB.  “Former Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) used campaign funds to pay a former staffer $7,000 to paint a portrait that is displayed in the U.S. Capitol.”

CAMPAIGN BILLS.  NBC.  “At least three-dozen municipal governments and law enforcement agencies say presidential campaigns have ignored hundreds of thousands of dollars in outstanding bills stemming from police security for campaign events — from Vallejo, California, to the University of Pittsburgh.”

NOMINEE PASSION.  ES.  “In addition to Betsy DeVos’ decades-long push for vouchers to underwrite tuition at private schools, another less publicized passion has been her opposition to restrictions on campaign contributions and her role in the 2010 Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, which opened up a floodgate of contributions to campaigns at all levels of the electoral system.”

AK:  GROUP APPEALS.  ADN.  “A group of Republicans trying to loosen campaign contribution limits in Alaska — following key decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court in recent years — is appealing a ruling by a federal judge in November that upheld the state’s strict limits.”

CA:  PUBLIC FINANCING APPROVAL.  MSS.  “Like other supposed reforms, public campaign financing collides with an overriding reality that the decisions officeholders make have immense consequences and those affected by them naturally seek to influence those decisions. Campaign contributions are one way to affect policy decisions, and if they are shunted aside, affected interests will find other ways – some even less seemly.”

CA:  BAN SOUGHT.  LADN.  “In an election season in which city politicians have increasingly come under attack for a perceived closeness with deep-pocketed developers, five council members on Tuesday sought to dispel that image by proposing a ban on political contributions from donors seeking approval for their real estate projects.”

DC:  NEW YEAR, NEW REFORM.  WP.  “The D.C. Council returned to work Tuesday, setting out a good-government agenda that will force a quick decision on campaign finance reform in a city that has been plagued by pay-to-play politics.”

VA:  NEVER-ENDING REFORM.  NP.  “The campaign funds proposal would ban candidates and elected officials from using such monies for personal use.”


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