6.11.18 political law links

FARA OPINIONS RELEASED.   DOJ.  “The FARA Registration Unit has issued 49 advisory opinions since January 1, 2010, which are being posted on the FARA.gov website together with three other letters sent in response to requests for general information.”

OPINION ANNOUNCED.   FEC.  “The United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order in Campaign Legal Center, et al. v. FEC (16-0752), granting the Commission’s and Intervenor-Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment and denying the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court concluded that the Commission’s dismissals of the administrative complaints at issue was not contrary to law.”

PARTIES ACCUSED.   NYP.  “Up to 40 state Democratic parties could be implicated in an alleged scheme to illegally funnel some $84 million to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new report.”

SPENDING CONTINUES.   HP.  “Seven current or former members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet have spent almost $450,000 in political campaign funds since being confirmed by the U.S. Senate, according to Federal Election Commission records.”

AR:  PLEA DEAL.   AO.  “A $1 million state grant went to lobbyist Milton ‘Rusty’ Cranford’s biggest client in 2013. The same year the legislator behind the grant, then-state Sen. Jon Woods, got to watch the St. Louis Cardinals play in the World Series compliments of that client.”

IL:  USE OF FUNDS.   DJ.  “Through her campaign account, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson has paid herself a salary and part of the rent for an apartment in downtown Springfield.”

IL:  PACS PICK.   DD.  “Political action committees have created huge funding disparities in local state House campaigns.”

MT:  EXECUTIVE ORDER.   MTPR.  “Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order today aimed at reforming dark money campaign contributions.”

NY:  ILLEGAL DEAL.    ATU.  “A fundraising agreement between a statewide third party and the state Senate’s now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference has been deemed invalid by a state Supreme Court justice.”

TX:  DISCLOSURE NO BRAINER.   MSA.  “The public has a right to easily know sources of support for candidates. It can be telling if a particular industry — real estate developers, medical professionals, attorneys, public safety workers, etc. — has shown significant support for a candidate. That support could be viewed, rightfully, as influence.”


6.7.18 political law links

FEC MEETING.   The agenda for today’s open meeting is online.

RAVEL ADMISSION.   WE.  “A former Democratic chair of the Federal Election Commission who repeatedly rejected charges she was targeting Republicans and conservative websites like the Drudge Report has admitted that the agency has an anti-GOP bias.”

CA:  MEUSER WIN.  My friend Mark Meuser is moving on in California’s Secretary of State race.  I’ve had the opportunity to work with him and look forward to a hard-fought campaign.

HI:  FACING QUESTIONS.   CB.  “State Rep. Kaniela Ing has a numbers problem, and it’s not just because he’s trailing in the polls in the race for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.”

MO:  REPRESENTATION ISSUE.  HAN.  “The Kentucky lawyer who represented Gov. Eric Greitens and his campaign in the Missouri Ethics Commission complaint over a charity donor list never paid the fees necessary to legally practice law in Missouri.”

NH:  AMPING UP ENFORCEMENT.   NHBR.  “For the first time, the unit will be ‘implementing a systemic examination of the financial disclosure statements filed by every candidate and political committee during the 2018 primary and general election campaign to ensure that the report is timely and in compliance with the minimum disclosure requirements.’ The attorney general’s office also promises ‘randomized audits of financial disclosures.'”

WA:  TECH COMPANIES SUED.   FOR.  “The state of Washington is suing Facebook and Google over allegations that the two companies violated campaign finance laws.  Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson announced that his office filed two lawsuits this week against the two tech giants, alleging they failed to maintain records on entities that have purchased political ads on their platforms, violating state campaign finance laws.”


6.4.18 political law links

STRAW DONORS IN THE NEWS.   IPL.  “Straw donor schemes are surprisingly common.  Such schemes involve an individual who has made the maximum donation to a campaign and who seeks to circumvent the contribution limit by funneling money through friends and family, causing FEC reports inaccurately to list those other persons as the true donors.”

BITCOIN IN POLITICS.  CT.  “Even though the weight of cryptocurrency contributions in campaign funds remains modest, the overall upward trend is consistent with the increasing degree of mass adoption. There is little doubt that we will soon see more campaigns funded exclusively by crypto, as well as more successful bids relying at least partly on digital currency contributions. As these processes unfold, the FEC will be compelled to chart clearer rules and grapple with the problem of crypto donations’ limited traceability.”

CA:  FPPC BOOTS.   SFC.  “The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission went into bureaucratic overdrive Thursday, booting a May 24 complaint filed against supporters of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom by Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for governor.”

CA:  REGULATOR RESIGNS.   CPR.  “Fair Political Practices Commission Chairperson Jodi Remke announced on Tuesday that she will step down on Friday. That follows months of acrimony with fellow commissioners.”

CA:  MAYOR CLEARED.   TCN.  “Mayor Jim Desmond has been cleared of wrongdoing after an independent investigation found no ‘probable cause’ to validate claims he violated campaign finance laws concerning his bid for the District 5 seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.”

MT:  DECISION ISSUED.   MISS.  “The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices issued a decision Friday finding that Missoula Sheriff T.J. McDermott violated campaign finance laws.”

NY:  LLC LAW IN THE NEWS.   TU.  “Molinaro also stated on Wednesday that he would push for the closure of the so-called ‘LLC loophole’ in state election law, which allows wealthy individuals to donate essentially unlimited sums to state political candidates using limited liability companies that often cannot be traced to the contributors.”

NY:  MISTRIAL DECLARED.  WSJ.  “A Long Island judge on Thursday declared a mistrial in the case of Edward Mangano, the former Nassau County executive accused of public-corruption crimes, after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.”

TX:  CAMPAIGNS LIVE ON.   WFAA.  “WFAA looked at Texas Ethics Commission filings of nearly 400 former state representatives and senators. We found that about 40 of them had between then about $9 million in leftover donations.”

WA:  CASE SETTLED.   TDN.  “Longview Democrat Teresa Purcell will pay $14,395 to settle a complaint about campaign finance reporting failures stemming from her 2016 run for a state House seat, Purcell and the state Attorney General’s Office announced Friday.”