7.28 political law links

SUNLIGHT AND SUPER PAC.  ABC.  “Now, as Obama enthusiastically raises money for Democratic super PACs, he’s embracing some of the same secretive elements of that system, drawing charges of hypocrisy from good-governance advocates who say the public deserves to know what Obama’s saying and to whom he’s saying it when donors pay for a few minutes with the president.”

HOUSE ETHICS UPDATE.  Fox.  “The House Ethics Committee said Friday that it is looking into potential ethics violations by Reps. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., and Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.”

AK:  COMPLAINT ON BALLOT MEASURE.  ADN.  “The campaign backing a ballot measure to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in Alaska filed a complaint with the Alaska Public Offices Commission Thursday alleging that statements made by a campaign spokesperson for ‘Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2′ either highlighted a violation of state campaign disclosure laws or misled the public. ”

FL:  TRIPS IN THE NEWS.  Miami Herald.  “A Times/Herald analysis shows that since late 2011, U.S. Sugar paid more than $95,000 to the Republican Party of Florida for at least 20 weekend trips — destinations unspecified on public documents — within days of more than a dozen Florida politicians registering for Texas hunting licenses.”

VA:  WITNESS ISSUES.  WP.  “With former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell’s trial on public corruption charges just days away, his attorneys want to subpoena materials about the alleged misdeeds of a government witness, saying they might erode her credibility and the credibility of the man for whom she worked.”

WY:  SUIT ON LIMITS.  WT.  “A libertarian group has sued the Wyoming secretary of state in federal court over the state’s limit on political contributions.”


political law links

WHAT’S NEW IN COERCION.  Insidepoliticallaw.com.  “An FEC enforcement action recently made public may be of interest to organizations that use members’ dues for political activities.”

PAYSTAND AND BITCOIN DONATIONS.  MarketWired.  “PayStand, a next generation online payment solution which accepts Bitcoin as well as traditional forms of payment, is in the forefront of the newest wave of political contribution as Bitcoin donations start to hit the mainstream.”

SUMMER FUN WITH SUPER PAC NAME GAME.  Boston Globe.  “We’ve pulled some of the most ambiguous names from recent election cycles. Test your intuitive skills by matching the super PAC with its beneficiary.”

CFR AND POLARIZATION.  WP.  “We concluded that campaign finance reform was a weak tool for reducing partisan polarization, especially of the asymmetric variety that dominates our politics today.”

ROBERTS HITS WITNESS TIES TO DARK MONEY ALLIANCE.  WFB.  “Questioning a witness who said she supports additional disclosure requirements for non-profit groups that exercise their First Amendment rights to too great a degree, Roberts pointed out that the witness’ employer is funded by donors affiliated with the secretive Democracy Alliance.”

ME:  PAC FINE.  WT.  “The Maine Senate president’s leadership political action committee may be fined due to a campaign finance violation.”

MN:  FAILURE TO QUALIFY.  Star Tribune.  “Independence Party candidate Hannah Nicollet said Thursday she failed to qualify for a public campaign subsidy in the Minnesota gubernatorial race, a significant setback that’s a financial gain for her opponents.”

MA:  BILL CLEARED.  Masslive.com.  “The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed campaign finance legislation Wednesday that forces more disclosures from super PACs, an attempt to increase transparency in campaign spending in the post-Citizens United era.”

WI:  SPENDING ON DOE DEFENSE.  JSOnline.  “Gov. Scott Walker funneled more than $320,000 from his campaign account to defense attorneys over the last six months as he and his allies fought a secret probe into fundraising and spending during the 2012 recall election.”


Today’s political law links


SENATE HEARING REPORT.  KALW.  “A bill that would require transparency by nonprofit groups related to federal elections met with united opposition from Republicans Wednesday, at the first Senate hearing on what its supporters call the Disclose Act.”

SUPER PAC LIGHT.  Jackson Free Press.  “Federal law requires that money spent on such election communications is an independent expenditure that must be filed with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours when disseminated 20 days before an election and amounting to more than $1,000.”

NEW STATE EFFORT.  Politico.  “Compared to groups like the RSLC, the new super PAC will have almost no overhead costs – which is part of the group’s pitch to donors…”

TRIBE SUPPORTS.  ADN.  “The San Pablo Lytton Casino near Oakland, owned by the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, gave $25,000 to the pro-Begich Put Alaska First PAC in April, according to federal filings published last week.”

AZ:  HUSK AND THE BAR.  AZcentral.com.  “The State Bar of Arizona has dismissed an investigation into attorney Gary Husk’s role in the Fiesta Bowl scandal, but a separate inquiry remains open regarding his misdemeanor criminal conviction.”

IL:  PRO-RAHM PAC RAISES.  Sun Times.  “With $8.3 million and counting in his main political fund and no high-profile opponent yet in the race, the last thing Mayor Rahm Emanuel needs is more money.”

NJ:  PARTY SETTTLES.  Philly.com.  “The Burlington County Democratic Committee has paid nearly $3,000 to settle a campaign-finance reporting complaint that alleged a variety of violations in 2009, when its former leaders were linked to a North Jersey official targeted in a corruption sting.”

NY:  CUOMO AND ETHICS.  NYT.  “While the governor now maintains he had every right to monitor and direct the work of a commission he had created, many commissioners and investigators saw the demands as politically motivated interference that hamstrung an undertaking that the governor had publicly vowed would be independent.”

TX:  FINE FOR NOT REGISTERING.  Houston Chronicle.  “The Texas Ethics Commission on Monday leveled a $10,000 fine against Empower Texans President Michael Quinn Sullivan for failing to register as a lobbyist in 2010 and 2011, ending a two-year probe into one of the state’s most influential conservative activists.”