Shadow donor? No jail. That and more political law links here

THOMPSON CASE UPDATE.  WP.  “The funder and mastermind behind the illegal financing of Vincent C. Gray’s successful 2010 D.C. mayoral campaign and scores of other local and federal political campaigns fully cooperated with prosecutors and should serve no jail time, the U.S. attorney’s office said Friday.”

FEDERAL INVESTIGATION FOR CASTRO.  KSAT.  “The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced Monday that an investigation found Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro violated the Hatch Act on April 4 during a Yahoo News interview.”

END CU SPENDS.  WT.  “A group that wants to reform campaign finance law is buying $1.5 million in airtime for commercials supporting Democratic Senate hopeful Catherine Cortez Masto.”

SUPER PAC COH.  LAT.  “A well-connected pro-Donald Trump super PAC has failed to raise big money to support the Republican’s presidential bid, leaving him without outside resources to fight the well-stocked super PAC backing Democrat Hillary Clinton.”

LA:  SUPER PAC CLOSED.  TA.  “A Louisiana-based Super PAC supporting the candidacy of John N. Kennedy disbanded and donated its leftovers to an influential national group while the candidate himself kicked in ‘a substantial amount’ more to ESAfund, which is backing his bid for the U.S. Senate.”

MT:  CASE HEATING UP.  BD.  “After winning a lawsuit against a Republican lawmaker earlier this year, Montana’s campaign regulator is starting to pursue his case against a conservative nonprofit with connections to that same lawmaker.”

NJ: DONOR DISCLOSED.  NJ.  “A nonpartisan ethics watchdog is taking credit for Friday’s revelation that a $1 million donation to a super PAC linked to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop came from a co-founder and co-owner of local hospital system CarePoint Health.”


Constitutional amendment proposed and more political law links

CONVENTION PARTY TIME.  NJ.  “But a prominent ethics group says the national parties have gotten so good at disregarding a law that prohibited corporations from funding conventions that it was news this year when some companies said they wouldn’t give.”

CLINTON PROPOSES CFR.  WSJ.  “Hillary Clinton on Saturday will pledge to make an overhaul of the campaign-finance system an urgent priority, as she announces plans to introduce a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling during the first 30 days of her administration.”

COST OF PENCE.  NPR.  “Presidential nominees choose vice presidential running mates for what they add to the ticket, whether it be experience or the capacity to draw votes. Here’s what Mike Pence might subtract from this fall’s Republican ticket with Donald Trump: an unknowable amount of campaign cash from the financial services industry.”

PENCE AND PERSONAL USE.  WP.  “According to FEC documents, Pence spent a total of $12,867 from his 1990 campaign account for personal expenses, including seven installments of his $992 monthly mortgage and his wife’s $222 a month car payment.”

AK:  ETHICS COMPLAINT.  NM.  “A North Pole legislator has filed an ethics complaint against Gov. Bill Walker for issuing a statement suggesting he would campaign for lawmakers who support him in the ongoing budget battles.”

AZ:  CONTRIBUTIONS RETURNED.  AZDS.  “Note to local business owners: If you want to donate to a candidate, don’t write the check on your business account.”

ME:  VIEW ON INDEPENDENT MONEY.  PH.  “While most of the discussion about the dangers of dark money has focused on the federal level, the real impact may be in state races, where relatively small amounts of money, spent at the last minute, can make a big difference in a race where voters know much less about the candidates than they know about the people running for president.”


Good morning, here are today’s political law links

CONVENTION ASK.  Politico.  “Millions of dollars short and running out of time, organizers of the Republican National Convention have written an urgent request for $6 million to Las Vegas billionaire couple Sheldon and Miriam Adelson to cover the bills for next week’s festivities.”

WHITFIELD MATTER UPDATE.  RC.  “The House Committee on Ethics  has concluded unanimously that Kentucky Republican Ed Whitfield failed to prohibit lobbying contracts between his staff and his wife.”

REVIEWING REPORTS.  CT.  “What do they tell us about the region’s elected office holders? Well, Sen. Richard Blumenthal is an Uber believer, racking up $829.67 in charges from the San Francisco-based online ride pioneer. And how about over $400 for an event catered by Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ in Windsor? Yum!”

WATCHDOG LEFT OUT.  WP.  “The group’s request for credentials was denied by convention organizers — not by a congressional press gallery, as Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer suggested — then denied again on appeal. OpenSecrets asked for two passes but didn’t receive even one.”

QUESTIONS ON JET.  TP.  “It’s unclear what kind of private jet Hannity provided, but the cost of even a one-way trip on a small jet from DC to Indianapolis, which takes over an hour, would likely far exceed $2700. If so, Hannity’s contribution itself would be illegal because it would exceed the limit.”

AZ:  CFR DEAD.  AZ.  “Organizers of the referendum drive to block Senate Bill 1516 from becoming law called it quits on Thursday. Stop Corruption Now couldn’t get the signatures needed to put it on the November ballot.”

MS:  REPORT ISSUES.  JCL.  “During Jackson’s special mayoral election of 2014, examinations into then-Councilman Tony Yarber’s campaign finance reports put the now mayor on defense. A year out from the next election, questions remain.”

NV:  NEW SUPER PAC.  LVN.  “During the election cycle, money continues to pour into the state of Nevada millions of dollars at a time, and those dollars are going to races all over the ballot.”

NJ:  EX-LOBBYIST CHARGED.  S.  “A former high-ranking New Jersey official and airline lobbyist has been charged with conspiracy in a plot to help the former chairman of the agency that controls New York City-area airports get a regular flight to his vacation home.”

PA:  CLAIM OF ACCOUNTS SEIZED.  MC.  “Federal officials have frozen two bank accounts containing Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s campaign money, his lawyer claims in a court filing challenging the seizure.”

UT:  CCP WIN.   CCP.   “In an agreement approved by a federal judge this afternoon, Utah agreed not to enforce a state campaign finance law that violated the First Amendment. The complex law required nonprofit advocacy groups to register with the state and publicly report their supporters’ private information, threatening donations to those organizations.”