1-15-19 political law links

GILLIBRAND IN. HILL. “Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is expected to announce this week that she is forming an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential bid, the Associated Press reported Monday, citing sources familiar with Gillibrand’s plans.”

PAUL ON REFORM. OCR. “One very troubling aspect of campaign finance reform laws is forcing organizations involved in “electioneering” to hand over the names of their top donors to the federal government.”

HASEN ON ELECTION REFORM. SLA. “There’s no question that H.R. 1, if it passes the House, will go nowhere in the upper chamber.”

MO: PAY TO PLAY ALLEGED. KC. “Missouri Republicans are taking a standoff between area labor unions and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker as proof that her role as state Democratic chair creates a conflict of interest.”

MT: SUPREMES DECLINE. HA. “The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case challenging Montana’s campaign contribution laws.”

NJ: A MOMENT. NJ. “A strong bill to pry open the books of dark money funds is suddenly on a fast-track for approval in both the Senate and Assembly, after collecting dust for more than two years. Gov. Phil Murphy says he supports the bill as well.”

NY: LOOKING AT REFORM. WSJ. “Democratic leaders of the New York State Assembly and Senate are set to approve a passel of bills to increase voter participation and tighten campaign-finance laws. But there’s still a push to go further on some issues, including the creation of a public-matching system to finance campaigns.”


1-14-19 political law links

BORROWING FROM RUSSIA. HILL. “The Washington Post and The New York Times recently reported on two separate operations — one conducted by social media researchers and another by a group of progressive Democrats — that utilized tactics similar to those used by Russians during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

INVESTIGATIONS STAFFING. DB. “With the Democratic-run House gearing up for a marathon of hearings and investigations into the Trump administration, one prominent D.C. public affairs shop is selling current and potential clients on a new service: a team of former Hill staffers, administration officials, and journalists who understand the experience of being in congressional investigators’ crosshairs.”

JACK ACT LAW. CONGRESS.GOV. “To require disclosure by lobbyists of convictions for bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, tax evasion, fraud, conflicts of interest, making false statements, perjury, or money laundering.” A prior news report is here.

RUN SIGNAL. NYT. “Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has hired several senior aides for an expected presidential campaign, a sign that she is all but certain to join the race against President Trump and that her entry may be imminent.”

TULSI OFFICIAL. CNN. “Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said Friday she will run for president in 2020.”

AR:  ETHICS PLAN ANNOUNCED. LHL. “House Speaker Matthew Shepherd and incoming Senate President Jim Hendren say restoring trust in the Legislature is their goal in response to a federal corruption probe that’s led to the conviction of several former lawmakers and lobbyists.”

IL: ETHICS PLAN UNVEILED. CT. “Mayor Rahm Emanuel will use the even-greater-than-usual crisis of faith in Chicago public officials following the attempted extortion charge against Ald. Edward Burke to try to tighten up city rules on what outside jobs aldermen can hold and how they can influence City Council debate on behalf of business clients.”

MI: I’M GUESSING AN ISSUE? LSJ. “Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth announced his 2020 re-election bid using an Ingham County-funded email system, a move that could run afoul of Michigan campaign finance laws.”


1-11-19 political law links

TROLL OR NO?   BFN.  “Political campaigns and independent expenditure groups have adopted a variety of shady strategies and tactics that involve targeting voters with trollish behavior, and Russia’s intervention in US elections is merely part of a much larger problem.”

POLITICAL LAW MOVERS AND SHAKERS. Balard Spahr. “National law firm Ballard Spahr has significantly expanded the federal capabilities of its noted government relations practice with the addition of a prominent five-member lobbying and public policy group to its Washington, D.C., office, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.” Congrats to Kate Belinski on the move.

UDALL TO INTRODUCE. HP. “Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) is leading the effort by Senate Democrats to introduce a companion bill to a major political and electoral reform bill introduced by House Democrats on Jan. 4.”

SCHUMER’S CASE. WT. He allegedly used his taxpayer-paid state Assembly staff to work on his 1980 congressional campaign. What helped Mr. Schumer dodge the campaign-finance bullet was a combination of legal loopholes and lack of political will to force prosecution — including then-Gov. Mario Cuomo putting the brakes on legal action.

CA: PAC FACING FINE. EBT. A political action committee that has spent hundreds of thousands on local elections is expected to be fined for campaign violations, mostly from the 2016 city council race.

NJ:  FEUD AND REFORM.   WHYY.  “The continuing feud between New Jersey’s two most powerful Democrats could lead to the state finally enacting contribution-disclosure laws for dark-money groups that New Jersey’s campaign watchdog and good government activists have been seeking for years.”

SC: COMMON CAUSE SNAFU. TS.  “A longtime S.C. ethics advocate inadvertently caused an ethics stir this week when he gave copies of his book about a State House corruption scandal to members of the General Assembly.”

WA:  DISCLOSURE UPHELD.  MISS. “A split Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the attorney general’s office can pursue a campaign finance disclosure case against the conservative Evergreen Freedom Foundation.”