Loopholes, the law, and the wild west in today’s political law links

RULES FOR INVESTMENT ADVISERS.  Bloomberg.  “Arguments last month before the D.C. Court of Appeals addressed the constitutionality of a rule adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2010, which regulates campaign contributions by investment advisers.”

SNAPCHAT, CAMPAIGN LAW, AND 16.  Fusion.net.  “What is new, however, is the potential conundrum that an app like Snapchat uniquely presents. One of the key features that has made it popular with young people is the fact that its messages disappear within seconds — unless the user receiving the Snapchat takes a screenshot.”  I’m on Snapchat as ericsbrown, but I haven’t used it, yet.

OVERBY ON THE LAW.  NPR.  “Nowadays, the art of campaign-finance lawyering lies in determining what a definition fails to say — and then driving a cash-filled truck through the loophole.”

REFORMERS BUMMED.  SacBee.  “There is little to celebrate here, unless you enjoy the status quo of judicial elections and campaign-finance laws.”

WILD WEST.  USNews.  “Money has always been a force in campaigns, of course, but a series of court decisions in recent years has changed the landscape dramatically, even from the last two presidential campaigns, experts note.”

FIVE TESTS.  CBS.  “Here’s a look at some of the ways this election’s crop of White House hopefuls are pushing the boundaries of campaign finance laws.”

SKIRTING LAWS?  NPR.  “Are Jeb Bush, Other Undeclared Candidates Skirting Campaign Finance Laws?”

SUPER PACS, VIEW FROM ABROAD.  The Guardian.   “For now, though, the landscape is dominated by Super Pacs.”

CORRECT THE RECORD.  Newsweek.  “Major court decisions, like the famed Citizens United case that opened the door to unlimited contributions, focused on paid advertising and other kinds of media, such as an anti-Clinton documentary. The courts didn’t address the ability to coordinate rapid response online.”

CA:  DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS.  SacBee.  “But when it comes to California campaign-finance laws, the nearly two-dozen outside groups that have injected more than $9.3 million into the East Bay’s 7th Senate District special election are covered by much different rules.”

MD:  CHANGED RULE.  Venable.  “Now, in addition to reporting direct contributions to candidates, contractors will also have to disclose contributions made to independent expenditure groups and political parties that are ‘for the benefit’ of covered candidates.”

NY:  DISCLOSURE ORDER.  Newsday.  “Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano Friday issued orders that for the first time require the disclosure of lobbying activity on every county contract and create a registry of all local lobbyists.”

VT:  BILL ON WAY TO PASSAGE.  VTDigger.  “A lobbyist disclosure bill that if signed into law would be one of the strictest in the country got a boost after clearing a committee of conference between the two chambers.”


pol. law links

THE BUSH PLAN.  Theweek.com.  “The thinking goes like this: He can help build a massive war chest for his super PAC, coordinate very closely with Right to Rise and lay out any strategy he wants, and then cut off contact and watch from afar as the super PAC acts on his behalf once he’s officially in the race.”

FEINGOLD IN.   USAT.  “Democrat Russ Feingold kicked off his Senate campaign Thursday by taking aim at the big money in politics. There’s every sign, however, that big money plans to take aim at him.”

KY:  SUPER PAC STIR.  CJ.  “Kentucky Family Values, the super PAC that for several years has been raising and spending big amounts for major Democratic Party races in general elections, has been stirring in recent weeks.”

MT:  DRAFTING RULES.  HIR.  “Montana’s political practices commissioner on Wednesday assembled a team of lawyers to work with his staff and him to draft rules to implement a major new campaign finance law.”

NC:  FIXING ONLINE SYSTEM.  WSOCTV.  “For years, North Carolina’s Board of Elections has been trying to fix an online campaign finance system in which lawmakers report money that they receive while campaigning — essentially a database for voters to,use to research candidates.”


Secret trip funding and other political law links

HOUSE TRIP QUESTIONS.  WP.  “The state-owned oil company of Azerbaijan secretly funded an all-expenses-paid trip to a conference in Baku, on the Caspian Sea, in 2013 for 10 members of Congress and 32 staff members, according to a confidential ethics report obtained by The Washington Post. Three former top aides to President Obama appeared as speakers at the event.”

COORDINATION BOUNDARIES.  Bloomberg.  “A second, semi-official super-PAC is being formed to help Hillary Clinton, and in an unusual twist, has announced plans to coordinate with the Democratic presidential front-runner’s campaign.”

OFFICE RENTAL.  CBS.  “Sources with the building management and the PAC confirmed the lease for the space located at the Flagler Corporate Center at 9250 W. Flagler Street.”

16, TESTING, SUPER PACS, AND COORDINATION.    USAT.  “Bush is not alone in advancing his presidential bid through a new crop of big-money groups authorized by a pair of federal court rulings, including the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010. The ruling permitted unlimited spending by corporations and unions in candidate elections. Other candidates also are getting support from super PACs, and several have long-standing non-profit policy arms.”

AZ:  CLEAN ELECTIONS COMMISSION CONSIDERS.  AZ Cap. Times.  “The Clean Elections Commission on Thursday will consider a proposed rule aimed at forcing disclosure from ‘convenience corporations’– nonprofits, LLCs or other entities created for the purpose of dark money-funded electioneering.”

MO:  GIFT ISSUES.  CTS.  “An ethics complaint has been filed against a Missouri House member who says he has helped other lawmakers hide lobbyist gifts from required public reporting.”

MT:  RESEARCHER RENEGADES.  IBA.  “This is a time for a slap on the wrist — a modest fine, maybe — -not the full guns of a DA.”

WI:  PROSECUTORIAL INTENT.  WP.  “Francis D. Schmitz, a veteran federal prosecutor who heads the five-county probe, argued in recent court filing unsealed Wednesday that there is reason to believe that campaign finance violations occurred when Walker’s strategists collaborated with conservative advocacy groups during the state’s contentious recall campaigns in 2011 and 2012.”