SENATE PANEL UPDATE. REU. “Burr told reporters the committee plans to conduct 25 more interviews with witnesses this month, but described his goal of finishing this year the main congressional investigation into Russian meddling as only ‘aspirational’ at this point.”
REID WON’T BE CALLED. WP. “Prosecutors in the bribery trial of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) don’t plan to call former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as a witness in their case, despite his presence at a key meeting in the corruption case, according to people familiar with the matter.”
MO: TARGET OF COMPLAINT. STL. “A Democratic state lawmaker is calling on Missouri ethics regulators to levy fines totaling $320,000 against a major Republican campaign donor.”
NY: BENEFIT FROM FUNDS. NYP. “City Council candidate Yoni Hikind, son of Assemblyman Dov Hikind, was employed by a Brooklyn non-profit last year that’s reaped tens of thousands of dollars from his dad’s political campaign accounts, records show.”
OK: REVOLVING DOOR RULE COMMENT. TW. “The Oklahoma Ethics Commission is considering a rule change that would prohibit lawmakers and state employees from lobbying for two years after they leave their posts.”
PA: LATEST FROM PHILLY. PHI. “A onetime challenger to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady has agreed to cooperate – and potentially testify — in an ongoing federal investigation into $90,000 he says the congressman’s campaign gave him to drop out of a 2012 primary race.”
BRAZIL: PUBLIC FINANCING APPROVED. REU. “Brazil’s scandal-plagued political class voted on Wednesday to set up a 1.7 billion reais ($542 million) fund with taxpayer money to finance election campaigns, making up for a dearth of private funding ahead of next year’s general election.”
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SCHOCK CASE UPDATE. POL. “The federal judge overseeing the criminal case against former Rep. Aaron Schock leveled an unusual public complaint Tuesday that he was misled by a prosecutor on the case.”
WITNESS TESTIFIES. CNN. “Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described an ‘unusual’ 2012 meeting with Sen. Robert Menendez at the New Jersey Democrat’s federal corruption trial Tuesday, but its details proved to be a mixed bag for prosecutors and the defense team.”
FACEBOOK EXPLAINS. BF. “The information provides the public with further detail about Russian efforts to manipulate US politics on Facebook. The company, which has been asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify publicly about such efforts taking place on its platform, appears to be doing everything in its power to show it knows what took place and is ready for similar instances in the future.”
FACING RESTRICTIONS. VERGE. “The company is still working through its response and cooperating with a congressional investigation of the Russian ads, but the result has been a crisis of confidence in Facebook’s advertising system, and the looming threat of stronger regulation from Washington.”
KING PAYMENTS. DMR. “U.S. Rep. Steve King employs his son and daughter-in-law as full-time campaign staffers, and has paid them more than $805,000 since 2004, records show.”
CA: CALL FOR BALLOT COMMITTEE DISCLOSURE. LAT. The editorial supports a bill “which would require that the top three funders of ads supporting or opposing a ballot measure be identified transparently and prominently in the ad. The same would apply to ads about a candidate, if the ads weren’t paid for by the candidate or a political party. The bill would put California at the forefront of campaign finance disclosure.”
POLITICAL LAW JOB ALERT I. WELLSFARGO. As an added service to readers, I’m pleased to pass along opportunities in the political law field you may find interesting. They’re looking for a Government Relations and Political Law Attorney with two years of experience. If your organization has an opening you’d like me to distribute, let me know.
POLITICAL LAW JOB ALERT II. GOOGLE. They’re looking for an Ethics and Compliance Associate Counsel with three years of attorney experience.
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RUSSIA-LINKED ADS UPDATE. WP. “Facebook says ads that ran on the company’s social media platform and have been linked to a Russian internet agency were seen by an estimated 10 million people before and after the 2016 election.”
VOTER ID AND INFLUENCE. WP. “The Web sites and Facebook pages displayed ads or other messages focused on such hot-button issues as illegal immigration, African American political activism and the rising prominence of Muslims in the United States. The Russian operatives then used a Facebook ‘retargeting’ tool, called Custom Audiences, to send specific ads and messages to voters who had visited those sites, say people familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details from an ongoing investigation.”
TRIAL UPDATE. NJ. “[Menendez’s attorneys] have also said that Menendez’s meetings with government officials — though they could have aided Melgen’s business interests — were ‘what members of Congress do’ and were meant to influence future policy.”
MO: PAC GROWTH. STL. “New limits on campaign contributions may mean the end of an era of mega-donors writing huge checks to individual candidates, but the caps haven’t stopped the flow of money into Missouri politics.”
NJ: OFFICIAL SENTENCED. MH. “An official with a politically connected engineering firm won’t have to serve a jail term for his role in a scheme in which the firm made more than $1 million in illegal campaign contributions.”
NY: BOARD MUZZLE. NYP. “Albanese says he meets the criteria to participate, because he has raised and spent the minimum $174,225 for mayoral candidates.”
NY: PROBATION IN SCANDAL. WSJ. “A former managing director of institutional fixed-income sales at a broker-dealer avoided jail after admitting she gave free trips and other perks to an ex-New York State pension fund manager to steer trading business to her firm.”
TX: NEW LIMITS PROPOSED. AS. “More than a year after a judge threw out limits on when candidates for the Austin City Council may raise campaign cash, council members are looking at establishing a wider fundraising window they hope will survive challenges.”
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