Political Law Links for Tues., 3.14

FORMS SUBMITTED.  Hill.   “President Trump’s Agriculture secretary nominee has submitted forms detailing how he will avoid potential ethical conflicts if confirmed, according to multiple reports.”

CA:  SUPER PAC HELP.   SB.  “Last spring, as he laid the groundwork for his gubernatorial run, Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa announced the formation of a super PAC he said would ‘harness the compassion and power’ of Californians to fight back against anti-immigrant policies and then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.”

NM:  REFORM GETS OK.   NMPR.  “The bill would require any independent-expenditure group — such as a corporation, union or dark money group — that spends more than $1,000 campaigning during an election cycle to report expenditures and provide information about certain contributors. Any such group that coordinates with a candidate would be subject to contribution limits.”

NM:  DISCLOSURE SOUGHT.   USNR.  “Independent political groups that spend unlimited amounts of money to influence New Mexico elections would have to report the sources of donations under a bill approved by both chambers of the state Legislature.”

SD:  ETHICS CLOSE OUT.  BR.  “Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard spent part of Friday signing a raft of ethics bills into law before lawmakers closed out the main part of the 2017 session. The replacement measures captured the best of the voter initiative while ‘avoiding the worst,’ said Daugaard, who signed off on killing the overhaul last month.”

VA: BALLOT ACCESS SNAFU.  WP.  “If two or more candidates file simultaneously, state code says the order is determined by drawing lots. But the code does not define ‘simultaneously.'”

AUSTRALIA:  FOREIGN MONEY FIGHT.  SMH.  “A deal to block foreign donations in Australian politics has broken down over the inclusion of activist groups, with no agreement between the Coalition and Labor expected in a parliamentary report to be issued on Friday.”

CAN:  REFORM LATER.  GM.  “The B.C. Liberal government has opened the door to limits on political donations for the first time, promising to establish an independent panel to shape reform of what has been described as the ‘wild west’ of campaign finance in Canada.”


Blizzard of political law links for 3/13/17

HEITKAMP AND TESTER.   WFP.  “The SUN (Sunlight for Unaccountable Nonprofits) Act would allow the public to know when donors spend more than $5,000 on tax-exempt groups that engage in electioneering and would have no impact on nonprofits that don’t engage in election activities.”

EXEMPTION ON AGENDA.  BNA.  “A unique, decades-old exemption from campaign finance disclosure rules enjoyed by the Socialist Workers Party would end if the Federal Election Commission approves a draft advisory opinion set to be considered March 9.”  Consideration was held until a later date.

FOREIGN AGENTS REGISTRATION.  Fortune. “In the filings with the Justice Department’s Foreign Agent Registration Unit, Flynn and his firm, Flynn Intel Group Inc., acknowledged that his work for Alptekin’s company ‘could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.'”

FL:  SIX YEAR BAN.  FSU.  “The Florida House has passed a six year lobbying ban on former lawmakers. Under current state law, legislators and elected officials can’t lobby their former colleagues for two years. The new plan would extend the waiting period, and block officials from lobbying any state agency.”

FL:  SIGN MONEY SCRUTINY.  PBP.  “For a campaign to spend so much on signs baffles competing candidates, sign business owners and campaign consultants.”

LA:  TROOPER SUBPOENA.  WLTV.  “Sources close to the investigation say more than a dozen current and former members of the Louisiana State Troopers Association received subpoenas Wednesday to appear before a federal grand jury in a year-long probe of campaign contributions made to several candidates in 2015 by the association and its executive director.”

MO:  A NEW MO.  KCUR.  “A New Missouri Inc., a recently founded nonprofit with ties to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, has Sen. John Rizzo, D-Kansas City, worried about financial transparency and wondering how Democrats can keep up.”

NM:  GIFT OF GOLF.   SCSN.  “Lawmakers can look forward to some golfing once the legislative session ends, thanks to $28,000 in gifts from the New Mexico Golf Tourism Alliance.”

OR:  ANTI-LOBBYING RULE OBSTACLE.   WW.  “But for a governor who has made restoring ethics to state government a centerpiece of her administration, Buckley’s hire presents a potential problem: State law may bar him from talking to legislators about the governor’s budget this year.”

WA:  UNION BENEFIT.  KIRO7.  “Several Republicans implied last week that millions of dollars from state-employee unions benefited Inslee’s campaign in 2016, during the same period when the Democratic governor’s budget office was hammering out new labor contracts with those unions.”


Deep FEC, drainage, and more political law links from the internet

“DEEP FEC” ATTACKS.  NRO.  “If career staffers at the FEC are now attempting to sabotage the work of the commissioners — who are, by law, entrusted with running the agency — that’s frightening.”

MOSTLY DRAINED.  MSMHL.  “But it leads to the conclusion that President Trump’s and his party’s policy toward the FEC will be more of the same: expect nothing from it, want nothing from it, do nothing with it. As they see things, the FEC is the swamp–but it is for the most part already drained.”

PAY TO PLAY UPDATE.  Venable.  “Government contractors should have a pay-to-play compliance plan that takes into account the jurisdictions where covered owners, officers, and employees are located, and where the company does or seeks to obtain business with government agencies.”

SUPER PAC LAUNCH.  BFN.  “This ad buy is the PAC’s second and largest of the Trump presidency, reaching voters in nine states, including Alaska and Maine, where Republican U.S. senators such as Maine’s Susan Collins could be decisive in defeating the bill.”

FEC:  WHAT’S NEXT?  Covington.  “The departure of Commissioner Ravel presents the President and the leaders of both political parties with some interesting choices.”

AL:  INVESTIGATION OPEN.  CW.  “The new attorney general of Alabama, Steve Marshall, has opened up a special investigation into the Governor. He officially recused himself and appointed Ellen Brooks as special investigator.”

CO:  CASE SETTLED.  CSI.  “The El Paso County Republican Party has come to an agreement with Campaign Integrity Watchdog to settle a case involving five campaign finance violations.”

NJ:  READY TO FILE?  Genova Burns.  “The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (“ELEC”) requires each business entity that received payments of $50,000 or more (in the aggregate) as a result of government contracts during the 2016 calendar year to electronically file a Business Entity Annual Statement…”

PA:  DEBATE IN MAYORAL RACE.  TL.  “A Pittsburgh mayoral candidate is questioning the legality of campaign finance rules the city adopted in 2015, and the city is behind schedule in complying with a key aspect of the rules.