Tax Day Political Law Links

DOJ STANCE.   BNA.  “The Trump administration has urged the Supreme Court to uphold long-standing campaign finance laws that restrict unlimited ‘soft money’ contributions to political parties ( Republican Party of Louisiana v. Federal Election Commission, U.S., No. 16-865, motion to dismiss or affirm filed 4/12/17).”

MO:  LAW IMPACT.   KCUR.  “Amendment 2 limits statewide officials and Missouri legislators from accepting individual donations of more than $2,600 per election. State campaign reports from Jan. 1 to March 31, due Monday, document the impact since the constitutional amendment went into effect Dec. 8.”

MO:  MEC EDUCATES.  MT.  “On December 8, 2016, Article VIII, section 23 of the Missouri constitution went into effect, limiting campaign contributions to candidates seeking statewide office.”

MT:  NO NOMINEE.  USN.  “Gov. Steve Bullock has yet to name a new commissioner of political practices — calling into question whether Montana lawmakers will have enough time to vet a nominee before the legislative session draws to a close, possibly as soon as next week.”

MT:  BILL BATTLE.   MN.  “Montana’s contribution limits have become something of a moving target ever since District Judge Charles Lovell first struck them down as unconstitutional in an October 2012 suit filed by conservative groups including the nonprofit American Tradition Partnership.”

OR:  DONATION ISSUE.   PT.  “But it’s a $10,000 contribution from the school district’s classified employees union to newcomer Sara Pocklington’s campaign against incumbent John Wendland that has locals talking.”

TN:  FUNDS FOR PASSPORTS.   TN.  “Sens. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and Rep. Jay Reedy, R-Erin, used campaign money to pay for passports.”

TX:  STEPPING DOWN.  TT.  “Sherry Cook, the embattled executive director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, is stepping down from her post amid a series of spending controversies at the agency.”


Political law links for 4-17-17

POTENTIAL TAX BILL PROVISION.   WP.  “As Republicans struggle to craft a sweeping tax package — a process already rife with political land mines — they are preparing to add another volatile element to the mix: a provision that would end a six-decade-old ban on churches and other tax-exempt organizations supporting political candidates.”

AFTER YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA.   BB.  “Ravel claimed that the use of Facebook and other social media platforms by political campaigns is a problem.”

REFORM SOUGHT.   Hill.  “The Restoring Integrity to America’s Elections Act aims to structure a commission that is capable of — and designed to — enforce the laws on the books.”

CA:  ADMONISHED JUDGE.  PW.  “An Alameda County Superior Court judge was publicly admonished Tuesday by a state judicial commission in San Francisco for misconduct related to campaign financing.”

DC:  ALLEGED INFORMATION MISSING.  WP.  “A D.C. Council member who is facing possible disciplinary action for failing to identify the source of contributions to his 2015 campaign also filed reports with regulators for his reelection last year that omitted information on tens of thousands in reported donations, according to a Washington Post analysis.”

MO:  WHAT’S A LOBBYIST?   KSMU.  “…[W]e thought it would be helpful to offer a refresher on Missouri law regarding what defines a lobbyist.”

NH:  REVOLVING DOOR ISSUE.   NH1.  “The executive director of Maine’s ethics commission wants to prohibit all compensated lobbying by former lawmakers in their first year after public service.”

OR:  CAMPAIGN FINANCE DROP-KICK.   WW.  “The long, strange trip that is campaign finance reform in Oregon took a new turn last week, when the Multnomah County Commission voted to send a ballot measure voters passed 89 percent to 11 percent last November to Multnomah County Circuit Court to see if it violates the Oregon Constitution.”


What are today’s Political Law Links?

BREAK THE FEC.  WE.  “A dozen House members from both parties have introduced legislation to restructure the Federal Election Commission to help break deadlocks over campaign finance law enforcement.”

TRANSITION REVIEW.   GovExec.  “The federal government’s internal auditor is commencing a review of President Trump’s transition into office, examining potential conflicts of interest, contacts with foreign government and funding sources.”

AL:  REFERRAL TO ETHICS.   DD.  “Secretary of State John Merrill said this morning his office has sent more possible campaign finance violations to the Alabama Ethics Commission.”

CA:  JUDGE ADMONISHED.   SFG.  “The state’s Commission on Judicial Performance on Tuesday publicly admonished Alameda County Superior Court Judge Tara Flanagan for campaign finance violations that occurred during during her successful judgeship bid in 2012.”

MS:  IT’S LAW.   CL.  “Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law a campaign-finance reform measure that would restrict politicians using campaign money for personal expenses.”

MO:  CHECK TIMING.   KCS.  “Six days after Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard filed legislation seeking to make big changes to Missouri’s consumer protection law, he got a $100,000 check from Joplin businessman David Humphreys.”

NH:  CASE CLOSED.  UL.  “The Attorney General’s Office has concluded Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas violated campaign finance law when he ran for governor last year by accepting and spending contributions beyond set limits for the primary cycle.”

NY:  ETHICS STATUS.  NYT. “Despite the recent convictions of the leaders of both the Assembly and the Senate and indictments against some of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s own associates, lawmakers failed to take up a raft of ethics proposals included in the governor’s executive budget.”

TN:  MOVE TO DOUBLE AUDITS.   TN.  “A state Senate committee voted unanimously Tuesday to approve legislation that would increase the number of random campaign finance audits from 2 percent to 4 percent.”