8.7 political law links

MENENDEZ FIGHT.   L360.  “Sen. Bob Menendez on Wednesday again urged a New Jersey federal court to toss his corruption charges based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark McDonnell decision, rejecting prosecutors’ argument that pressure he exerted on a doctor’s behalf to influence executive branch officials fell within the high court ruling’s narrow definition of ‘official acts.'”

SUPER PAC BLAST.   CNN.  “Two candidates for Alabama’s Senate seat railed against the involvement of a super PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the highly-contested race for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former seat.”

LEFT DEFENSE OF “DARK.”  PROS.  “The 501(c)(4) model offers advocates more opportunities to champion certain causes than its more well-known cousin—the 501(c)(3)—does. 501(c)(4)s do all the advocacy that (c)(3)s do—and more. They are allowed to do an unlimited amount of lobbying (including supporting or opposing ballot measures) and can support or oppose candidates as a secondary activity (although the primary purpose of a (c)(4) cannot be to support or oppose individual candidates).”

LOBBYING WINDS.   ECON.  “Companies pay heed to the political winds when deciding how to spend their lobbying dollars.”

MO:  NOT SHOE COMPANY.   STL.  “In another incident that shines a spotlight on the secrecy surrounding the Republican governor’s fundraising practices, a spokeswoman for New Balance Inc., a Boston-based athletic shoe manufacturer, said the company should not have been named as a benefactor to the January event.”

NM:  PUBLIC FINANCING VIEW.   AJ.  “Perhaps it’s time to throw in the towel on public campaign financing and face the reality that, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, money is speech, and speech is protected.”

NY:  ETHICS CONTACT.   TU.  “Two years after members of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics complained of interference by officials in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, telephone records obtained by the Times Union show that Cuomo’s top attorney has repeatedly called the state’s ethics watchdog agency — including several calls that took place just after Cuomo’s office received a sweeping federal subpoena.”

NY:  AIRBNB LOBBYING.   NYDN.  “The popular home-sharing site spent more than $404,200 on lobbying during the first six months of the year, including $345,593 paid directly to some of Albany’s most influential lobbyists, according to a financial disclosure statement recently filed with the state.”

RI:  BANK STATEMENTS REQUIRED.   PJ.  “The law requires all candidates and officeholders to submit bank statements to the Board of Elections following fourth-quarter campaign finance reports.”

TX:  LEGAL FEES COST.   AS.  “A year after a judge’s ruling on a Zimmerman challenge that overturned two facets of Austin campaign finance rules and upheld two others, both parties are appealing the decision.”

WA:  FINE SETTLEMENT.   TO.  “In February, the state Attorney General’s office alleged that Hunt, a Democrat representing the 22nd Legislative District, didn’t report in-kind contributions, expenditures and incurred debts quickly enough.”


8.3 political law links

FEC REFORM BILL INTRODUCED.   WBIW.  “Tuesday, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly introduced the Restoring Integrity to America’s Elections Act, which would reform the Federal Election Commission so it can carry out its intended mission to oversee campaign finance laws.”

WAIVER DISCLOSURE SOUGHT.   HILL.  “Three senators, including the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, are calling for greater transparency from the White House regarding waivers to the administration’s ethics pledge granted to federal officials.”

AL:  COMMITTEE MOVE.   TM.  “After stepping down as chairman of the House Rules Committee earlier this year, state Rep. Alan Boothe, R-Troy, has been appointed to serve the remainder of his term on the House Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee.

MI:  KALAMZAZOO CASE.  ML.  “A state Bureau of Elections investigation found Kalamazoo City Commissioner Matt Milcarek violated campaign finance law several times.”

MO:  AVERAGE LOBBYIST GIFT.  KCS.  “Missouri lawmakers and their staffs received $347,368 in gifts from lobbyists during the first six months of 2017.”

OH:  FUNDS REFUNDED.   CD.  “Deciding the money isn’t worth it, the Ohio Republican Party is returning $76,000 in campaign donations to Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow founder Bill Lager and one of his top associates.”

TX:  ETHICS COMMISSION REFORM.  MS.  “State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, asked Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday to add ethics reform legislation to his special session call, but the governor’s spokesman called the legislators’ request ‘showboating.'”

WA:  LAWSUIT ON DISCLOSURE.   AGO.  “The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court yesterday alleging campaign finance violations by the Washington & North Idaho Laborers Political Action Committee (the PAC). Specifically, the AGO asserts the committee failed to timely report a total of $350,855 in contributions and $226,600 in expenditures.”

WA:  EXPERIMENT FAILURE.   GOV.  “Vouchers aren’t being used in this year’s mayoral election. Proponents wanted to allow time for voucher funds, infused with $3 million a year in property taxes, to stockpile and give them a trial run before applying the experiment to the city’s highest office, Durning said.”


8.2 political law links

LEFT SHIFT ON MONEY AND SPEECH.   IJR.   “The Left’s solution is to regulate, regulate, regulate. By restricting what Trump Jr.—or any American—is allowed to hear and say, the Left strikes at the right of every American. It is a fundamental right of every American to speak with anyone they want about anything they want—including useless gossip about presidential politics.”

DONATION ALLEGED.  HILL.  “Ohio Rep. Jim Renacci’s federal campaign committee made an illegal contribution of $12,707 to his 2018 campaign for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, according to The Columbus Dispatch.”

ETHICS PANEL CLEARS.   WT.  “The House Ethics Committee said Tuesday it is dropping separate investigations against Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico and Republican Rep. Roger Williams of Texas.”

ETHICS DISMISSAL.   HILL.  “The House Ethics Committee said Tuesday that it has dismissed allegations that Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the leader of Democrats’ campaign arm, violated ethics rules over last year’s House floor sit-in to protest gun violence.”

CA:  LIMITS LIFTED.   SFG.  “California’s political watchdog on Thursday moving toward rescinding contribution limits for recall campaigns as a Democratic senator faces removal from office.”

MN:  FACING A FINE.  ST.  “A longtime St. Paul state representative and candidate for state attorney general is facing $20,000 in fines over allegations that he misspent campaign funds and that he did not complete proper reports on his campaign’s finances.”

NJ:  NEW BOSS.   OBS.  “The state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission is down one member again after its chairman resigned last month, leaving three of its four seats filled.”

OH:  REPORT QUESTIONS.   CLE.  “The backers of Issue 2, a ballot measure that aims to lower the state’s cost of prescription drug purchases, have criticized the campaign finance report from the opposition for its lack of details.”

OK:  MOVING FORWARD.   KFOR.   “Along with Hofmeister, prosecutors charged Stephanie Dawn Milligan, Steven Crawford, Lela Odom and Fount Holland each with two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony. The charges against Hofmeister and the others were dismissed ‘pending further investigation’ Tuesday.”

PA:  NOT GUILTY PLEA.   ABC.  “A former Pennsylvania mayor who prosecutors say sold off the powers of his office to the highest bidder in pay-to-play schemes pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges Tuesday.”

TX:  CLOCK RUNS OUT.   MS.  “Unwilling to quit a job she’s held for more than 20 years, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes signaled she will take her criminal corruption case to trial this fall as she declined a take-it-or-leave-it offer Tuesday to step down from office.”

UT:  CONTRIBUTION REVIEW.   DN.  “A Utah Transit Authority trustee is calling for a review of a $10,000 contribution made to the mayoral campaign of the board’s vice chairwoman by a company tied to a contractor on the Provo-Orem Bus Rapid Transit project.”