5.30.18 political law links

FARA AO’S COMING.  NLR.  “The Department of Justice has begun informing persons who obtained Foreign Agents Registration Act (‘FARA’) advisory opinions that it will ‘soon’ publish on its website copies of advisory opinions issued since January 1, 2010.”

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM?   ATL.  “If Republicans lose the House in 2018, expect the Trumpist right to start thinking very hard about the virtues of campaign-finance reform.”

FLEXIBILITY URGED.   HILL.  “Internet giants are pushing back against tougher election advertising regulations, asking the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to allow for some flexibility in how they disclose funding sources for political ads.”

ZOMBIE UPDATE.   BG.  “Donors, nonprofits and a lawmaker are urging the Federal Election Commission to make it harder for a dead political career to keep feeding, zombie-like, at the money left in a dormant campaign account.”

QUESTIONS ON GROUP.   HILL.  “A group tied to Breitbart News that was meant to boost President Trump‘s support among urban and African-American communities may have violated election law, according to a former Federal Election Commission (FEC) general counsel.”

MO:  CAMPAIGN FINANCE ALLEGATIONS.   VOX.  “Greitens, a Republican, is currently facing a felony charge for invasion of privacy, stands accused of coercing a woman into sex, and, according to the state’s attorney general, may have committed a crime by using a charity donor list to solicit campaign funds.”

MO:  ALLEGATIONS INDICATED.  MN.  “State law requires candidates for statewide office to form a campaign committee if they spend or receive more than $500 dollars.  According to Hafner, Greitens failed to do so until a month later.”

TX:  HOPING FOR RULING.   TRN.  “I have a supporter who is interested in contributing to my campaign specifically to help defray the costs of childcare. With this in mind, I am requesting an Advisory Opinion from your board on–if the donor is aware that the donation is for childcare–I can accept the contribution and use it for childcare.”

MEX:  FUNDING QUESTIONS.   ABC.  “For every peso declared to Mexican electoral authorities by political parties and candidates, 15 more are moving under the table, according to a report Tuesday on the problem of illegal campaign finance.”


5.24.18 political law links

TODAY AT THE FEC.   The agenda for today’s Federal Election Commission meeting is available here.

SUPER PAC SUBPOENA.   POL.  “Special counsel Robert Mueller has issued a pair of subpoenas to a social media consultant who worked on Roger Stone’s pro-Donald Trump super PAC during the 2016 presidential campaign.”

FL:  STATE OF LAW.   TBT.  “Campaigns are interpreting the law so liberally — and some experts think they will get away with it — that it could essentially render the laws meaningless.”

IA:  RUNNING CAMPAIGN.  LHL.  “A Democrat running for Iowa Secretary of State operates a political action committee that is supporting his campaign, despite a state law that appears to ban the practice, filings show.”

KY:  QUICKER TRANSPARENCY.  LHL.  “Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who has raised $1.5 million for his re-election, did not file electronically. The Registry managed to get his report up by election day, but there was a needless delay in the availability of the information to the public.”

ME:  RULES ALLEGATION.   PH. “Democratic candidate for governor Diane Russell faces sanctions from the Maine Ethics Commission after its staff found she violated campaign finance reporting law by failing to explain how she spent some of her campaign funds.”

MO:  LOOKING AT INDEPENDENT MONEY.  SNL.  “On May 10, the ethics commission decided that a politically active nonprofit corporation could be considered a ‘person’ for the purposes of that provision of the Missouri Constitution and state statutes governing campaign financing.”

MT:  LAW UPHELD.   NBC.  “A federal appeals court has upheld Montana’s campaign finance reform law by rejecting a group’s claims that it is vague and overly broad.”


5.21.18 political law links

DOJ MOVE ON SCAM PACS.   DOJ.  “U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  ‘As alleged, the defendants secretly operated numerous political action committees, raising small-dollar donations from people who believed their hard-earned money would support the causes described in solicitation calls and mailings.  In reality, as alleged, these PACs were political action committees in name only – they engaged in no advocacy campaigns, education efforts, or political operations, and donated less than one percent of the money they raised to candidates for office, all while personally enriching the defendants.  Now, these so-called PACs are no longer defrauding donors, and the defendants have been charged with federal crimes.'”

REFORMING RULES.   TRR.  “Contribution limits have become obsolete in the age of the Internet and social media because technology puts at a disadvantage candidates who are not well-known celebrities, explains Gaughan.”

CA:  INQUIRY CLOSED.   UD.  “The California Fair Political Practices Commission has formally closed two inquiries into possible violations by Calaveras County District 4 Supervisor Dennis Mills.”

CO:  ALLOWING BITCOIN.   9NEWS.  “Could Colorado be ready to accept bitcoin as a way of making donations to candidates?”

HI:  ALLEGED MISUSE.   CHRON.  “A Hawaii congressional candidate is accused of misusing funds donated to his campaigns for the state House, including using campaign money for personal expenses.”

NY:  COUNCILMAN FINED.   NYP.  “A former Queens Councilman was slapped with more than $21,000 in fines by the city’s Campaign Finance Board Thursday for numerous violations during his failed 2013 bid to become borough president.”

TX:  BLOGGER LAWSUIT.   L360.  “A Texas appellate court on Thursday held that a conservative activist and blogger who was fighting a $10,000 fine from the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to register as a lobbyist cannot use a state free speech law to dismiss his own administrative appeal of the fine.”