DOMA AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE. Caplin & Drysdale. “Presumably, the Federal Election Commission will now interpret the word ‘spouse’ to include all legally married couples where it appears in federal campaign finance law. This would end DOMA’s discriminatory impact in this area.”
DOMA’S LIKELY IMPACT. InsidePoliticalLaw.com. “The Supreme Court’s decision today invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act will impact campaign finance laws as well, probably nowhere more clearly than in casting doubt on the FEC’s February decision advising a candidate for the special U.S. Senate Primary Election in Massachusetts that he could not treat contributions from a same-sex couple married under state law as coming from a ‘spouse’ under the FEC’s regulations.”
IRS APOLOGY PAY. Forbes. National taxpayer advocate Nina Olson has proposed $1,000 “‘apology payments’ to taxpayers abused by the IRS.”
COMMITTEE SAYS LERNER WAIVED. Story here. “Republican lawmakers on Friday passed a resolution declaring that an Internal Revenue Service official waived her Fifth Amendment right last month when she proclaimed her innocence at a congressional hearing, but legal experts said the vote is all but meaningless.”
WHO GIVES. The Post. “Everyone knows that a relatively small number of wealthy people donate the lion’s share of money to political campaigns. But, you probably never suspected just how small that group actually is.”
STATE TREND: HIGHER LIMITS. Story here. “State governments from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic seaboard are attempting to blunt the influence of free-spending super PACs and nonprofits by allowing people to contribute more money to political candidates.”
NJ: DEVELOPMENTS IN PAY TO PLAY. Story here. “Birdsall evaded pay-to-play restrictions by asking employees to write personal checks for $300 or less, which do not have to be disclosed publicly, and then reimbursing them through bonuses.”
VA: GIFTED GOVERNOR. The Post. “As we’ve noted before, Mr. McDonnell has taken cover behind Virginia’s anemic disclosure requirements, which exempt gifts to family members, and has ignored calls to provide a comprehensive accounting of the gifts his family has received. He is now suffering the consequences: a slow drip of damaging revelations that threatens to destroy his political career and his otherwise admirable legacy as governor.”
DC: PUBLIC FINANCING? The Post. “As introduced, the Grosso-McDuffie bill, which is roundly supported by most of their colleagues, would allow qualified candidates to tap a special public campaign fund after raising $5,000 in small contributions of $100 or less. After that, candidates could continue to receive a four-to-one match for donations throughout the campaign.”
MD: HENSON V. STATE. Many thanks to alert reader Will Atkinson for bringing Henson v. State of Maryland to my attention. The case involved challenges to Maryland’s requirements for an authority line on campaign calls, among other points.
MO: GIRDING FOR DECISIONS. Story here. “New commissioner of political practices Jonathan Motl said he expects to start issuing decisions soon on a list of complaints dealing with disclosure of money in politics.”
EMAIL UPDATE. A small housekeeping matter: If you receive these links via email I’ve adjusted the email so that instead of displaying a generic email subject line (“Political Activity Law”), the email subject line won’t be standard. You may have to adjust any email filters you use to sort your incoming email. (If you don’t already subscribe and you prefer to read and receive the links as a daily email send weekdays around 9 a.m., feel free to sign-up here. Google’s Feedburner handles all of the details, including requests to unsubscribe.)
HAVE A GREAT DAY. It’s Independence Day week, so I’ll have a set of links today and tomorrow and after that the next set of links will be next Monday.