Plea, recount, government employees giving and more political law links

GUILTY PLEA.  PH.  “According to federal prosecutors, [Michael] Liberty orchestrated a ‘conduit contribution scheme’ in which he convinced employees, associates and family members to each contribute $2,500 to a presidential primary campaign. Liberty then reimbursed those nine individuals a total of $22,500, violating federal laws against such pass-through donations.”

FOLLOW THE RECOUNT MONEY.  “Where will all of that money go, though, and how is she allowed to spend it? It turns out attorneys could get almost half of the money raised so far.”

LAST WEEK AT THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION.  FEC.  “The complaint alleged that the DNC hired [Cindy] Nava, a foreign national, as an intern who took part in the DNC’s decision-making or management processes and who thus apparently made a prohibited foreign national contribution to the DNC.  DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe the DNC or Nava violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act) because (1) the available information did not indicate that Nava participated in the decision-making or management processes of the DNC and (2) it does not appear that Nava made a contribution to the DNC in the form of services she provided while working there as an intern.”

ALTHOUSE ON FIRST AMENDMENT.  AltH.  “If Trump’s enthusiasm for punishing flag-burning arises out of vengeance toward his political antagonists, it only makes it worse.”

WHO ARE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES GIVING TO?  HA.  “How is it that the federal employees working at these agencies are so overwhelmingly Democratic when it comes to political contributions?”

CT:  COMMISSION MUM.  NB.  “The Ethics Commission met for almost three hours behind closed doors Monday to discuss three complaints filed last month after disclosure of the Connecticut Municipal Energy Cooperative’s lavish annual trips to the Kentucky Derby, which included municipal officials such as Mayor Deb Hinchey and Norwich Public Utilities General Manager John Bilda.”

MA:  ETHICS LAW REVIEW.  ML.  “A new task force will be formed to review Massachusetts’ ethics laws governing public employees under a law signed by Gov. Charlie Baker last week.”

MT:  COMPLAINT FILED.  BDC.  “Most details of ethics complaints are confidential under Montana law, but the commissioner of political practices who processes ethics complaints told the Chronicle on Monday the complaint filed Nov. 2 was against Public Service Commissioner Brad Johnson of East Helena.”

SC:  AUDITS WOULD BE PEACHY.  TS.  “For all of the Senate’s resistance to letting the State Ethics Commission investigate legislators and making those investigations public — both changes are set to begin next year — the Senate Ethics Committee has developed an impressive track record of spotting and prosecuting campaign-finance violations.”

WA:  GEMS IN FAILURE.  ST.  “Washington voters were wise to reject Initiative 1464, a flawed approach to reforming state campaign-finance laws. But the initiative contained some smart reforms that should be reconsidered when the Legislature convenes in January.”

WI:  IT’S COMPLICATED.  ESQ.  “Dark money helping to guarantee that majority’s permanent survival. And, eventually, an opposition party giving into the futility of it all. That’s how Wisconsin got the way it is.”

CAN:  CAP CUT.  GM.  “Alberta has introduced dramatic cuts to the amount of cash individuals can donate to political parties and candidates and limits to how much each party can spend during an election, arguing the changes are necessary to limit influence from the affluent.”


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