OCE on defense and political law links from around the USA

OSC:  TRUMP FAIR GAME?  OSC.  “The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has received numerous questions from federal employees regarding President Donald Trump’s status as a candidate in the 2020 Presidential election and, in particular, its impact on the Hatch Act’s prohibition against engaging in political activity while on duty or in the  workplace.”

OCE ON DEFENSE.  Hill.  “The House’s independent ethics watchdog is offering a defense of its policies governing investigations of lawmakers after Republicans tried to weaken it at the start of the new Congress last month.”

JOINING FIGHT.  WFB.  “The top lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has joined the board of a major Democratic Super PAC funded by liberal billionaire George Soros to lead its efforts against state voting laws.”

OBAMA OFFICIAL ON TWEET.  Hill.  “Former President Barack Obama‘s ethics czar said Thursday that President Trump’s criticism of retail outlet Nordstrom for dropping his daughter’s apparel brand is ‘an abuse of the office of the presidency.'”

ABE TO MAR-A-LAGO.  MW.  “If the Japanese government were to pay for the cost of Abe staying at Mar-a-Lago, experts said, the president would likely violate a constitutional provision that federal officers cannot accept payments or gifts from foreign countries without the consent of Congress. Violations of the clause — which largely hasn’t been litigated — could result in forfeiting the payments to the U.S. government.”

AR:  BILL CLEARS COMMITTEE.  KASU.   “A bill to require Arkansas political candidates file their campaign finance reports through an online system advanced out of a committee in the Arkansas House of Representatives Wednesday.”

MN:  DID BOARD ERR?  MS.  “Nekima Levy-Pounds this week chided the state Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board for its advisory opinion giving Jacob Frey the go-ahead to use money he raised as a City Council member in his run for mayor of Minneapolis.”

MO:  SENATE PASSES BILL.  CL.  “The Senate unanimously passed its version of campaign finance reform that would restrict politicians using campaign money for personal expenses.”

MT:  COMMISSIONER UPDATE.  MN.  “So far three people have applied to step into Motl’s shoes: former Billings City Commissioner Michael Larson, former political practices investigator Robert Hoffman, and Jaime MacNaughton, acting attorney for the OPP. Candidates will be screened by a four-member bipartisan legislative committee, submitted to Bullock for nomination and, barring any hiccups, confirmed by the state Senate before session’s end.”

NM:  LOBBYIST SPENDING.  NMI.  “Plenty of wining and dining of lawmakers occurred in the past week, as lobbyist spending during the session neared $107,000.”


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