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Category Archives: Campaign Finance

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Exempt Organization Attorneys Raise Comments and Concerns to IRS

Posted in Campaign Finance

By Stefan Passantino Last week, we reported on the bipartisan coalition of lawyers representing tax-exempt 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations that issued joint comments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commending the IRS for attempting to bring additional clarity to political activities by tax-exempt organizations. The comments also highlight the key ways in which current proposed regulatory rulemaking… Continue Reading

Newly Proposed IRS Rules Could Change the Landscape of Political Engagement for 501(c)(4) Social Welfare Organizations

Posted in Campaign Finance, Political Law

By Stefan Passantino, Benjamin Keane, and Jeremy Berry On Tuesday, November 26th, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced the release of proposed regulations that seek to provide guidance to tax-exempt social welfare organizations and entities seeking such status regarding the boundaries of proper political engagement under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(4) and its associated Department… Continue Reading

The Importance of Gift and Compliance Policies: A Reminder from Recent Events

Posted in Campaign Finance

By David Fine Companies who do business with the federal, state or local government must maintain and enforce robust ethics codes to comply with ethics laws at every level of government. Businesses must carefully protect themselves against illegal gift giving, via robust ethics policies, training and constant monitoring, and report of such activity. Further, companies… Continue Reading

The Lobbying Disclosure Act: A Sleeping Dog Beginning to Show Some Bite

Posted in Campaign Finance, Political Law

By Randy Nuckolls The federal Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) has been around for a long time. It was significantly updated in the 1980’s during the Clinton Administration. Then in 2007, after several lobbyists, most famously Jack Abramoff,  became notorious for excessive gifts and lobbying expenditures, Congress passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007… Continue Reading

States Continue to Chart Their Own Paths on Non-Profit Disclosure and Transparency

Posted in Campaign Finance, Political Law

 New York, California, Idaho, Montana, Maine, Maryland and Utah all take Action By Ben Keane Late last year, Politics, Law and Policy blog highlighted for its readers the efforts of several state governments around the country to turn up the pressure on politically-active, non-profit organizations to reveal their financial backers and spending activities. Leading the charge… Continue Reading

Constitutionality of Ban on Government Contractor Campaign Contributions to be Decided by En Banc D.C. Circuit

Posted in Campaign Finance, Political Law

By David Fine and Mason Smith An en banc United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will now decide the Wagner v. FEC case, unfortunately delaying an opinion on whether the Federal Election Campaign Act’s ban on political contributions by federal government contractors is unconstitutional. We originally blogged about the Wagner case last… Continue Reading

Modernizing Elections

Posted in Campaign Finance, Colorado

By David Fine According to research sponsored by the Pew Center on the States, approximately 24 million (one out of every eight) voter registrations are no longer valid or significantly inaccurate, more than 1.8 million deceased persons are listed as active voters, and approximately 2.75 million persons are registered in two or more states.  At… Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Opens the Door to Reexamination of Contribution Limits

Posted in Campaign Finance

By Stefan Passantino and David Fine Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court noted probable jurisdiction over McCutcheon et al v. Federal Election Commission, a case that has the potential to open the door to a fundamental re-examination of the constitutional issues surrounding contribution limits.  The legal questions presented by the case itself are not the… Continue Reading

New Contribution Limits for 2013-2014 Federal Election Cycle

Posted in Campaign Finance

By Randy Nuckolls Yesterday,  the FEC announced new Contribution Limits for the 2013-2014 federal election cycle.   The Individual contribution limit was increased from $2,500 to $2,600 per person per election.  The limit for individual contributions to a national party committee was raised from $30,800 to $32,400 and the total individual overall biennial limit was raised… Continue Reading

US House Ethics Committee Mandates Greater Transparency for Travel and Disclosure

Posted in Campaign Finance

By Stefan Passantino In the past month, the United States House Committee on Ethics has issued two comprehensive “pink sheets” implementing new disclosure requirements for privately sponsored travel and for member finances.  Both sets of requirements are designed to increase transparency and public trust in government but also provide significant compliance challenges for the private… Continue Reading

States Lead the Charge on Pressuring Donor Disclosure by Politically-Active, Non-Profit Organizations

Posted in Campaign Finance

By Benjamin Keane In our initial Political Law and Campaign Finance Update posting before Thanksgiving, we introduced the readers of the Politics, Law and Policy Blog to several campaign finance reform “roadmaps” being proposed for consideration at the federal level in 2013.  The call for substantive changes in the rules governing the interplay of money… Continue Reading

Political Law Developments to Watch For in 2013

Posted in Campaign Finance, Political Law

By Stefan Passantino The Election of 2012 demonstrated in the starkest possible terms how formerly unheralded nuances of federal election and tax law have the capacity to affect the fundamental underpinnings of our democracy in the most direct way possible.  Never before have the nation’s editorial pages and cable news airways been more active with… Continue Reading

Campaign Finance Update: Disclosure by Ad-Running Political Groups Continues to be Hotly Debated

Posted in Campaign Finance, Political Law

By Stefan Passantino As the 2012 election season heats up, outside advocacy groups are experiencing considerable influence over federal, state, and local elections. Some say that the collective influence of advocacy by Super PACs and other tax-exempt entities in favor of and against candidates is equal to, or exceeds, that of the candidates and the parties… Continue Reading

Campaign Finance Update: FEC Defends Ban on Contributions from Government Contractors

Posted in Campaign Finance, Political Law

By Mason Smith and David Fine On Monday, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied a motion for preliminary injunction challenging a 70-year old federal ban on campaign contributions from government contractors in Wagner v. FEC, No. 11-cv-1841. Key to the 26-page opinion was the judge’s finding that the three… Continue Reading