“New ‘Testing the Waters’ Report Examines How Presidential Candidates Ignore Campaign Finance Laws & Regulators Let Them”

Release: Today, Common Cause released a new report on the many ways presidential candidates bend and break campaign finance laws as they barnstorm early primary states, fundraise, evade contributions limits, and build their campaign teams while denying they are running … Continue reading

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Federal Court Blocks Maryland Law Aimed at Foreign Spending in Elections Requiring Online News Organizations, Including Plaintiff Washington Post, to Post and Collect Information on Spenders on State Political Advertising

From today’s opinion granting a preliminary injunction in Washington Post v. McManus: In May 2018, as Americans were continuing to learn the details of a far-reaching Russian campaign to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential contest, the state of Maryland enacted … Continue reading

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“Janus Unleashed; In 2018, SCOTUS went after public-sector unions. Next up: a case that could decide the fate of public election financing.”

Mark Joseph Stern for Slate: Last Monday, the Washington Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to Seattle’s “democracy vouchers,” an innovative public financing scheme that’s already spreading to other cities. The measure has already allowed more young people, women, racial minorities, and low-income voters to contribute to … Continue reading

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Remember “American/Western Tradition Partnership” Involved in Montana Elections in Case that Went to SCOTUS? Looks Like the National Right to Work Committee Was Secretly Behind It, Violating Montana Campaign Finance Laws

Montana Free Press: Thousands of newly uncovered documents and recently filed court records bolster already mounting evidence tying the anti-union National Right to Work Committee to the political activities of conservative nonprofit groups accused of improperly coordinating Republican legislative primary … Continue reading

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Interesting Petition at Supreme Court Raises Question Whether Campaign Finance Report Must List Ultimate Recipient of Campaign Money (in This Case, an Iowa State Senator Secretly Paid to Switch Endorsement to Ron Paul)

Cert. petition in Kesari v. U.S., awaiting a response from the SG’s office. This question of disclosing the ultimate recipient of campaign money could have relevance to the Trump hush money payments issue and other issues as well. … Continue reading

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Brad Smith and Rick Hasen Join Podcast with Constitution Center’s Jeffrey Rosen to Debate: “Cohen, Trump, and Campaign Finance Law”

This is the podcast you’ve been waiting for: President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to several crimes, including illegally making hush money payments to two women alleging affairs with then-candidate … Continue reading

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In Cooperation Agreement with Government, National Enquirer Parent Company Admits It Made Payments to Trump’s Mistress to Influence the 2016 Presidential Election

From a DOJ release: The Office also announced today that it has previously reached a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, in connection with AMI’s role in making the above-described $150,000 payment before the 2016 presidential election.  As a part of the … Continue reading

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Breaking: Supreme Court Declines to Hear Austin, Texas Low Campaign Contributions Case, Takes No Action on North Carolina Gerrymandering Petition

With no noted dissent, the Supreme Court has turned down a cert. petition in the Zimmerman campaign finance case from Austin Texas. I flagged this case (along with a Montana case that the Court will consider taking up in January) … Continue reading

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SDNY Sentencing Memo: Michael Cohen “Acted in Coordination with and at the Direction of” Donald Trump in Making Two Payments to Women to Keep Them Silent About Affairs Before Election

From the sentencing memo:  During the campaign, Cohen played a central role in two similar schemes to purchase the rights to stories – each from women who claimed to have had an affair with Individual-1 – so as to suppress … Continue reading

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