“Federal officials struggle to drag political ad rules into the internet age”

CPI: The American social media platforms Russian entities used to influence the 2016 presidential election are essentially attempting to regulate themselves, fearing a repeat during the 2018 midterms. Meanwhile, the federal government agency tasked with protecting U.S. elections from foreign meddling struggled on Wednesday … Continue reading

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Breaking: FEC Refuses to Act on Complaint Donald Trump Used Campaign Resources for Personal Use

Statement from dissenting FEC Commissioner Weintraub: Trump hotels, Trump steaks, Trump water, Trump golf courses, Trump wine. The Complaint in this matter cites to an unprecedented catalog of candidate-branded products and properties used along the 2016 campaign trail. According to … Continue reading

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D.C. Circuit, in 2-1 Votes, Makes It Much Harder to Challenge Decisions by Republican FEC Commissioners Not to Enforce Federal Campaign Finance Laws

This opinion by Senior Judge Randolph, joined by Judge Kavanaugh is most unfortunate. As Judge Pillard suggests in her dissent, the opinion insulates FEC Commissioners’  refusal to enforce certain campaign finance laws from judicial review under the guise of “prosecutorial … Continue reading

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“Hidden Super-PAC Contributors Win Round as Court Upholds Secrecy”

Bloomberg BNA: A federal court upheld the Federal Election Commission’s dismissal of disclosure charges involving two wealthy contributors who allegedly funneled $14 million to super-political action committees through obscure companies. The FEC’s three Republican commissioners, who voted to dismiss the charges, exercised … Continue reading

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Today’s Must Read: “Zombie Campaigns: The campaign is over. The candidate might be dead. But the spending never stops.”

This is something from the Tampa Bay Times: IT’S BEEN MORE THAN A DECADE since South Florida Rep. Mark Foley was forced out of Congress for sending sexual text messages to teenage boys. But Foley tapped his congressional campaign fund to dine on … Continue reading

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FEC Commissioner Weintraub Statement on Ongoing Litigation to Stop FEC from Revealing Identity of Those Found to Have Illegally Hid Names of Contributors

Troubling: COVER LETTER TO THE STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER ELLEN L. WEINTRAUB IN MUR 6920 (AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION) DECEMBER 19, 2017 Due to pending litigation, I must take the unprecedented step of releasing the attached statement with the identities of certain … Continue reading

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“Election officials move closer to placing new rules on Facebook and Google”

Washington Post: The Federal Election Commission moved a step closer to placing tighter regulations on Internet ads published on major Web platforms, marking a significant shift for an agency beset by partisan dysfunction and another sign that regulators are seeking to thwart foreign … Continue reading

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“Trump, Twitter, and the Russians: The Growing Obsolescence of Federal Campaign Finance Law”

Tony Gaughan has posted this draft on SSRN (forthcoming, Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal).  Here is the abstract: Since the 1970s, federal campaign finance law has been built on four pillars. The first is contribution limits on donations to candidate … Continue reading

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“FEC fines contractor that gave pro-Clinton super PACs illegal cash”

CPI: The Federal Election Commission has fined Boston-based Suffolk Construction Co., a federal government contractor, for making illegal contributions to a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC, according to a letter from the agency. The $34,000 settlement between the FEC and Suffolk appears to mark the … Continue reading

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“Trump’s FEC nominee has questioned the value of disclosing political donors”

Matea Gold for WaPo: James E. “Trey” Trainor III, the conservative Texas lawyer nominated by President Trump this week to serve on the Federal Election Commission, has challenged the principle that the public benefits from the disclosure of political donors, arguing that voters could be distracted … Continue reading

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“Russian Facebook Political Ad Buys During 2016 Election Draw DOJ & FEC Complaints”

Release: Today Common Cause filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that one or more unknown foreign nationals made expenditures, independent expenditures or disbursements in connection with the 2016 presidential … Continue reading

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“FEC Might Act on Russia-Linked Facebook Political Ads: Official”

Bloomberg BNA: The revelation that Russian sources financed political ads on Facebook in the 2016 presidential campaign could prompt enforcement action by the Federal Election Commission, agency Vice Chairwoman Caroline Hunter said. “It’s something we can and should deal with … Continue reading

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Republican FEC Commissioners Reject Comm’r Weintraub Proposal for Foreign Interference Rulemaking

Statement of reasons: The specter of any foreign government meddling in U.S. elections is an issue that we, like all Americans, take very seriously. Contributions and expenditures by foreign nationals in connection with U.S. elections are prohibited by the Federal … Continue reading

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