News You Can Use Digest - May 27, 2022 - State and Federal Communications

May 27, 2022  •  

News You Can Use Digest – May 27, 2022


After Texas Shooting, Republicans Face Online Anger Over NRA Money
MSN – Timothy Bella (Washington Post) | Published: 5/25/2022

While some Republicans in Congress offered their thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, critics have been quick to point out the millions of dollars that GOP lawmakers have taken from the National Rifle Association (NRA) in contributions over the years. Nineteen current or recent Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have taken at least $1 million each in campaign contributions from the NRA over their careers. The mass shooting at the elementary school, and President Biden’s plea for lawmakers to push back on the gun lobby, have magnified attention on the NRA.

Ethics Law Offers Possible Path for Trump Prosecution
Yahoo News – Rebecca Beitsch (The Hill) | Published: 5/24/2022

The Hatch Act prohibits electioneering by executive branch officials, including the promotion of the president’s political interests, during their formal duties. The law was regularly flouted by the Trump administration while in office, a trend that continued throughout the two months between the presidential election and the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. While the law has been used almost entirely administratively since it was passed in the 1930s, experts say a rarely used criminal provision of the law could be a novel and relatively straightforward strategy to ensure consequences for Trump over the insurrection.

Former Interior Secretary Didn’t Violate Lobbying Laws, Watchdog Finds
MSN – Joshua Partlow (Washington Post) | Published: 5/19/2022

The Interior Department’s internal watchdog said it found no evidence that former Secretary David Bernhardt violated lobbying laws regarding a former client, a California water district that is the nation’s largest agricultural water supplier, although he continued to advise them on legislative matters on occasion after he stopped being their lobbyist. The report concluded that “the conduct we identified, standing alone, did not show that Mr. Bernhardt acted as a lobbyist within the meaning of the” 1995 Lobbying Disclosure Act.

House Ethics Committee Investigating Reps. Cawthorn, Jackson, Mooney
MSN – Felicia Sonmez, Amy Wang, and Marianna Sotomayor (Washington Post) | Published: 5/23/2022

The House ethics committee said it is investigating a trio of Republican lawmakers over allegations ranging from accepting a “free or below-market-value trip” to Aruba to engaging in an improper relationship with a staffer. One of the lawmakers, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, lost his primary race. The other two are Reps. Ronny Jackson and Alex Mooney.

Insurrectionists Can Be Barred from Office, Appeals Court Says
MSN – Rachel Weiner (Washington Post) | Published: 5/24/2022

Participants in an insurrection against the government can be barred from holding office, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled. The decision came in the case of Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who before losing his House primary faced a challenge from North Carolina voters arguing his actions around the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack made him ineligible for future public service. Cawthorn suggested his case was moot given his primary loss, but the court disagreed, given the election had not yet been certified and because the same issue could come up in another campaign.

January 6 Committee Investigating Capitol Tour Given by GOP Lawmaker on the Eve of the Insurrection
CNN – Ryan Nobles, Annie Grayer, and Zachary Cohen | Published: 5/19/2022

The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection said it has evidence U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk led a tour of the Capitol complex the day before pro-Trump rioters stormed the building, according to a letter requesting the lawmaker’s voluntary cooperation with their ongoing probe. The committee is now looking for more information from Loudermilk about the purpose of the tour he led on January 5, 2021, and its participants. The letter comes more than a year after some House Democrats accused Republicans of providing tours in the days leading up to January 6 to individuals who later stormed the Capitol.

Kemp, Raffensperger Win in Blow to Trump and His False Election Claims
MSN – Colby Itkowitz and David Weigel (Washington Post) | Published: 5/24/2022

Georgia Republican primary voters rejected former President Trump’s attempt to unseat GOP officeholders who refused to join his fight to overturn the 2020 election, as Gov. Brian Kemp defeated challenger David Perdue in a landslide and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger won re-nomination. Some powerful Republicans saw the Georgia primary as a potential inflection point that could shift the party away from re-litigating the last election and blunt Trump’s efforts to turn many primaries into score-settling affairs over 2020 and attempts to install loyalists pledging fealty in future elections.

Kushner’s and Mnuchin’s Quick Pivots to Business with the Gulf
Yahoo News – Kate Kelly and David Kirkpatrick (New York Times) | Published: 5/23/2022

A recent New York Times report that revealed Saudi investments in the Abraham Fund, a project spearheaded by Jared Kushner and Steve Mnuchin that they said would raise $3 billion for projects around the Middle East, raised alarms from ethics experts and Democratic lawmakers about the appearance of potential payoffs for official acts during the Trump administration. But with no accounts, employees, income, or projects, the fund vanished when Trump left office. An examination of the two men’s travels toward the end of the Trump presidency raises other questions about whether they sought to exploit official relationships with foreign leaders for private business interests.

New Rules on MPs Freebies and Lobbying Crackdown Welcomed Amid Calls for Further Restrictions on Second Jobs
Yahoo News – Henry Dyer (Business Insider) | Published: 5/24/2022

The House of Commons Standards Committee published a report proposing updates to ethics rules for Members of Parliament (MPs). Observers cautiously welcomed proposals from the committee to tighten rules for MPs on declaring gifts and bans on lobbying, while urging more action on second jobs and the necessity to uphold ethical standards in public life. The proposal to change the rules on how ministers declare gifts is likely to cause friction with the government. But the committee sided with witnesses who argued having one rule for backbench MPs and another for ministers did not make sense.

Senate Confirms Democratic Nominee to FEC
MSN – Kate Ackley (Roll Call) | Published: 5/24/2022

The Senate confirmed Dara Lindenbaum to serve on the FEC. An election lawyer with the firm Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock, Lindenbaum will fill the seat of Steven Walther, an independent who was picked by Democrats and had been serving on a long-expired term. When she joins the agency, five commissioners will have been confirmed since May 2020. Commissioner Ellen Weintraub has served since 2002.  Lindenbaum said she would recuse herself for two years from cases involving her own clients or those of her firm.

Stefanik Echoed ‘Great Replacement’ Theory. But Firms Kept Donating.
MSN – Todd Frankel and Dylan Freedman (Washington Post) | Published: 5/23/2022

As companies pledged support and money to fight racism following George Floyd’s killing in May 2020, Tom Naratil, U.S. president of the financial firm UBS, told his 20,000 workers, “Silence is not an option.” It donated more than $3 million to racial justice groups and joined an industry push to combat economic disparities based on race. But UBS Americas also donated $17,500 to the campaign and PACs of U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, the number three House Republican, after she was widely criticized for echoing the white supremacist “great replacement” theory in campaign advertisements late last year.

Trump Lawyers Are Focus of Inquiry into Alternate Electors Scheme
MSN – Alan Feuer, Katie Benner, and Luke Broadwater (New York Times) | Published: 5/25/2022

The Justice Department has stepped up its criminal investigation into the creation of alternate slates of pro-Trump electors seeking to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, with a particular focus on a team of lawyers that worked on behalf of former President Trump. A federal grand jury has started issuing subpoenas to people linked to the alternate elector plan, requesting information about several lawyers including Rudolph Giuliani and one of Trump’s legal advisers, John Eastman.

From the States and Municipalities

Alaska A Last-Minute Deal to Restore Alaska’s Campaign Finance Limits Fell Through. Here’s How.
Yahoo News – Nathaniel Herz (Anchorage Daily News) | Published: 5/20/2022

A last-minute deal in the state Legislature to restore donation limits to Alaska’s political campaigns collapsed during the legislative session allowing wealthy donors to spend unlimited sums on state elections this year as good government advocates contemplate a citizens initiative to reimpose the caps. One key opponent of campaign finance limits said he was pleased lawmakers did not restore caps this year. The result, he argued, is more money will go from donors directly to politicians, rather than to independently spending groups that are unaffiliated with candidates.

Arizona Ginni Thomas, Wife of Supreme Court Justice, Pressed Ariz. Lawmakers to Help Reverse Trump’s Loss, Emails Show
MSN – Emma Brown (Washington Post) | Published: 5/20/2022

Virginia Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona lawmakers after the 2020 election to set aside Joe Biden’s popular-vote victory and choose “a clean slate of Electors,” according to emails. The emails, sent by Virginia Thomas to a pair of lawmakers on November 9, 2020, argued legislators needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud. The messages show that Virginia Thomas, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, was more deeply involved in the effort to overturn Biden’s win than has been previously reported.

California Anaheim Mayor Resigns Amid Corruption Probe into His Role in Angel Stadium Land Sale
Yahoo News – Nathan Fenno, Seema Mehta, Adam Elmahrek, and Gabriel San Román (Los Angeles Times) | Published: 5/23/2022

Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu resigned in the face of a growing federal corruption investigation. Another prominent figure caught up in the probe, Melahat Rafiei, announced she was stepping down as a member of the Democratic National Committee and as state party secretary. A search warrant affidavit alleged Sidhu gave the Los Angeles Angels confidential information on at least two occasions during the city’s negotiations with the team over the $320-million Angel Stadium sale and hoped to get a million-dollar campaign donation from the team. The affidavit also accuses the mayor of obstructing a grand jury investigation into the deal.

Florida 11th Circuit Blocks Major Provisions of Florida’s Social Media Law
MSN – Cat Zakrzewski (Washington Post) | Published: 5/23/2022

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled it is unconstitutional for Florida to bar social media companies from banning politicians, a major victory for tech companies fighting another appeals court ruling that allowed a similar law in Texas to take effect. A three-judge panel of the court unanimously rejected many of the legal arguments that conservative states have been using to justify laws governing the moderation policies of major tech companies after years of accusing the companies of bias against their viewpoints.

Florida Central Florida ‘Ghost’ Candidate, Other Figures Tied to Scandal Charged
MSN – Annie Martin and Jeff Weiner (Orlando Sentinel) | Published: 5/24/2022

A Republican political consultant, a sham candidate, and a former mayor are facing criminal charges in connection to a campaign finance scheme that is linked to a widening political scandal involving Florida Senate elections and “dark money” groups. Criminal charges were filed against the consultant, James Foglesong, and the candidate, Jestine Iannotti, who moved to Sweden soon after the November 2020 election, and former Mayor Benjamin Paris. Iannotti’s candidacy and those of two other candidates who also did no campaigning was promoted by a pair of entities chaired by political consultant Alex Alvarado, with ads prosecutors have said were tailored to siphon votes from the Democrats in each race.

Georgia Grand Jury Indicts Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner Oxendine on Fraud Charges
Insurance Journal – Kate Brumback (Associated Press) | Published: 5/23/2022

A former Georgia insurance commissioner was indicted on federal charges related to an alleged health care scheme. Prosecutors say John Oxendine conspired with Dr. Jeffrey Gallups and others to submit fraudulent insurance claims for medically unnecessary tests to a laboratory in Texas. Oxendine and Gallups entered into an agreement for the company to pay Gallups a kickback of 50 percent of the profit for specimens submitted by Gallups’ practice for testing, the indictment says. The company paid the kickbacks through Oxendine, who kept part of the money for himself.

Illinois Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Swept into Office as an Avowed Reformer. Three Years Later, Critics See ‘Missed Opportunities’ and a Mixed Record
MSN – Gregory Pratt and Alice Yin (Chicago Tribune) | Published: 5/22/2022

As a candidate for mayor, Lori Lightfoot promised to transform Chicago’s often corrupt political culture, in part by taking away the near-total power that city council members have over matters in their own wards and by leading a transparent government. But activists and aldermen say the city’s political culture largely remains intact. Lightfoot has already faced criticism she has abandoned core issues on openness, ethics, and political reform that she campaigned on.

Illinois Ex-State Rep. Luis Arroyo Gets Nearly 5 Years in Prison for Sweepstakes Bribery Scheme
WTTW – Matt Masterson | Published: 5/25/2022

Former Illinois Rep. Luis Arroyo, who last year pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme in which he offered a member of the Illinois Senate monthly payments to support a bill that sought to legalize sweepstakes machines, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison. At the time of his indictment, Arroyo was registered as a Chicago lobbyist. Prosecutors allege he was paid tens of thousands of dollars by James Weiss, the owner of a sweepstakes firm, to push legislation that would have legalized gambling machines.

Illinois Michael Madigan Spoke with Confidant About Helping Lobbyist Find Work with Gaming Industry, Affidavit Alleges
MSN – Ray Long and Jason Meisner (Chicago Tribune) | Published: 5/24/2022

It is no secret that Michael Madigan, the indicted ex-speaker of the Illinois House, for years generated staffers and others who toiled in the legislative arena and then cashed in as lobbyists. But it was rare to catch Madigan allegedly playing matchmaker. Now a recently unsealed court filing documented a secret recording of Madigan allegedly talking about connecting a lobbyist looking for work to one of the state’s lobbying interests – the gambling industry.

Kansas Hunter Larkin Steps Down as Goddard Mayor Amid Questions About Developer Influence
MSN – Matthew Kelly (Wichita Eagle) | Published: 5/17/2022

Hunter Larkin resigned as mayor of Goddard, Kansas, after ethics questions were raised about his relationship with developers who have worked around contribution limits to bolster his campaign while actively doing business with City Hall. Larkin, 23, who is running for a seat in the state Legislature, resigned three days after a Wichita Eagle opinion column about the campaign contributions. The Eagle reported Larkin received $2,000 in bundled contributions to circumvent the state’s $500 donation limit from homebuilder Bryan Langaly and partners who are developing a complex in Goddard.

Kentucky A Kentucky Lawyer Ran Against the Judge on Her Contentious Divorce Case. She Won, Kind Of.
Yahoo News – Andrew Wolfson (Louisville Courier Journal) | Published: 5/19/2022

A lawyer who filed to run for Family Court in Oldham, Henry, and Trimble counties against the incumbent judge presiding over her contentious divorce is one step closer to serving on the bench. Joni Bottoff was the second-highest vote-getter in the three-person race, meaning she will move on to the general election in November. Bottorff, whose practice is focused on estate planning and probate, had never filed a divorce case or practiced family law. But by entering the race, Bofforff forced Doreen Goodwin to recuse herself from her long-running divorce case in which Goodwin twice found Bottorff in contempt of court.

Missouri Missouri Proposal Would Allow More Businesses to Contribute Money to Candidates
St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Kurt Erickson | Published: 5/25/2022

A proposed change in Missouri ethics laws will allow some businesses to write checks directly to candidates for office. The legislation would allow limited liability companies with specific tax status to donate money to politicians. Under the plan, the companies would have to be in business for at least one year and would have to register with the Missouri Ethics Commission. The bill contains no language on how exactly regulators would ensure the companies are real and not just legal vessels for moving “dark money” into political accounts.

Missouri Parson Fills Missouri Ethics Commission Vacancies After Dive Dismissed Complaints
MSN – Kacen Bayless (Kansas City Star) | Published: 5/25/2022

Gov. Mike Parson announced two new members to the Missouri Ethics Commission, providing enough members for the watchdog to act on complaints after more than two months without a quorum. Their appointments are interim, meaning the state Senate will have to confirm them when the Legislature reconvenes in January.

Montana Pastor Apologizes, Retracts Article About Transgender Native lobbyist, Fabricated Incident
Daily Montanan – Darrell Erhlick | Published: 5/25/2022

Pastor Jordan Hall admitted he fabricated a story about a transgender Native American lobbyist, Adrian Jawort, allegedly berating a state senator so badly that the senator sought the protection of the chamber’s sergeant-at-arms. The settlement and a potential $250,000 claim was reached as Hall is going through the bankruptcy process, seeking protection from a libel case, as well as discharging attorney’s fees he racked up during the fight.

New Mexico Governor’s Mansion Used State Funds for Party Costs
Santa Fe New Mexican – Daniel Chacón | Published: 5/25/2022

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office tapped into a taxpayer-funded expense account to pay for a political event at the governor’s mansion in October, prompting her reelection campaign to quietly reimburse the state two months later. Documents show New Mexicans for Michelle, the governor’s campaign committee, issued the state a $1,837 check to pay for expenses stemming. The reimbursement appeared in the governor’s campaign finance reports as a “campaign event.”

New York Adams’ Pick for Sheriff Faces Over Campaign Finance Irregularities
Yahoo News – Joe Anuta (Politico) | Published: 5/23/2022

Anthony Miranda was running in a crowded race for New York City Council last year when, with primary day approaching, he lent his campaign $11,000. After a late-breaking infusion of public matching funds, the campaign paid back the $11,000 a day before the primary, along with $1,320 in interest. That repayment would far exceed interest rates laid out in New York’s civil and criminal usury laws and appears to have violated election statutes that prohibit candidates from personally profiting from their campaigns. Now Mayor Eric Adams has turned to Miranda, who lost his council race, to become the New York City sheriff.

New York Bronx Nonprofit Head Who Stole from Homeless New Yorkers Gets 27 Months Prison Time
New York Daily News – Molly Crane-Newman | Published: 5/22/2022

The head of one of New York City’s largest homeless housing providers was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked for the city’s neediest residents. Bronx Parent Housing Network Chief Executive Officer Victor Rivera collected the cash through bribes and kickbacks on top of his $453,000 salary during a surge of homelessness between 2013 and 2020, authorities said. He handpicked and overpaid contractors at construction, security, and real estate firms for projects at soup kitchens, shelters, and affordable-housing facilities in exchange for some of the city money he used to pay them.

Ohio FirstEnergy’s PAC Resumes Political Donations, Ending Ban After House Bill 6 Bribery Scandal
MSN – Jeremy Pelzer (Cleveland Plain Dealer) | Published: 5/20/2022

FirstEnergy’s PAC resumed making donations in April for the first time since October 2020. Chief Executive Officer Steven Strah announced in early 2021 that the company halted political contributions due to the House Bill 6 scandal. While FirstEnergy’s PAC has paused political spending for the past 19 months, it continued to raise money. As of April 30 of this year, the PAC reporting having more than $1.8 million in its bank account. Company spokesperson Jennifer Young said the utility decided to resume giving following a “comprehensive review” in conjunction with the company’s compliance and legal groups to “identify areas of improvement.”

Ohio Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted Takes Paid Corporate Board Job with Community Bank
MSN – Andrew Tobias (Cleveland Plain Dealer) | Published: 5/23/2022

A community bank in the Columbus area tapped Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted to be a paid member of its corporate board. Heartland BancCorp, which does business as Heartland Bank, appointed Husted to the company’s board of directors in March 2022. Husted’s office could not provide any immediate historic precedent for a statewide elected official taking a paid corporate board job. Paul Nick, executive director of the Ohio Ethics Commission, said there is nothing in state ethics law that permits or prohibits a lieutenant governor from holding outside work.

Ohio Ohio Supreme Court Again Invalidates Redistricting Map, Won’t Hold Redistricting Commission in Contempt
MSN – Jeremy Pelzer and Andrew Tobias (Cleveland Plain Dealer) | Published: 5/25/2022

The Ohio Supreme Court rejected a resubmitted legislative redistricting plan from the state’s Redistricting Commission and gave the commission until June 3 to pass an entirely new map. The decision likely means a federal court will soon order Ohio to hold an August 2 legislative primary using the rejected map, which has now twice been ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court.

Oklahoma Billionaires Pushing Charter Schools Fund Oklahoma Education Secretary’s Six-Figure Salary
Oklahoma Watch – Clifton Adcock and Reese Gorman (The Frontier) and Jennifer Palmer | Published: 5/20/2022

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed legislation that would have required Cabinet members to file public reports to disclose their finances. If Stitt had signed the bill, Oklahomans would learn Secretary of Education Ryan Walters makes at least $120,000 a year as executive director of a nonprofit organization that keeps its donors secret. Walters is also paid about $40,000 a year by the state. A media investigation found much of Every Kid Counts Oklahoma’s funds come from national school privatization and charter school expansion advocates, including the Walton Family Foundation and an education group founded by Charles Koch.

Oklahoma Measure to Prohibit ‘Dark Money’ in Tribal Politics Signed into Cherokee Law
KFOR – K. Query-Thompson | Published: 5/25/2022

A measure that reforms the tribe’s election code, which included provisions to prevent “dark money” from coming into tribal elections, has been signed into Cherokee law. Under the reforms, any “person or entity” involved in making independent expenditures is subject to criminal sanctions, including up to two years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine and civil penalties of up to $500,000.

Pennsylvania Doug Mastriano’s Pa. Victory Could Give 2020 Denier Oversight of 2024
MSN – Rosalind Helderman, Isaac Arnsdorf, and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post) | Published: 5/18/2022

As a state senator and gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano railed against the rampant fraud he believes was responsible for Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat. He vowed to decertify voting machines in counties where he suspects the result was rigged. He asserted the Republican-controlled Legislature should have the right to take control of the all-important choice over which presidential electors to send to Washington, D.C. He would gain significant influence over the administration of the battleground state’s elections should he prevail in November, worrying experts already fearful of a democratic breakdown around the 2024 presidential contest.

Pennsylvania Mail Ballots Spark Bitter Dispute in Pa. GOP Senate Race
MSN – Holly Otterbein and Zach Montellaro (Politico) | Published: 5/24/2022

Republicans had hoped they would be united behind a nominee in Pennsylvania’s Senate GOP race by now. Instead, a bitter fight over mail ballots in the still-too-close-to-call contest is driving a wedge between Republicans ahead of the general election in the battleground state. David McCormick, who is trailing Dr. Mehmet Oz by fewer than 1,000 votes, is going to court to direct election officials to count mail-in and absentee ballots that do not have a written date on their envelopes. Oz has taken the opposite position, arguing those ballots should be rejected.

Tennessee Governor to Sign Ethics Reform Bill into Law Despite Call for Veto
Tennessee Lookout – Sam Stockard | Published: 5/24/2022

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said he will sign into law a bill requiring “dark-money” groups to disclose their political expenditures before elections. The governor said he supports the bill despite opposition from groups with 501(c)4 federal tax status that oppose the legislation. Supporters of the legislation argued it would apply only to expenditures by 501(c) groups when they spend a total of $5,000 on an election within 60 days of the vote.

Tennessee Trooper Removes Angry Man from Meeting After Reportedly Making Threats Against the TN Registry
WTVF – Jennifer Kraus | Published: 5/18/2022

A man who reportedly made threats against the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance was escorted out of a meeting of the registry by a state trooper. Mark Clayton, who unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012 and then tried to run for governor in 2014, showed up at the registry’s regular meeting and stood up as the board was considering a case. Clayton rambled for a bit and made disparaging comments about the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office. Registry members were confused and as they tried to ask Clayton what his connection was to the case, Clayton appeared to grow agitated and started to raise his voice. He was asked to quiet down, but he yelled back at Registry member Tom Lawless, “I need to be quiet?”

Texas Law to Crack Down on Lobbyists Ensnares Two Former Texas House Members
Texas Tribune – Patrick Svitek | Published: 5/19/2022

A Texas law says former members of the Legislature cannot engage in activities that require them to register as a lobbyist if they have made a political contribution using campaign funds in the past two years. It is meant to prevent a situation where, for example, a lawmaker spreads campaign money around to colleagues, steps down, or loses reelection and then goes to lobby those same colleagues a short time later. Former state Reps. Eddie Lucio III and Chris Paddie registered as lobbyists recently despite using campaign cash for political contributions in the past two years. But after media inquiries, they decided to suspend their registration.

Virginia Former Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison
Yahoo News – Jane Harper (Virginian-Pilot) | Published: 5/20/2022

Former Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe was sentenced to 12 years in prison after his conviction on nearly a dozen bribery and public corruption charges. Testimony at his trial showed McCabe accepted lavish gifts and thousands of dollars in cash from two businesspeople who had longtime contracts with the city jail. In exchange, the vendors got inside information about the bidding process as well as contract extensions and enhancements that greatly benefited them.

Wisconsin Senate Candidates Can Avoid Financial Disclosure Before Primaries. Watchdogs Say That’s a Problem – Alexander Shur (Wisconsin State Journal) | Published: 5/23/2022

Millionaire Alex Lasry is one of at least several U.S. Senate candidates in Wisconsin who received an extension to file an annual financial disclosure report after their partisan primary, which watchdogs say violates the spirit of a law meant to help voters stay informed.  Lasry’s 90-day extension allows him to file a report outlining his assets by August 15. The Democratic primary is August 9. The extension was granted by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics despite a clause in the ethics code saying extensions should not be granted within 30 days of an election.

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