February 9, 2015 •

FEC Hearing Concerning McCutcheon Decision Scheduled for Wednesday

On February 11, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) will hold a public hearing regarding proposed rules in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. More than 30 witnesses have been scheduled to testify, including James Bopp, […]

Federal Election Commission logoOn February 11, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) will hold a public hearing regarding proposed rules in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC.

More than 30 witnesses have been scheduled to testify, including James Bopp, Jr. and Dan Backer, counsels for the McCutcheon case, and Shaun McCutcheon himself. A complete list of scheduled witnesses is available here.

The hearing, scheduled to begin at 8:15 a.m., is expected to last until at least 4:00 p.m.

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June 4, 2014 •

Maine Ethics Commission Will No Longer Enforce Aggregate Contribution Limits

The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices will no longer enforce the yearly aggregate contribution limit applicable to individuals and entities contained in Maine Revised Statutes section 1015(3). In a policy statement issued June 4, 2014, the commission […]

MaineThe Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices will no longer enforce the yearly aggregate contribution limit applicable to individuals and entities contained in Maine Revised Statutes section 1015(3). In a policy statement issued June 4, 2014, the commission cited recent U.S. Supreme Court decision McCutcheon v. FEC as authority for its determination.

The commission stated it will no longer enforce the $25,000 aggregate limit “unless and until it receives further guidance from the Maine Legislature or a court of competent jurisdiction.”

The policy statement also noted the commission’s intention to study the issues and perhaps propose legislation during the next state legislative session.

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June 2, 2014 •

MA Will Continue to Enforce Aggregate Contribution Limits to Political Party Committees

Today, the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) announced it will continue to enforce the $5,000 aggregate limit an individual may contribute to political party committees during a calendar year. In response to U.S. Supreme Court’s decision of […]

MassachusettsToday, the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) announced it will continue to enforce the $5,000 aggregate limit an individual may contribute to political party committees during a calendar year.

In response to U.S. Supreme Court’s decision of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, in which the Court found aggregate limits on campaign contributions unconstitutional, the OCPF had previously announced it would no longer enforce the state’s aggregate limits for the amount an individual could contribute to candidates. At the time, the OCPF stated it would review the decision more closely before deciding whether the $5,000 aggregate contribution limit to party committees could remain standing.

In affirming that limit today, the OCPF “determined that, because the federal statutory provisions that were analyzed in McCutcheon differ substantially from the law in Massachusetts, this office will continue to enforce the $5,000 aggregate limit.”

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May 19, 2014 •

Connecticut Will No Longer Enforce Aggregate Contribution Limits

The State Elections Enforcement Commission has announced it will no longer enforce the state’s aggregate contribution limit after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. At its May 14 meeting, the Commission determined the McCutcheon decision called into […]

Connecticut Outline with Flag

The State Elections Enforcement Commission has announced it will no longer enforce the state’s aggregate contribution limit after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. At its May 14 meeting, the Commission determined the McCutcheon decision called into question the enforceability of the aggregate limits and stated it will not enforce the limits absent further direction from the General Assembly or a court of competent jurisdiction. The Commission made clear, however, the base contribution limits remain in full force and effect.

The full text of the Commission’s opinion is available here.

 

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May 15, 2014 •

Senate Committee to Hold Hearing in Response to McCutcheon and Citizens United

Today U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy announced the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing related to campaign finance next month. On June 3, the full committee will focus on Senate Joint Resolution 19, a constitutional amendment granting Congress and the […]

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy

Today U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy announced the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing related to campaign finance next month.

On June 3, the full committee will focus on Senate Joint Resolution 19, a constitutional amendment granting Congress and the states power to regulate money in political elections.

Leahy argues in his press release, “The hearing comes on the heels of the Court’s McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission decision, in which five justices reversed long-standing precedent and declared aggregate limits on campaign contributions in elections to be unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment. Coupled with the destructive Citizens United decision of 2010, … Congress must respond.”

SJR 19 was introduced by Sen. Tom Udall and has 40 cosponsors.

 

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April 30, 2014 •

Wednesday Government Relations News

Lobbying “Lobbying World” in The Hill. “MasterCard lobbying on digital currency bitcoin” by Julian Hattem in The Hill. Campaign Finance Live coverage: “Dollars and Sense: How Undisclosed Money and Post-McCutcheon Campaign Finance Will Affect 2014 and Beyond” on the Senate […]

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Lobbying

Lobbying World” in The Hill.

MasterCard lobbying on digital currency bitcoin” by Julian Hattem in The Hill.

Campaign Finance

Live coverage: “Dollars and Sense: How Undisclosed Money and Post-McCutcheon Campaign Finance Will Affect 2014 and Beyond” on the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration web page.

Senate to vote on campaign finance” by Burgess Everett in Politico.

Can Congress Fix the McCutcheon Ruling?” by Eliza Newlin Carney in Roll Call.

Dark Money Spending Three Times More Than at Same Time in 2012 Cycle, CRP Testifies” on the OpenSecrets blog.

OSC Hits Feds on Both Sides of the Aisle With Hatch Act Violations” by Charles S. Clark in Government Executive.

Maine: “Group in favor of unlimited campaign donations warns Maine” by Steve Mistler in the Portland Press Herald.

North Carolina: “90 percent of all ads run in NC-Senate race have been funded by outside groups. 90 percent!” by Matea Gold in The Washington Post.

Government Tech and Social Media

Survey Suggests Young People Unengaged With Politics and Voting, Engaged with Social Media” by Miranda Neubauer in TechPresident.

 

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April 21, 2014 •

After McCutcheon, Los Angeles Aggregate Contribution Limits No Longer Enforced

In light of the United States Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, the Los Angeles Ethics Commission announced it would no longer enforce the aggregate limits on contributions to city and school board candidates. Limits on contributions to individual […]

Los Angeles Skyline

In light of the United States Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, the Los Angeles Ethics Commission announced it would no longer enforce the aggregate limits on contributions to city and school board candidates.

Limits on contributions to individual candidates remain in place.

Photo of the Los Angeles skyline by Nserrano on Wikimedia Commons.

 

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April 18, 2014 •

RI Board of Elections Votes to Eliminate Aggregate Contribution Limits

On April 16, the Rhode Island Board of Elections voted to support the creation of legislation eliminating aggregate political contribution limits. The vote was in reaction to McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the April 2 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling […]

Seal of Rhode Island

On April 16, the Rhode Island Board of Elections voted to support the creation of legislation eliminating aggregate political contribution limits. The vote was in reaction to McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the April 2 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling aggregate contribution limits unconstitutional.

State law currently prohibits an individual from making contributions of more than $10,000 in the aggregate to more than one candidate, political action committee (PAC), or political party committee or to a combination of candidates, PACs, and political party committees within a calendar year.

According to the Providence Journal, Raymond A. Marcaccio, the board’s lawyer, told the board, “My observation is that [the state law limiting aggregate contributions] will be subject to a constitutional challenge so we should support legislation that would seek [its] repeal.”

 

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April 17, 2014 •

McCutcheon Attorney Files New Lawsuit Challenging Federal Campaign Law

The attorney for the eponymous plaintiff in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) has filed another challenge against the nation’s campaign finance regulations only two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision ruling aggregate contribution limits unconstitutional. Stop Reckless […]

FEC

The attorney for the eponymous plaintiff in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) has filed another challenge against the nation’s campaign finance regulations only two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision ruling aggregate contribution limits unconstitutional.

Stop Reckless Economic Instability Caused by Democrats (STOP REID) v. Federal Election Commission was filed on April 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia by Dan Backer of DB Capitol Strategies. STOP REID is a nonconnected political committee registered with the FEC. On the FEC webpage, Backer is listed as the treasurer of the committee.

This suit was brought because federal law currently has different contribution limits based on the classification of a political committee. For instance, the law allows certain political committees existing for more than six months, with other qualifications, to contribute up to $10,000 per candidate while newly formed political committees existing for less than six months are only permitted to contribute a maximum of $5,200 per candidate. The complaint argues the differing direct contribution limits for political committees to candidates violate the First Amendment rights of freedom of association and speech for committees and their members.

 

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April 14, 2014 •

Proposed U.S. Legislation Would Require 48 Hour Disclosure of Contributions of More Than $1,000

U.S. Sen. Angus King and Rep. Beto O’Rourke have introduced legislation requiring all political committees to disclose contributions of more than $1,000 within 48 hours. House Resolution 4397 and Senate Bill 2207, which were introduced on April 3, and House […]

Sen. King and Rep. O'RourkeU.S. Sen. Angus King and Rep. Beto O’Rourke have introduced legislation requiring all political committees to disclose contributions of more than $1,000 within 48 hours.

House Resolution 4397 and Senate Bill 2207, which were introduced on April 3, and House Resolution 4442, which was introduced on April 9, mandate the same threshold and disclosure requirements. The bills also apply the 48 hour reporting requirement to transfers of funds from joint fundraising committees.

King, in his weekly YouTube address, made clear this legislation is in reaction to the April 2 U.S. Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which found aggregate contribution limits unconstitutional.

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April 14, 2014 •

Maryland State Board of Elections Removes Aggregate Limits Following McCutcheon

The State Board of Elections has issued a guidance memo following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The board will no longer enforce a $10,000 aggregate limit on donors’ contributions to state candidates during a […]

Maryland

The State Board of Elections has issued a guidance memo following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The board will no longer enforce a $10,000 aggregate limit on donors’ contributions to state candidates during a four-year election cycle.

The memo states personal contributions are unlimited, but still must not exceed $4,000 to any one candidate. The McCutcheon decision held such aggregate limits violate constitutional protections of free speech. Political action committees in Maryland had no previous aggregate limit and remain limited to $6,000 per candidate.

The guidance is effective immediately.

 

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April 3, 2014 •

Thursday News Roundup

Lobbying New York: “Lobbying in New York hit $210 million in 2013–3rd highest total ever” by Ken Lovett in the New York Daily News. McCutcheon v. FEC “Supreme Court strikes down limits on overall federal campaign donations” by Robert Barnes […]

blue diamond

Lobbying

New York: “Lobbying in New York hit $210 million in 2013–3rd highest total ever” by Ken Lovett in the New York Daily News.

McCutcheon v. FEC

Supreme Court strikes down limits on overall federal campaign donations” by Robert Barnes in The Washington Post.

Excerpts of high court campaign finance opinions” by The Associated Press in The Washington Post.

State Impact of the Supreme Court’s Campaign Donations Ruling” by Ryan Murphy and Aman Batheja in Governing.

Court kills limits on campaign cash” by Benjamin Goad in The Hill.

Lobbyists groan as fundraising cap falls” by Kevin Bogardus in The Hill.

Campaign Finance Ruling Winners: The Political Pros” by Frank James on NPR.

After campaign finance ruling, battle for Congress likely to heat up” by Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times.

Democrats bash SCOTUS ruling” by Seung Min Kim in Politico.

Supreme Court Decision Puts Members of Congress at Risk” opinion piece by Kent Cooper in Politico.

Rhode Island: “R.I. reaction to Supreme Court’s campaign-finance ruling divided along party lines” by Thomas J. Morgan in The Providence Journal.

Campaign Finance

Delaware: “Democrats plan campaign finance reform bills” by Jonathan Starkey in The News Journal.

 

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April 3, 2014 •

Puerto Rico Maintains Aggregate Limits Despite McCutcheon

On April 3, the Puerto Rico Office of the Electoral Comptroller issued an informational newsletter in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. In McCutcheon, the Court held federal aggregate campaign contribution limits unconstitutional on First […]

Flag_of_Puerto_Rico

On April 3, the Puerto Rico Office of the Electoral Comptroller issued an informational newsletter in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. In McCutcheon, the Court held federal aggregate campaign contribution limits unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds, as they do not further the permissible government interest in preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption.

While the Court referenced similar aggregate limits in other states and jurisdictions, it did not go so far as to declare them unconstitutional. Therefore, the office is not taking any immediate action with regard to the Puerto Rico aggregate campaign finance limits established in 2011. It will request an opinion from the Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice to determine how the Court’s decision relates to Puerto Rico law.

The office will issue new informational bulletins as further developments arise.

 

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April 3, 2014 •

Wisconsin Aggregate Limits Expected to Fall

The aggregate contribution limits for individuals and PACs contributing to state candidates are expected to be unenforceable following the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission repeal of federal aggregate limits. The federal case challenging Wisconsin’s aggregate limits has been […]

Wisconsin

The aggregate contribution limits for individuals and PACs contributing to state candidates are expected to be unenforceable following the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission repeal of federal aggregate limits. The federal case challenging Wisconsin’s aggregate limits has been on hold pending McCutcheon. Young v. GAB seeks to remove aggregate limits set to prohibit even a $1 contribution if the individual donor has given the maximum $10,000 contribution to a single candidate.

The Government Accountability Board (GAB) has moved to dismiss the case, arguing the complaint does not sufficiently allege Mr. Young is harmed by the limit.

 

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