Campaign Finance Reform

News & Analysis as of

Media and political campaigns: From the era of free air time to that of free online advertising

The increasing influence of mass media in political campaigns has been an issue of concern for campaign finance regulators worldwide during the past decades. The role of media often goes beyond merely informing the citizens...more

Update on Texas Campaign Regulations

So-called dark money groups have sprung up since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Citizens United. These groups are generally nonprofit corporations that raise and spend funds on campaign ads, but do so as a...more

Recent Settlements Signal Increased Political Law Enforcement by Government Officials

The U.S. government reached settlements with two federal lobbyist registrants recently in what appears to signal increased enforcement of political activity laws. On August 28, 2015, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the...more

DOJ’s first prosecution for campaign finance coordination — a sign of things to come?

With the 2016 presidential campaign in full swing, pundits, reformers and the media are once again shining a light on the role of independent-expenditure-only committees, aka “super PACs,” in the American political process....more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. July State Revenue Over Projection - Due to higher than anticipated revenues generated by...more

Blog: Senate Dems Ask SEC Chair To Act On Petition For Political Spending Disclosure

With election season upon us — after all, the election is only, well, a year and two months away – it’s time to renew the controversy over political spending disclosure. As you may recall, in 2011, a rulemaking petition was...more

Explaining Jon Stewart’s Monologue on Campaign Finance

After more than 16 years at the helm of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart hosted his final episode last night. The hour-long show devoted most of its running time to Stewart saying farewell to the correspondents and staffers who...more

Campaign finance in the US and the UK: A comparative assessment

Campaign finance systems in the US and the UK have provoked similar controversial discussions over the past few years especially due to reforms introduced in both jurisdictions by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of...more

NC Legislative Update for July 2015 #4

This Week - It has been two weeks since conferees were appointed and the status of the State’s biennial budget remains uncertain. While some informal negotiations have occurred, there has been no indication that...more

Federal Election 2015: New Contribution Limits and Identification Requirements

With a federal election scheduled for October 19, 2015, recent amendments to the Canada Elections Act will soon be put into practice. The Fair Elections Act (FEA) passed on June 12, 2014, has increased individual contribution...more

DC Circuit Upholds Federal Ban on Campaign Contributions - What's Next for Politically Active Government Contractors?

A unanimous federal appeals court in Washington, DC has upheld a long-standing ban on federal campaign contributions by government contractors. ...more

Alberta's NDP Government's Flagship Bill Bans Corporate and Union Donations to Political Parties in Alberta

On June 23, 2015, the Alberta legislature unanimously passed the first bill of Alberta's new NDP government. Bill 1, An Act to Renew Democracy in Alberta passed in third reading with the unanimous support of all parties,...more

"Department of Justice Secures Sentence in First Super PAC Coordination Case"

The Department of Justice recently concluded its first criminal prosecution of coordination between an independent-expenditure-only committee (super PAC) and a campaign committee. On June 12, 2015, the U.S. District Court for...more

"Restrictions on Contributions to Convention and Host Committees"

As the 2016 presidential election nears, fundraising efforts surrounding the presidential nominating conventions are beginning to intensify. Each convention is supported by both a convention committee, established by the...more

Looking Back at Five Years of Citizens United

This month marked the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court handing down its decision in Citizens United v. FEC. More than perhaps most other recent Supreme Court decisions, Citizens United has remained in the public...more

"Significant Changes to Oklahoma's Campaign Finance, Lobbying and Gift Laws"

Significant changes to Oklahoma's campaign finance, lobbying and gift laws and rules recently went into effect. Below, please find a summary of these changes....more

"Changes Likely in Campaign Finance, Pay-to-Play"

In recent months, aggregate political contribution limits have been the subject of dramatic change due to the McCutcheon decision as well as significant legislative modifications in the federal budget bill. Meanwhile,...more

FPPC Has Record Year for Enforcement Actions

Is compliance with state ethics laws, the Political Reform Act and Government Code section 1090, declining? Or, is the FPPC getting better at ferreting out violations and violators? These questions arise in the wake of the...more

National Party Committees to Benefit from New and Vastly Increased Contribution Limits

In signing the omnibus appropriations bill into law on December 16, 2014, the President created new vehicles for making increased contributions to national political party committees. The Federal Election Commission, which is...more

Will 2015 be The Year for Pay-to-Play Reform in New Jersey?

New Jersey’s pay-to-play laws have been described as a “dizzyingly complex array of statutes, ordinances and executive orders.” New Jersey currently has different laws in effect that apply to State government contracts, State...more

New Limits Expand Funding Pool For National Party Committees

Recently passed spending legislation dramatically increased the amount that individual donors may give to the National Party Committee accounts used to fund party conventions, construction and legal challenges. Specifically,...more

National Political Parties Get a Christmas Bonus: Major Campaign Finance Provisions in Must-Pass Legislation

Congressional appropriators released the details of the FY15 funding bill (the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act,” or “Cromnibus”) on December 9, 2014, funding the federal government at $1.013 trillion...more

"Increased Scrutiny for Government Contracts Under New Maryland Pay-to-Play Law"

Amendments to Maryland's pay-to-play law taking effect January 1, 2015, will impose burdensome contract reporting requirements for many companies. Although Maryland has had a pay-to-play law on the books for years, these...more

"Arkansas Bans Corporate Contributions to Candidates and Prohibits Gifts From Lobbyists"

On November 4, 2014, Arkansas voters passed a constitutional amendment extending term limits for state legislators and tightening ethics laws. The amendment prohibits candidates from accepting corporate contributions,...more

"Post-Election Issues (Inaugurations, Transitions and Special Elections)"

Now that the 2014 mid-term elections are over, we must contend with special legal issues that arise from contributions to federal, state, or local inaugural or transition committees, paying for inaugural events and...more

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