News & Analysis as of

"Reminder: Maryland Pay-to-Play Report Due November 30, 2015"

We wish to remind you that companies with one or more Maryland state or local government contracts worth at least $200,000 are required to file semiannual pay-to-play reports with the Maryland State Board of Elections by each...more

Did 19 Law Professors Get The Business Judgment Rule Wrong?

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about the amicus curiae brief filed by 19 law school professors in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Ass’n, a case now pending before the United States Supreme Court.  Being a California corporate...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

California Major Donor Notification & Multilayer Reporting Obligations Apply to Federal and State PACs

Political committees organized outside California (federal PACs and PACs formed in other states) may have to disclose their own donors to the State of California even though they have not made a direct contribution in...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

PAC Finds Student Discipline Records, Even if Redacted, Identified Students and Were Exempt from FOIA

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued a non-binding opinion that provides guidance on what constitutes a school student record as provided in the Illinois School Student Records Act (ISSRA) and...more

PAC Opinion Finds Municipal Bank Account Numbers Subject to FOIA

Earlier this year, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued an under-the-radar advisory opinion that could have an impact on responses to Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. According to the non-binding...more

PAC Finds Village Board in Violation of OMA on Multiple Counts

The PAC recently issued a binding opinion ruling against a local village board for failing to provide proper notice and state a valid exception to enter closed session in violation of the Open Meetings Act (OMA). In PAC...more

PAC Rules on Two OMA Cases

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued two non-binding opinions in July related to the Open Meetings Act (OMA). In one opinion, the PAC found that a school district did not violate the OMA when...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

Federal PAC Reports Due July 31, 2015

All Federal PACs are required to submit a campaign finance report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on or before Friday, July 31, 2015. Unless the PAC has elected a monthly filing schedule, the semi-annual report must...more

Federal Campaign Finance PAC Reports – Due July 31, 2015

All Federal Political Action Committees (PACs) are required to submit a campaign finance report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on or before Friday, July 31, 2015. Unless the PAC has elected a monthly filing...more

Lawful advocacy: Contractor compliance with federal campaign contribution requirements

Last week, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the ban in US law on contributions to federal political candidates and parties by individuals performing contracts with the federal government. Although...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

What is a Super PAC?

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire has reported that in the first half of 2015, presidential Super PACs have raised a total of $211,457,755. This money is in addition to money raised directly by presidential candidate...more

Circuit Court Upholds Federal Contractor Contribution Ban

Earlier this week, a unanimous 11-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the long-standing ban on federal political contributions by federal government contractors. The Circuit...more

Campaign Coordination: Warning to Political Candidates and Related Super PACs

Tyler Harber’s prosecution, and the two year federal prison sentence he recently received, are clearly warning shots across the bow of federal political campaigns around the country. And the blatant and unsympathetic nature...more

Top Ten New Jersey Pay-to-Play Myths

Now that David Letterman has hosted his last show, the universe is experiencing a distinct lack of top-ten lists. We are happy to take on this awe-inspiring responsibility in the best way we know how: with a list of the top...more

See You In Court – May 2015

Seymour Dollars, the irascible Chairperson of the Nutmeg Board of Finance, gave the Board of Education a very hard time throughout the entire budget process this year. He questioned the Board down to the minutest detail of...more

Foreign National Political Contribution Laws Can Cause Confusion, Pain for Unwary

A business executive writes a small check to a neighbor who is running for a seat on the local school board. It sounds harmless, but the executive isn’t a U.S. citizen and by writing that check, she has broken federal...more

More Cases Alleging Illegal Coordination Efforts Could be on the Horizon

In light of the first federal “coordination” case guilty plea, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has announced its intent to aggressively pursue convictions for coordination violations. This apparently new focus comes as the...more

First Ever Federal “Coordination” Case Results in Guilty Plea

In a first of its kind case, a campaign consultant for a Congressional candidate pled guilty to violating The Federal Election Campaign Act’s probation on coordination between the campaign of a candidate for federal office...more

Guilty Plea in DOJ’s First Criminal Prosecution for Campaign Finance Coordination

The news media has already engaged in rampant speculation regarding the potential candidates from both parties in the 2016 presidential election. Inextricably tied to the talk of political campaigns is the public discussion...more

Atlantic County Freeholders Vote to Repeal Pay-to-Play Ordinance

Earlier this week, the Atlantic County Freeholders approved a measure that rolls back the County’s pay-to-play ordinance. New Jersey is home to an overlapping series of pay-to-play laws. Although there is a statewide law in...more

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