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Vermont Right to Life, Inc. v. Sorrell: Independence Required

Since the Supreme Court found in Citizens United that “the absence of prearrangement and coordination . . .alleviates the danger that expenditures will be given as a quid pro quo for improper commitments from the candidate” –...more

SEC Announces First Investment Adviser ‘Pay-to-Play’ Enforcement Action

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action under "pay-to-play" rules for investment advisers since those rules were adopted nearly four years ago. TL Ventures Inc., a...more

The Law of Unintended Consequences?

Shortly after the indictment of Rod Blagojevich, Illinois legislators passed a number of campaign finance reform measures, including contribution limits for the first time in the state’s history and limits on independent...more

Political Law Briefing - June 2014

In this issue: - Come and Get Us: Some States in No Hurry to Respond to Supreme Court Ruling on Aggregate Limits - Another One Bites the Dust - Discussion on IRS Rulemaking – Video Available -...more

Rules Tax-Exempt Health Care Organizations Need to Know

It’s that time again – another election year. And if your organization is exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code (“Exempt Organization” or “EO”), the EO cannot participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on...more

Last Week at the FEC: RNC Sues to Overturn Limit on Independent Expenditure-only Contributions

Last week, the Federal Election Commission met in executive session on May 20, but did not meet in public session or otherwise act on pending administrative matters. However, on Friday, May 23, the Republican National...more

Last Week At The FEC: Commission Issues Bitcoin Opinion, Questions Remain

On May 8, after nearly three months of consideration, the Federal Election Commission issued an Advisory Opinion in response to Make Your Laws (MYL) PAC's request that it approve a framework within which political committees...more

FEC Approves Bitcoin Transactions

Earlier this month the Federal Election Commission issued Advisory Opinion 2014-02, which permits the acceptance of Bitcoins for political contributions. Bitcoin is a form of virtual, peer-to-peer currency that can be...more

FEC Approves Bitcoin Political Donations While SEC Issues Investor Alert

On May 8, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) unanimously affirmed in an advisory opinion that political committees (including candidate campaigns and political action committees) could legally accept small bitcoin...more

Don't Sweat the Details...Unless You're Filing at the FEC

Few federal agencies have rules as picky, or as confusing, as the Federal Election Commission. But surely minor transgressions in reports won’t have any significant repercussions, right? Well, maybe....more

Political Law Briefing - May 2014

In this issue: - In Case You Missed It: Venable’s Presentation on Election-Year Advocacy and Nonprofit Organizations - Virginia Enacts Statutory Gift Restrictions - The "Ministry of Truth" Goes to...more

Election-Year Advocacy:? Maintaining Your Nonprofit's Clear Message in Cloudy Legal Seas

In this presentation: - Pieces of the Puzzle - The Tools of the Trade – Raising money for the PAC – Hosting fundraisers – Public communications – Member communications – Voter...more

The Next Domino – New York Finally Knocks Down Limits to SuperPACs

Last week, Judge Paul Crotty of the Southern District of New York ruled that New York Election Laws §§ 14-114(8) and 14-126, which impose limits on the amount of money that may be contributed to political candidates, are...more

Last Week At The FEC: Continued Delay On Bitcoins

Last week the Federal Election Commission met in executive session and held an open audit hearing on the Democratic Party of Illinois as well as an open meeting where it discussed various draft advisory opinions related to...more

Last Week At The FEC: Commission Confirms That Federal Funds Can Support State Candidates

Last week the Federal Election Commission did not meet, but held a tally vote to approve Advisory Opinion 2014-03 regarding the use of campaign funds to pay for public communications in support of both a federal candidate and...more

"Recent Developments in Aggregate State Contribution Limits After Supreme Court’s Decision in McCutcheon v. FEC"

On April 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, striking down the aggregate limits imposed on individual contributions under federal law. Although this decision cannot necessarily be read to...more

April filing deadlines for State and Federal PACs and Independent Expenditure Committees

Most people think of April 15th as the tax filing deadline but two important campaign reports are also due next week. Minnesota political committees, political funds, independent expenditure committees and independent...more

FEC Roundup

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) had a busy fall season, beginning with the announcement of two new appointments, and culminating in the consideration of several important matters. The following summary represents a few...more

Contradictions Revealed: If New York’s Aggregate Contribution Limits Fall

Thanks to cases like McCutcheon and New York Progress and Protection PAC, time may be running short for New York’s $150,000 annual aggregate limit on contributions in connection with the nomination or election of candidates,...more

If the U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Political Contribution Limits Next Year, Will Your Campaign Be Ready?

The U.S. Supreme Court, which heard oral argument in McCutcheon vs. FEC this week, may overturn the aggregate contribution caps that have governed federal elections since 1974. If so, candidates should prepare now for the...more

Meeting Held 26 Miles From District Office Violates OMA

The Public Access Counselor of the Illinois Attorney General’s office recently issued a binding opinion holding that a board of trustees for a fire protection district violated section 2.01 of the OMA by “holding a meeting at...more

What Do PACs Need to Know About North Carolina’s Recent Election Law Reform?

North Carolina’s General Assembly has approved sweeping elections law changes. Making good on promises when Republicans assumed control of both the State House and Senate for the first time since Reconstruction, legislative...more

Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies When Electronic Communications By Council And Board Members On Personal Electronic Devices And...

The Illinois Appellate Court recently ruled that electronic communications about public business sent or received by members of a city council during a public meeting or study session are “public records” subject to the...more

Federal PAC Reports Due July 31, 2013

All federal PACs are required to submit a semi-annual report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on or before July 31, 2013. The semi-annual report must reflect all receipts and disbursements between January 1, 2013, and...more

Public Policy and Politics: Compliance Tips for Your Nonprofit's Advocacy and Electoral Efforts

In this presentation: - Growing Your PAC - Independent Expenditures - 501(c)(3) Election Issues - Lobbying Disclosure - Tax Issues - Hosting Events Please see full...more

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