Political Contributions

News & Analysis as of

ISS and Glass Lewis Update Proxy Voting Guidelines for 2015

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC, issued their respective annual updates to their proxy voting guidelines on November 6, 2014. As revised these guidelines have important implications...more

Why Commissioner Gallagher Is Not Mistaken On Political Spending Disclosure

In this post published on October 30, I observed: According to Enver Fitch and Limor Bernstock at ISS ESG Proxy Research, shareholders associated with the Center for Political Accountability submitted 47 proposals this...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

Political Spending Disclosures – An Idea So Good That I Think You Should Pay For It

In July 2011, a group of ten law professors filed a rulemaking petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking adoption of a rule requiring disclosure of political spending by publicly traded companies. ...more

To Campaign or Not to Campaign: A Refresher

As November elections and some major ballot measures loom, and as 2016 general election candidates start copping to “thinking about a run,” now seems a good time to revisit the impartiality required of public agencies and...more

Permanent Injunction of Pennsylvania’s Prohibition against Establishment of Political Committees to Receive Contributions of...

On August 13, 2014, an order was issued by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in the matter of General Majority PAC v. Carol Aichele permanently enjoining implementation and enforcement of...more

District Judge Permanently Enjoins PA Law that Prohibited Corporate Contributions to IE Committees

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Caldwell permanently enjoined enforcement of Pennsylvania’s prohibition on campaign expenditures by banks, corporations or unincorporated associations (such as labor unions) as...more

"State Parties File Legal Challenge Against SEC Rule 206(4)-5"

On August 7, 2014, the New York and Tennessee state Republican parties brought suit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), challenging Rule 206(4)-5 (the rule). Specifically, the complaint seeks an...more

The DISCLOSE Act: Fantasy or Future?

Following a wave of judicial decisions that have cleared the way for more soft money in politics, federal legislators have continued to press for the passage of laws creating more stringent regulations on donor disclosures...more

Last Week at the FEC: Opinion Requested on Credit Card Rewards Programs for Political Committee Contributions

Last week, the Federal Election Commission did not meet, but released two Advisory Opinion Requests (AORs) and the results of several enforcement actions. Earlier in the month, the Commission’s Office of Inspector General...more

"Developments Regarding Aggregate Contribution Limits"

In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, striking down the aggregate limits imposed on individual contributions under federal law, several jurisdictions also have taken steps to address...more

New Non-profit Donor Disclosure Takes Effect July 1, 2014 for California Elections

On May 14, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 27 (S.B. 27), increasing the disclosure requirements that non-profit "multipurpose" organizations are subject to when engaging in California elections. This legislative...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 Allows Small Bitcoin Political Contributions

On May 8, the FEC unanimously approved an advisory opinion permitting political committees to accept bitcoin contributions of $100 or less, and allowing political committees to buy and sell bitcoins as an investment. ...more

Contributions by New Jersey Government Contractors Increased Dramatically in 2013: Will Pay-to-Play Reform Follow?

Late last month, ELEC issued its 2013 Annual Report, which includes an analysis of the Pay-to-Play Annual Disclosures (Form BE) filed by New Jersey government contractors. Although New Jersey has stringent pay-to-play...more

Top Ten Steps to Fast Tracking Your Bank’s Political Activity Compliance Plan

In today’s political climate, smart banks take a proactive approach to educating officers, employees and board members about political activity compliance. Just as a bank’s code of conduct addresses sexual harassment, privacy...more

In wake of McCutcheon case, states abandon aggregate contribution limits

Early this month, the United States Supreme Court invalidated federal aggregate limits on individual political contributions in the case McCutcheon et al. v. Federal Election Commission.... ...In McCutcheon, the Court...more

Can An Employer Force Out An Employee For Unpopular Political Views: The Brendan Eich Story

Brendan Eich resigned his post as CEO of Mozilla, a California-based company, in early April after just 14 days on the job. The reason for his sudden departure and short tenure? It became public that in 2008, Eich...more

FEC Publishes Post-McCutcheon Revised Contribution Limits For 2013-2014

The Federal Election Commission's revised federal contribution limits for 2013-2014 removed any reference to the biennial aggregate limit which was recently stuck down by the Supreme Court in McCutcheon v. FEC. ...more

Last Week At The FEC: Agreement On Dormant Funds But Confrontation Over Enforcement

Last week the Federal Election Commission held an executive session on April 1 and an open meeting on April 3. It adopted a revised Advisory Opinion regarding the use of dormant funds by the Solano County Democratic Central...more

The Elevator Speech Overview

The House and Senate were both in session this week. The White House reported Tuesday that 7.1 million people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, meeting their original target for enrollment before...more

Supreme Court Rewrites the Rules for Individual Campaign Contributions: McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission

On April 2, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States rendered the McCutcheon decision, addressing the facial validity of Section 203 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (the “BCRA”). This case involved a...more

What Does McCutcheon Mean for Wisconsin Campaign Finance Law?

On April 2, the United States Supreme Court released its much-anticipated decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, 572 U.S. __ (2014). The case was closely watched because it presented the Court the opportunity to revisit the framework...more

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