SuperPACs

News & Analysis as of

Local Campaign Finance Reform: Can Local Agencies Wean the Baby From “Mother’s Milk?” (Part 1)

It is an issue that has been with us since the earliest days of politics: The wealthy tend to have disproportionate influence over our political leaders in contrast to the poor and middle class. In the immortal words of the...more

Election Season Highlights Contractor Contribution Prohibitions

As this 2016 election season swings into its final months, federal government contractors should continue to be aware of the laws and regulations regarding political contributions. The Federal Election Campaign Act...more

A Guide to Political and Lobbying Activities

This July 2016 edition of the Guide to Political and Lobbying Activities includes updates to the section on compliance with federal, state and local pay-to-play laws applicable to government contractors as well as investment...more

New York State Issues Guidance on Prohibited Coordination with Super PACs

After Citizens United and its progeny paved the way for independent expenditure activity and unlimited contributions to Independent Expenditure Only committees (better known as Super PACs), one key question in...more

Independence, Coordination & Super PACs in the 2016 Presidential Election

On July 4th we celebrated Independence Day. In the next three weeks, the Nation will focus on the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. We cannot turn on the television without catching a political ad....more

New York State Announces Broad Set of Ethics and Campaign-Finance Reforms

Late last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and State legislative leaders announced agreement on a broad set of ethics and campaign-finance reforms focused on increased disclosure, transparency, and public trust....more

Super PACs in Spotlight Once Again During Presidential Primary Season

As in the 2014 mid-term election season, Super PACs once again are attracting a great deal of attention in this Presidential Primary season. Although criticized by many, they are a legal, and many believe effective, way to...more

State and Federal Campaign Finance Reports Due

All federally registered PACs and Super PACs are required to file a year-end report of receipts and expenditures no later than Sunday, January 31, 2016. The period covered by the reports is January 1 through December 31,...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

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

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

"DC Circuit Unanimously Upholds Federal Contractor Contribution Ban"

On July 7, 2015, the federal circuit court for the District of Columbia sitting en banc issued a unanimous opinion upholding the federal contractor contribution ban against a constitutional challenge in the long-running case...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

Political Law Roundup – July 13, 2015

This is the first post in a new series on the blog, providing a quick recap of recent political-law news and developments. - What role will non-profits have on the 2016 presidential election? According to a report in the...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

"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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