Someone's bought a Lou Ann Zelenik billboard. The campaign says it's an independent expenditure group, but I've got some questions:
Jay Heine, campaign manager for Lou Ann for Congress, said he was aware of one billboard having been purchased through the effort. He confirmed that Friends of Lou Ann Zelenik was independent of the campaign, but he said Lou Ann for Congress was working with the group.
Friends of Lou Ann Zelenik contributed $300 toward the cost of the one billboard and Lou Ann for Congress put in $895, Heine said. The Friends of Lou Ann Zelenik portion would be reported as an in-kind donation on Lou Ann for Congress’ next campaign disclosure.
Now, as silly as federal campaign law is and even with the wink-nod status of "independent expenditure groups" — they are by definition independent and are free to spend their money however they wish, but they can't do it in cooperation, consultation or concert with or at the request or suggestion of the candidate — doesn't Heine seem to be admitting the group did all of those things?
The Legal Times reported late yesterday on a landmark case affecting, well, just about everybody.
A three-judge panel in Washington D.C. has upheld the constitutionality of the ban against foreign citizens donating money to candidates in state and federal elections. Interestingly, a lawyer is at the root of this case. Benjamin Bluman, an associate with New York City firm Sidley Austin, sued the Federal Election Commission in U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, arguing the ban violates the first amendment.
It seems we have enough trouble policing our own folks in this regard. What would it be like if the entire world was allowed this level of participation in our political process? Click here for the case history details including the relevance of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which prohibits foreign nationals from making campaign contributions.
The new limits include a biennial aggregate limit of $113,700 on contributions to State and Local candidates and PACs. Individuals may contribute no more than $44,800 to State and Local candidates and no more than $68,900 to all PACs (including parties) during the two year cycle. Lobbyist gift limits have increased to $55 per event and lobbyist employers are limited to gifts with a cumulative value of $110 during a calendar year.
The fund would essentially be a matching fund for qualifying contributions from private individuals who reside in the district or county of the candidate. A qualifying contribution is "more than $10 and less than $100" and in order to participate, the candidate would have to raise X number of qualifying contributions as follows: Governor: 7,000 of which no more than 1/3 can come from that Candidate's congressional district. State Senator: 400 State Representative: 200 With accepting public financing funds, the candidate would thus limit the amount he can raise from private individuals to $100 per person and would exclude PAC contributions.
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS