Daily Media Links 9/27: ProxyFacts: How has Citizens United changed the debate over corporate political spending issues?, GOP lawyer launches political donation refund group, and more…


ProxyFacts: How has Citizens United changed the debate over corporate political spending issues?


Independent Groups

CPI: GOP lawyer launches political donation refund group 

By Michael Beckel
Virginia-based PoliticalRefund.org, which is organized as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, wants to inform donors that they may request their money back should they become displeased with a candidate. It offers free resources on its website to do so.  
There is, however, nothing in federal law that requires politicians to issue refunds.  


BLT: Republicans Tap New Talent to Argue Key Campaign Case

The plaintiffs in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the next major Supreme Court case attacking campaign finance regulation, have hired Erin Murphy, a protege of former solicitor general Paul Clement, to argue before the court on October 8.  

Murphy, counsel at the Bancroft firm in D.C., and Clement, a partner at the firm, confirmed this morning that Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee had picked Bancroft for the high-profile argument.  


Politico: Report: Inaugural donors failing to document contributions

By Byron Tau
Many of the unions and corporations that underwrote President Barack Obama’s inauguration — including Microsoft, the Coca-Cola Company, and Visa — failed to properly document their contributions, according to a new analysis.  

Candidates, Politicians, Campaigns, and Parties

Roll Call: Rep. John Tierney Sets Up Legal Expense Trust 

By Kent Cooper
A congressman who has been dogged by legal troubles surrounding his family has set up a legal expense trust to help defray legal fees.  
Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., who won re-election in 2012 by 1 percentage point, had his personal financial disclosure reports under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics and the House Ethics Committee. The committee announced that it determined no action was necessary and closed the case on Sept. 11, 2013.  

Lobbying and Ethics

The Hill: K Street suffers from identity crisis 
By Megan R. Wilson   
“Your job is to be an effective advocate for your client, whether or not they’re popular. Your job is to follow the rules and make an effective case,” Allard said. 
But some on K Street say they understand the internal struggle associated with the industry’s desire to cast itself in a different light while still staying true to its roots.  

State and Local

Nevada –– Reno Gazette-Journal: Feds urge prison in Nev. campaign contributions case 
By Martha Bellisle
A federal jury found Whittemore, 61, guilty in May of two counts of funneling $133,400 of his own money to Reid’s 2007 re-election committee by asking his employees and family to write checks to Reid and then reimbursing them. The jury also found him guilty of causing Reid to file a false contribution report.  
The jury deadlocked on a fourth count, that he lied to FBI agents about the contributions.  

Pennsylvania –– CBS: Attorney For Phila. Councilwoman Fuming Over Ethics Board Online Post  
By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The attorney for a Philadelphia city councilwoman who has had ethical problems in the past is furious at the city’s Ethics Board for making public the board’s opinion on whether she can host a fundraiser.  
City councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown last January was fined nearly $50,000 by the Ethics Board for misstatements on finance reporting (see related story).  Friends later offered to host a fundraiser on her behalf last March, and her attorney, Kevin Greenberg, says she sought an opinion from the Ethics Board on the advisability of doing so.  

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.