Daily Media Links 10/30: NY Post: De Blasio reaps union donations thanks to campaign finance loophole, Washington Times: Relationship between California governor’s dog, lobbyist in question, and more…

State and Local

New York –– NY Post: De Blasio reaps union donations thanks to campaign finance loophole

By Beth DeFalco and Yoav Gonen

The union had already given more than $25,000 from other non-New York City chapters, including locals in Chicago, Boston, Atlantic City and Los Angeles.
In 2005, de Blasio led the passage of a bill that defeated an attempt by the Campaign Finance Board to limit the influence of unions by holding that all chapters of a union were to be considered a “single source” of donations.
That action would have limited contributions from unions to $4,950, the same cap that governs individuals and corporations.
Read more…

California –– Washington Times: Relationship between California governor’s dog, lobbyist in question

By Valerie Richardson

Critics say Ms. Fearing may be breaking the rules because so far she hasn’t reported the dog-walking as an in-kind contribution. Gun-rights and hunting groups are considering filing a complaint over the pro bono dog exercising with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.  
“For someone who did not hesitate to take the moral high ground in denigrating the ethical standards of hunters during the campaign to ban lead ammunition, it is disappointing to see that Jennifer Fearing does not hold herself to those same ethical standards in properly disclosing her relationship with the governor,” said Chuck Michel, California attorney for the National Rifle Association, in a statement.  
Read more…

California –– Minority Report: Free Speech for ME, Not so Much for Thee…

By Michael Becker

The issue that we are addressing today is a settlement that the California Fair Political Practices Commission announced this week.  As a side note, any sentence that contains the words “California”, “fair”, and “political” redefines the term oxymoron.  The short explanation is this.  
A complaint was filed, along with charges of “money laundering” screeched in the highest dudgeon, with CFPPC over a donation to groups who were opposed to Prop 30 and in favor of Prop 32.  It was an $11 million donation and it came from two groups in Arizona called Americans for Responsible Leadership and Center to Protect Patient Rights.  
Read more…

District of Columbia –– Washington Post: Ending pay-to-play in D.C.


THE D.C. COUNCIL’S refusal to reform how local political campaigns are financed was a telling omission in the overhaul of government ethics two years ago. So it’s encouraging that there seems to be some support for plugging egregious loopholes in the current law. The proposal doesn’t go as far as it should in making all the needed fixes to campaign finance, but it would be an encouraging start — even if it comes too late to affect elections next year.  
Campaign finance reform legislation sponsored by council member Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5) cleared a critical committee last week and will come before the full council on Nov.5. The bill would cap money-order donations, mandate training for campaign treasurers, make candidates liable for violations and give jurisdiction to the D.C. attorney general to prosecute violations. Most significant is that it would strengthen contribution limits and disclosure requirements so that limited liability companies could no longer take advantage of a notorious loophole that has allowed them to aggregate donations in excess of limits.  
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News-Record: U.S. Senate rules obscure campaign funds

By Travis Fain

They cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year — as well as delay public access to rosters of campaign donors — because federal employees are paid to re-enter data into an electronic database.
This is information Senate campaigns themselves have already typed once, typically using campaign software designed to track donations electronically. Senate rules require campaigns to print out a copy and give it to the Secretary of the Senate.
They can voluntarily send an electronic copy to the Federal Election Commission, too, as candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives are required to do.
Read more…

Huffington Post: These 24 Corporations Disclosed Their Contributions To The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce

By Paul Blumenthal

The report listed 24 corporations that voluntarily disclosed their 2012 contributions to the Chamber of Commerce on their own websites. The companies together gave $8.75 million. At least $6,516,500 of the contributions were not tax-deductible, according to the report — meaning that they were available for use by the Chamber for lobbying and campaign activities. Read more…
Candidates, Politicians, Campaigns, and Parties 
AP: Ex-U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi gets 3-year prison term   
TUCSON, Ariz. — A federal judge on Monday sentenced former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi to three years in prison for convictions on public corruption, money laundering and other charges.  
U.S. District Judge David C. Bury also sentenced Renzi co-defendant James Sandlin to 18 months in prison, and ordered both men to pay fines. They are to begin their prison terms in January.  
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The Hill: Hollywood A-list gangs up on McConnell

By Alexandra Jaffe and Patrick Mortiere

A who’s who of A-list Hollywood stars — including Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Seinfeld, Ben Stiller and Ben Affleck — is rallying to defeat Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) by writing checks to his Democratic opponent for Senate in 2014.  
Names more often seen in lights than Federal Election Commission (FEC) documents peppered Alison Lundergan Grimes’s third-quarter fundraising filings — evidence the Senate minority leader has become Hollywood’s top Republican target this cycle.  
Read more…

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