Daily Media Links 3/4: What Is All the Fuss About Campaign Coordination?, Koch network offers clue of who it will back in 2016 GOP primary,The Clinton Rules

March 4, 2015   •  By Scott Blackburn   •  
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Roskam: Chairman Roskam Introduces Bill to Stop IRS Targeting Donations 
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 1104, the Fair Treatment for All Donations Act, to permanently ensure donations to 501(c)4, (c)5, and (c)6 organizations are not subject to the gift tax. Federal law mandates that gifts in excess of $14,000 are subject to the gift tax, but donations to nonprofit organizations have always been considered tax-free. However, in recent years the IRS has threatened to apply the gift tax to these contributions.   
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Independent Groups
Washington Post: Awash in cash, Bush asks donors not to give more than $1 million – for now  
By Matea Gold
An unusual request has gone out to wealthy donors writing large checks to support former Florida governor Jeb Bush: Please don’t give more than $1 million right away.
The requested limit, confirmed by multiple people familiar with the amount, may mark the first time that a presidential hopeful has sought to hold off supporters from contributing too much money.
The move reflects concerns among Bush advisers that accepting massive sums from a handful of uber-rich supporters could fuel a perception that the former governor is in their debt. The effort is also driven by a desire to build as broad a pool of donors as possible among wealthier contributors.
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Roll Call: What Is All the Fuss About Campaign Coordination? | A Question of Ethics 
By C. Simon Davidson
Q. Some friends of mine who are lawyers were recently discussing a political corruption prosecution that they seemed to think was a big deal. I believe it involved some sort of campaign finance violations by the campaign manager of someone who ran for Congress a few years back. As a non-lawyer, it wasn’t clear to me what all the fuss was about. After all, people get prosecuted for political corruption all of the time. Are you aware of the case I’m describing, and, if so, what makes it such a big deal?
A. I believe I am. Last month, the Department of Justice announced a political operative named Tyler Harber pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from campaign finance improprieties in the 2012 federal election. The DOJ’s press release said, “This is the first criminal prosecution in the United States based upon the coordination of campaign contributions between political committees.”
OK, fine, but what does that mean?
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American Thinker: Campaign Finance Disclosure Requirements Violate the First Amendment 
By Rob Natelson   
Everyone assumed that freedom of the press incorporated a presumption of non-disclosure, even if the author had not asked to be kept anonymous. Editors and printers, as well as government officials, were subject to this norm.
Reading the historical record left me with the conviction that the Founders would have found mandatory disclosure of contributors to political advertising an outrageous violation of privacy — and certainly inconsistent with freedom of the press.
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Washington Post: Koch network offers clue of who it will back in 2016 GOP primary  
By Matea Gold
Freedom Partners president Marc Short singled out former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for backing the phase-out of the bank, a federal entity that provides loans to U.S. companies doing business overseas. In a statement, Short called their position “a clear sign that opposition to the bank extends from the grassroots all the way to some of the most prominent figures in national politics.”
“Freedom Partners applauds their principled stance against cronyism and corporate welfare,” he added. “This is exactly the kind of leadership our country needs.”
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Candidates, Politicians, Campaigns, and Parties

Wall Street Journal: The Clinton Rules 
Hillary Clinton hasn’t even begun her expected presidential candidacy, but already Americans are being reminded of the political entertainment they can expect. To wit, the normal rules of government ethics and transparency apply to everyone except Bill and Hillary. 
Last week we learned that the Clinton Foundation had accepted donations from foreign governments despite having made a public display of not doing so. The Family Clinton had agreed not to accept such donations while Mrs. Clinton was serving as Secretary of State, with rare exceptions approved by State’s ethics shop. 
But, lo, the foundation quietly began accepting such gifts from the likes of Qatar and Algeria after she left the State Department—though everyone in the world knew she was likely to run for President in 2016. The foundation didn’t announce the donations, which our Journal colleagues discovered in a search of the foundation’s online data base.
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State and Local

Pennsylvania –– CPI: Liberal ‘dark money’ group scrutinized in Pennsylvania 
By Michael Beckel
Pennsylvania’s Department of State will initiate an “inquiry into apparent discrepancies” in the political spending reports filed by Pennsylvanians for Accountability, spokeswoman Adriana Arvizo said in response to questions raised about the group by the Center for Public Integrity.
It’s the latest trouble for the union-backed Pennsylvanians for Accountability, an organization that also failed to file a mandatory federal tax return — exposing it to up to $50,000 in Internal Revenue Service fines, as the Center for Public Integrity reported earlier this year.
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Utah –– The Salt Lake Tribune: Utah House again defeats donation limits 
By Lee Davidson
Utah is one of just four states without campaign-donation limits and it looks like it will remain so.
The House on Tuesday again killed a proposed cap on contributions.
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New York –– Wall Street Journal: Goodwill Fades in Albany Ahead of Budget Talks 
By Erica Orden and  Mike Vilensky
At a news conference last week, Mr. Cuomo said he put together a foolproof ethics package and avoided a more “combative” issue like closing the LLC loophole.
“There are a lot of things that you could include,” he said. “I wanted to keep it sharp, tight and frankly, indefensible that you could be opposed.”
And the Cuomo administration provided a quote by an anonymous official with a pointed response to the bill that would affect Ms. Lee, saying that the law should extend to the mistresses of married state legislators. That didn’t go over well, several lawmakers said.
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Rhode Island –– Associated Press: Ex-Rhode Island Speaker Fox pleads guilty to federal charges  
By Michelle R. Smith and Jennifer McDermott
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Former House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of bribery, wire fraud and filing a false tax return following an investigation that included a dramatic federal raid on the Statehouse.
Fox, once considered among the most powerful politicians in state politics, maintained his composure in U.S. District Court in Providence, but his voice broke when admitting to the conduct and acknowledging he’d likely lose his law license.
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Virginia –– CPI: Top senators, lobbyists to help Ed Gillespie recoup lost money 
By Dave Levinthal
Gillespie found himself pouring huge amounts of money into his campaign largely because his moneyed friends didn’t donate nearly as much to help Gillespie as they could have through free-spending vehicles like super PACs and “social welfare” nonprofits. 
And now, it appears, Gillespie’s friends and financiers will only be able to help him reclaim a portion of his cash.
That’s because federal law states that after Election Day, a candidate’s campaign may not repay loans in excess of $250,000 that the candidate himself or herself made to the campaign. 
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Scott Blackburn

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