Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Still AWOL

Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Daniel Akaka (D-HI) last week urged President Obama to revive the dormant Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board by nominating members to fill the board's vacancies.

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Statement of Commissioners Highlights Leniency of FEC Disclosure Rules

Earlier this week, the three Republican members of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) released a statement of reasons explaining their votes in May to dismiss a case against a no longer active 501(c)(4) group, Freedom's Watch.

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Legislation to Overhaul Public Funding for Presidential Campaigns

Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate (H.R. 6061 and S. 3681) to revise the outdated presidential public campaign financing system. Seeking to encourage smaller individual contributions, the bill would match small contributions of $200 or less with public funds at a 4-to-1 ratio.

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AU Asks IRS to Investigate Oklahoma Group for Electioneering Against Transgender Candidate

Last Week, Americans United for Separation of Church and State urged the IRS to investigate an Oklahoma religious organization for violating federal law prohibiting tax-exempt groups from electioneering.

Americans United claims that Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, a tax-exempt organization, sent out an e-mail urging those on its email distribution list to support Rep. Sally Kern in her reelection campaign for the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

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Bill Would Create a Task Force for Enforcing the LDA

The Lobbying Disclosure Enhancement Act passed the House to establish a task force to strengthen enforcement of rules for federally registered lobbyists. Originally, the bill was the Fees on Lobbyists Act. It would have set up registration fees and fines for lobbyists' late filings to fund enforcement. However, the bill was amended to simply create the Lobbying Disclosure Enforcement Task Force.

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Groups Work to Change the LDA

Reportedly, the American League of Lobbyists is working with the Sunlight Foundation to change the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). Once again Tom Daschle is the poster child for why such reform is needed. "Daschle, working with his firm's lobbyists, uses his decades of congressional experience to tell clients how to favorably influence policy.

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Unsurprisingly, Senate Will Not Debate the DISCLOSE Act

With a vote of 57-41, the Senate voted against proceeding to debate the DISCLOSE Act, S. 3628. The bill will likely not be addressed again before the August recess.

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Senate Will Consider DISCLOSE Act Next Week

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced a revised version of the DISCLOSE Act (S. 3628) on July 21, in hopes of gaining some much needed support from moderate Republicans before the upcoming August recess.

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Reid Plans to Bring DISCLOSE Act to Senate Floor before August Recess

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to bring the DISCLOSE Act (the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act) to the Senate floor before the August recess. It was introduced in April by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to mitigate the effects of the January U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

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Connecticut Campaign Funding System in Peril

A very complicated case from Connecticut may have implications for federal campaign finance law. An appeals court upheld restrictions on campaign contributions from government contractors, threw out part of the state's public campaign financing law, and struck down a ban on lobbyist contributions. According to BNA Money and Politics ($$), "the decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S.

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