Category: Ethics

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Study of Corporate Charitable Giving Shows How Disclosure Rules Can Affect Companies

In March, a group of economists issued a study examining patterns of charitable giving by corporate foundations. Through data and analysis, the group found a connection between corporate charitable giving and lobbying efforts. One particular finding was that corporate foundations favored supporting charities directly linked to politicians. As the New York Times points out in … Continue Reading

Bribery and the Brokered Convention?

In the industrial Midwest, after multiple ballots, the Republican convention finally chooses its nominee. Operatives for the frontrunner—a nationally known, polarizing figure who has infuriated Democrats with his abrasive rhetoric on the most divisive, racially-charged issue of the day—flood the city “with money to corrupt, with bullies to intimidate and with houries to seduce.” As … Continue Reading

After the Stockman Report, When Should the Congressional Ethics Process Consider FEC Violations?

The report and findings prepared by the Office of Congressional Ethics in its review of Representative Steve Stockman, released yesterday by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics, is the latest in a series of reviews in which OCE has recommended investigation of Members over substantive violations of the federal campaign finance laws. The … Continue Reading

FEC Divide on ‘Personal Use’ Rules Shows Potential for Confusion

Two things were notable about MUR 6672, released last week by the Federal Election Commission, which involved the payment of $805.13 by Florida U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis’ campaign to the Royal Order of Jesters for membership dues. The Commission deadlocked on party lines over whether there was reason to believe that Representative Bilirakis illegally converted … Continue Reading

The Bachmann Announcement and the Special Challenges of Publicly-Charged Investigations

Today, Representative Bachmann announced that she would not seek re-election in 2014 to Congress.  In a video statement, she denied that her decision was related in any way to the reported investigations relating to her 2012 presidential campaign, or to any fear she might not be re-elected.  But whatever may be her particular situation, the … Continue Reading

Ensign Case Shows How FEC Allegations Can Be a Multi-Front War for Candidates, Third Parties

As noted above, the Federal Election Commission obtained civil penalties from former Senator John Ensign and his parents totaling more than $50,000, for making and receiving excessive contributions and failing to disclose them to the FEC.  For the much-maligned former Senator, this news has been described as a footnote – a “sad end to a … Continue Reading