Posts Tagged ‘FEC’


FOI DAILY DOSE: Super PAC disclosures, exec order under scrutiny; Ireland focused on open gov

Super PACS, which are political action committees that can raise unlimited funds for independent expenditures like political ads, may not be disclosing their donors as expected.

Donor disclosure is a major requirement for super PACs, but five of them used a loophole to avoid this mandate during the 2010 election cycle, according to an OpenSecrets blog post.

This loophole in the Federal Election Commission rules permits super PACs to attribute donations to various nonprofit organizations, thereby avoiding the disclosure of their donors because nonprofits aren’t legally required to reveal donor information.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the five super PACs that attributed all or almost all of their donations to 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(4) nonprofits were: New Power PAC, ProgressOhio, Environment Colorado Action Fund, Protecting America’s Retirees and the National Association of Realtors Congressional Fund.

Most of the nonprofits are directly affiliated with the super PACs they were listed as providing with major donations.

Obama’s exec order on federal contractors faces legal questions

The Congressional Research Service noted legal concerns for a draft executive order that would require federal contractors to disclose all political contributions and expenses.

The executive order cites the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 and President Obama’s constitutional authority as legal grounds for the proposed action, according to an iWatch News article.

Historically, executive orders related to federal contracting have generally been based on either the FPASA or on the presidential powers provided by Article II of the Constitution.

If Obama only uses his constitutional authority to support the executive order, however, he could face legal problems concerning the separation of governmental powers.

Ireland to register lobbyists as part of transparency efforts

Ireland may require the registration of paid lobbyists as part of the nation’s efforts to improve transparency within the government, according to an article from The Irish Times.

The legislation will require registration for professional lobbyists as well as employed staff involved with in-house lobbying.

It will also cover non-governmental organizations and representative organizations that use in-house lobbyists.

The Standards in Public Office Commission will maintain the lobbying register, which will be publicly accessible.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email (mwatkins@spj.org) or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).

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