Archive for campaign finance

Planned Parenthood fined by state in campaign finance matter was ObamaCare navigator

Posted in ObamaCare Navigators, Planed Parenthood fined Campaign matter, Planned Parenthood fined by state, Planned Parenthood Fined Campaign Matter, Planned Parenthood Navigator, Planned Parenthood Navigator Fined, Planned Parenthood ObamaCare with tags , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2013 by saynsumthn

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An affiliate of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will pay $30,000 to the state of Vermont to settle a claim that it violated the state’s campaign finance laws in 2010.

Attorney General Bill Sorrell said the group’s PPNNE Action Fund spent about $119,000 on political advertisements advocating against Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Dubie without filing the required reports at the secretary of state’s office.

The attorney general said the fund also got contributions from individual donors in amounts greater than the $2,000 limit allowed by law.

But in a statement, the Attorney General’s Office said there was “significant overlap” between the PAC, and the Action Fund.

It reads:

The State of Vermont has reached a settlement with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England Action Fund (“PPNNE Action Fund”) after investigating a campaign finance complaint regarding its activities in the 2010 general election cycle. PPPNNE Action Fund will pay a penalty of $30,000.

The investigation focused on allegations by Let Vermont Vote that PPNNE Action Fund had failed to comply with political committee reporting requirements and other campaign finance laws. During the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, PPNNE Action Fund spent about $119,000 on political advertisements advocating against Brian Dubie and received contributions from individual donors in amounts greater than $2,000. Thus, it qualified as a political committee. PPNNE Action Fund should have registered and filed reports of its campaign finances with the Secretary of State. In addition, as a PAC, it could not accept contributions in excess of $2,000 from any one donor.

In response to the investigation, PPNNE Action Fund claimed it was an independent-expenditure-only PAC and should be exempt from contribution limits under the Attorney General’s enforcement policy announced in July 2012. Independent expenditures are ones that are not made directly to candidates or coordinated with them.

In considering a possible contribution limit violation, the State did not find any evidence that PPNNE Action Fund coordinated campaign advertising with the Shumlin campaign. However, Planned Parenthood operated a PAC called PPNNE VT-PAC, which has made direct contributions to candidates in other elections. The State contended that a full examination of the operations of PPNNE Action Fund and PPNNE VT-PAC would reveal significant overlap in their planning, activities, and finances, which would establish that PPNNE Action Fund did not make only independent political expenditures. PPNNE disputed the State’s contention. To avoid the burden and expense of an examination of its operations, PPNNE Action Fund chose to settle this matter.

“All PACs must file campaign finance reports, and donors may not give a PAC more than $2,000 in contributions. Only independent-expenditure PACs are currently excused from this contribution limit,” said Attorney General William Sorrell. “A PAC must demonstrate that it makes only independent expenditures in order to qualify for this exception. Otherwise, the PAC will continue to be subject to Vermont’s contribution limits,” explained Attorney General Sorrell.

Read more about how Planned Parenthood uses its finances here

According to blogger Jill Stanek, in August 2012 Planned Parenthood of Northern New England was one of three Planned Parenthoods to whom HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius awarded grants to serve as Obamacare ”navigators” to help people enroll in Obamacare. PPNNE was given $145,161 from a total of $655,000 awarded to the three.

The Obama administration had to know PPNNE was under investigation when it awarded PPNNE the grant. Or perhaps PPNNE didn’t acknowledge the investigation when applying for the grant? Either way, something smells.

More odorous info: At the time of PPNNE’s grant award, Steve Trombley was the CEO. Trombley was formerly CEO of Planned Parenthood of Chicago, and then Planned Parenthood of Illinois, when Obama was state senator and U.S. senator. The two men were close allies. Obama even gave Trombley a shout out to during his infamous speech to Planned Parenthood in 2008 (:41 on the video).

Earlier this month New Hampshire Right to Life sued PPNNE for prescribing the RU486 abortion pill too late in the pregnancy, contrary to FDA protocol, which violates state law.

Christine O’Donnell calls new allegations a false attack by “establishment career politicians” on a “Grassroots Citizen Politician”

Posted in Tea Party with tags , , , , , , , on December 30, 2010 by saynsumthn

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House Passes DISCLOSE Act: Pro-Life/Grassroots Muzzle Bill Goes to Senate

Posted in free speech, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by saynsumthn

Critics on both left and right say act will disable grassroots political voices, including Tea Party movement

By Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – With a political audacity that has become characteristic since the caustic health care debates, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a campaign finance disclosure bill that critics on both the left and the right say will disable grassroots political voices – including the nascent “Tea Party” movement that has been looking to sweep away liberal incumbents in November.

At approximately 4:30 p.m., the House voted 219-206 to approve H.R. 5175, the “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act,” which the National Right to Life Committee, other pro-life, pro-family groups, and even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have condemned as a threat to free speech and free participation in the political process. (See how your representative voted here.)

The Act would force grassroots organizations to release the names of donors and members into a publicly searchable database maintained by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). Opponents of the bill say it would frustrate the ability of grassroots entities to communicate effectively with the public about public policy.
“This is a blatant attack on our organizations, members, and donors,” said Douglas Johnson, NRLC’s Legislative Director. “National Right to Life will do everything possible to keep this bill from coming out of the Senate.”

Johnson said that stopping the Senate from approving its version (S 3295) of the DISCLOSE Act is “a jump ball.”

“I think we have to take it very seriously. There are already 50 cosponsors of the bill in the Senate. But as you know, the Senate has different rules, and we will certainly do our best to persuade any Senator who will listen that this bill is unconstitutional, unprincipled, and nakedly partisan.”

Should the Senate approve the DISCLOSE Act, and should it be signed into law by President Barack Obama, the act would take effect in 30 days, even if the Federal Elections Commission has not yet crafted new guidelines – just in time for the mid-term elections in November.

During the one-hour debate on the bill, Rep. Dan Lungren expressed outrage that unlike every other campaign finance bill passed by the House, this bill has no provision for expedited judicial review. He said the lack of such a provision makes it clear the DISCLOSE Act is meant to influence the outcome of the 2010 midterm elections.
He also expressed frustration that so little time was given the House to debate a matter impacting Americans’ First Amendment rights.

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“We have spent 40 hours in this Congress naming post offices. Can’t we spend a little time protecting the Constitution of the United States?” Lungren exclaimed.
“We’re talking about political speech: the essence of the First Amendment.”

Under the bill, all groups subject to the law’s requirements – including most 501(c)4, 501(c)5, 501(c)6, and 527 groups – would have to list all donors of $600 or more with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Groups must also post a hyperlink on their website to the FEC, where a list of the names of their donors can be accessed.
But the DISCLOSE Act exempts large 501(c)4 groups – like the 4 million strong NRA and 750,000 member Sierra Club – from having to report their donors if they have at least 500,000 members, over 10 years of existence, chapters in all 50 states, and receive no more than 15% of total contributions from corporations.

Unions also have significant exemptions. Most union dues are under $600 dollars, and so do not have to be reported. Union to union money transfers also do not have to be disclosed.

In a letter to Congress, the ACLU noted the irony that a bill ostensibly dedicated to uprooting corruption in the political process would exempt entrenched “mainstream” political interests from its reporting requirements, while “smaller organizations and those just starting out would have to disclose their donors in order to engage in political speech.”

“Those groups not challenging the status quo would be protected; those challenging the status quo would be suppressed,” they concluded.

House members had virtually no time to read the final version of the bill approved yesterday behind closed doors by the House Rules Committee. Instead of waiting for Congressmen and their staff to analyze the final bill, the Democrat leadership forced through today’s vote today by invoking a “Martial Law Rule.”

The Martial Law Rule dispenses with a longstanding House rule (Rule XIII(6)(a)) intended to give U.S. Representatives and the public enough time to understand significant legislation. The rule requires that there be at least one day between a bill’s unveiling and the House floor vote, and can only be suspended if two-thirds of the House agrees – but the Martial Law Rule dispenses with that process entirely.

Critics on both the left and the right have denounced the tactic, saying it empowers a party’s leadership to act in an authoritarian manner and endangers democratic self-government by forcing members to vote blindly on measures demanded by their leaders.

The bill requires that every time an organization runs a campaign ad, its CEO must appear in the ad and twice state his name and the organization’s name. The top five funders of the organization behind the ad – even if they had nothing to do with the ad’s funding – must also have their names listed in the ad.

In addition, the most “significant” donor to the organization must list his name, rank, and organization three times in the ad.

Critics of the bill say that the disclaimers effectively devour valuable airtime bought by these groups that would otherwise be used to inform voters about a candidate’s record.

“We’re getting a little silly here. We’re talking about making disclaimers that are going to take the entire time of a commercial,” stated Rep. Lungren during debate.
He also expressed grave concern that individuals – with names and addresses publicly available – would be subject to reprisals for making a political statement. He pointed to the situation in California, where supporters of Proposition 8 have been victims of reprisals by homosexualist activists.

“We are chilling speech already, and now we are getting into direct intimidation by requiring the residence of people living there,” he said.

Other affected entities under the bill will likely include vocal liberal and conservative groups that communicate through the internet. While traditional media organizations like newspapers and television stations are exempt from the bill, bloggers, the vanguard of the “new media,” are not.

How representatives voted – click here.
Contact information for the U.S. House of Representatives – click here.
Contact information for the U.S. Senate – click here.

See related coverage by LifeSiteNews.com:
Breaking: House Dems Preparing Thursday DISCLOSE Act Vote to Muzzle Pro-life, Pro-family Groups
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jun/10062313.html
Congress to Vote on DISCLOSE Act – Condemned by Pro-Life, Pro-Family Groups
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jun/10061707.html

Speech License is really Gag on Free Speech: Congress passes Disclose Act

Posted in Constitution, free speech with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by saynsumthn

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Congress Votes to Stifle Political Speech 6/24/2010
The DISCLOSE Act is the work of tyrants

Washington, D.C. —Concerned Women for America condemns, the passage of the DISCLOSE Act in the House of Representatives today. Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, stated:

“The DISCLOSE Act is designed to stifle Americans’ legitimate right to political speech and carves out exceptions for powerful special interest groups and unions. It places onerous regulations on small business owners and grassroots groups if they attempt to educate the public on candidates and issues.

“The politicians who voted for this bill have put themselves on record as being against an essential tool through which America came to be a country — the public communication of political views. The brave founders of our country used the public means of their day to inform and persuade citizens, anonymously when so desired. This raw grab for power in an attempt to silence opposition by burdening citizens with regulations is the work of tyrants.”

The DISCLOSE Act requires organizations to name their top donors in ads that mention candidates — even if the donors did not fund the ads. Their CEOs must appear in the ad and twice state their name and the organization’s name. The most “significant” donor must list his name, rank, and organization three times in the ad, and the names of all donors who give $600 or more to the organization must be handed over to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Groups must post a link on their website to the FEC, where a list of their donors’ names can be accessed. It also bans election-related communications 90 days before the primaries up till the general election.

Read More : Congress to Vote on DISCLOSE Act – Condemned by Pro-Life, Pro-Family Groups

And Bad Aim? NRA shoots 1 to save 2 – free speech deal

‘Bully Pulpit’ Obama attacks Supreme Court : Alito replies, “not True”

Posted in Constitution, Obama, Supreme Court with tags , , , , , on January 28, 2010 by saynsumthn

Last year during the “State of the Union Speech” Republican Rep. Wilson yells “you lie” after Obama says illegal immigrants won’t be insured.

During this year’s (2010) State of the Union Address, Justice Samuel Alito mouthed the words “not true” when President Barack Obama criticized the Supreme Court’s campaign finance decision.

Obama’s Statement, “Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections,” Obama said. “Well I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.”

“The President’s swipe at the Supreme Court was a breach of decorum, and represents the worst of Washington politics — scapegoating ‘special interest’ bogeymen for all that ails Washington in attempt to silence the diverse range of speakers in our democracy,” said Bradley A. Smith, chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics, in The Corner blog on Nationalreview.com.