Daily Media Links 3/26: Campaign finance watchdog agency says outside Democratic group must adhere to contribution limits, Coalition ‘blasts’ campaign finance bill to Montana Senate floor, and more…

In the News
 
Campaigns and Elections: Utah governor poised to sign poll disclosure bill 
By Sean Miller
“It’s one of the worst written bills I’ve ever seen,” says David Keating, CCP’s president. “It’s so bad I can’t imagine a court upholding it.” 
The article continues: Powers was frank about his view of the legislation.  
“HB 44 is incumbent protectionism at its worst,” he says. “The politicians know exactly what they’re doing here.” 
 
Independent Groups
 
The Hill: Facebook’s Zuckerberg to launch lobby group with Washington consultants 
By Jennifer Martinez   
The new group will be set up as a 501(c)(4), which critics often deride as “dark money” because they are not required to disclose their donors.   
Joe Green, founder of Causes.com and Zuckerberg’s former college roommate, is spearheading the effort, which will include other executive donors from the tech world.  
 

Candidates, Politicians and Parties

 
Roll Call: Rules of the Game: Hispanic Caucus Leverages Latino Power  
By Eliza Newlin Carney
Through its increasingly lucrative political action committee, known as BOLD PAC, the caucus helped elect nine more Latinos to the House in November, growing the membership of the all-Democratic caucus to 27. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has tapped a pair of caucus members to cultivate Latino candidates and donors and leading caucus members are also in the thick of immigration overhaul negotiations on Capitol Hill. 
 

Lobbying and Ethics

 
Politico: Michele Bachmann under investigation for campaign finance violations  
By JOHN BRESNAHAN and BYRON TAU
Peter Waldron, an evangelist and former aide to Bachmann’s presidential campaign, has alleged in a complaint to the Federal Election Campaign that Bachmann used funds from her leadership PAC to cover the consultant costs for her presidential race.  
 
State and Local
 
Florida –– Jacksonville Daily Record: House passes campaign finance bill, but Scott opposed 
By Brandon Larrabee
The proposal, HB 569, cleared the chamber on a 75-39 vote, as four Democrats broke with their party to support the GOP-backed measure. The bill would boost contribution limits, allowing each donor to give $5,000 per election to a statewide candidate and $3,000 per election to local and legislative candidates. 
 
Illinois –– WBEZ: 3 things Beavers’ trial revealed about Illinois political cash 
By Alex Keefe
“There’s no law against what I did,” Beavers said Thursday, before a stand of rolling television cameras. “There’s no law against gambling with campaign funds.”  
 
Montana –– AP: Coalition ‘blasts’ campaign finance bill to Montana Senate floor 
The state Senate voted 29-21 on Friday to bring Senate Bill 375 out for a vote on Monday.  Republican state Sen. Jim Peterson has teamed up with Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock on the measure that aims to force more disclosure about third-party money in politics.  
 
New Jersey –– Star-Ledger: Campaign finance watchdog agency says outside Democratic group must adhere to contribution limits 
By Matt Friedman
Organized under the Internal revenue Service’s 527 tax code, the group contended it should be exempt from the state’s political contribution limit of $7,200 because the expenditures would be made independent of the candidates . It cited a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizen s United v. Federal Election Commission, that allowed for unlimited independent corporate and union political spending.  
Although ELEC acknowledged that similar contribution limits have been struck down at the federal level and other states, the agency’s commissioners in a 2-1 vote said it cannot simply stop enforcing New Jersey’s limits.