Saturday, September 16, 2017


Friday, September 15, 2017


To contact the reporter on this story: Kenneth P. Doyle in Washington at kdoyle@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie atpHendrie@bna.com

note to self: when file coments, cc these guys.


The commission voted Thursday (Sept. 14) to open the comment period for 30 additional days following a request by Commissioner Ellen Weintraub that the issue be placed on the agenda for the meeting.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Clinton book adds voter ID laws to list of reasons why she lost

On page 418, Clinton begins a section titled “Voter Suppression,” where she claims the Trump campaign “actively tried to discourage people from voting at all,” and adds that their play was “just the latest” in a “long-term” Republican strategy to “discourage and disenfranchise” Democratic-leaning voters.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

 alan king. not the same alan king, of course.

“Democrat On Trump Voter Fraud Probe Slams Voting Restriction Efforts”

In a lengthy statement to the commission, Alan King, a Democratic probate judge in Alabama, criticized overzealous efforts to purge people from the voter rolls. In his statement, King wrote that while there may be some people who voted twice, there were thousands more who were removed from the rolls for no reason or had their vote suppressed. 

Saturday, September 09, 2017


Dear FEC:

Stop violating my civil rights by chilling my speecch with your Defend the President AO draft.

Disclaimer regulations were found unconstituional in 1960, the year I was born, 57 years ago.

I will not allow you to roll back the clock to the Jim Crow era of censorship of political speech.

"Stewart contends that McIntyre controls this case. Stewart is correct." Stewart v Taylor 953 F.Supp. 1047 (S D Ind. 1997).

It is unethical, tortious, possibly illegal, scurrilous, and ill-mannered for the FEC to enforce unconstitutional void regulations, whether under the fugitive slave act, the alien and sedition act,
the loyalty oath statutes, or the disclaimer regulations at issue in the AO draft. That draft is a smoking gun that the FEC is involved in unlawfully chilling core political speech protected by the first amendment. Such conduct is prohibited by the Ku Klux Klan acts.

So knock it off.

I wrote to you guys about this in the Leo Smith 1998-AO-22.
That's 19 years ago, and you are still at it.

I wrote to you again when you wanted comments on internet regulation. 1000 of us, a then-record, submitted comments saying hands off the internet. 

By now I am old, mostly retired, with a grey beard. But the issue is still a live one between us.

Here, you are trying to enforce a void unconstitutional set of regulations against groups supporting the president. That president has the power to appoint members of the FEC, traditionally in consultation with party leaders. There are what, 5 or 6 vacancies?

You put your institution at risk when you attack the president's supporters without legal authority to do so. It is not a position of strength.

So, tactically, the FEC should stop being evil in this way, even if you have no intrinsic desire to be good or decent.

So knock it off.

Cordially, rgs.

Friday, September 08, 2017

  1.   Retweeted
    Under no circumstances should NH be first in the nation primary if Gardiner remains on the Voter Suppression committee

  1. Replying to  
    4/ She’s wrong. We’re *very* late on this. Don’t know why GOPers have obstructed us for months, but I’m not done fighting. Stay tuned.

contibui ng the great america AO notes...

Starting with the first category, a “public communication . . . shall not include 17 communications over the Internet, except for communications placed for a fee on another 18 person’s Web site.” 11 C.F.R. § 100.26.

Moreover, a Twitter profile is not an email, and 22 internet communications do not fall under the definition of “electioneering communication.” See 23 11 C.F.R. § 100.29(a) (defining it to include “broadcast, cable, or satellite communication”).



Here's what I was looking for. Great America PAC AO is about disclaimers.

I'll go back now, read it, then edit this post.
ADVISORY OPINION 2017-05 2 3 Dan Backer, Esq. DRAFT A
Great America PAC and 11 The Committee to Defend the President

"various types of communications that are within the scope of the disclaimer requirements under 3 the Act and Commission regulations, including “public communications” within the meaning of 4 11 C.F.R. § 100.26 (for example, certain broadcast, cable, newspaper, magazine, and mass 5 mailings), emails of substantially similar content distributed to more than 500 recipients, and 6 their respective publicly accessible websites. AOR002-003. 7 Twitter is free to use and “allows users to disseminate, receive, and read online messages 8 called ‘tweets,’ which may include text, hypertext links, audio, and video components.”....

disclaimer requirements of 11 C.F.R. § 110.11,

As discussed in the answer to Question 1 above, where the Act and Commission 11 regulations require communications to “clearly state the full name” of a political committee, 11 12 C.F.R. § 110.11(b)(3); see 52 U.S.C. § 30120(a)(3), that name “must be presented in a clear and 13 conspicuous manner, to give the reader, observer, or listener adequate notice of the identity of 14 the person or political committee that paid for the communication,” 11 C.F.R. § 110.11(c)(1).

For example, it would be sufficient for the committee to have a disclaimer stating, “Paid 4 for by The Committee to Defend the President, @Defend_Trump, 5 committeetodefendthepresident.com. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s 6 committee.” See id. at 9 (approving disclaimer including different name of fundraising project 7 because disclaimer contained language that communication “paid for by” political committee). 8 Thus, the Committee to Defend the President may use its full name and Twitter handle in 9 disclaimers because it is clear who is paying for the communication.

OK, to me this is huuuuuge.
It's the deep state telling trump he can't campaign the way he wants.
The courts have already said this is protected speech under the First Amendment.

Currently, the fec is down to about 4 members. Trump could pack the FEC with his own supporters, asking those who terms are finished to move along. Or he could go to court. Or he could ask the justice department to see what all goes on at the FEC.


routine fec business, but might be of interest to some massachusetts libertarians.

alison hayward wrote, 10 days ago which i am just seeing now,
Greetings, People of the List:

As you may have seen, the California Legislature has amended and is moving quickly to pass the so-called "Disclose" act (AB 249) this week.  In it is a lot of confusing and overlapping stuff about advertisements and major funder disclosure you can read at your leisure.

So I should probably take a look at thatt, if others matters arent more pressing. I do not orgaanize my time well. I almost overflowed the bathtub today because I started a bath and then went to mow the lawn. So I will probably get distracted before really taking on this disclose act. I do not yet know which parts I will object to, but there;s likely something.

Research and Internship Inquiries:
Matt Nese
Director of External Relations
Tel: (703) 894-6835
E-mail: MNese@campaignfreedom.org

Senior District Judge John Kane wrote that “the internet is the new soapbox; it is the new town square. CSG’s ‘personhood’ paper is Tom Paine’s pamphlet. It is the quintessence of political speech…. By setting in stone the uncertainty that precipitated this litigation in the first place, the [Supreme] Court’s interpretation chills robust discussion at the very core of our electoral process.”

 old news from april, but was new to me.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/fec-democrat-facebooks-russia-ads-are-proof-disclaimer-rules-need-an-update/article/2633772  (opens annoying video.)

Ellen Weintraub, a Democratic commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, is calling on the independent government agency to address Internet communication disclaimers at an open meeting next week, following the revelation that Facebook sold ads to Russian-linked accounts during the 2016 campaign.
"It is imperative that we update the Federal Election Commission's regulations to ensure that the American people know who is paying for the internet political communications they see," Weintraub said in a letter Thursday to the chairman of the FEC, Steven Walther.
"Given the revelations of the past few days regarding the secret purchase of thousands of internet political ads by foreign actors during the 2016 presidential election, there can no longer reasonably be any doubt that we need to revise and modernize our internet disclaimer regulations," Weintraub added. "The need for us to act grows more compelling every day."
Weintraub said she would invite leaders and experts from technology companies including Facebook, Twitter, and Google to attend the meeting and to assist the FEC in determining the best Internet disclaimer rules moving forward....

User profile image
Arbitrary Aardvark
46 seconds ago

What Weintraub is conspiring to do here is unconstitutional, illegal, and a violation of ethics rules if she is, as i think she is, a lawyer. The unconstitutionality of disclaimer regulations was established by the civil rights cases of the 1960s, especially in Talley v California (1960), and upheld multiple times in cases like McIntyre and ACLF in the 1990s. A disclaimer regulation limited to facebook ads from foreign governments would probably be ok, but that's not what she's tying to do here. When she tried this before, thousands of us filed comments saying "Hands off the internet!" We haven't forgotten.

related: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/fec-dems-renew-bid-to-regulate-internet-drudge-not-done-fighting/article/2633801

more thoughts: i think it's -probably constitutional, 1st  A, to try to pass a bill that's unconstitutional. it's her role in then carrying out those rules, new or old, that would be illegal.
and she might enjoy absolute and qualified immunity. but if she's a lawyer this is still unethical - in my opinion, which might not be shared by her discipline board.

update story now linked at drudge.
FEC Dems renew bid to regulate DRUDGE...

text of the weintraub letter.

"public comment will be reopened for 30 days" after the meeting. so it's time to refile my 1998-AO-22 statement, and the other statements i've made on the topic over the years, and write some new stuff.

There ar enow at least a dozen stories in various media discussing her letter; i may add some links later.


some new facts for the conflicts of interest stories. Personally I don't think Trump is bribable for anything less than a billion. But the access these guys get does influence his perrceptions.

Thursday, September 07, 2017


santa barbara 9/20 LWV.


new site in beta is for help finding (or being) appearance counsel, somebody local when you are somewhere else but need to cover a hearing. this might solve a problem i had when i was trying to practice; how do you find local counsel? i am currrently semi-retired with no active cases for clients ., but any moment now I could decide to become more active, and restart my project about unconstitutional disclaimer statutes.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017


Voter ID lawsuit heads back to Nashua

Federal judge returns case to state court

article is paywalled. nice graphic:

some background on the suit while i look for a link.
can't find anything. meanwhile at the hill J. C. Adams defends trump's election panel, which he's on.

OK here we go
The compaint raises only state con law claims so it doesn't belong in federal court.
There was a status conference yesterday in state court.

The state had moved to (transfer) the case a few days ago.

“Election-law lawsuit by NH Democratic party to become federal case”.


I don't usually link to letters to the editors, but this one has some numbers re wisconsin, 2016, and voter ID. Tunout in WI went down for both D and R in 2016.
The author suspects voter ID is a factor. The other obvious possibility is people didnt like the candidates; I think when you add in 3rd party votes turnout was about the same as 2012.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Johnson-Stein lost on appeal today/recently, a debate case about 3rd party participation.

It makes me wonder what other litigation there was about the 2016 election cycle.

Which cases remain live?

I know Trump had a series of cases, simply because he could afford the lawyers to do so.

I'll have to brush up on thelast couple dozen issues of ballot access news.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Posner retired today.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeux says hi..

Monday, August 28, 2017


Thursday, August 24, 2017

A federal judge Wednesday tossed out the Texas voter ID law, saying changes recently adopted by the Legislature fell short of fixing a law that was drafted to intentionally discriminate against minority voters.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi issued an injunction permanently barring Texas from enforcing its voter ID requirements, saying the Republican-drafted law violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution because it was “enacted with discriminatory intent — knowingly placing additional burdens on a disproportionate number of Hispanic and African-American voters.”
Ramos rejected arguments from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and officials with the Trump administration’s Department of Justice who said changes signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott this summer were sufficient to protect voting rights.


update, hasen has more http://electionlawblog.org/?p=94406



Monday, August 21, 2017


How Roy Moore won Alabama.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

On early returns, it's Moore-Strange and Jones-Kennedy in the runoff, but, Jones crushed Kennedy too badly. Wait, Jones has enough to avoid the runoff, I think. So Kennedy is out, and I've now lost interest.


wapo on alabama senate. no news yet as fr as results or exit polls.

I have not seen good polling in today's senate primary. Moore v Kennedy?

Oh it gets way better:
 But public polls, which his campaign disputes, have found him well short of 50 percent and running behind an African American military veteran, with little political experience, who happens to be named Robert Kennedy Jr.

A Naval Academy graduate (who went on to get an MBA from Duke), 

link to photo.

Sunday, August 13, 2017




Thursday, August 10, 2017


Thursday, July 20, 2017

McCain brain tumor confirmed. People were wondering after his incident of aphasia last month at a senate hearing.

Friday, July 14, 2017


Monday, July 10, 2017

robbin –

Today the ACLU legal team filed a lawsuit demanding transparency and accountability from Trump’s Election Integrity Commission. The name of the case? ACLU v. Trump.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Ashcroft to hold meetings in Ashland, California

That's an inside joke for missouri people.


front page of today's sunday star.

Thursday, July 06, 2017


Running Tally of Laws Potentially Broken by Pence-Kobach Commission, or By Commissioners





Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Voter fraud commission may have violated law,


President Trump’s voter fraud commission may have violated the law by ignoring federal requirements governing requests for information from states, severed experts on the regulatory process told The Hill.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

via hasen.

Notes on meeting with Lesley Crane, lawyer for speaker of the house/GOP caucus, and Jill, staff counsel for the house of rep, or whatever her title is.

Confirming our conversation, we met today and discussed both IC 3-9-3-2.5 and IC 3-5-3-2-6, if that’s the right cite, disclaimers and the $100 threshold for fines under the Indiana Campaign Finance Act.
I enjoyed speaking with you both and think we had a productive meeting. I am following up with a few of the case sites we discussed. The briefing in Majors has a more comprehensive list of the relevant case law, but these are the highlights.

The landmark case establishing that disclaimer requirements are unconstitutional was Taley v California (1960). The better known case is McIntyre v Ohio Elections Commission (1995).
The case which applied McIntyre to Indiana’s former IC 3-9-3-2 was Stewart v Taylor (S D Ind. 1997).
I received a settlement of $7,000 in that case. I had put up a sign that said “Robbin Stewart for Township Board Vote Tuesday”.

When the legislature passed 3-9-3-2.5, re-instating the provisions that they had just been told were unconstitutional, I brought Majors v Abell. Cite. I eventually lost that case 2-1 at the 7th circuit.

I am ready to begin future rounds of litigation – I need the money – but I have no objection to a legislative solution, repealing IC 3-9-3-2.5.

Recent controlling cases include Reed Town of Gilbert and AID v Open Society, which said it is a basic principle of First Amendment law that the government cannot tell people what they must say.

This references a long line of compelled speech cases including Barnette v W Virginia Board of Education, Wooley v Maynard, Riley v Foundation for the Blind, and Tornillo v Miami Herald, among others.

There have been at least two other cases which applied McIntyre to Indiana statutes, Ogden v Marendt and Mulholland v Marion County Election Board, which I mentioned settled for $80,000, after the Board spent 150,000 retaining private counsel to handle the case.

We can avoid that sort of thing by repealing the statute. Alternatively, what both caucuses might prefer is to redraft the statute to have it apply only to corporate speech. I think such a statute would pass muster under the First Amendment in light of Citizens United, although it might have problems under Article I section 9 of the Indiana Constitution.

Thanks again for today’s meeting.
I wrote this while my internet was briefly down, so I need to add in some cites before sending.

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