campaign finance

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A federal judge is hoping court-ordered mediation can resolve a penalty dispute in a Federal Election Commission lawsuit against former Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell.

The judge on Monday referred the case to a magistrate judge to explore alternative dispute resolution. He also ordered attorneys to submit written arguments on the amount of fines and penalties he should impose based on the current case record.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is rejecting a conservative group's challenge to a Delaware campaign finance law.

The justices on Tuesday left in place a lower court ruling allowing the 2012 law to be enforced. The measure requires third-party groups working independently of candidates to influence elections to disclose the source of donations.

Delaware Strong Families challenged the disclosure requirements.

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said they would have heard the group's appeal.

The case is Delaware Strong Families v. Denn, 15-1234.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House is set to vote on legislation regarding contributions to and from political parties.

The bill to be considered Thursday raises the maximum allowable contribution from a political party to a candidate for state House from $3,000 to $5,000, equal to the maximum for Senate candidates. It also raises the maximum amount an individual can contribute to a political party in an election cycle from $20,000 to $30,000.

The bill also establishes quarterly campaign finance reporting periods, similar to federal reporting requirements. 

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Newly filed finance reports show Virginia Republican state lawmakers have a large cash advantage over their Democratic counterparts going into this year's campaign season.

But Democrats say they don't have as much in the bank because they're already spending it on efforts similar to what helped their candidates, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe, sweep all three statewide offices in 2013.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland General Assembly has approved a bill to bring back a voluntary check off on individual income tax returns for public campaign financing for governor.

The House agreed with changes made by the Senate Monday night on a 102-36 vote.

The original check off was repealed in 2010.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State lawmakers are taking Delaware's elections commissioner to task for repeatedly allowing violations of campaign finance reporting laws to go unpunished.

During a presentation to the legislature's budget-writing committee Wednesday, Commissioner Elaine Manlove was quizzed about fines for late or missing campaign finance reports often being waived or going uncollected.

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Governor Larry Hogan laid out an ambitious plan in his first state of the state address beginning with a promise to begin his efforts to bring tax relief to Marylanders.

The Republican blamed high taxes, over regulation and an anti-business atmosphere for the struggling state economy.

Hogan’s tax program ranged from repealing income taxes on pensions for retired military, police, fire and first responders to doing away with automatic increase in the gas tax and a cut in personal property taxes for small business.

Don Rush

If you’re a whistleblower you just got some more protection when it comes to reporting on violations of election laws in Delaware.

Eight bills signed into law by Governor Jack Markell last month includes one that provides protection to whistleblowers who report and refuse to participate in the violation of campaign finance laws.

It’s part of a major election reform that consolidates the three existing county Boards of Elections into a single board.

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GOP lawmakers in Delaware want to change the way campaign finance laws are carried out.

The legislation would require political action committees to provide information on the employment records of the contributors as well as whistle-blower protection for those who reveal campaign finance violations.

In addition, it would require better detail on political contributions made jointly by more than one person.

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Delaware Republicans want the Attorney General Beau Biden to provide the details of a more than two-year independent investigation into campaign finance violations.

The probe by special prosecutor E. Norman Veasey found improper campaign contributions to Governor Jack Markell in 2008.

In addition, the investigation found violations by three state lawmakers for failing to report getting gifts of more than $250 as required by law.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has approved two bills aimed to expand and strengthen Delaware's campaign finance laws.

One bill approved Wednesday requires third-party groups to disclose the source of funding for independent campaign ads that refer to clearly identified candidates, even if the ads don't urge a vote for or against any candidate.

The other bill increases the penalty for filing late or incomplete campaign finance reports from $50 a month to $50 a day.