This week the Federal Election Commission (FEC) announced long-awaited increases to some individual contribution limits for 2013-14. Here’s what has changed—an individual may now give $2,600 per election (up from $2,500) to a candidate for federal office and $32,400 (up from $30,800) per year to a national party committee. Contribution limits to Federal PACs (including

The landmark Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case paved the way for explosive growth in political spending during the 2012 election cycle.  However, for government contractors and their principals, a growing number of “pay-to-play” laws restrict political contributions and fundraising, and can result in severe penalties, including the loss of contracts. Venable has

On November 2, 2012, the District Court for the District of Columbia, two days after oral argument, upheld the long-standing ban on political contributions from federal government contractors. In Wagner v. Federal Election Commission, three independent contractors with various federal agencies argued that the ban on federal contractor contributions in section 441c of the

A case headed to the Supreme Court could upend longstanding rules limiting federal political contributions. The Republican National Committee and an individual plaintiff filed an appeal yesterday after a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected their challenge to limits on the total amount an individual may contribute over

Today a D.C. federal appeals court temporarily reinstated a Federal Election Commission rule concerning when advocacy groups and others must disclose their donors, but has directed the FEC to clarify the rule or return to the courts for more litigation. The effect of the ruling is to put in limbo a key disclosure rule less

Outside groups have become a potent political force in the 2012 election campaign. Unleashed by the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case and subsequent lower court rulings, such groups can raise unlimited sums from individuals and corporations for ads and other spending that is not “coordinated” with a candidate. The most dramatic example:

With elections quickly approaching, last week the FEC finally issued a statement of how it will implement a federal court ruling striking down the Commission’s current regulation of electioneering communications. In late April, the D.C. District Court decided Van Hollen v. FEC, in which it vacated the FEC’s regulation requiring disclosure of donors to

The Federal Election Commission approved a proposal earlier this week to allow contributions via text messaging in federal elections. With the lawmaking process ill-equipped to keep pace with developing technologies, the success of this proposal – a year-and-a-half after the FEC rejected another text-messaging proposal – suggests that the path to approval for tech entrepreneurs