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Tag Archive: Bob Bauer

Bauer, Obama’s new ethics point man, had double standards on 527s

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At a May 3, 2000, press conference, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., announced that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had filed a lawsuit, prepared by its counsel, Robert F. Bauer, alleging that Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, was using a series of nonprofits and political committees (called section 527s, after the section of the tax code under which they're created) to circumvent campaign finance laws, extort money from donors, and evade disclosure. Kennedy and Bauer presented the charges, based for the most part on media reports about DeLay's fundraising tactics, as an unprecedented assault on campaign finance law ...

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Bob Bauer in his own words

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Robert F. Bauer, who will take on part of the responsibilities of Norm Eisen, the departing Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, has a long and storied career in Washington. He has represented the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Kerry and Obama presidential campaigns, and 527 organizations like Vote Now and America Coming Together. He’s defended Democratic politicians who ran into ethics trouble, including former Rep. Tony Coelho and former Sen. Robert Torricelli—both of whom were forced to give up their offices as ethics charges mounted against them. He's filed ethics complaints against ...

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Reflections on Election Laws

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Bob Bauer, political campaign attorney who invented the legal justification for "soft money" and now council to the Obama campaign and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, authors the Web site More Soft Money Hard Law on the side. Late last week, Bauer posted a transcript of comments he gave to a panel of the American Constitutional Society on the topic of "Can Campaign Finance Reform Actually Work?" In his comments titled "Enforcement Expectations and Hard Calls," Bauer writes that we should temper our expectations about campaign law by what we want enforced. "On the basics," Bauer writes, "the law has been plentifully enforced." But hard issues exist in election law, and "tough calls" inherently exist. He warns against putting too much expectation on the law, and to strive to reach "comprehensible and rationally administrable" regulations. As an example, he praises the Federal Election Commission for adopting broad exemptions of campaign finance laws regarding blogging and other Internet uses for campaign-related purposes.The FEC wrote rules that places Internet activities within the media exemption, activity that should largely be free of regulation, he argues.

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