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Make Your Laws
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Have them in circles
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l lessard's profile photo
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*This* is what democracy looks like.
Introduction
Make Your Laws aims to eventually be an international scale replacement of legislatures, by enabling citizens to participate in online direct democracy (with transferrable proxies). It will bootstrap through existing legal mechanisms for direct action with teeth — ballot propositions and grassroots campaign financing.


Our BetterMeans project page (deprecated for discussions; please summarize them to G+)

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Contribution laundering & Citizens United petitions to FEC - you can participate

https://www.makeyourlaws.org/fec/laundering
https://www.makeyourlaws.org/fec/ravel_weintraub

The first is a fairly narrow proposal we made specifically to address the C4/C6->SuperPAC contribution laundering loophole. It's made narrowly to not require disclosure of funds used for issue advocacy, nor small donors, while still ensuring disclosure of significant sources of money that ultimately gets used to influence an election.

The second is a verbatim resubmission of the Ravel/Weintraub petition, which is meant to encourage broader public discussion and proposals (and moot the procedural concerns with Commissioners petitioning their own agency).

Public and private feedback welcome on both. See the pages for instructions on how to file public comments.
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Thanks to +Liz Fong-Jones, we now have a more functional (i.e. spam-free) mailing list. It's under a Google Apps group. Anyone can join; we've already added people who were on the previous team@makeyourlaws mailing list, but feel free to add yourself. - +Sai (I also have a new MYL work G+ account, whee)
Google Groups lets you hold discussions with people over the web or email.
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Sai (Sai at MYL)'s profile photoWoozle Hypertwin's profile photoSai (saizai)'s profile photo
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I've managed to open it in a KDE VM running in VirtualBox. :-P
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Yesterday, +Make Your Laws submitted comments (attached) on a proposed FEC rulemaking, REG 2015-01, about revamping the FEC's fines & forms. It may seem a bit technical, but this has real impacts on the accessibility of campaign finance disclosure data.

Right now, a lot of information is non-standardized. This makes it difficult to know really basic things — e.g. what donations have been made by the same person, what a PAC spends money on, differences between "independent expenditure" (unrestricted) and "traditional" (restricted) money, etc.

See https://sers.fec.gov/fosers/ -> 2015 -> commencing document / notice of availability for details.

If you want to comment yourself, just email FinesAndForms@fec.gov. Deadline is end of day May 29, Eastern time. You must include your first & last name, city, state, and zip code. Don't include your street address — remember that everything you submit will be public record.
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2015-05-27 MYL PAC comment on fines and forms rulemaking REG 2015-01Make Your Laws PAC, Inc. FEC ID # C00529743 ‚ÑÖ Nick Staddon, Secretary 122 Pinecrest Rd. Durham, NC 27705 Federal Election Commission Office of General Counsel 999 E Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20463 Re: MYL PAC comment on fines and forms rulemaking (REG 2015-01) May 27, 2015 Dear Commissioners:
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+Make Your Laws just submitted a petition for rulemaking to the Federal Election Commission.

It proposes that the FEC prohibit contribution laundering (aka "dark money") — funneling contributions through 501(c)(4) or similar organizations to avoid public disclosure of the original contributor's identity — by requiring corporations contributing more than $1k/yr to do so exclusively from an FEC-reported bank account, and require original (not just proximate) source disclosure.

Hopefully our proposal will help fix this particular problem, while avoiding court challenges and the privacy & free speech concerns of previous attempts (like the DISCLOSE Act).

Public and private feedback & discussion is welcome. See full details in the PDF @  link.
Should the FEC prohibit contribution laundering? Petition for Rulemaking. Current FEC and IRS regulations permit political committees with independent expenditure accounts ("Super PACs") to receive contributions from corporations, including 501(c)(4) corporations, which themselves have no ...
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Yesterday, the FEC released draft C version 2 of their response to our request re. whether foreign nationals can contribute the IP resulting from their coding and designing services to us. Docs are @ https://makeyourlaws.org/fec/volunteer_ip#docs

Changes from last time:
1. C-2 explicitly adds back the context about IP contributions being permitted because they result from services which can't be used without it, as both background & conclusions (p. 2 & 5 as labeled).

2. In the federal supremacy footnote (p 4 as labeled, fn 6), C-2 replaces C-1's "in light of the uniqueness of the foreign national prohibition" w/ "For purposes of the foreign national prohibition" … "The Commission here does not consider how the terms “contribution” and “donation” may be interpreted elsewhere within the Act or Commission regulations."

Looks like it should pass unanimously at today's meeting (10am Eastern). Live stream & recording will be @ http://www.fec.gov/agenda/2015/agenda20150319.shtml
Should PACs be allowed to receive contributions of intellectual property from foreign nationals' volunteer services? AOR 2014-20 (original) / (FEC scan). Foreign nationals aren't allowed to contribute money (or other "things of value") to a political committee, but they are allowed to volunteer ...
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Here's the video from +Sai's talk at +Julia Reda's EU Liquid Democracy Meetup.[1]

Slides: https://makeyourlaws.org/files/lqdbxl.pdf

[1] https://juliareda.eu/events/liquid-democracy-meetup/
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Sai (saizai)'s profile photoWoozle Hypertwin's profile photo
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Have them in circles
308 people
l lessard's profile photo
Jake White's profile photo
Siddhartha Kattoju's profile photo
Caterina Maria's profile photo
Jason Nichols's profile photo
Sai (Sai at MYL)'s profile photo
Kent Palmer's profile photo
Abram Demski's profile photo
Alex P-B's profile photo

Make Your Laws

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During the #FEC  meeting yesterday about a petition for post-Citizens United rulemaking brought by Chair Ravel and Commissioner Weintraub, several Commissioners raised procedural concerns. We re-filed the Ravel/Weintraub petition (during the meeting) in our own name to moot those concerns and ensure that it is publicly discussed. We're not commenting on the actual content until it's made available for public comment, when we'll file comments with everyone else.
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Here's a draft petition for rulemaking, asking the FEC to (a) make all of their documents accessible (e.g. stop posting scans of printouts of electronic documents) and (b) include redlines between multiple drafts of advisory opinions and the like, so one doesn't have to dig through it to find the minutiae that differ.

Comments welcome. I'm intending to submit this in about a week. Hopefully this will be uncontroversial to pass, and help with the practicalities of making government accountability more accessible. - +Sai 
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2015-06-xx MYL petition for rulemaking re accessibility of FEC documentsMake Your Laws PAC, Inc. (MYL PAC) FEC ID # C00529743 Make Your Laws Advocacy, Inc. (MYL C4) Make Your Laws, Inc. (MYL C3) ‚ÑÖ Nick Staddon, Secretary 122 Pinecrest Rd. Durham, NC 27705 (717) 469-5695 / pac@makeyourlaws.org Federal Election Commission Office of General Counsel 999 E Street, N.W. W
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Just upgraded the makeyourlaws.org SSL to sha256 (from sha1). Back to A+ on Qualsys: https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=makeyourlaws.org (with forward secrecy, OCSP, HSTS, HPKP, SPDY/3.1 all working).  - +Sai 
Due to a recently discovered bug in Apple's code, your browser is exposed to MITM attacks. Click here for more information. Please wait... Testing TLS 1.0. SSL Report v1.16.14. Copyright © 2009-2015 Qualys, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms and Conditions.
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#FEC hearing on our foreign national volunteer services IP AO 2014-20 https://makeyourlaws.org/fec/volunteer_ip
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makeyourlaws.org is currently down due to critical security maintenance by our host, +Linode. Should be back up soon.
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Here's a draft of a petition for rulemaking to the FEC to prohibit contribution laundering (aka the 501(c)(4) money laundering loophole). In this context, we do get to propose new regulations consistent with existing law, but we do not get to propose a change in the law or challenge the Supreme Court's decisions.

Comments and suggestions are appreciated, as always. Once submitted, it will be published and available for formal public comment.
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2015-03-xx MYL petition for rulemaking to prohibit contribution launderingMake Your Laws PAC, Inc. FEC ID # C00529743 Make Your Laws Advocacy, Inc. ℅ Nick Staddon, Secretary 122 Pinecrest Rd. Durham, NC 27705 Federal Election Commission Office of General Counsel 999 E Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20463 Re: MYL petition for rulemaking to prohibit contribution laundering
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