End Citizens United – Protecting the Johnson Amendment

Campaign finance laws have recently come under threat, but the situation can still be salvaged. Recently, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order that is basically designed to weaken the Johnson Amendment.

What is the Johnson Amendment?

Under the Johnson Amendment, organizations classified as 501 (c) (3) are forbidden from engaging in political campaign funding either directly or indirectly. The amendment outlines that organizations found to be participating in campaign funding risk losing their tax exemption privileges, among other things.

Organizations under this classification include churches, universities, and charities, among others that are expected to be politically neutral.

The Consequences

If repealed, the Johnson Amendment will open the door to unscrupulous campaign financing. It will mean that politics will be more entrenched in such institutions, and this will create even greater political divide in an environment already polarized by politics.

There are also concerns that unscrupulous individuals will take advantage of the repeal to further their political ambitions. If repealed, donations to such organizations would be exempt to taxation – additionally, the donors would also stand to get some of their taxes exempted. As such, these organizations would essentially work as conduits for such individuals and their benefactors.

Churches are at the center of the spotlight in this situation. This is because the Johnson Amendment was seen as a means of separating the church from the state, which is guaranteed in the American constitution.

A Republican Plot?

Since assuming the president’s office, Trump has been repealing many laws and amendments he considers as liberal. The latest attempt to destroy the Johnson Amendment, however, seems to be a joint effort by Republicans as a whole.

While President Donald J. Trump has already signed an executive order limiting the Johnson Amendment, Republicans are pushing bills seeking to destroy the law in the house. Given that they have the numbers, there are worries that they may actually have their way and give way to the said consequences.

Fighting for the Johnson Amendment

Several organizations have come out against the move to destroy the Johnson Amendment. End Citizens United, in particular, issued a press release in August 30, 2017 condemning the move and seeking to sensitize people about what the Johnson Amendment stands for.

End Citizens United is a political action committee (PAC) that relies on ordinary citizens for its funding. It has a limit on how much any one individual can contribute to the organization, but it is also one of the biggest PACs in the U.S. It mostly funds liberal candidates, but it is entirely guided on principles such as justice, equality, and freedom of speech, among others. It has wide following, and its continued growth is seen as an effective countermeasure against big money politics that mostly serve the interests of the elite. Learn more:http://endcitizensunited.org/?source=rtiads_gs_ecu_h

 

Relmada Therapeutics Files Another Complaint Against Laidlaw’s Irresponsible Practices

Recently, Relmada Therapeutics filed a motion to amend the initial complain against its former investment banking associate, Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. The request for amendment is particularly notable because Relmada Therapeutics has already filed a case against Laidlaw and its Principals, Matthew Eitner and James Ahern. The initial claim suggests that Laidlaw’s actions negatively impacted the company as it was involved in disclosing confidential matters to the public. However, the new claim includes an additional legal claim based on Laidlaw’s breach of the fiduciary duty that it owed to Relmada.

 

Actually, Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd acted as the primary investor banker for the company in important dealings in 2011 and 2014. It was also the financial advisor to Relmada when Relmada merged with Camp Nine Inc. Resulting in becoming a public company. In the Spring of 2015, the company discussed the option of attracting new investors. Therefore, the management of Relmada initiated very confidential meetings with the top executives of Laidlaw & Company regarding potential investors and other future prospects. However, Relmada Therapeutics was dissatisfied over the negotiations and performance of Laidlaw & Company regarding its handling of the affair.

 

Responding to the dissatisfaction shown by the management of Relmada, Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd filed a Schedule 13D with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result of the filing, important and confidential information about Relmada was revealed to the public. The information also leaked important fund raising efforts by Relmada. Due to the disclosure, the stock market price of the company declined from $4.03 per share to to its current price of $1.65 per share. Relmada believes that there the leak of important information had led to the decline despite very positive development news from the company.

 

It is also notable that this is not the first time that Laidlaw & Associates has acted against the ethical norms. In the past, Laidlaw has acted irresponsibly by failing to establish and implement adequate FINRA policies. Between 2007 and 2009, FINRA received almost 60 customer complaints against the company. Likewise, its managing partner, James Ahern, continues to lie about his education. In fact, there are several tax liens filed against him in the New York State.