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 E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.

 September 2011

Internship Program

I had a great summer with our interns. In fact, it was so fabulous, I sent apologies to all of our previous interns for not spending time with them.

Earlier this summer I told you about Emily Kesler from Northwestern, Cristina Dickos from The Ohio State University, and Zachary Koozer from the University of Akron.  They were each hired for a specific job:

Emily assisted Joe May, Social Media Coordinator, to review sites and wrote some excellent posts for our blog, www.lobbycomply.com.

Cristina worked directly for me to manage my overwhelming American Express bill and to help with many administrative duties. I have to say Cristina was amazing. She was far more professional than four temps we had in that same position over the last 12 months.

Zachary helped Ken Kelewae update our computers in the office to Microsoft 7. He also learned that many of us use our keyboard as a placemat. He cleaned out all of our keyboards.

In addition, they joined me at meetings for the United Way of Summit County Board, Social Services Advisory Board, and the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce. They met Mayor Don Plusquellic at a great event at Firestone Country Club before the Bridgestone Tournament. The Chamber had small group meetings to discuss internships in the city and my team joined the presidents of Akron hospitals, banks, and companies to share their experiences.

They also helped with some local service programs. We worked with Good Samaritans to help distribute food to 150 families.  One day this summer, they joined several on staff in the United Way Day of Action cleaning and painting the Edgerton House in Akron.

And, we also had fun. One field trip was to a building where the owner keeps antique cars, many of them used in local parades, in his basement.

Yes, it was a great summer. It was also very financially beneficial to them. Each worked more than 300 hours and received a bonus of $3 for every hour worked. We ended the summer with our annual United Way campaign kickoff lunch and wished them all well when they go to school.

Until next month, think about an internship program at your organization. Give me a call if you have any questions. 

Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO


U.S. District Court Addresses
Independent Expenditure Reporting

by Sarah Kovit, Esq.
Research
Associate

On June 29, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Central Division issued a memorandum opinion and order upholding a challenged Iowa law requiring corporations and labor unions to disclose, within 48 hours, their spending for or against political candidates when that spending exceeds $750. The law also requires approval from a majority of the board members of corporations and labor unions before an independent expenditure can be made.

Iowa Right to Life is a 501(c)(4), which filed suit against government officials in the state of Iowa in 2010 alleging the state’s campaign finance laws infringed on the nonprofit’s First Amendment rights. At issue in the case are revisions to Iowa’s election laws as well as new administrative rules enacted in the wake of Citizens United. Iowa Right to Life wants to be permitted to make independent expenditures and campaign contributions, thus operating simultaneously as an independent expenditure committee and a PAC.

In addition to addressing the reporting issue based on the Citizens United decision, the court also certified two questions for the Iowa Supreme Court in an effort to resolve the remaining issues. Those questions are: (1) If a corporation that has not previously registered as a political committee makes independent expenditures aggregating over $750 in a calendar year, does that corporation become, by virtue of such expenditures, an independent expenditure committee, or a PAC, or both?; and (2) If a corporation that has not previously registered as a political committee and that was originally organized for purposes other than engaging in election activities makes independent expenditures aggregating over $750 in a calendar year, does that corporation become, by virtue of such expenditures, a permanent organization under Iowa law? The Iowa Supreme Court has docketed the questions and should issue a decision in the near future.


Legislation We Are Tracking

At any given time, more than 1,000 legislative bills, which can affect how you do business as a government affairs professional, are being discussed in federal, state, and local jurisdictions. These bills are summarized in the State and Federal Communications’ digital encyclopedias for lobbying laws, political contributions, and procurement lobbying, and can be found in the client portion of the State and Federal Communications' website.

Summaries of major bills are also included in monthly e-mail updates sent to all clients. The chart below shows the number of bills we are tracking in regards to lobbying laws, political contributions, and procurement lobbying.

  Total bills Number of Jurisdictions Passed Died Carried over
to 2012
Lobbying Laws 198 47 27 83 37
Political Contributions 371 50 45 133 68
Procurement Lobbying 176 40 17 73 19

 


Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations

by John Cozine, Esq.
Research Manager
 

ATLANTA, GEORGIA: Ginny Looney, the Ethics Officer for the Atlanta Ethics Office, has announced she will be leaving the position in order to work as a clerk for the Georgia Supreme Court. Looney, who was the first appointee to the position in 2003, made the announcement at the most recent Atlanta City Council meeting. Among her accomplishments during her time holding the position, Looney developed the city's electronic disclosure system, helped to craft city ethics laws, and established the city's 24/7 ethics hotline. Looney's final day is set to be September 30, 2011.
 

WEST VIRGINIA: Judge Thomas Johnston of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia has struck down key provisions of the campaign finance law pertaining to electioneering communications. In a suit filed by West Virginians for Life and the Center for Individual Freedom, the court held that while the state of West Virginia could regulate advertisements that “can have no other reasonable meaning than to urge the election or defeat of one or more clearly identified candidates,” the state could not require financial disclosures from third party groups creating advertisements that are merely “susceptible” to the interpretation that they are an appeal for or against a specific candidate. Furthermore, the court struck down the extension of electioneering communication regulations to print media while upholding the applicability of such regulations to broadcast media.
 

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN: The Green Bay City Council approved General Ordinance No. 10-11, which requires lobbyists to register if they attempt to influence legislative or administrative action by a city official. The ordinance requires lobbyists to register before engaging in lobbying by completing a registration form and paying a $20 registration fee. Lobbyists must disclose their contact information, the name of their client, and any compensation paid by the client. The ordinance became effective immediately and the city clerk’s office will be making a lobbyist registration form available in the next month.
 

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: The Philadelphia Board of Ethics has announced it will delay enforcement of the city’s lobbying law until 30 days after the effective date of proposed board regulations. According to a board resolution, the earliest that enforcement of the lobbying law may begin is September 26, 2011. Philadelphia City Code §20-1200, which contains Philadelphia's lobbying law, became effective July 1, 2011. The board had previously announced that lobbyist registration would not begin until July 18, 2011, because of delays in implementing the electronic registration system.
 

LOUISIANA: Governor Bobby Jindal signed House Bill 509 into law, changing the date of the state’s presidential primary. The primary moves to March on the first Saturday which follows the first Tuesday. Previously, the presidential primaries were held in February. The change in law became effective immediately.
 


Ohio Night at NCSL

As long as we have been attending NCSL, we have made sure that we attended Ohio Night.  Three years ago we took over planning the event in Philadelphia, PA. and continued in that capacity when we were in Louisville, KY last year.

This year, in San Antonio, TX, we enjoyed organizing a distinguished number of sponsors and participants.  Our Ohio Legislators showed up and offered great conversation.  The food at Biga on the Banks was spectacular.  We would like to thank those who sponsored this legacy event and the Ohio Legislators who gave their time. 

See you in Chicago!


State and Federal Communications Expands Coverage

In a continuing effort to better serve the needs of its clients, State and Federal Communications, Inc. is expanding coverage of laws and regulations for political contributions, lobbying, and procurement lobbying to more municipalities, regional governments, and governmental organizations.

We have added new jurisdictions for which our online clients will find comprehensive, timely, and accurate information that includes: complete calendar of reporting deadlines; critical statutory citations; extensive directories of contact information; summaries of each state law; detailed reference charts on goods and services contributions; highlights of every statute; copies of all required forms; and much more.

The new jurisdictions are:

  • Hollywood, FL

  • Hampton, VA

  • Chesapeake, VA

  • Lakewood, CO

  • Fort Collins, CO

  • Stamford, CT

  • New Haven, CT

  • Chandler, AZ

  • Tempe, AZ

  • Chattanooga, TN

  • Knoxville, TN

  • Independence, MO

  • Yonkers, NY

  • Reno, NV

  • North Las Vegas, NV

  • Flint, MI

  • Sterling Heights, MI

  • Evansville, IN

  • South Bend, IN

  • Fayetteville, NC

  • Lafayette, LA

  • Elizabeth, NJ

  • Eugene, OR


ASK THE EXPERTS

State and Federal Communications’ Experts Answer Your Questions

Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc. You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: marketing@stateandfed.com. (Of course, we have always been available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

Q. What contributions am I required to disclose on the semi-annual LD-203
        contribution report?

 

A. Though much focus is placed on the PAC and political contributions that must be disclosed on the LD-203, there are four (4) additional categories of reportable expenditures.  Below is an overview of all the expenditures required to be tracked and reported by employer registrants and individual lobbyists:


FECA (Federal Election Campaign Act)

  • Contributions (including in-kind) of $200 or more (in the aggregate) to any Federal candidate or officeholder, leadership PAC, or political party committee (such as the RNC or DNC).

  • For an employer report, this involves listing contributions from the company’s associated PAC.  FECA contributions tend to be the most common type reported but do not represent full disclosure when other reportable expenditures exist.

HONORARY

  • An expenditure of any amount made to an entity established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a covered legislative branch official or covered executive branch official, or an entity designated by such official.  Of note, this can include donations made to charitable organizations and other non-profit entities.

  • An expenditure of any amount made to pay the cost of an event to honor or recognize a covered legislative branch official or covered executive branch official.  The purchase of a table or ticket to another entity's event, in and of itself, is not sufficient to be considered "paying the cost" of the event.

  • An expenditure of any amount made to an entity named for a covered legislative branch official or to a person or entity in recognition of such official.

MEETING

  • An expenditure of any amount made for a meeting, retreat, conference, or other similar event held by, or in the name of, one or more covered legislative branch officials or covered executive branch officials.

PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY and/or INAUGURAL COMMITTEE

  • Contributions of $200 or more to any presidential library foundation and/or presidential inaugural committee made by an individual or employer (including from employer’s PAC) during the reporting period.


Wealth of Information at www.lobbycomply.com

Want to interact with your fellow government affairs and procurement colleagues? Then jump into the State and Federal Communications, Inc. blog at www.lobbycomply.com.

Once there, you can join the exchange of ideas and view solutions to common challenges and problems. Also, State and Federal Communications continually adds content to the blog, including ‘hot topics,’ which are summaries of important news items you need to know.

Join the conversation, and make use of this valuable information resource.

 


State and Federal Scrapbook

SGAC Past Presidents
Row 1:  Maureen Riehl, Katja Zastrow  Jean Cantrell, Joe Crosby.
Row 2: Tom Langan, Pete Poyntes, Keith Owen, Dennis Brown.
Row 3: Stan Tretiak, Alan Smith, Chris Badgley.
Elizabeth Bartz and John Chames at the State and
Federal Communications, Inc. booth at the July 2011
National Conference of State Legislatures in San Antonio, TX.
Joe May, Senator Tom Neehaus, Ren Koozer, and Elizabeth Bartz at Ohio Night held at Biga on the Banks. Rebecca South, Federal Compliance Associate, with Joan Finan, and former NCSL President, Senator Richard Finan at Ohio Night.
Elizabeth Bartz, Senator Richard Moore, and an onlooker
at SGAC's Late Night at the Buckhorn Museum and Saloon.
Elizabeth Bartz, newly elected SGAC President, with two former
SGAC Presidents, Jean Cantrell of Phillips and Maureen Riehl
of the National Retail Federation.

See Us in Person

Plan to say hello at future events where State and Federal Communications will be attending and/or speaking regarding compliance issues.

September 8-9, 2011

Practising Law Institute Conference
Washington, D.C.


September 10, 2011

Mandatory Course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, Washington, DC
Washington, D.C.


September 18-20, 2011

Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce Inter-City Visit
Milwaukee, WI


September 18-20, 2011

Public Affairs Council State and Local Government Relations Seminar
Washington, D.C.


September 21-22, 2011

State Government Affairs Council Board Meeting
Cleveland, OH


October 19-23, 2011

Council of State Governments Annual Meeting
Bellevue, WA


November 8, 2011

Election Day
United States


November 9, 2011

WASRG Summit
Washington, D.C.


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The Mission of State and Federal Communications is
to make sure that your organization can say, "I Comply."

We are the leading authority and exclusive information source
on legislation and regulations surrounding campaign finance
and political contributions; state, federal, and municipal lobbying; and procurement lobbying.

Contact us to learn how conveniently our services will allow you to say "I Comply" for your compliance activities.

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