E-News from State and Federal
As I am sitting here in my office, movers are taking computers,
desks, phones, credenzas, and printers upstairs at 80 South
Summit. It’s an expansion and not a move for State and Federal
year ago I thought this would be moving week out of the
building, but we were able to take over available space after a
Cleveland law firm downsized its Akron office. That’s good for
a lot of reasons including letterhead and business cards stay
State and Federal Communications will soon celebrate its 19th
anniversary in Akron, Ohio. We started on Akron-Peninsula Road
in a 900 square foot office. In 1996, we moved to Merriman Road
where I thought the 3,500 square foot office would be home for a
long, long time. We grew out of it and in 2002 we moved to
Downtown Akron in the Courtyard Square building and now have
15,000 square feet of space. According to building developers,
that amount of space can hold 50 staff people. We are almost
there with 30 people on staff.
This expansion is allowing State and Federal Communications to
increase our staff to help all of our clients. The changes in
lobbying, political contributions, ethics, and procurement
lobbying are changing all of the time in the states, cities,
counties, and federal governments. Keeping up with it requires
people devoted to research and understanding how they affect
You might not see changes, but I want you to know we are always
making sure we are providing you with the resources you need for
your government affairs work.
Until next month, stay off the eBay Political Collectibles
site…I have wall space to cover!
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Battle for Political Disclosures from Federal Vendors
the spring of 2011, a draft presidential executive order was leaked to
the public. The order would require every entity submitting offers for
federal contracts to disclose certain political contributions and
expenditures made within the two years prior to submission of their
offer. The disclosure requirement included contributions made to federal
candidates, parties, and committees by the bidding entity, its officers,
and any affiliates or subsidiaries within its control. Contributions
made to parties for independent expenditures and electioneering
communications would also be reported. These disclosures would be
required whenever the aggregate amount of the contributions and
expenditures by the bidding entity exceed $5,000.
to the order was swift. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce,
writing on behalf of a coalition of more than 80 business groups and
trade associations, strongly protested the proposed executive order.
a letter in support of the order, signed by more than 30 public
interest groups, urged full disclosure of campaign contributions and
expenditures by federal government contractors. U.S. Representative
Anna G. Eshoo sent a letter to President Obama, signed by more than
60 members of the House, in support of the proposed executive order.
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the
House Small Business Committee held a
joint hearing to examine the order, evaluate its impact and
consequences on the federal acquisition system, and determine whether it
introduced politics into the procurement process. Bills opposing the
proposed order were introduced in both the House and the Senate.
Finally, a compromise
amendment, precluding an executive agency from requiring a vendor
bidding on a contract to disclose political contributions, was added to
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2012. The act passed
and was signed by President Obama at the end of 2011.
of the bill did not end calls for disclosures of political contributions
from federal contractors, however. Petitions with more than 100,000
signatures were submitted by
and MoveOn.org to the White House,
urging the President to require federal contractors to disclose their
political contributions after the bidding process is completed and a
federal contract is awarded.
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
MONMOUTH COUNTY, NEW JERSEY: The
County Board of Freeholders has rescinded its three year old pay-to-play
regulations. County Resolution 2012-0071 repeals resolution 08-397,
which created pay-to-play and vendor disclosure rules that overlapped
with the state’s law. The board determined the county's pay-to-play
resolution caused confusion among those seeking or performing business
within the county. Without its own ordinance, the county will now only
follow the state’s pay-to-play laws.
COLORADO: Governor John Hickenlooper
signed the first bill to come out of the 2012 legislative session on
January 30, 2012. The bill, Senate Bill 12-014, moves the date for
candidates, committees, and political parties to begin filing biweekly
campaign finance disclosure reports from the first Monday in July prior
to the primary election to the first Monday in May prior to the primary
election. This settles an ongoing dispute between lawmakers and
Secretary of State Scott Gessler over filing biweekly reports prior to
the state’s June 26, 2012 primary. The first biweekly report will now be
due May 7, 2012.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: The United
States District Court for the Southern District of California has issued
an opinion in Thalheimer v. City of San Diego. The court upheld the ban
on corporate contributions made directly to candidates. Further, the
court upheld San Diego’s $500 individual contribution limit to city
candidates. Additionally, the court upheld the ban on contributions made
to a city candidate more than 12 months before the election. The court
struck down the ban on political party contributions to candidates and
the $1,000 limit on direct contributions to candidates by political
parties, which was enacted after the district court granted a
preliminary injunction. Lastly, the court struck down restrictions on
how much individuals and corporations can give to PACs making
OHIO: The Ohio Joint Legislative
Ethics Committee has released Advisory Opinion 2012-001, which prohibits
members and employees of the Ohio General Assembly from using their
office or employment status in order to promote a registered lobbyist.
In its first advisory opinion to be released since 2009, the committee
pointed to Ohio Revised Code section 102.03(D), which prohibits a public
official or employee from using his or her status acquired by such
position in order to secure anything of value. The committee opined that
the use of the member or employee in his or her official capacity as
senator, representative, or legislative staffer in an advertisement or
other promotional item would result in a value to the lobbyist, thus
resulting in the prohibition. Additionally, the committee cautioned
against allowing such a promotion in merely a personal capacity in order
to avoid the appearance of impropriety despite no specific prohibition
existing. The opinion, which was requested by an Ohio registered
lobbyist, was deemed necessary after requests for quotes on websites or
letters of recommendation to be sent to potential clients had been made
of members and employees of the Ohio General Assembly by registered
PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Lobbyists wishing to lobby in any of Palm Beach County, Florida's 38
cities will be subject to a countywide lobbyist registry, as approved by
the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Lobbyists will be
required to pay $25 to register the names of their clients, while also
being required to submit annual expense reports. There will also be
limits on gifts from lobbyists. A city may opt out of the countywide
registry, but then must create its own registry.
The following U.S. Presidents never ran for elective
office prior to running for President:
George Washington elected in 1789
Zachary Taylor elected in 1849
Ulysses S. Grant elected in 1869
Chester Alan Arthur elected in 1881
William Howard Taft elected in 1909
Herbert Hoover elected in 1929
Dwight D. Eisenhower elected in 1953
by Cristina Dickos, State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Legislation We Are
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.
Number of Jurisdictions
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:
(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.
an organization employing in-house lobbyists, what expenditures
am I required to capture for inclusion in the aggregate dollar
amount reported on my quarterly Federal LD-2 report?
There are a variety of
expenditures that Federal registrants are required to track and
report in an
effort to provide a good faith
estimate of their activity. These expenditures include:
Compensation, expenses and
overhead associated with “registered” lobbyist employee
activity. For Federal purposes, a “registered” lobbyist is
an individual who meets the statutory definition of a
lobbyist and is listed by name on the LD-2 report;
Compensation, expenses and
overhead associated with any non-lobbyist employee who
engaged in lobbying activity during the quarter (even though
they do not meet the statutory definition of lobbyist).
Their names are not listed on the report, but the value of
their activity is included;
Dues paid to an
association or membership organization during the quarter
that are attributable to lobbying. This amount is typically
a percentage of the overall payments made to the membership
organization and is ascertained by speaking with the outside
entity directly. Importantly, dues payments for lobbying
activities should be included in the estimate for the
quarter in which they are paid and cannot be apportioned
over a longer period of time;
during the quarter to outside consultants/firms for lobbying
activities. These fees are required to be included during
the quarter in which they are incurred regardless of whether
billing or payment has been made.
If we can be of assistance in
helping to identify reportable expenditures, please let us know.
Wealth of Information at
Want to interact
with your fellow government affairs and procurement colleagues? Then
jump into the State and Federal Communications, Inc. blog at
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.
the conversation, and make use of this valuable information resource.
State and Federal
State and Federal Communications, Inc. staff
attended and participated in the 2012 PAC Grassroots
Conference in Miami, FL. Those attending included: [L
to R] Sarah Gray, Amber Fish Linke, Elizabeth Z. Bartz, Joe
May, and Ren Koozer [behind the camera].
We gladly sponsored the Closing Keynote on
at the 2012 PAC Grassroots Conference at the
Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.
See Us in Person
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
March 7, 2012
Ohio's Birthday Party
March 15, 2012
Greater Akron Chamber
March 21-23, 2012
SGAC Annual Meeting
April 15-17, 2012
NASPO 2012 - How to
Market to State Governments Meeting
April 16-17, 2012
National Summit on
April 27-29, 2012
Foundation - National Innovation Conference
New York, New York
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Federal Communications, Inc. | Courtyard Square | 80 South
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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
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.