E-News from State and Federal
You have heard me banter before about my
L O V E for NPR. My first job out of
college was at our local affiliate WKSU and I have stayed in
contact with the great people there and now serve on the local
Community Advisory Council.
There are always underwriting opportunities—Garrison Keillor is
in town, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, local programs such as the
Regina Brett Show (which is fabulous)—and we always wait for a
perfect opportunity…And, we have!
State and Federal Communications, Inc. signed on early to
underwrite coverage at WKSU for both the Republican and
Democratic National Conventions. After hearing the spots we also
thought it would be great to help WAMU 88.5 in Washington, DC—a
station heard by many of our clients and business colleagues. It
was easy to make that happen and we are enjoying hearing the
So whether you listen on WKSU 89.7 in NE Ohio or WAMU 88.5 in
Washington, DC or on their respective on-line websites,
www.wamu.org, you will hear one of these lines—
COMES FROM STATE & FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS, HELPING COMPANIES
AND ORGANIZATIONS COMPLY WITH THEIR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS,
STATE LOBBYING, AND PROCUREMENT ACTIVITIES. MORE INFORMATION
AT STATE AND FED DOT COM.
SUPPORT FOR WAMU
88.5 COMES FROM STATE & FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS, SUPPORTING W
A M U' S NEWS COVERAGE OF THE D C, MARYLAND, AND VIRGINIA
DELEGATIONS AT THE REPUBLICAN
AND DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND THE NOVEMBER
Until next month, stay tuned.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
- 2012 Summer Outing with the Tribe!
State and Federal Communications, Inc. 2012 Summer Outing was at
Progressive Field August 26th watching the Cleveland Indians vs
New York Yankees baseball game. We enjoyed the Legends
Suite filled with food and seating - indoors and out - for all
of our staff and their family.
It was exciting and surprising to see so many
children. We had 5 under 1.5 years old!
The game was exciting on a beautifully sunny day,
but our Tribe lost by three runs.
The staff and their family truly enjoyed this outing and
already planning for the next!
Campaign Finance Bill -- Senate Bill 3722
Governor Pat Quinn
and the Illinois legislature have rewritten the campaign finance laws
the state just recently overhauled in the wake of the Rod Blagojevich
scandal. Senate Bill 3722, which passed both houses of the state
legislature and was signed into law by Governor Quinn on July 6, 2012,
will remove contribution limits in races once independent spending has
reached a certain threshold. Under this new law, if a natural person or
an independent expenditure committee makes independent expenditures in
support of, or in opposition to, the campaign of a candidate or an
incumbent in an amount of more than $250,000 for statewide office, or
$100,000 for all other elective offices, the contribution limits are
waived for all candidates for that specific office.
For example, if an
independent expenditure committee spends more than $250,000 for
commercials touting the achievements of candidate A, who is running for
governor, then the threshold will have been met. At that point, the
state board of elections will verify the spending and within two days
will issue a notice that the contributions limits have been lifted for
that race. Therefore, in this instance, all gubernatorial candidates
would be allowed to accept unlimited contribution amounts.
For purposes of the
new law, the offices considered statewide offices, and held to the
$250,000 threshold, are governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general,
secretary of state, comptroller, and treasurer. All other elective
offices will be held to the $100,000 threshold.
The law was effective
immediately. The first races affected by the new law are the state house
and senate seats up for election in November.
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
FEDERAL: The Federal Election
Commission (FEC) announced persons reporting electioneering
communications must report the name and address of each donor giving
$1,000 or more, aggregated from the first day of the preceding calendar
year. The application of this rule applies retroactively to March 30,
2012, coinciding with a court decision in Van Hollen v. FEC that ruled
the current regulation, 11 C.F.R. §104.20(c)(9), invalid. Previously,
donors were only required to be disclosed if their donations were “made
for the purpose of furthering electioneering communications.” The FEC
will now consider all donors as contributors “regardless of their
subjective purpose in contributing.” As the commission has not adopted
any new regulations or explanation of its rules, and Van Hollen v. FEC
is still pending, the FEC outlined this requirement in a public
VERMONT: Attorney General William
Sorrell issued a statement that his office will not enforce the $2,000
contribution limit on PACs only making independent expenditures. The
statement comes after a request for clarification from Secretary of
State Jim Condos regarding the federal court decision in Vermont Right
to Life Committee (VRLC) v. Sorrell. While the opinion in VRLC v.
Sorrell upheld the contribution limit as applied to VRLC's independent
expenditure committee, the ruling was based on the lack of safeguards to
ensure that unlimited contributions to VRLC's independent expenditure
committee did not flow into VRLC's candidate contribution funds.
Attorney General Sorrell stressed if the investigation reveals a PAC's
activities are not conducted entirely independently of candidates, as in
VRLC v. Sorrell, it will continue to be subject to the contribution
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: The Chicago City
Council voted unanimously to pass Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s ethics ordinance.
The ordinance, the first overhaul of the city’s ethics code in 25 years,
institutes the recommendations made by an ethics board Emanuel appointed
to study the city’s ethical issues. The newly passed ordinance will
increase the gift prohibition for city officials and employees.
Officials and employees will now only be able to accept gifts that are
less than $50 in value. It also limits the ability of lobbyists and
contractors to make political contributions and includes a reverse
revolving door provision limiting a city official or employee’s
participation in matters involving former employers. The ordinance will
go into effect on November 1, 2012.
CALIFORNIA: The Fair Political
Practices Commission has approved a change to simplify lobbyist
reporting requirements for "drop-in" events. The amendment to regulation
18640 allows appetizers and beverages to be excluded from the gift
valuation for an official who does not stay for any meal or
entertainment. The value of the gift is now any specific item, other
than food, presented to the official and guest accompanying the
official, if the official notifies the lobbyist in writing that the
official did not stay for any meal or entertainment. The amendment
provides consistency with regulation 18946.2(e), which was previously
amended to exclude the value of appetizers and drinks from the value of
a gift received by an official who briefly appears or drops by an
invitation-only event. Prior to the amendment, the value of the gift
received was limited to the actual value of the food and beverages
consumed by the official and guest, along with the value of any specific
item received at the event.
Governor Neil Abercrombie signed House Bill 2175 into law, exempting
certain people from the state’s revolving door provisions. In an effort
to increase participation amongst the state’s experts and those with
special knowledge, the law exempts members of a state task force from
the revolving door provisions. A task force is a group created to study
a specific problem for a specified period of time. The law took effect
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
E B S I T E
T I P
Do you need to quickly determine your reporting obligations?
with State and Federal’s website. If you are a subscriber to the
Lobbying Laws or Political Contributions publications, simply select the
"Key Dates" link on the left side of the screen while in the
jurisdiction of your choice. This will bring up a table containing all
of the reports due in that jurisdiction in the current year, as well as
the period of time covered by those reports. If there are set
registration renewal or expiration dates, those will also be included.
Additionally, the Political Contributions publication includes election
dates. Alternatively, immediately after you log in to the website you
can find the key dates under the Lobbying Laws and Political
Contributions Resource Pages. Once you have entered either of those
resource pages, click on the "Key Dates" link at the top of the page.
You will then be able to select a state on a map to see all of the key
dates for that state and the municipalities in that state. Or you can
select a month from a pull-down menu to see all of the registrations and
reports due during that month across all of our covered 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.
Are there any additional compliance requirements of which to be
aware because this is a Presidential election year?
a word, no. However, given the substantial increase in federal,
state, and local contributions, it is important to keep in mind
some compliance basics during an election year:
Be aware of what restrictions exist in a specific jurisdiction
regarding pre-election contributions and/or communications.
Several states have laws restricting contributions within a
certain time period of an election. Federally, there are
time-period restrictions associated with election
contributions that may only come into play during an
election year. For instance, at the federal level,
contributions made to an inaugural committee are reportable
on the LD-203;
The same gift laws
apply leading up to an election as the rest of the year.
Understand the definition of a gift as it relates to a
“covered official” from any given jurisdiction and don’t
violate it because you happen to be attending an
election-related activity, including conventions;
have personal, corporate and/or PAC contribution limits. Be
diligent in monitoring contributions so as not to surpass
Don’t rely on a
“covered official” from any jurisdiction to know his/her
jurisdiction’s limits or restrictions. Be proactive in
determining restrictions ahead of time; and
implementing “Election Year” guidelines within your
organization to keep everyone on the same page.
In an election year, the increase in activity
coupled with jurisdictional differences can make compliance a
little trickier. By following these fundamental guidelines, you
are more likely to ensure that at the end of the day you can
say, “I Comply.” As always, should you have any questions
regarding your compliance efforts, don’t hesitate to refer to
State and Federal Communication’s on-line source books or
contact us directly.
September's Expert -
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
2012 SGAC Appreciation Dinner
Evelyn Lane, Joan Finan, Senator Richard Finan, Elizabeth
Bartz, and Jeff Lane.
The State and Federal Communications, Inc.
attending the 2012 NCSL in Chicago, Illinois.
[l to r: Nola Werren, Esq., Amber Linke, Esq.,
Rebecca South, Elizabeth Z. Bartz, Ren Koozer, and Myra
See Us in Person
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
Practising Law Institute
September 12, 2012
United Way of Summit
County Cornhole Tournament, Lock 3,
PAC State and
Local Government Seminar
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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.