E-News from State and Federal
The World According to Carol Carson
Carson is the executive director of the Connecticut Office of
Government Accountability. In September she provided her Top 10
Tips at the Practising Law Institute’s Campaign Finance and
Lobbying program in Washington, DC.
10. Register. Register. Register.
9. In Connecticut, you are
required to wear your lobbying badge… So wear your lobbying
8. Keep contemporaneous records.
7. Get advice from the agency. We
are here to help.
6. If you mess up, fess up.
5. Don’t play us.
4. Work with us.
3. Lobbying is a self-policing
2. Video surveillance is
would rather help you get it right then catch you doing it
huge fans of Carol Carson because she is out there working with
the registered community to file accurate and timely reports.
Everyone should use her Top 10 Tips to manage compliance.
It is a
busy time of the year. Make sure your 2014 registrations are in
order. Need help, call us. We Comply.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Arizona Contribution Limits on Hold
A new law raising contributions limits in
Arizona is currently on hold while opposing parties fight it out in the
In April, House Bill 2593 was signed into law
by the governor. This bill raised the political contribution limits
in A.R.S. §16-905 for candidates not participating in the
state’s public campaign finance fund (Clean Elections Act).
Included in the changes of the law were the removal of the
aggregate contribution limitations for individuals and some
political committees and a modification of the definition of election.
The expanded definition of election allows
separate contributions for both a primary and a general
election. For example, A.R.S. §16-905 as amended by H.B.
2593 allows a contribution of $2,000 to a
non-statewide legislative candidate for a primary election
and an additional $2,000 to the same candidate in the
general election. Before H.B. 2593, the
maximum amount allowed under A.R.S. §16-905 for both elections was $440. The Clean Elections Act created an alternative campaign
financing system allowing candidates for statewide and
legislative office to receive public campaign financing.
Included in the act was the provision that the separate
contribution limits allowed in A.R.S. §16-905 for
nonparticipating candidates was to be reduced by 20 percent,
adjusted for inflation. The amounts listed in the example
above take the 20 percent reduction into account.
Because the Act was passed as part of a voter
approved proposition, amending or superseding it requires a
three-fourths vote in both the Senate and House of
Representatives. HB 2593 was not passed with a three-fourths
In July, the Citizens Clean Elections
Commission, which administers the act, sued the secretary of
state arguing HB 2593 was unconstitutional because it lacked
the three-fourths vote needed to modify the act. The
commission requested the secretary of state be enjoined from
implementing and enforcing the new contribution limits.
Judge Mark H. Bain of the Superior Court of Maricopa County
disagreed “in light of the First Amendment issues presented”
and the contribution limit changes took effect on September
On appeal, the state Court of Appeals,
Division, preliminarily enjoined the secretary on
October 15, 2013 from enforcing or implementing the
contribution limits of HB 2593. In making its ruling, the
court determined the lower court made no findings of fact
concerning whether enjoining the secretary of state from
enforcing the new limits would violate the First Amendment.
The court also found the commission was likely to succeed
because the act was tied to the limits set in A.R.S. §16-905
at the time of its passage and because the language of the
law was statutorily ineffective because it contains the
language “[n]otwithstanding any law to the contrary.”
The case was remanded back to the Superior
Court and the secretary of state is presently enforcing the
pre-H.B. 2593 contribution limits.
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
Campaign and governmental ethics regulators from across
the country announced the launch of the States’ Unified
Network (SUN) Center, a website devoted to providing
nationwide information regarding campaign disclosure and
enforcement of campaign finance rules. SUN Center will
display proposed and existing legislation, current news,
and enforcement cases related to campaign finance rules.
The site will also develop a database of organizations
making contributions in multiple states, allowing
enforcement agencies to exchange information and
coordinate enforcement efforts. The group is nonpartisan
and currently consists of regulators from New York,
California, Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Washington, Iowa, and New York City. The
website is available at
The Hawaii State Ethics Commission issued an ethics
advisory in response to inquiries received regarding
grassroots lobbying activity during the Legislature's
second special session. The Legislature convened on
October 28, 2013, to discuss same-sex marriage.
Grassroots lobbying activities such as preparing or
distributing flyers and other mailers encouraging
members of the public to contact their legislators in
support of or in opposition to the bill; producing or
paying for broadcast, print, or Internet media
announcements advocating for or against the issue; and
organizing sign-waving or rallies to demonstrate support
for or against same-sex marriage may all constitute
reportable lobbying expenses under Hawaii law.
On November 4, in response to a court decision enjoining
the Texas Ethics Commission from enforcing parts of the
Election Code, the commission released guidance
concerning independent expenditure-only PACs. The
commission acknowledged restrictions on independent
expenditures from independent expenditure-only PACs,
referred to in the state as "direct campaign expenditure
only committees," are currently unenforceable under the
October 16, 2013, ruling in Texans for Free
Enterprise v. Texas Ethics Commission. The
commission now requires independent expenditure-only PACs
submit a sworn statement stating the committee intends
to act exclusively as a direct campaign expenditure only
committee in accordance with Texans for Free Enterprise
and the committee will not use its funds to make
contributions to candidates for elective office,
officeholders, or political committees supporting or
opposing candidates or assisting officeholders. The
commission also made available a sample template
political committees may use to submit their sworn
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
reversed a District Court ruling denying a preliminary
injunction on campaign contributions to independent
expenditure PACs in New York. The lawsuit was filed by
New York Progress and Protection PAC, which alleged a
wealthy donor, Shaun McCutcheon, pledged to donate
$200,000 to the PAC in support of Joseph J. Lhota, a New
York City mayoral candidate. McCutcheon's donation,
however, would exceed the contribution limit of $150,000
to independent expenditure committees set by New York
state law. The Circuit Court granted the injunction,
stating the contribution limits are "likely
unconstitutional" and the claim has a substantial
likelihood of success. The court further noted the
plaintiff would face irreparable harm if the injunction
was not granted. The donor in question, Shaun
McCutcheon, is also embroiled in a similar suit
challenging the federal campaign contribution limits
before the Supreme Court of the United States.
COLORADO: The City Council voted to approve
new campaign finance rules October 14, 2013. The new
ordinance caps campaign donations at $2,500 per person
for council candidates and $5,000 for mayoral
candidates. Additionally, cash and in-kind donations
will be treated the same; together they cannot exceed
the limits. Other amendments to the ordinance require
LLCs making political donations of more than $100 to
disclose their members. The ordinance also addresses
complaints against candidates. The deadline to file a
complaint has been changed from 180 days after the
alleged violation to 120 days after the violation.
Finally, the ordinance outlines the threshold or point
at which a person interested in running for an elected
position becomes a candidate. Declaring candidacy,
receiving a donation, or making a campaign-related
expenditure all trigger the change in status. City
Attorney Tim Cox confirmed the changes will not be
implemented until April 2014.
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 State and Federal
Communications' digital encyclopedias for lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying and can be found in the client
portion of our website.
Summaries of major bills are also included
in monthly email updates sent to all clients. The chart below shows the
number of bills we are tracking in regard to lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying.
Number of Jurisdictions
E B S I T E
T I P
wonderful feature on the new State and Federal Communications website is
the addition of a bookmarking function. Any publication in a given
jurisdiction can be bookmarked by clicking on the translucent bookmark
pennant on the upper right-hand side of your chosen jurisdiction’s
screen. The bookmark will turn red when activated. When you return to
your your user dashboard (by clicking on your name at the top of the screen)
you will see your chosen bookmarks listed under the “Bookmarks” heading
on the left side of the screen.
Clicking on a bookmark will bring you directly to the bookmarked
jurisdiction without needing to select a publication or a jurisdiction.
Clicking on the red bookmark pennant will remove the jurisdiction from your list.
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.
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 email us with questions about your particular
company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly
provide answers or information you need.) Our replies are not legal advice,
just our analysis of
laws, rules, and regulations.
Our company, a federal registrant, is a member of a myriad of outside
organizations. We join many of these organizations for reasons
other than their lobbying/government relations activities. Even
so, some of the organizations allocate a percentage of dues
toward lobbying activities. If we are not actively engaged in
supporting the organization’s lobbying efforts, do we still need
to include the lobbying allocation in our good faith estimate of
The disclosure requirement in this regard is
not dependent on the rationale behind why a registrant joins any
given membership organization. The reporting mandate requires
every registrant to track and ascertain what portion, if any, of
all dues it pays is used for lobbying activities. The
registrant is then required to include those allocations in
their total lobbying expenses reported.
December's Expert -
Rebecca South, Federal Compliance Associate
State and Federal
Scrapbook - 2013
Federal Communications held its 4th Annual
Halloween Donut and Cider Sale in the
lobby of our office buidling
to benefit the United Way of Summit County.
Once again we hosted our "pay-to-play" event
requiring $10 to wear costumes.
are: Zack Koozer, Ren Koozer, Joe May, Jon
Spontarelli, Becky Campbell, Sarah Gray, Jim
Warner, Elliott Postlewait, and Shamus Williams.
Seated are - Ken Kelewae, and John Cozine.
DC Liftoff Forum allowed prospective and
current clients the opportunity to learn about our new website and its
features. Explaining the new features is Melissa Coultas,
time friends of Elizabeth Z. Bartz are - Bruce Strugatch, Debra
Glover, and Howard Tag.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz with Liftoff Forum guest,
Jennifer Pugh of CH2M Hill.
|John Cozine reviewing our new
website with clients at the DC Liftoff Forum.
See Us in Person
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Holiday Party, Akron, Ohio
Ohio Holiday Party,
NCSL Foundation Dinner,
, Washington, D.C.
NCSL Fall Forum,
Reception honoring Sen. Debbie Smith,
COGEL, Quebec City, Quebec
SGAC Holiday Party,
DDC Holiday Party, Washington, D.C.
WASRG Holiday Happy Hour for the Kids,
January 12-17, 2014
Public Affairs Institute, Laguna Beach,
US Conference of Mayors, Washington, D.C.
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COMPLIANCE NOW e-newsletter.
Federal Communications, Inc. | Courtyard Square | 80 South
Summit St., Suite 100 | Akron, OH 44308 | 330-761-9960 |
330-761-9965-fax | 1-888-4-LAW-NOW|
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.