E-News from State and Federal
Go Red for Women
am updating my article from a year ago when I first joined the
Go Red For Women campaign in
Akron. This year I was able to have my husband, JohnChames join
me. (Yes, I put his first and last name together because there
are a lot of Johns in my family. The only way to keep them
separate is to use the last name.) If you recall last year’s
photo you will notice this year a number of additional men
joined the Red Tie Society.
If you haven’t found us in the picture, the hint is we are
holding hands across the middle of the escalator at Macy’s.
And, yes, that is Jim Tressel near him.
Did you know American Heart Association recommends adults get at
least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical
activity? [That is about 22 minutes per day.] Here are some
easy ways you can add physical activity into your daily life:
Use coffee breaks to take 5- or 10-minute walks. The
weather is nice (except for Denver and Minneapolis) so time
to pull out the sneakers and walk around the block.
In parking lots, park your car as far away as you can. At
State and Federal Communications, I have parking space #1 so
I need to make sure I am walking up the stairs during the
day to see the folks on the second floor—instead of taking
Get your personal heart-health status and learn how regular
physical activity can help improve your health. Take the
American Heart Association's My Life Check assessment at
Walk a flight of stairs 10 times a day.
I am on my third Fitbit since last year and it helps track
the steps and flights of stairs I take every day. And, as it
relates to steps, try to reach 10,000
to download the new Walking Path mobile phone application
and find nearby walking paths, track your steps, and
motivate your walking friends.
The American Heart Association’s mission is to build healthier
lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Until next
the fight against women's #1 killer—Heart Disease by donating to
your local Heart Association.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
York City Passes Campaign Finance Bill
After a long and hard fought battle,
Introduction No. 978 finally became law in New York City on
March 13, 2013. In December, the City Council introduced the
bill, which reduced the disclosure requirements for certain
groups and their independent expenditures in the city. In
late January, the Council passed the bill with overwhelming
The critics, however, were legion, including
director of the Campaign Finance Board Amy Loprest and Mayor
Michael Bloomberg. They claimed this new bill would set the
city back and start to undermine what has largely been
hailed as one of the strictest and most comprehensive
campaign disclosure laws in the country. Bloomberg decided
to veto the bill in late February, in hopes of having the
council change its mind about the initial passage.
The Council did not change its mind, though.
The Council voted 47-0, with four members excused, to
override Bloomberg’s veto. Upon passage, the bill became law
immediately. With the city’s elections due to take place in
November, the city will soon learn how drastically the bill
affects the election.
Under the new law, labor and other membership
organizations, as well as corporations, may send political
communications to members, executive and administrative
personnel, and stockholders without having to disclose the
money spent. Under the old laws, all money spent for
independent expenditures, once a certain threshold was
reached, had to be disclosed to the Campaign Finance Board.
According to a statement released by the board, in the two
elections with the strict disclosure rules, $35,000 was
spent on this type of mass mailing. Those two elections were
only special elections for council seats, so it stands to
reason far more will be spent this November with the city’s
voters electing a new mayor, comptroller, and all city
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
The contribution limits in the upcoming Pittsburgh
mayoral election have been removed by the courts. Judge
Joseph James voided the city’s contribution limits
because of one candidate’s decision to contribute his
own money to his campaign. Under city law, candidates
may only accept $2,000 from individuals and $4,000 from
PACs per covered election. However, if a candidate
decides to use personal resources in excess of $50,000
for his or her campaign, the contribution limitations
are thrown out for all candidates in that specific race.
In this situation, Councilman Bill Peduto requested an
injunction barring former state Auditor General Jack
Wagner from using nearly $300,000 in contributions
collected during previous campaigns. The judge ruled the
use of the previous campaign funds to be a contribution,
which would have exceeded the city’s contribution
limits. Wagner’s lawyers then turned their attention to
Michael Lamb, the city controller who withdrew from the
race earlier in the week. Lamb had given his campaign
$53,000 of his own money, which voided the contribution
limits and allowed Wagner to use the $300,000 in
question. Lamb attempted to give $3,000 from the
campaign back to himself in order to undo the
contribution, but the judge ruled the refund did not
repair the breach. The primary election for the mayoral
office takes place on May 21, 2013, and the general
election on November 5, 2013.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released
its audit of federal lobbying compliance for 2012. For
the audit, the GAO reviewed a random sample of 100
quarterly disclosure reports filed for the third and
fourth quarters of calendar year 2011 and the first and
second quarters of calendar year 2012. Among its
findings, the GAO concluded 97 percent of filers of
lobbying disclosure reports were able to provide
documentation to support reported income and expenses,
85 percent filed the required federal political campaign
reports, and 74 percent of the reported income and
expenses were properly rounded to the nearest $10,000.
The audit also found at least 15 percent of all lobbying
disclosure reports did not properly disclose formerly
held covered positions.
Legislators passed an ethics overhaul capping lobbyist
gifts at $75 and eliminating a prior proposal to require
lobbyist registration for volunteer advocates. The House
and Senate voted unanimously for House Bill 142 shortly
before adjournment on March 28, 2013. This is the
state’s first limitation on gifts to public officials.
Exceptions to the $75 limit include committee dinners,
dinners for caucuses, and certain lobbyist-funded
travel. The $75 cap is per occurrence and per lobbyist.
There is no explicit limit on the number of gifts
permitted. As part of the deal, volunteers will not have
to register as lobbyists unless they are reimbursed $250
or more in expenses from an organization. The bill will
also remove the $300 lobbyist registration and renewal
fee when it becomes effective on January 1, 2014.
On March 21, 2013, the Election Law Enforcement
Commission (ELEC) issued an advisory opinion deciding it
does not have jurisdiction to declare contribution
limits unenforceable or unconstitutional for political
committees making only independent expenditures.
Advisory Opinion 01-2013 holds current state
registration and reporting requirements and contribution
limits apply to political committees making independent
expenditures. The Fund for Jobs and Growth, a political
organization not registered in the state and intending
to make independent expenditures in the state’s 2013
elections, requested the opinion in order to determine
whether it needed to register and report with the state
and whether the state contribution limits for political
committees applied to its fundraising activity. The
organization was held to be a political committee,
requiring registration and reporting. While holding
state contribution limits apply, the opinion notes
several other jurisdictions have held contribution
limits applied to political committees making
independent expenditures unconstitutional.
PALM BEACH COUNTY:
The Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics selected
attorney Steven Cullen to be its new executive director.
Mr. Cullen was previously a judge and mediator. He
replaces former Executive Director Alan Johnson, who
left the Commission on Ethics to join the state
attorney's office. Mr. Cullen plans to boost the
commission's public outreach and ethics education
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
Although the information on our website is comprehensive, you may find
yourself with a unique situation requiring the expert judgment of the
people regulating your government affairs activities. That’s why we
include contact information in all of our entries. Clicking on the
"Contact Information" link on the left-hand side of your screen will
bring you to the right place. We endeavor to include information for not
only the head of the agency or department in question, but also
information for staffers known to be especially helpful and
knowledgeable about the statutes and regulations they enforce. This
information is constantly updated so you always have the most up-to-date
contact information available.
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.
My company is involved in an event where a meal and other gifts
may be provided to public officials. How do I know if this is
You must consider a number of issues any time you want to
provide a gift to a public official. In addition to consulting
your company’s policies, you should answer the following
Is it a gift?
States often have exceptions to the definition of gift.
Arizona does not consider an expenditure for food, beverage,
travel, or lodging to be a gift under state law. A number
of states do not consider things of value provided on the
basis of a personal relationship or items of de minimis
value to be gifts
Who is the giver?
Lobbyists are often subject to more stringent gift
restrictions than non-lobbyists. Florida prohibits any
gifts from lobbyists to state officials and employees with
very few exceptions. However, if you are not registered as
a lobbyist, you are permitted to give any gift if it is not
given to influence any official action. California imposes
different gift limits; the limit is $10 or less per month
for lobbyists and $440 or less per year for non-lobbyists.
Additional restrictions could apply if your company is a
state contractor. Connecticut does allow limited gifts from
lobbyists and non-lobbyists. However, state contractors
must certify no gifts were made under certain circumstances.
Who is the recipient?
The permissibility of a gift can depend on the branch of
government or the seniority of the official or employee.
Maryland legislators may only accept food and beverage from
lobbyists in very limited circumstances. Executive branch
officials may accept food and beverage if they are in the
presence of the lobbyist. Delaware only restricts cabinet
secretaries, division directors, and the governor's
professional staff from accepting gifts from lobbyists.
If you are anything less than 100% sure a gift is permissible,
consult the state’s ethics agency. Do not ask the official or
employee involved! He or she may not be familiar with the
nuances of the state’s gift law.
May's Expert -
James Warner Esq., Compliance Associate
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
Scrapbook - 2013
Warner, Esq. and Steve Quinn, Esq. at SGAC Annual Meeting in
Colleagues and friends: Jean Cantrell - Philips
Electronics North America, Elizabeth Z. Bartz - State and
Federal Communications, Inc., and Chris Badgley - Daiichi
Sankyo, Inc. at SGAC Annual Meeting in Savannah.
Elizabeth Bartz meets with John Berendt, author
of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
See Us in Person
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
May 8-10, 2013
OSBA - Ohio
State Bar Association Booth 24
May 16, 2013
May 30-Jun 2,
June 2-5, 2013
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