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 E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.

June 2014  


Listen, Learn, Live – My Commencement Speech

I love to read commencement speeches given every spring. So many people imparting words of wisdom to high school and college graduates. Well, this year, I had the opportunity to speak to the graduating class at Kent State Trumbull Campus, the place where it all began for me in 1976. Below is a portion of my presentation. A link to the entire 10 minute speech is included.

Let’s start by talking a little about things that represent constants in life.

A great example of this was something I heard PBS’ Ken Burns, who recently spoke at the President’s Speaker Series at Kent State’s Kent campus.  He noted Gerard Early, an American essayist and cultural critic who teaches at Washington University in St. Louis said, “There are only three things that America will be remembered for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: The Constitution, Jazz music, and Baseball. These are the three most beautiful things this culture's ever created.”

What do each of you want to be remembered for down the road?

I would like to give you three ideas about the way you might want to go forward with your life.

Listen                      Learn                      Live

Barry Salzberg, the Global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Toe-Ma-Tsu) Limited, in a recent interview said it best; “Effective leaders are great listeners.”

I say become a student of listening.  Regardless of whether you’re going on with your education, enlisting in the military, starting a family or beginning a new career, learn to listen in life first and speak second. It is something you must always remember.

But, also keep in mind, the paradox of listening first and speaking second is in this day and age, no one is really listening to YOU speak or even when those 10 fingers are on-line. Your challenge is how to be a great example to all. Everyone from your brothers or sisters, your parents, your children, your spouse, your employer, your pastor, and your friends are all WATCHING YOU. They are not listening.

Don’t let your “I’s” get to close together. That is the letter “I” not the eyes in your head. Great lives and great jobs do not come from what you promise people you will accomplish.  They come from what you have already accomplished in life.

And, by the way, that is referred to as a resume, early on in your career. As time goes on, it becomes about your life and what or how you have passed it forward and made other peoples’ lives or the world a better place. Whether it’s big or small, it starts today, so make it good and make it meaningful. You have all proven you are capable of accomplishing this goal because you are sitting here today as graduates.

Listen                      Learn                      Live

How many of you have heard the cliché once you graduate from college, learning doesn’t stop; it just begins. Well it’s true, but it doesn’t have to be a cliché. Even if you stop your formal education, you never stop learning, IF you keep an open mind.

One of my husband’s favorite sayings is “Education is but life’s experiences.” And, this is so true. But, you must keep your eyes and ears pointed outward. Learn and absorb everything going on around you, watch the news, read newspapers, a book, or some Internet news media outlet.

And, by all means never, ever miss an opportunity to VOTE in any local or national election.

Each day you continue to learn you are one step ahead of all the people around you who have stopped learning. And, believe me, you will find there are way too many of those types of people in the world today. Continue to improve yourself by continuing your education both classically through higher education or specific employment-skilled training such as associations or certifications.

Take time each year to stop and say “How have I advanced myself this year. Have I done enough to learn more?” You might want to use a mirror when you ask yourself these questions. It’s so darn hard to lie when you are staring back at yourself.

This amazing country is 238 years old and the Internet has just been around a little more than 25 years. Just imagine how many new things there will be to learn in the next 25 years.  OMG, that sounds scary for someone as old as me.

Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” This has always been one of my favorite quotes. Keep learning regardless of the direction your life takes. No one in this room should want to be a bystander to the life that is going on around them.

You all need to be in the middle of your futures.  Opinionating, participating, and stimulating your world with your new ideas and viewpoints. To do this well each and every day, you must draw on some new knowledge and solutions you have learned.

Listen                       Learn                      Live

Let me share a few quotes about the word, LIVE.

Albert Einstein once said, “Learn from yesterday, Live for today, Hope for tomorrow.”

The renowned humorist Erma Bombeck put living like this. “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say to God, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”

[I wanted to insert God into my speech but I was afraid, so I let Erma Bombeck do it for me. May Her Memory Be Eternal.]

And, finally, once again from Albert Einstein. “Only a life lived for others, is a life worthwhile.”

LIVE

Let me give you a couple of definitions.  To experience and survive.  To pursue a positive satisfying existence.   In my opinion, to live is to stay engaged. To find what it is that gives you the most satisfaction in the deepest part of your heart. 

And, this could be a place where some of you may not have been to yet. But maybe, just maybe, the last years of your education here at Kent State Trumbull Campus has begun to make you see more clearly.  Last, but certainly not any less important when it comes to living, is being accountable.  

Remember earlier when I spoke about what you accomplished as being the barometer of how you have lived your life? That barometer of accountability measures you in whatever direction you have taken or whatever future life has in store for you that maybe you are not even aware of today.

To live is to self-evaluate.

To live is to be critical, but to also be compassionate.

To live, is knowing there will be regrets but the positives and happiness will always overshadow those regrets.

Kent State University and all the work you have completed to accomplish these degrees have made you all very prepared to go forth from this ceremony…

To Listen,

To Learn,
and most important

To Live.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
@elizabethbartz

Saskatchewan Passes Lobbyists Act

by Elizabeth Cummins, Esq. Research Associate 

After more than two years of debate, the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly passed legislation containing a lobbyist registration scheme. Bill No. 120 regulates consultant lobbyists and in-house lobbyists, as defined therein. Under the new law, lobbyists must file returns online with a newly-established Lobbyist Registry. The returns must contain the contact information for lobbyists and their clients; the dates and subject matter of planned lobbying activities, including enumeration of specific legislation or regulations; and the names of public officials lobbied. A consultant lobbyist must file a return within 10 days of undertaking lobbying activity. An in-house lobbyist must file a return within 60 days of designating an employee to lobby for at least 100 hours annually. Each return covers a six month period and must be filed within 30 days following the end of such period. Amendments must be filed within 30 days of any change in information listed on the return. In order to terminate the filing requirement, lobbyists must notify the Lobbyist Registrar within 30 days of the completion or termination of lobbying activities, indicating the date of such completion or termination.

There is a notable provision excepting some individuals from the filing requirement, including officers, directors, or employees of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, when acting in their official capacity.

Bill No. 120 also provides a method for auditing returns and for document retention, as well as a penalty for non-compliance of up to $25,000 for the first offense and $100,000 for subsequent offenses. The bill further contains revolving door restrictions prohibiting former public officials from lobbying within one year of leaving office.

The act becomes effective upon proclamation by the lieutenant governor. Justice Minister Gordon Wyant estimates no such proclamation will be issued for at least nine months, as the province must still develop protocols to administer and enforce the new law.

Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations
 

by John Cozine, Esq., Research Manager 

BRITISH COLUMBIA: A provincial Supreme Court judge has ruled the British Columbia law requiring registration for political advertising is constitutional, even if no money on advertising has been spent. The Election Act requires individuals and organizations wanting to sponsor election advertising to register with the province’s chief electoral officer. According to The Globe and Mail, Judge Bruce Cohen wrote, “The salutary effects of the impugned measure outweigh the deleterious effects [by increasing] the transparency, openness and accountability of B.C.’s electoral process and promotes an informed electorate.” The B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association had argued the law discourages participation from individuals and groups without the means or ability to register.

DELAWARE: Attorney General Beau Biden and Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove are appealing a federal district court ruling enjoining enforcement of a Delaware campaign finance law. Section 8031 of the Delaware Election Disclosures Act requires any person who makes an expenditure for a third-party advertisement exceeding $500 during an election period to file a report with the Elections Commission, providing the names and addresses of each person who has made contributions exceeding $100. The district court found the disclosure provision to be too broad and likely unconstitutional. Biden and Manlove are appealing the ruling.

KENTUCKY: Near the end of its 2014 session, the Kentucky General Assembly passed significant ethics legislation containing recommendations the Legislative Ethics Commission had requested for years. House Bill 28 prohibits employers of legislative lobbyists and permanent committees from making campaign contributions to legislators and candidates for the General Assembly during a regular legislative session. Employers of legislative lobbyists must disclose on their expenditure reports the cost of advertising supporting or opposing legislation during a session of the General Assembly. The bill also includes the “no cup of coffee rule,” eliminating the exception previously allowing legislative lobbyists to spend up to $100 on food and beverage for a legislator; extends the gift prohibition to legislative candidates; and prohibits legislative lobbyists and their employers from providing out-of-state transportation or lodging for legislators. The bill was signed Gov. Steve Beshear on April 10, 2014, and the changes become effective on July 14, 2014.

NEW YORK: The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York struck down a campaign finance law limiting contributions to super PACs. Sections 14-114(8) and 14-126 of the New York Election Law impose an annual aggregate contribution limit of $150,000 per contributor. New York Progress and Protection PAC challenged the aggregate contribution limits on First Amendment grounds. The committee, although ruled by the court to be an independent expenditure committee, was formed to support the candidacy of Republican Joseph Lhota, the unsuccessful New York City mayoral candidate in 2013. Judge Paul A. Crotty, citing the precedent established in Citizens United and McCutcheon, enjoined New York's aggregate contribution limit as an unconstitutional ban on free speech.

UTAH: Beginning August 1, 2014, a lobbyist may not lobby a public official while at the Utah Capitol Hill complex unless the lobbyist is wearing a newly required name tag in plain view. House Bill 246 will require all lobbyists to be issued name tags bearing the word "Lobbyist" and the lobbyist’s full name in at least 18-point type. The procedure to apply for name tags is being developed by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and will be available before August 1, 2014. The Capitol Hill complex includes the grounds, monuments, parking areas, buildings, and other man-made and natural objects within the area bounded by 300 North Street, Columbus Street, 500 North Street, and East Capitol Boulevard, in Salt Lake City. Additionally, the new law has raised the lobbyist registration fee from $100 to $110 and now requires lobbyists to inform public officials of the identity of the person or entity the lobbyist is representing at the beginning of a lobbying communication.

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 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.
 

  Total bills Number of Jurisdictions Passed Died Carried over
to 2015
Lobbying Laws 286 44 16 57 0
Political Contributions 566 46 25 94 0
Procurement Lobbying 401 48 16 70 0
 


 

W  E  B  S  I  T  E     T  I  P

In addition to the in-depth resources available to subscribers, State and Federal Communications also has a wealth of publically available information. The State and Federal Communications blog, found at www.lobbycomply.com, contains updates on lobbying, ethics, campaign finance, procurement, pay-to-play, and items of general interest to the government affairs community. We also maintain an active presence on social media with our constantly updated Facebook (www.facebook.com/StateandFederalCommunications), Twitter (@StateandFederal), LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts. Join the conversation and stay up-to-date in your field!

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 experts@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 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.

To streamline LDA tracking and reporting, our company includes 100 percent of our in-house lobbyists’ compensation as lobbying on our quarterly report.  Is this a reasonable approach?

The LDA does not contain any special tracking requirements for reporting expenditures.  Registrants employing in-house lobbyists are required to provide a “good faith estimate of the total expenses” of their lobbying activities.  With the “good faith” standard as the back drop, an organization should determine whether including 100 percent of their lobbyists’ compensation meets that standard.  Aside from the tax implications of including 100percent of compensation, typically, there is some time that is spent during the course of a quarter that is not defined as lobbying and varies from month to month depending on what issues are being addressed.  Therefore, providing a good faith estimate, in most cases, will require a registrant to implement some sort of tracking process to meet the standard.  In the event of an audit, the ability to demonstrate reasonable efforts to track and capture lobbying activity, and only lobbying activity, is an additional benefit.  

June's Expert - Rebecca South, Federal Compliance Associate

 


 


State and Federal Communications, Inc. was represented at the University of Akron Law School Reunion
held on May 16, 2014, by John Chames; Elizabeth Z. Bartz; Nola R. Werren, Esq.; Stacy Hunter; and George Ticoras, Esq.
 
On May 9, Elizabeth Z. Bartz presented the commencement speech at the Kent State University Trumbull Campus [where she began her education.]  She gave an inspiring speech encouraging the students to focus on listening, learning, and living.
 
John Chames and Elizabeth Z. Bartz joined the
American Heart Association Go Red for Women luncheon at
Quaker Station in Akron on May 13, 2014.
The University of Akron School of Law partnered with State and Federal Communications, Inc. for a Spring Semester L3 Externship Program with law student, LaToya Peterson.
She worked 90 hours to earn this credit required for graduation.
[See video on LaToya's Externship.]
In April, DiversityBusiness.com announced its 2014 awardees.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. of Akron, Ohio, was the only Women Owned Business in Ohio on the Top 50 List. We are very excited!
The Akron Roundtable, a community forum, invited Bob Spitz, author of "Dearie: The Remarkable life of Julia Child" to speak at its April luncheon.  Several staff members attended and enjoyed his presentation.
[above left:  Spitz with Elizabeth Z. Bartz and Zack Koozer]
[above right:  Spitz greeting Nola Werren, Esq.; Katlin Newman, J.D.; Melissa Coultas; Becky Campbell; and LaToya Peterson.]

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

Events

June 5

PAC Northeast Know-How Workshop, Boston, Massachusetts

June 22-26

BIO Convention, San Diego, California

June 25

WGR Toastmasters, Washington, DC

July 9 WGR Toastmasters, Washington, DC

July 10-13

NGA Meeting, Nashville, Tennessee

July 13-16 CSG Midwestern Legislative Conference, Omaha, Nebraska
July 23 WGR Toastmasters, Washington, DC
July 23 IACREOT Conference, Bonita Springs, Florida
July 23-25 NCSL Legislative Leaders, Minneapolis, Minnesota

 


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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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