December 19, 2012 •
See you next year in Quebec City!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Council on Government Ethics Laws (COGEL) for a great conference in Columbus. Eleven of our staff from State and Federal Communications attended, and we had a terrific experience. There were so many information-packed sessions and it was nice to see old friends and make some new ones.
Here is a little video montage we made about our COGEL 2012 experience. Enjoy!
December 11, 2012 •
November 14, 2012 •
Here are the latest articles about campaign finance, lobbying, and ethics:
“Campaign Finance Reformers Get Back To Work After Record Election Spending” by Paul Blumenthal in the Huffington Post.
“Abramoff, Occupy Wall Street join forces on campaign finance reform” by Megan M. Wilson in The Hill.
“U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown calls for campaign finance reform” by Stephanie Warsmith in the Akron Beacon Journal.
“Lobbyists Woo New Lawmakers in D.C. Mating Dance” by Kate Ackley in Roll Call.
“Incoming freshman lawmakers already have bundlers on K St.” by Kevin Bogardus in The Hill.
“Tax fight sneaks up on K Street” by Bernie Becker and Peter Schroeder in The Hill.
“Rove Super PAC will try lobbying” by Rachel Weiner in The Washington Post.
Florida: “Cretul, Cannon are lobbyists; former speakers start new firm” by Bill Thompson in the Gainesville Sun.
“Secretary of state accused of moving too slow on PAC ethics complaint” by Steve Terrell in the Santa Fe New Mexican.
“Montreal Hackathon Aims to Combat Government Corruption” by Elisabeth Fraser in TechPresident.
“Ohio State Bar Association urges commission to take up redistricting reform” by Kate Irby in the Plain Dealer.
September 19, 2012 •
Our campaign to encourage voting in 2012!
According to the latest U.S. Census Report, an average of only about 40 percent of the U.S. population votes during a non-presidential election year – while just over 60 percent vote during a presidential election.
Those statistics are too low for President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz of State and Federal Communications Inc., based out of Akron, Ohio.
So in recognition of Election Day 2012 and the need to get more voters to the polls, Bartz and her company are sponsoring a campaign to encourage voting. The campaign aims to not only encourage people to vote, but also to encourage voters to think about the impact their voice and efforts have on their community and their country.
September 18, 2012 •
Here are the latest campaign finance, lobbying, procurement, redistricting, and elections news:
“Ethics czar angers bloggers with proposal to shine light on campaign pay” by Patrick McGreevey in the Los Angeles Times.
“Contributions to PACs in Vt. may be known soon” by Dave Gram (Associated Press) in the Bennington Banner.
Minnesota: “Lobbyist fined who donated to Davids’ campaign” by Heather J. Carlson in the Post-Bulletin.
Arkansas: “Judges uphold Senate district redistricting” by John Lyon in the Arkansas News.
Kansas: “Ex-lawmaker named elections official” by The Associated Press in the Lawrence Journal World.
“Contractor suspensions and debarments on the rise, says White House” by Charles Clark in Government Executive.
September 11, 2012 •
August 7, 2012 •
Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Q. My company has existing, ongoing contracts with various state agencies. Sometimes, I have discussions with employees of these agencies (technicians, managers, and directors) regarding their use of my company’s products. Do I have to register and report as a lobbyist?
A. As a general rule for state-level lobbying, as long as discussions are limited to the evaluation and servicing of existing contracts, this type of activity will not typically be considered lobbying, the definition of which often includes influencing executive branch action.
However, in some states, executive branch action encompasses the state’s procurement process, including decisions to modify, extend, expand, or renew existing contracts. Once discussions of this type occur, lobbyist registration and reporting may be triggered, depending on the state’s specific time and expenditure thresholds. Every state has different thresholds, and requires its own specific analysis.
Here are some important things to track when evaluating whether you need to be registered in a specific jurisdiction:
- Who are you talking to? In jurisdictions requiring registration for procurement lobbying, registration may hinge on whether the agency employee is considered a covered official. In some states, covered official is broadly defined to include all employees, while other jurisdictions require registration and reporting for attempting to influence directors or other major decision makers.
- How many contacts have you had with the agency? How much time have you spent? Some jurisdictions require registration before the very first contact, while other jurisdictions require registration and reporting once you spend a certain amount of time engaging in procurement lobbying. You may need to determine your pro-rata share of compensation for time you have spent preparing for and engaging in the communication.
- Is there a pending RFP or a contract renewal on the horizon? In some jurisdictions, the timing of your conversation with an agency official is important. Is there a pending decision before the state agency which would affect your company’s bottom line? If so, registration as a lobbyist may be required before engaging in communication which could be perceived as influencing the decision making process.
- Did you expend any money on behalf of agency employees or officials? In some jurisdictions, registration may be triggered by expenditures on behalf of employees or officials.
You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(We are always 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.
August 3, 2012 •
June 29, 2012 •
Ninety degrees, but downtown Akron’s John S. Knight Center still serves up an excellent lunch!
On Fridays during the summer (June 1- August 31), our neighbors at the John S. Knight Center host an outdoor café called “JSK Café”. This is a flame-broiled event, often with a line around the building. Chefs serving up burgers, pulled pork and other grilled delights greet the Akronites’ appetites. At the sidewalk location on the corner of E. Mill St and S. High St, you are provided with a condiment bar to please any palate.
Elizabeth Bartz has purchased coupons for the staff of State and Federal Communications to be able to enjoy the delicious lunch opportunity and the fantastic Northeast Ohio summer weather. Today, I joined many of the staff and walked down the block to enjoy lunch. I have recently moved back to the Akron area after living in Austin, Texas for over seven years and love that I am becoming reacquainted with Akron. I was excited to hear a unique but familiar sound overhead, yes, the iconic Goodyear Blimp made a flight over Downtown Akron. Take a look at the photos:
June 11, 2012 •
Start the week off right with the latest government relations news:
“Text Messages as Campaign Finance Reform?” by Quentin Fottrell in the Wall Street Journal.
“The Politics of Social Networking” by Damon Eris on the Independent Voter Network.
“At Meeting of Left’s Online Activists, Weighing Impact of Attack Ads” by Sarah Wheaton in The New York Times.
Alaska: “Will Citizens United result in Big Oil deciding who wins Alaska elections?” in the Alaska Dispatch.
District of Columbia: “Ex-D.C. Council Chairman Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud” by Tom Schoenberg in Bloomberg.
Georgia: “Taking the Pledge – Most see need for lobbyist gift cap” in the Marietta Daily Journal.
Kansas: “Voters will see big changes from new redistricting plan” by Scott Rothschild in the Lawrence Journal World.
New York: “Analysis: $2M gambling bet puts focus on lobbyist” by The Associated Press in The Wall Street Journal.
May 10, 2012 •
Marathon session ends 22 days late
Iowa legislators have finally decided to call it quits for 2012. More than 22 days after the schedule adjournment date, the Iowa Legislature adjourned sine die on Wednesday night.
Since the Legislature stayed in session beyond the adjournment date, they have not received any stipends for the past three weeks.
On the session’s final day, the Senate and House finalized the state budget and a major mental health system reform, but failed to come to an agreement on property tax relief. Since the property tax relief package was not agreed upon, both sides conceded there could be a special session called, but only if they can get closer to an agreement.
Photo of the Iowa State Capitol building by Ashton B. Crew on Wikipedia.
April 5, 2012 •
Stay on top of the latest news and discussions covering government technology and use of social media:
“Twitter, Facebook now tools for Big Brother” by David Saleh Rauf in Politico.
“Blending Governance and Twitter” by Chrystia Freeland in The New York Times.
“Social media as election predictor? Not so fast” by Puja Murgai on Politico.
“A Road Map Emerges for State Digital Preservation” by Noelle Knell in Government Technology.
“Louisville government rated among top 10 social media cities” by Thomas McAdam in the Louisville City Hall Examiner.
This articles talks about the trend toward tagging objects in the physical world in order to track it all with the internet and mobile devices: “Internet of Things Comes to Government” from Government Technology.
How does your state measure up in providing high speed internet access? “States Race to Improve Broadband Speeds” by Mike Maciag in Government Technology.
The State Department held a social media contest where the participants were given the task of finding fake jewel thieves. MIT’s Team Crowdscanner was the winner: “MIT team thinks outside the box to snag social media prize” by Andrew Lapin in Nextgov.
Here is a Govloop discussion “What Are Your Tech Needs for Teleworking?” posted by Pat Fiorenza.
April 5, 2012 •
How many of them can you name?
1797-1801 John Adams*
1825-1829 John Quincy Adams*
1837-1841 Martin Van Buren*
1841-1841 William Henry Harrison
1841-1845 John Tyler**
1845-1849 James Polk
1849-1850 Zachary Taylor
1850-1853 Millard Fillmore**
1853-1857 Franklin Pierce
1857-1861 James Buchanan
1865-1869 Andrew Johnson
1877-1881 Rutherford Hayes
1881-1881 James Garfield
1881-1885 Chester A. Arthur
1889-1893 Benjamin Harrison*
1909-1913 William Taft*
1921-1923 Warren Harding
1929-1933 Herbert Hoover*
1961-1963 John Kennedy
1974-1977 Gerald Ford**
1977-1981 Jimmy Carter*
1989-1993 George H.W. Bush*
2016-2020 Donald J. Trump*
* Ran for re-election unsuccessfully
**John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur and Gerald Ford were never elected President.
Updated: November 7, 2020
March 13, 2012 •
Course to Cost $100 Every Two Years
The Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners has passed an ordinance requiring registered lobbyists to complete ethics training. The effective date of the ordinance is March 16, 2012.
Registered lobbyists must, within 60 days of registration, submit to the clerk of the board a certificate of completion of an ethics course offered by the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. Lobbyists must also complete a refresher course every two years. The cost of the ethics course will be $100.
Additionally, the requirement is not applicable to any municipal lobbyist in the county unless the municipality has adopted an ordinance requiring ethics training and an agreement with the county authorizes the county ethics commission to provide an ethics training course.
Finally, the executive director of the Miami-Dade County Ethics Commission may waive the ethics course requirement for a particular lobbyist when it is determined that the lobbyist has taken an initial or refresher ethics course offered by a municipality satisfying the requirements pertaining to the Miami-Dade County ethics course requirements.
The Miami-Dade County Ethics Commission has noted their intent to contact all registered lobbyists in regards to this course once the course is prepared and ready to be offered.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.