April 23, 2021 •
News You Can Use Digest – April 23, 2021
A Government Ethics Office Refused to Approve Kanye West’s Financial Disclosures from His Failed Presidential Campaign
MSN – Grace Panetta (Business Insider) | Published: 4/19/2021
The Office of Government Ethics refused to sign off on Kanye West’s financial disclosure forms from his failed 2020 presidential campaign. Observers said the unusual step is likely due to West not fully disclosing his wife’s income and assets. On the form, West claimed he was exempt from reporting Kim Kardashian West’s income by citing a law stating federal candidates can go without disclosing their spouse’s income sources if they have no knowledge of the income stream, it is not connected to their own economic activities, and they do not expect to derive a financial benefit from it.
As Some States Rush to Redistrict, Gerrymandering Fight Moves to Back Burner
MSN – Michael Macagnone (Roll Call) | Published: 4/15/2021
A handful of states are looking to jump the gun amid the wait for census data, putting efforts to change the way legislative maps get redrawn on the back foot and raising concerns about transparency. Because of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic and decisions by the former Trump administration, Census Bureau officials will be late delivering decennial results. The agency has promised congressional apportionment data by the end of April, with redistricting data coming as late as the end of September. The delays present challenges to dozens of states, ranging from blown mapmaking deadlines to crammed primary schedules.
Big Spending on Personal Security Ignites Post-Jan. 6 Debate Over Members’ Budgets
Politico – Sarah Ferris and Daniel Payne | Published: 4/16/2021
More than one third of the 17 Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach or convict former President Trump used campaign funds to install security systems or hire private details within weeks of their votes, for a total of nearly $200,000 over the first three months of this year. Congressional spending on private security has surged among members of both parties since the deadly riot on January 6 amid a spike in death threats against lawmakers and their families. That spending, all revealed in recent campaign finance disclosures, spotlights a challenge many lawmakers are eager to tackle: how to update the strict rules that govern personal security costs for members of Congress.
Corporations Agree to Transparency on Climate Lobbying
MSN – Laura Weiss (Roll Call) | Published: 4/14/2021
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a coalition of socially responsible investors, announced its members made deals with the five companies to report publicly about their influence on climate policy and alignment with the Paris Agreement, which led to the withdrawal of shareholder proposals. Some of the companies will provide stand-alone climate lobbying reports that lay out direct and trade association activities, while others will include disclosures in sustainability reports. The group expects some of the disclosures to include that companies are changing their lobbying practices.
Election Objectors Leaned on Small Donors After Corporate PAC Backlash
Politico – Zach Montellaro, Theodoric Meyer, and Allan James Vestal | Published: 4/16/2021
Most House Republicans who objected to the certification of President Biden’s victory saw their small-dollar fundraising rise in the first three months of this year compared to the same quarter in 2019, in the latest indication that Republicans are not facing a major cash crunch three months after many corporate PACs vowed to stop giving to their campaigns. It is not clear how long the corporate PACs that paused the giving will remain dark or who they will support once they reopen for business.
Government Spends £66,000 on Lobbyists Register Run by Part-Time Boss
The Guardian – Jim Waterson | Published: 4/16/2021
The United Kingdom’s Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists was founded in 2014 following a series of scandals in the early part of David Cameron’s tenure as prime minister, with a pledge to increase transparency around lobbying activities. But its activities have been severely limited by the narrow powers and resources granted to it by the government compared with equivalent registers in countries such as the United States. The culture of lobbying the government has come under scrutiny following the revelations that Cameron privately lobbied leading government ministers on behalf of Greensill Capital.
Groups See New Openings for Digging Up Dirt on Trump
The Hill – Rebecca Beitsch | Published: 4/20/2021
Public interest groups determined to stay focused on the Trump administration say they have new openings for unearthing information now that the past government’s political appointees have departed. Various groups that flooded the government with Freedom of Information Act requests say the departures have greased the wheels of various agencies’ public records shops. Requests ranging from the pandemic response and the January 6 attack on the Capitol are moving forward, potentially aiding activists eager to bring new dirt to light.
How the G.O.P. Is Creating Harsher Penalties for Protesters
Yahoo News – Reid Epstein and Patricia Mazzei (New York Times) | Published: 4/21/2021
There is a wave of new anti-protest legislation, sponsored and supported by Republicans, in the 11 months since Black Lives Matter protests swept the country following the death of George Floyd. The Minneapolis police officer who killed Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was convicted on murder and manslaughter charges. But while Democrats seized on Floyd’s death to highlight racism in policing and other forms of social injustice, Republicans responded to a summer of protests by proposing a raft of punitive new measures governing the right to lawfully assemble. GOP lawmakers in 34 states have introduced 81 anti-protest bills during the 2021 legislative session, more than twice as many proposals as in any other year.
‘I’m Still a Zero’: Vaccine-resistant Republicans warn that their skepticism is worsening
MSN – Dan Diamond (Washington Post) | Published: 4/20/2021
Public health officials are working to understand potential roadblocks in the campaign to inoculate Americans against the coronavirus. Among the most pressing questions are why so many Republican voters remain opposed to the shots and whether the recent decision to pause Johnson & Johnson vaccinations was a factor. Although more than half of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, more than 40 percent of Republicans have consistently told pollsters they are not planning to be vaccinated, a group that could threaten efforts to tamp down the virus’s spread, public health officials fear.
Just 12 Megadonors Accounted for 7.5% of Political Giving Over Past Decade, Says Report
MSN – Soo Rin Kim (ABC News) | Published: 4/20/2021
A dozen megadonors and their spouses contributed a combined $3.4 billion to federal candidates and political groups since 2009, according to a report produced by Issue One. The research shows the top 12 donors split equally between six Democrats and six Republicans. The list includes multiple Wall Street billionaires and investors, a Facebook co-founder, a shipping magnate, and the heir to a family fortune dating back to the Gilded Age. The study quantifies the intensifying concentration and increasing role of the super-rich in American politics following the loosening of restrictions on political spending by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Leadership PACs Are Often Overlooked. These Corny Names Can’t Be Ignored
MSN – Herb Jackson (Roll Call) | Published: 4/20/2021
If you won your seat in Congress by one of the narrowest margins ever – six votes – you cannot run away from it. And U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks showed she is owning her win in choosing the name for her leadership PAC, a fundraising committee that operates parallel to, and with more relaxed spending rules, than the one she will use to run for reelection. Showing some originality in an area of campaign finance where too many lawmakers rely on gimmicks, or even names that were taken before them, Miller-Meeks not only trumpeted her close win by choosing “Six Political Action Committee.” That is Six PAC if you are filling out checks.
Pompeos Violated Rules on Use of State Department Resources, IG Finds
Politico – Nahal Tusi | Published: 4/16/2021
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules governing the use of taxpayer-funded resources when he and his wife, Susan, asked State Department employees to carry out tasks for their personal benefit more than 100 times, a government watchdog determined. Investigators uncovered scores of instances in which Mike or Susan Pompeo asked State Department staffers to handle tasks of a personal nature, from booking salon appointments and private dinner reservations to picking up their dog and arranging tours for the Pompeos’ political allies. Employees told investigators they viewed the requests from Susan Pompeo, who was not on the federal payroll, as being backed by the secretary.
The End of the Imperial Governorship
Politico – Nick Neidzwaidek | Published: 4/14/2021
Lawmakers across the country have proposed and, in many cases, passed measures to curtail the sweeping powers bestowed on their state executives. The tug-of-war between legislators and governors has the potential to shape the boundaries of gubernatorial authority for years to come and raises substantive questions of how much leeway the state leaders should have during prolonged crises. Debates over things like mask mandates and economic restrictions were frequent last year. But the conflict over the power of the executive transcends ordinary politics, playing out in states both red and blue, and even where one party controls both branches.
The GOP’s Big Bulk Book-Buying Machine Is Boosting Republicans on the Bestseller Lists
MSN – Michael Macagnone (Roll Call) | Published: 4/15/2021
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spent nearly $400,000 on bulk purchases of U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s book last year. It acquired 25,500 copies through two online booksellers, enough to fuel the book’s ascent up the bestseller lists. The NRCC said it gave away copies as incentives to donors. The NRCC was not the only outfit providing a boost to conservative authors. Four party-affiliated organization collectively spent more than $1 million during the past election cycle mass-purchasing books written by GOP candidates, elected officials. The purchases helped turn several volumes into bestsellers.
Third House GOP Lawmaker Issued $5,000 Metal Detector Fine
The Hill – Cristina Marcos | Published: 4/20/2021
A third Republican lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, has been issued a $5,000 fine for failing to comply with a security screening before entering the House chamber. Rogers set off the metal detector stationed at one of the entrances to the chamber but continued walking. A Capitol Police officer then told Rogers he needed to go through additional security. “Maybe later, I have to vote,” Rogers replied, according to the police report.
From the States and Municipalities
California – Another Recology Exec Faces Charges of Bribing Mohammed Nuru
MSN – Megan Cassidy (San Francisco Chronicle) | Published: 4/20/2021
A former Recology vice president was charged with money laundering and bribery as part of an alleged attempt to increase San Francisco’s dumping fees to the waste management company, becoming the business’ second executive to be netted in the still-expanding City Hall corruption scandal. The case against John Porter comes to light as the company prepares to pay back nearly $100 million to San Francisco customers who were overcharged, and months after Paul Giusti, one of Porter’s subordinates, was charged with similar conduct.
California – How San Jose Mayor’s Ally Helped Bloom Energy Skirt a Natural Gas Ban
San Jose Spotlight – Sonja Herrera and Tran Nguyen | Published: 4/15/2021
Two weeks before San Jose passed a ban on natural gas for new commercial buildings, city officials introduced an exemption that benefited a local company, Bloom Energy, whose vice president is a friend to the mayor. Critics say the way they did it shows the stark difference in access granted to political insiders, as well as the extent to which city policy is swayed by special interests. “It’s politics. … We want everybody to have an opportunity to chime in, especially if you’re going to be directly impacted,” said Councilperson Raul Peralez. “In theory, it makes sense … in real practice, it’s not very fair.”
Florida – Dark Money Details Emerge as Former Florida State Senator and No-Party Candidate Head to Court
MSN – Ana Ceballos and Samantha Gross (Miami Herald) | Published: 4/14/2021
An alleged election scheme that stumped Florida’s political world is about to spill into court, as former state Sen. Frank Artiles is set to face trial in a public corruption case. Artiles is facing several felony charges for allegedly recruiting and paying Alexis Pedro Rodriguez, an auto-parts dealer, to run as a no-party candidate in Senate District 37 race to sway the outcome of the election. While prosecutors have charged Artiles and Rodriguez related to the scheme, the investigation is still open, and many questions remain on whether the case could expand to other 2020 Florida Senate races that also featured mysterious no-party candidates.
Florida – Matt Gaetz’s Scandal Puts a New Spotlight on Florida’s Male-Dominated Capital Culture
Bangor Daily News – Skyler Swisher (South Florida Sun Sentinel) | Published: 4/17/2021
Tallahassee has long been a perfect recipe for political scandal – a state capital that can take on a frat-house-like atmosphere removed from the watchful eyes of spouses and loved ones. Now, as U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz fights to save his career, scrutiny is once again being placed on the long-standing culture of Florida’s capital city where Gaetz got his start in politics. The pandemic has changed dynamics for the 2021 legislative session with COVID-19 safeguards keeping lobbyists away from the Capitol and toning down after-hours events. But a persistent cultural problem still exists, said Susan Glickman, who lobbies for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
Illinois – How Should Springfield Clean Up After the ComEd Scandal? Lawmakers’ Reform Plans Are Hazy
WBEZ – Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold | Published: 4/17/2021
Illinois lawmakers have yet to put up new ethical guardrails in response to the historic Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) bribery scandal that toppled ex-House Speaker Michael Madigan and led to a series of federal indictments. Given the nature of Madigan’s dramatic and forced departure, meting out some legislative consequences for the powerful utility company’s misconduct would be a logical response for Illinois lawmakers this spring. A pair of potential rewrites to state utility law give some prominence to ethics reforms related to the revelations in the ComEd probe, but nothing under consideration would seriously curb the outsized political influence ComEd has enjoyed for decades in Illinois.
Kansas – Proposed Ethics Code Limits Gifts to Wichita Officials for the First Time in History
Wichita Eagle – Chance Swaim | Published: 4/16/2021
Wichita city leaders are considering overhauling their ethics code and for the first time setting a limit on gifts to city council members. The proposed rules would ban gifts worth more than $150 a year, establish an anonymous hotline for reporting ethics violations, and set up an appointed commission to review complaints. Violating the code could result in a fine between $100 and $1,000. Mayor Brandon Whipple has pushed for the reforms after ethical breaches led to several local officials leaving office in recent years and raised questions about the city’s bidding process.
Louisiana – Proposal to Shield Industry’s Groundwater Board Members from Ethics Charges Advances
New Orleans Advocate – Sam Karlin | Published: 4/20/2021
A proposal to exempt the industry members of the Capital Area Groundwater Commission from certain ethics laws after five members of the board were hit with conflicts-of-interest charges won support from a Senate panel over opposition from environmental advocates. At stake is whether five members of the board – those employed by the Baton Rouge Water Company, ExxonMobil, Georgia-Pacific, and Entergy – can sit on the board without running afoul of state ethics laws. The Louisiana Board of Ethics voted to bring charges against the members last year because they are employed by companies they regulate.
Louisiana – State Senator Casts Tie-Breaking Vote for Slidell Casino. His Wife Is One of the Lobbyists
Louisiana Daily News – Tyler Bridges (New Orleans Advocate) | Published: 4/19/2021
A controversial proposal to move a casino boat to Slidell cleared its first hurdle when a Senate committee chairperson, whose wife is a lobbyist for the measure, cast the tie-breaking vote. State Sen. Gary Smith’s wife is one of 19 lobbyists hired by Brent Stevens, the founder of P2E, the company that wants to move its shuttered casino. The extraordinary number of lobbyists has caught the attention of insiders who note it takes only 20 votes to approve legislation in the Senate. Before the hearing, Smith said he did not know his wife, a veteran lobbyist, was working on the issue.
Maryland – In Rebuke to Hogan, Maryland Statehouse Passes Ethics Bill
Washington Monthly – Eric Cortellessa | Published: 4/13/2021
Maryland lawmakers unanimously voted for more enhanced disclosure requirements for elected officials following a media report about Gov. Larry Hogan who, unbeknownst to legislators or the public, advanced road and highway infrastructure projects near properties owned by his real-estate firm, a move that can increase the value of those properties. Hogan has not yet said whether he will sign the bill into law, although that seems likely given there are more than enough votes to override a veto.
Massachusetts – Should DiMasi, and Other Federal Felons, Face a Ban on Lobbying Beacon Hill? The SJC Will Decide
MSN – Matt Stout (Boston Globe) | Published: 4/16/2021
The Supreme Judicial Court will rule on whether former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi and others guilty of federal corruption charges should be barred from lobbying state lawmakers, the governor, and other Massachusetts officials for 10 years after their conviction, even if their crimes are not directly cited in the state law. The question could be precedent-setting and has been at the center of a two-plus-year legal battle between Secretary of State William Galvin and DiMasi, who joined the lobbyist ranks in September after a Superior Court judge ruled the ban did not apply to him because the law only references state convictions, not federal ones.
Massachusetts – Wunderkind Ex-Mayor to Face Jurors in Fraud, Bribery Case
Associated Press News – Alanna Durkin Richer | Published: 4/18/2021
After he was elected mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, at just 23 years old, it seemed Jasiel Correia’s political career had nowhere to go but up. But prosecutors now say he is a fraud and a thief. Correia heads to trial on charges he stole more than $230,000 from investors in a smartphone app he created to pay for things like a Mercedes and casino trips. As mayor, he is accused of convincing his chief of staff to give him half of her salary to keep her city job and extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from marijuana businesses seeking to operate there.
Michigan – Benson’s Office Backs Unlock Michigan on Not Disclosing Donor Sources
Yahoo News – Craig Mauger (Detroit News) | Published: 4/14/2021
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson decided a nonprofit organization that is funded by secret donors and helped bankroll the Unlock Michigan campaign does not have to report where its contributions came from. The ruling is a boon for nonprofit groups that want to engage in campaigns in Michigan without having to file disclosures. A complaint argued because Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility made a series of contributions to Unlock Michigan, the group qualified as a ballot committee itself. Under that interpretation, the group would have to file its own disclosures about where $1.8 million came from.
Michigan – Michigan House Unveils Plan to Overhaul Ethics Policies Ranked Last in Country
Detroit News – Craig Mauger | Published: 4/20/2021
The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Michigan House revealed a plan to institute wide-ranging ethics reforms, targeting policies that have been ranked worst nationally for transparency. At least some of the bills are proposing fundamental changes for lobbying and disclosure laws, which have been agreed on by House members on both sides of the aisle. If all of them became law, they would alter how Lansing operates, providing additional oversight, de-emphasizing the so-called “lame duck” period, and changing the House process for deciding when bills take effect.
Michigan – Police Pulled Over a Michigan Lawmaker for Allegedly Driving Drunk. He Threatened to Call the Governor.
MSN – Teo Armus (Washington Post) | Published: 4/22/2021
For almost 50 miles, witnesses reported, a Chevy Tahoe with the vanity plate “ELECTED” was driving so recklessly that at least one person saw the car go the wrong way before it rolled into a ditch. Inside the vehicle, state police found Michigan Rep. Jewell Jones, whose blood alcohol level was allegedly more than double the legal limit. In the cupholder behind him was a semiautomatic handgun. “If you hit me, it’s going to be very bad for you. I’ll call Gov. [Gretchen] Whitmer right now,” Jones told the officers. “When I call Gretchen,” he allegedly continued, they would have to hand over their “IDs, badge numbers, everything.”
Michigan – Whitmer: Michigan will vet labor, environmental compliance of firms bidding on state jobs
MSN – Paul Egan (Detroit Free Press) | Published: 4/16/2021
Companies bidding on state government contracts will be vetted to try to ensure they are not committing payroll fraud, are paying fair wages and benefits, and have acceptable labor and environmental records, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. The new rules, which Whitmer said will implement an executive directive she issued in 2019, are in part a response to the 2018 repeal of Michigan’s “prevailing wage” law. which generally required firms to pay union wages and benefits for state government and school district jobs, following a voter initiative, Whitmer said.
Missouri – Eric Greitens Was Biggest Donor to Own Senate Campaign; State Filing Raises Red Flags
Yahoo News – Bryan Lowry (Kansas City Star) | Published: 4/16/2021
One donor accounted for more than half of the money raised so far by former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ U.S. Senate campaign: Eric Greitens. His total represents about a tenth of what was raised by Democrat Lucas Kunce during the first quarter of the 2022 cycle. Greitens still maintains a state campaign account with nearly $200,000 but is barred from using it for his Senate candidacy under state and federal campaign rules. Greitens’ state report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission raises some red flags.
Missouri – Missouri House Expels Lawmaker Accused by His Children of Sexual and Physical Abuse
St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Jack Suntrup | Published: 4/21/2021
Days after rejecting state Rep. Rick Roeber’s letter of resignation, the Missouri House voted to expel the Kansas City-area Republican whose now-adult children testified he sexually abused them when they were minors. A House Ethics Committee report states Roeber sexually abused two of his children when they were nine and five, respectively, and attempted to abuse the children other times. The report also says Roeber physically and mentally abused his children. Roeber, according to the report, said the published allegations prior to the election were “a political hit.” He said at one point during the investigation “all my kids are Democrats.”
Montana – Bill Exempting Religious Groups from Campaign Reporting Gets Another Shot
Helena Independent Record – Sam Wilson | Published: 4/21/2021
A bill exempting religious nonprofits from Montana’s campaign finance reporting requirements won the Senate’s endorsement after an earlier version was tabled in the House. Sen. Bryce Bennett said political organizations could hide behind a tax-exempt status as a religious group and use that cover to avoid disclosing donors the way other political committees are required to in the state. Sen. David Howard rejected that argument, saying the federal government has strict requirements for religious organizations to maintain a tax-exempt designation.
New York – Eric Adams’ Campaigns and Nonprofit Reaped Big Bucks from Lobbyists and Developers Seeking Help
The City – Eric Green and Yoav Gonen | Published: 4/18/2021
Eric Adams, Brooklyn’s borough president and a top-tier candidate for mayor, will soon deliver a recommendation that could help determine whether a zoning plan that would add thousands of new residences to what was once a primarily manufacturing and working-class enclave lives, dies, or is significantly altered. A longtime lobbyist for real estate interests with major investments in the area sits on the board of a nonprofit Adams controls. Besides serving on the board, Ethan Geto, provides pro bono services for the fund and his firm created and manages the nonprofit’s website.
New York – Mount Vernon Ethics Board Chair Arrested Over Campaign Threats
MSN – Jonathan Bandler (Rockland/Westchester Journal News) | Published: 4/21/2021
A lawyer trying to get on the Democratic primary ballot for the Mount Vernon City Council was arrested after allegedly threatening Councilperson Janice Duarte over her brother’s objections to his nominating petitions. Gregory Cannata, chairperson of the city’s Board of Ethics, was arraigned on two misdemeanor charges of third-degree attempted coercion after he was accused of threatening to ruin Duarte if her brother did not withdraw his objections.
Ohio – Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young Charged with Felony in ‘Gang of 5’ Texting Case
MSN – Sharon Coolidge and Kevin Grasha (Cincinnati Enquirer) | Published: 4/15/2021
Cincinnati City Councilperson Wendell Young was indicted on a single charge stemming from a three-year-old texting scandal. A grand jury charged Young with tampering with records, a third-degree felony punishable by up to three years in prison. The charges against Young mark the fourth time a sitting council member who was elected in 2017 has been charged with a crime. The texting scandal has cast a shadow over council since the texting among a majority of members occurred in 2018 during a battle over whether to fire the city manager.
Ohio – In Ohio, Utility and Fossil Fuel Influence Reaches Beyond Bailout Bill
Energy News Network – Kathiann Kowalski | Published: 4/19/2021
“Dark money” loopholes remain in Ohio law, despite a surgical repeal of part of the law at the heart of a $60 million corruption scandal. Meanwhile, more evidence has emerged in recent months, detailing the flow of money by groups engaged in the House Bill 6 scandal and showing close ties between current and former utility lobbyists and Gov. Mike DeWine, as well as various lawmakers. “We need to learn from our mistakes,” said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, noting the House Bill 6 case is just the latest in a line of corruption scandals that have hit state politics in the past two decades.
Pennsylvania – Confined to Zoom No More, Activists Return to State Capitol to Hold Lawmakers to Account
Pennsylvania Capital-Star – Stephen Caruso and Elizabeth Hardison | Published: 4/20/2021
After being shut out for much of the last year, activists of all stripes are returning to the Pennsylvania Capitol. The building’s typical open-door policy allows citizens to attend rallies, knock on lawmakers’ doors, and sit in galleries to watch proceedings. But most advocacy groups curtailed their in-person activism last year, turning instead to Zoom or phone-banking campaigns. Michael Pollack, executive director of March on Harrisburg, said, “Lobbying over Zoom is very difficult. Legislators are able to avoid eye contact. … They are also able to orchestrate the conversation in a way so their staff can take the questions.”
Tennessee – Bill Ketron Penalized $135K for Campaign Finance Violations
Mufreesboro Post – Tayla Courage | Published: 4/16/2021
Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron was ordered to pay $135,000 by the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance after state auditors found hundreds of thousands of dollars unaccounted for in his campaign and PAC accounts. Ketron told the board the money was not missing but poor accounting just made it look that way. His daughter, who was the campaign’s treasurer, was sentenced to eight years of probation after pleading no contest to 15 counts accusing her of fraudulent insurance acts, forgery, theft, and impersonating a licensed professional. Ketron said he would check in with his daughter to make sure she was keeping up with filings and deadlines, and she reassured him she was attending to her duties as treasurer.
Washington – Tim Eyman Ordered to Pay $2.9 Million to Cover Washington Attorney General’s Legal Costs
The Chronicle – David Gutman (Seattle Times) | Published: 4/16/2021
Anti-tax initiative promoter Tim Eyman must pay almost $2.9 million to cover the legal fees and costs of Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s long-running lawsuit against Eyman for campaign finance violations, Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon ruled. That sum is in addition to the $2.6 million civil penalty that Dixon previously imposed on Eyman for years of campaign finance violations the judge called “numerous and particularly egregious.” In granting the legal fees, Dixon gave a near-total victory to Ferguson in his nearly four-year case against Eyman.
West Virginia – Former ACT Lobbyist Won $500K from Lawsuit Against Former WV Schools Superintendent
Charleston Gazette-Mail – Ryan Quinn | Published: 4/15/2021
A former lobbyist for ACT Inc., the college entrance exam provider, was awarded $500,000 to settle his lawsuit against former state schools Superintendent Steve Paine and a current assistant superintendent. Lobbyist Jason Webb sued Paine, alleging the superintendent repeatedly discriminated against ACT’s attempt to win the statewide standardized testing contracts and, when Webb spoke up about it, threatened ACT with a loss of business if Webb did not relent.
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