June 9, 2023 •
News You Can Use Digest – June 9, 2023
National/Federal Prosecutors Scrutinize Political Nonprofit Groups for Fund-Raising Fraud DNyuz – David Fahrenthold, William Rashbaum, and Tiff Fehr (New York Times) | Published: 6/1/2023 Federal prosecutors are scrutinizing at least 10 political nonprofit groups seeking to determine if the organizations defrauded donors, […]
Prosecutors Scrutinize Political Nonprofit Groups for Fund-Raising Fraud
DNyuz – David Fahrenthold, William Rashbaum, and Tiff Fehr (New York Times) | Published: 6/1/2023
Federal prosecutors are scrutinizing at least 10 political nonprofit groups seeking to determine if the organizations defrauded donors, according to subpoenas. The subpoenas sought recordings of the fundraising calls made by two separate networks of political nonprofits that together have raised tens of millions of dollars. The Justice Department has charged a handful of other political operatives with fraud for running what prosecutors called “scam PACs.” Prosecutors said these groups deceive donors by promising their money would be used to help politicians but then using it to enrich themselves.
N.J. Sen. Bob Menendez Escaped Legal Peril Once. Can He Do It Again?
MSN – Isaac Stanley-Becker and Perry Stein (Washington Post) | Published: 6/3/2023
Prosecutors in 2017 failed to convince jurors that U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez helped a wealthy Florida doctor in exchange for lavish gifts. After beating back the government’s case, Menendez won reelection in 2018. When Democrats captured control of the Senate, he regained the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, cementing his place as one of the highest-ranking Hispanic leaders in the nation. But now, Menendez is once again at the heart of a federal criminal investigation concentrating at least in part on the possibility he received undisclosed gifts.
Republicans Set Presidential Debate Rules That Could Exclude Some
MSN – Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post) | Published: 6/2/2023
The Republican National Committee will require presidential candidates to attract 40,000 individual campaign donors and the support of at least one percent of voters in multiple national polls to qualify for the first debate this August. The filter also requires candidates to pledge support for the party’s eventual nominee. Some candidates are concerned the rules could sideline their campaigns at the starting gate. The first Republican debates of the 2016 campaign season included 17 candidates in two different events.
Supreme Court Tossed Out Heart of Voting Rights Act a Decade Ago, Prompting Wave of New Voting Rules
MSN – Christina Cassidy and Ayanna Alexander (Associated Press) | Published: 6/6/2023
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that dismantled a key provision of the Voting Rights Act continues to reverberate across the country a decade later, as Republican-led states pass voting restrictions that, in several cases, would have been subject to federal review had the conservative-leaning court left the provision intact. At the same time, the justices have continued to take other cases challenging elements of the landmark 1965 law that was born from the sometimes-violent struggle for the right of Black Americans to cast ballots.
These Academics Studied Falsehoods Spread by Trump. Now the GOP Wants Answers.
MSN – Naomi Nix and Joseph Menn (Washington Post) | Published: 6/6/2023
House Judiciary Committee Chairperson Jim Jordan and his allies in Congress are demanding documents from and meetings with leading academics who study disinformation, increasing pressure on a group they accuse of colluding with government officials to suppress conservative speech. The push caps years of pressure from conservative activists who have harangued such academics online and in person and filed open-records requests to obtain the correspondence of those working at public universities.
Conservatives Seek Control Over Public Universities with State Bills
MSN – Susan Svrluga (Washington Post) | Published: 6/3/2023
Conservative lawmakers have accelerated efforts to try to rein in what they see as liberal indoctrination on college campuses, with dozens of state bills igniting debates in recent months over academic priorities and how public universities should operate. Their efforts include limiting teaching about certain topics, mandating courses, ending faculty tenure, banning diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, and fighting accreditors trying to limit political interference. Having state leaders working to fight national culture wars on campus and codify their vision for higher education into law has dismayed many academics.
Justice Thomas Delays Disclosures After Reports of Travel, Property Sale
MSN – Ann Marimow and Robert Barnes (Washington Post) | Published: 6/7/2023
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asked for more time to file annual financial disclosures after criticism that he failed to report luxury travel and real estate deals with a wealthy Republican donor. Justice Samuel Alito also asked for an extension as he has done in previous years. The reports, covering activity in 2022, show the justices earned thousands of dollars from teaching positions; received payments for books they have authored; and accepted free travel to lecture at legal conferences, including in Italy and Scotland.
Chris Christie Launches 2024 Run as Brawler Eager to Take on Trump
MSN – Maeve Reston and Hannah Knowles (Washington Post) | Published: 6/6/2023
More than seven years after he ended his first campaign for president and then endorsed Donald Trump, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie returns as a long-shot candidate in a growing Republican field where the former president has jumped out to a wide lead. Christie’s backers point to his blunt style and his sharp wit as traits that make him suited to shake up the race by forcefully challenging Trump. But polls show Christie is viewed negatively by many Republicans. Many prominent figures in the party who have vocally criticized Trump from a more traditional GOP posture in recent years have been rejected in party primaries.
Pence Unleashes Sharp Attacks on Trump as He Launches White House Bid
MSN – Marianne Levine and Ashley Parker (Washington Post) | Published: 6/7/2023
Mike Pence launched his run for president, making his most sweeping case yet against Donald Trump’s fitness for office and beginning a campaign against his former boss more than two years after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol upended their relationship. The former vice president also challenged Trump on other matters, including abortion, changes to entitlement programs, comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin, and even general civility. Pence faces an awkward task of promoting his experience while arguing he is a strong alternative to Trump.
The Spam and the Scam: What’s driving those incessant political fundraising email and text campaigns blowing up your inbox
Yahoo News – Madison Hall (Business Insider) | Published: 6/1/2023
Consumers are drowning in a sea of spam messages and scams from political campaigns, and experts said it is not going to change anytime soon. For one, the very business model of campaigning means a key asset of a debt-laden campaign post-election is its email list, opening up the people on it to subsequent unwanted spam. Some campaigns have also begun to turn to misleading tactics within those emails. Campaign operatives said annoying voters is simply part of the job.
Through Ties to Saudis, Golf Deal Promises Benefits to Trump
Yahoo News – Eric Lipton (New York Times) | Published: 6/7/2023
The surprising deal ending a civil war in the world of professional golf stands to produce benefits for Donald Trump’s family business by increasing the prospect of major tournaments continuing to be played at Trump-owned courses in the U.S. and perhaps abroad. The outcome is the latest example of how the close relationship between Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and Saudi Arabia, whose sovereign wealth fund is the force behind the upheaval in the golf world, has proved beneficial to both sides even as it has prompted intense ethical scrutiny and political criticism.
Trump Lawyer’s Notes Could Be a Key in the Classified Documents Inquiry
Yahoo News – Alan Feuer, Ben Protess, and Maggie Haberman (New York Times) | Published: 6/3/2023
Turning on his iPhone one day last year, the lawyer M. Evan Corcoran recorded his reflections about a high-profile new job: representing former President Trump in an investigation into his handling of classified documents. Corcoran recounted in detail a nearly monthlong period of the documents investigation. A recording like the voice memo Corcoran made is typically shielded by attorney-client or work-product privilege. But a federal judge ordered the recorded recollections to be given to the office of the special counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the documents probe.
From the States and Municipalities
Europe – EU Commission Proposes Common Ethics Body for All EU Officials in Wake of Corruption Scandal
ABC News – Samuel Petrequin (Associated Press) | Published: 6/8/2023
The European Union’s (EU) executive arm proposed to create an ethics body that would set up common rules of conduct for institutions after the 27-nation bloc was rocked last year by a cash-for-influence scandal. The EU does not currently have comprehensive lobbying regulations and the proposal would establish common standards for all politicians when it comes to gifts, hospitality, and travel offered by third parties.
Alabama – Legislature Passes Bill Opening Ethics Complaints to Respondents
Alabama Political Reporter – Samuel Stettheimer | Published: 6/7/2023
The Alabama Legislature voted to require the state Ethics Commission to provide exculpatory evidence discovered during investigations to those accused of violating the ethics law. Though the rules of criminal procedure govern the discovery process in current law, the commission operates under similar secrecy requirements as grand juries. The ethics panel hears cases, but prosecution is referred to the state attorney general or appropriate district attorney.
Alabama – Supreme Court: Alabama must draw new voting map favorable to Black residents
MSN – Robert Barnes (Washington Post) | Published: 6/8/2023
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down Republican-drawn congressional districts in Alabama that civil rights activists say discriminated against Black voters in a surprise reaffirmation of the Voting Rights Act. The ruling upholds a decision by a three-judge panel that threw out Alabama’s new congressional map, which included only one congressional district with a majority of Black voters even though African Americans make up more than a quarter of the state’s population.
Arizona – Democratic Senate Hopeful Claims Primary Residence in Arizona – and D.C.
MSN – Daniel Lippman (Politico) | Published: 6/5/2023
When U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego bought a house near Capitol Hill last year, he claimed the property as his primary residence as part of a special mortgage rate afforded to veterans. But Gallego and his wife also say a home they own in Phoenix is their primary residence. The loan documents confirmed he counts the District of Columbia as his primary home even though his campaign for the U.S. Senate maintains he resides in Arizona. Politically, it means Gallego, who hopes to take out Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in a hotly contested race next year may have to explain why he declared he was primarily a resident of the nation’s capital.
California – San Francisco Ethics Watchdog Decries ‘Severe’ Cuts Under Mayor’s Budget
San Francisco Standard – Mike Ege | Published: 6/5/2023
San Francisco Ethics Commission Chairperson Yvonne Lee released a statement denouncing Mayor London Breed’s cuts to the agency’s budget, calling them “unusually severe” and implying the commission had been singled out for reductions that will drastically impede its work. Lee said the published budget for the agency would amount to a 32 percent reduction in operating funds and 40 percent cut to staff over two years.
Florida – How a Developer Pushing a Luxury Coral Gables High Rise Became a Tenant of the Mayor
MSN – Tess Riski (Miami Herald) | Published: 6/1/2023
A developer who hired Miami’s mayor as a $10,000-a-month consultant has also paid tens of thousands of dollars in rent for a storefront owned in part by the mayor of Coral Gables while pushing for city approvals to build a luxury high-rise across the street. Developer Rishi Kapoor leased a former martial arts studio from a group of investors that included Mayor Vince Lago. New details are emerging following reports that at the same time Kapoor was leasing from Lago, he was also contracting privately with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and pursuing a development project in Coconut Grove.
Florida – Accused of Corruption, Latin Leader Uses Mystery Money, Florida Firms Amid Impeachment Fight
Yahoo News – Antonio Maria Delgado and Kevin Hall (Miami Herald) | Published: 6/2/2023
As the president of Ecuador faced threats of impeachment for alleged corruption, a tiny Florida public relations firm was given a six-figure contract to lobby journalists to publish favorable stories about the embattled leader – not in Ecuador, where his political fortunes were dire, but in British and U.S. media markets, including in Miami. Mysteries abound over the $250,000 payment benefiting President Guillermo Lasso. The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires that any company working in the U.S. on behalf of foreign interests disclose its connections to ensure the American political process is not manipulated by hidden forces.
Georgia – Georgia Probe of Trump Broadens to Activities in Other States
MSN – Amy Gardner and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post) | Published: 6/2/2023
An investigation in Georgia of alleged election interference by former President Trump and his allies has broadened to include activities in Washington, D.C., and several other states, a fresh sign that prosecutors may be building a sprawling case under Georgia’s racketeering laws. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis launched a probe to examine efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 defeat in Georgia. She has signaled publicly she may use the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute to allege these efforts amounted to a far-reaching criminal scheme.
Illinois – Politically Connected Businessman James Weiss Heads to Trial Amid Swirling Investigations, Intrigue
MSN – Jason Meisner (Chicago Tribune) | Published: 6/5/2023
Chicago businessperson James Weiss is facing federal bribery charges alleging he agreed to pay off a state senator in exchange for support on legislation that would benefit the sweepstakes gaming industry. It is a trial filled with political intrigue, both in the line-up of current and former elected officials expected to the take the stand, as well as the backdrop of ongoing federal investigations swirling around Weiss’s associates, including the Cook County Assessor’s Office and for House Speaker Michael Madigan and other members of the Illinois General Assembly.
Illinois – Second Jobs for Chicago Aldermen Would Be Restricted or Even Banned Under Proposed Ordinance
MSN – A.D. Quig (Chicago Tribune) | Published: 6/5/2023
The ability of Chicago City Council members to hold down outside jobs would be sharply curtailed under a proposed ordinance. The bill stipulates “serving as alderperson shall be considered a full-time job” and allows only a few carve-outs for attorneys performing pro-bono work and aldermen who are landlords for fewer than five properties. Aldermanic salaries range from $115,560 to $142,776. Talk of barring outside employment has been floated repeatedly but never gained traction. The council instead passed ordinances chipping away at potential conflicts or slightly tightening ethics restrictions.
Illinois – Aldermen Use Expense Accounts to Pay Ex-Park District Official Who Resigned Amid Lifeguard Scandal
Yahoo News – Alex Harrison (Chicago Tribune) | Published: 6/5/2023
Four aldermen have paid more than $48,000 out of their taxpayer-funded expense accounts to a consulting firm run by a former top Chicago Park District official who was asked to resign for his involvement in a sexual harassment scandal and placed on a do-not-rehire list. Alonzo Williams was paid as an independent contractor for various consulting jobs. The payments came from little-known aldermanic expense allowances, which now provide each of the city’s 50 council members $122,000 annually to spend on almost anything they want with little oversight.
Kentucky – Group Pushing to Expand Service Boundary Won’t Release Donors. They Don’t Have to in Lexington
Yahoo News – Beth Musgrave (Lexington Herald-Leader) | Published: 6/1/2023
The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s ethics rules do not require people and groups who lobby city government to register or disclose their spending. Two groups have emerged with specific stands on the city’s proposed growth: Lexington for Everyone, which has pushed for an immediate expansion of the urban service boundary, and the Fayette Alliance, which has lobbied for the city to wait until studies are complete before pushing forward. According to its spokesperson, Lexington for Everyone does not have to disclose its donors because it is a 501 (c)4 nonprofit. The Fayette Alliance is a 501(c)3.
Maryland – The Cozy Relationships and Shadowy Disclosures Behind Baltimore’s $8M Police Consent Decree
Baltimore Banner – Ben Conarck | Published: 6/5/2023
Last November, as Mayor Brandon Scott prepared to announce his former chief of staff as the city’s new top attorney, the head of the Baltimore Police Department’s consent decree monitoring team notified the federal court of a familial relationship. Ebony Thompson, Scott’s choice for acting city solicitor, is the great-niece of Ken Thompson, the head of the independent group responsible for measuring the police department’s compliance with reforms. Though Ken Thompson and city officials saw the relationship as significant enough to disclose to the judge overseeing the decree, they never made it public.
Nebraska – Nebraska Agency Rejects Conflict-of-Interest Complaint Against Sen. Megan Hunt
Lincoln Journal Star – Erin Barner (Omaha World-Herald) | Published: 6/2/2023
A complaint alleging a Nebraska lawmaker had a conflict-of-interest during the Legislature’s debate over gender-affirming care restrictions has officially been dismissed. A complaint was based on Sen. Megan Hunt having a transgender child, and on her family being covered by Medicaid. Although Nebraska’s Medicaid policy explicitly excludes gender-affirming care, the complaint alleged Hunt and her child “have a slightly more than average chance of obtaining Nebraska Medicaid coverage,” and argued she should have disclosed this prior to debate on the bill.
Nevada – Lombardo Violated Ethics Laws, State Commission Executive Director Says
MSN – Jessica Hill (Las Vegas Review-Journal) | Published: 6/5/2023
Nevada Commission on Ethics Executive Director Ross Armstrong alleges Gov. Joe Lombardo committed multiple ethics violations by using his sheriff’s badge and uniform during his campaign. He also argues that Lombardo’s violations were “willful,” in part because he did not self-report or attempt to rectify the violations before or after the complaints were filed. Armstrong asked the commission to order Lombardo to pay a civil penalty of about $1.67 million, issue a censure, and designate an ethics officer to his office.
New Mexico – Candidate Charged with Shooting at Democrats’ Homes After Election Loss
MSN – Ben Brasch and Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff (Washington Post) | Published: 6/1/2023
A failed New Mexico candidate was indicted on a charge of allegedly organizing and carrying out a plan to shoot at the houses of Democrats and officials who certified his losing election. Solomon Peña and co-conspirators Demetrio Trujillo and Jose Trujillo were formally charged with conspiracy and interference with elections and several firearms offenses that include the use of a machine gun. Investigators say text messages and data from cellphones show how they formed their violent plan.
New York – Cuomo Seeks to Upend Ethics Commission and Keep $5M Book Payment
Albany Times Union – Joshua Solomon | Published: 6/2/2023
Attorneys for former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government squared off in state Supreme Court in a case in which Cuomo is arguing the panel was created in violation of the constitution and should not be allowed to investigate a $5 million deal he secured to publish a book about his handling of the pandemic. Cuomo’s attorneys are asserting the state’s ethics agency is unconstitutional because of its lack of executive oversight, which, in turn, violates separation of powers.
Ohio – A Former Ohio House Speaker Says He’s the Victim of His Corrupt Successor
MSN – Jake Zuckerman and Jeremy Pelzer (Cleveland Plain Dealer) | Published: 6/1/2023
In a filing in the case of ex-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, the man who held the gavel before him, Cliff Rosenberger, sought recognition under the Crime Victims Rights Act. This could allow him to receive money from the case. Rosenberger said Householder and lobbyist Neil Clark waged a campaign of “misinformation” that sparked an FBI probe and Rosenberger’s resignation. If it were not for Householder targeting him, Rosenberger said he would have finished his time as speaker without suffering the “economic, reputational, and emotional injuries” inflicted on him.
Ohio – Judge to Ex-Councilman Jeff Pastor: Guilty plea ‘a very important day in your life’
Yahoo News – Sharon Coolidge and Kevin Grasha (Cincinnati Enquirer) | Published: 6/7/2023
Former Cincinnati City Councilperson Jeff Pastor faces up to two years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal corruption charge for a bribery scheme that began during his first year in office. He is now the third former council member in recent years to be convicted on corruption charges. Pastor was accused of receiving $55,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a developer. In the plea agreement, he admitted taking $15,000. He is required to repay that money.
Oklahoma – Oklahoma Board Approves Nation’s First Religious Public Charter School
MSN – Nuria Martinez-Keel (Oklahoman) | Published: 6/5/2023
An Oklahoma school board approved what would be the country’s first taxpayer-funded religious school amid threats of lawsuits, dueling attorney general stances, a last-minute board member replacement, and growing national interest. The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City intends to open St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School in 2024, serving students K-12 in all parts of the state. Archdiocese officials have said the school will promote the Catholic faith and operate according to church doctrine, including its views on sexual orientation and gender identity, raising questions of whether it would abide by all federal non-discrimination requirements.
Oregon – Federal Criminal Investigators Examining Former Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s Dealings with a Cannabis Company
Oregon Public Broadcasting – Dirk VanderHart | Published: 6/7/2023
Federal criminal investigators are looking into former Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and the two cannabis entrepreneurs she briefly worked for, records show. According to subpoenas, prosecutors sent demands to five state agencies for records concerning Fagan and the owners of the La Mota cannabis chain, Aaron Mitchell and Rosa Cazares. Fagan resigned after revelations she had taken on private consulting work for Mitchell and Cazares as her office prepared an audit of state regulations that was seen as extremely favorable to cannabis companies.
Pennsylvania – The Ethics Board Has Fined a Real Estate Firm Tied to the 76ers for Failing to Disclose it Lobbied for a Proposed Arena
MSN – Sean Collins Walsh (Philadelphia Inquirer) | Published: 6/6/2023
The Philadelphia Board of Ethics fined CBL Real Estate $4,000 for omissions on its lobbying reports in 2022. The firm filed amended reports that show it lobbied members of Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration and city council members on a proposal to build an arena in the city. The firm shares an address with Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Philadelphia 76ers. Neither the 76ers organization nor 76 Devcorp, the team’s development arm, filed lobbying reports in 2022, and it is not obvious from CBL Real Estate’s lobbying registration that they have ties to the team.
Pennsylvania – Shapiro Won’t Share Daily Calendar, a Departure from Previous Pa. Governor’s Transparency
Spotlight PA – Katie Meyer | Published: 6/5/2023
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro is declining to make public his daily calendar, a policy that obscures many of the details about who he meets with and what they discuss. The decision breaks from the practice of his predecessor and is the latest choice by the governor to roll back a transparency measure. Attorneys for the governor told said Shapiro’s calendars are personal, do not have an official purpose, and are not shared widely within the office, an explanation that elected officials in Pennsylvania have frequently offered in response to calendar requests.
Pennsylvania – Pa. House Passes Bill to Require Electronically Filed Campaign Finance Reports
Yahoo News – Associated Press | Published: 6/6/2023
The Pennsylvania House approved legislation to require candidates for a state office to file their campaign finance reports electronically, instead of on paper. The bill goes to the state Senate, which is considering its own version of similar legislation. Many candidates and PACs already file reports electronically, and paper filing is costly and inefficient, sponsors said, adding that moving to an entirely electronic model would reduce costs.
Rhode Island – New Bill Could Bring Big Changes to RI Political Donations. Here’s What’s Proposed.
Yahoo News – Patrick Anderson (Providence Journal) | Published: 6/5/2023
Legislation in Rhode Island would raise the $1,000 annual individual campaign contribution limit to $2,000. The bill would also allow primary candidates for statewide office to qualify for public matching funds. It would limit candidates’ ability to list services they have received as “accounts payable” without reporting them as expenditures or contributions, along with other reforms.
Tennessee – Judge Finds Tennessee Law Aimed at Restricting Drag Shows Unconstitutional
Seattle Times – Emily Cochrane (New York Times) | Published: 6/3/2023
A federal judge ruled a Tennessee law strictly limiting drag shows in public or in places where children could be present is unconstitutional, finding it violates freedom of speech protections. The ruling is an initial victory for supporters of LGBTQ rights after weeks of confusion over the law’s language and how it would affect not only drag artists in the state, but also transgender, nonbinary, and other gender-nonconforming people. Across the country, drag events and Pride celebrations have faced an uptick in protests and threats as conservative activists have sought to limit the events.
Texas – How Angela Paxton Could Help Decide the Fate of Her Embattled Husband, Ken
DNyuz – J. David Goodman (New York Times) | Published: 5/31/2023
Angela Paxton is one of 31 state senators who are designated to act as jurors in her husband’s impeachment trial this summer, deciding whether to convict Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on charges he abused his office to benefit himself and a donor and permanently remove him from office. She is not only married to Ken Paxton; she has also been directly affected by the conduct her husband is accused of. Among the articles of impeachment are allegations he had an extramarital affair and used his office to help a donor who repaid him in part by giving the woman a job.
Utah – Protester Opposed to Book Bans Gets Bible Pulled from Some Utah Schools
MSN – Justine McDaniel (Washington Post) | Published: 6/3/2023
The Bible has been removed from libraries in a Utah school district after being challenged by a person making a jab at book bans. After a state law allowing school districts to pull “pornographic or indecent” books from schools passed last year, someone in the Davis School District submitted a complaint about the King James Bible, arguing the text was “pornographic by our new definition.” A school district committee determined the Bible was not age-appropriate for elementary and middle-schoolers, though it ruled the text does not contain the type of “sensitive material” the law seeks to keep out of schools.
June 8, 2023 •
Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance Pennsylvania: “Pa. House Passes Bill to Require Electronically Filed Campaign Finance Reports” by Associated Press for Yahoo News Elections Arizona: “Democratic Senate Hopeful Claims Primary Residence in Arizona – and D.C.” by Daniel Lippman (Politico) for MSN Ethics National: “Justice Thomas Delays Disclosures […]
Pennsylvania: “Pa. House Passes Bill to Require Electronically Filed Campaign Finance Reports” by Associated Press for Yahoo News
Arizona: “Democratic Senate Hopeful Claims Primary Residence in Arizona – and D.C.” by Daniel Lippman (Politico) for MSN
National: “Justice Thomas Delays Disclosures After Reports of Travel, Property Sale” by Ann Marimow and Robert Barnes (Washington Post) for MSN
Illinois: “Second Jobs for Chicago Aldermen Would Be Restricted or Even Banned Under Proposed Ordinance” by A.D. Quig (Chicago Tribune) for MSN
National: “Through Ties to Saudis, Golf Deal Promises Benefits to Trump” by Eric Lipton (New York Times) for Yahoo News
National: “Conservatives Seek Control Over Public Universities with State Bills” by Susan Svrluga (Washington Post) for MSN
Nevada: “Lombardo Violated Ethics Laws, State Commission Executive Director Says” by Jessica Hill (Las Vegas Review-Journal) for MSN
Oklahoma: “Oklahoma Board Approves Nation’s First Religious Public Charter School” by Nuria Martinez-Keel (Oklahoman) for MSN
June 7, 2023 •
Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance National: “The Spam and the Scam: What’s driving those incessant political fundraising email and text campaigns blowing up your inbox” by Madison Hall (Business Insider) for Yahoo News Rhode Island: “New Bill Could Bring Big Changes to RI Political Donations. Here’s […]
June 6, 2023 •
Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Elections National: “Republicans Set Presidential Debate Rules That Could Exclude Some” by Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post) for MSN Ethics National: “N.J. Sen. Bob Menendez Escaped Legal Peril Once. Can He Do It Again?” by Isaac Stanley-Becker and Perry Stein (Washington Post) […]
June 5, 2023 •
Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance National: “Prosecutors Scrutinize Political Nonprofit Groups for Fund-Raising Fraud” by David Fahrenthold, William Rashbaum, and Tiff Fehr (New York Times) for DNyuz Elections Georgia: “Georgia Probe of Trump Broadens to Activities in Other States” by Amy Gardner and Josh Dawsey (Washington […]
June 2, 2023 •
News You Can Use Digest – June 2, 2023
National/Federal Nikki Haley Slams Foreign Lobbyists While Accepting Funds from Them ABC News – Soo Rin Kim | Published: 5/31/2023 Despite calling for a ban on foreign lobbying, in which Americans lobby lawmakers and the public for foreign interests, Republican presidential hopeful […]
Nikki Haley Slams Foreign Lobbyists While Accepting Funds from Them
ABC News – Soo Rin Kim | Published: 5/31/2023
Despite calling for a ban on foreign lobbying, in which Americans lobby lawmakers and the public for foreign interests, Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley has raised tens of thousands of dollars in donations from foreign lobbyists, disclosure reports show. Haley has recently been campaigning on her opposition to foreign lobbying, saying that embassies, and not private consultants or lobbyist agents, should represent foreign interests in the U.S.
Trump Workers Moved Mar-a-Lago Boxes a Day Before FBI Came for Documents
MSN – Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey, Spencer Hsu, and Perry Stein (Washington Post) | Published: 5/25/2023
Two of Donald Trump’s employees moved boxes of papers the day before a visit by FBI agents and a prosecutor to the former president’s Florida home to retrieve classified documents in response to a subpoena, timing that investigators have come to view as suspicious and an indication of possible obstruction. Trump and his aides also allegedly carried out a “dress rehearsal” for moving sensitive papers even before his office received the May 2022 subpoena. Prosecutors in addition have gathered evidence indicating Trump kept classified documents in his office in a place where they were visible and sometimes showed them to others.
DEA’s Failure to Punish Distributor Blamed in Opioid Crisis Raises Revolving Door Questions
MSN – Jim Mustian and Joshua Goodman (Associated Press) | Published: 5/30/2023
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has allowed one of the nation’s largest wholesale drug distributors, Morris & Dickson Co., to keep shipping addictive painkillers for nearly four years after a judge recommended it be stripped of its license for its “cavalier disregard” of thousands of suspicious orders fueling the opioid crisis. A consultant the company hired to stave off punishment is now DEA Administrator Anne Milgram’s top deputy. The delay raised concerns about how the “revolving door” between government and industry may be impacting the DEA’s mission to police drug companies.
Recent Attacks Put Staffers on Edge as Authorities Look for Answers
MSN – Justin Papp (Roll Call) | Published: 5/31/2023
There has been a string of highly publicized attacks on Capitol Hill aides that have left staff on edge and are raising questions about security, especially away from Washington. Protecting members and staff away from Washington is no small task with 535 members of Congress, many with multiple district offices that are often positioned strategically to encourage foot traffic.
Prosecutors Have Recording of Trump Discussing Sensitive Iran Document
MSN – Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey, and Carol Leonnig (Washington Post) | Published: 5/31/2023
Special counsel Jack Smith has obtained a 2021 recording in which Donald Trump appears to brag about having a classified document related to Iran, suggesting the former president understood both the legal and security concerns around his possession of such restricted information. The audio features Trump describing a document he claims is about possibly attacking Iran, expressing a desire to share that information with others but also making some kind of acknowledgment he should not do so.
Ron DeSantis Administration Officials Solicit Campaign Cash from Lobbyists
NBC News – Matt Dixon and Jonathan Allen | Published: 5/25/2023
Officials who work for Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration – not his campaign – have been sending text messages to Florida lobbyists soliciting political contributions for DeSantis’s presidential bid, a breach of traditional norms that has raised ethical and legal questions and left many here in the state capital shocked. Text messages from four officials, including those directly in the governor’s office and with leadership positions in state agencies. They requested the recipient of the message contribute to the governor’s campaign through a specific link that appeared to track who is giving as part of a “bundle” program.
Talk of Racism Proves Thorny for G.O.P. Candidates of Color
Yahoo News – Jonathan Weisman and Trip Gabriel (New York Times) | Published: 6/1/2023
In bolstering their own biographies with stories of overcoming discrimination, Republican candidates of color running for the president have put forth views about race that at times appear at odds with their view of the country – often denying the existence of a system of racism in America while describing situations that sound just like it. The clashing views of the role race plays in America are a major theme of the 2024 election, underpinning cultural battles over “wokeness.” Behind the debate over structural racism is a secondary debate over the meaning of the stories that politicians tell about themselves.
Missteps and Miscalculations: Inside Fox’s legal and business debacle
Yahoo News – Jim Rutenberg, Michael Schmidt, and Jeremy Peters (New York Times) | Published: 5/28/2023
A series of missteps and miscalculations plagued Fox Corporation’s response to Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, according to a review of court and business records and interviews. The case resulted in the largest known settlement in a defamation suit, $787.5 million; two shareholder lawsuits; and the benching of Fox’s top prime-time star, Tucker Carlson. For all of that, Fox still faces a lawsuit seeking even more in damages filed by Smartmatic, another subject of the stolen-election theory, which can now build on the evidence produced in the Dominion case to press its own considerable claims.
Feinstein, Back in the Senate, Relies Heavily on Staff to Function
Yahoo News – Annie Karni (New York Times) | Published: 5/29/2023
As Dianne Feinstein’s reclaims her seat in the U.S. Senate, she is surrounded by a retinue of staff members who serve not only the roles of typical congressional aides – advising on policy, keeping tabs on the schedule, drafting statements and speeches – but also as de facto companions to a senator whose age, frail health, and memory issues make it difficult for her to function alone. Their roles have come under more scrutiny as a number of Democrats and many of Feinstein’s constituents are increasingly concerned about her refusal to relinquish a post that she is not capable of fulfilling without heavy and constant reliance on her aides.
Aide Fired by George Santos Says He Got His Job After Sending Money to Republican’s Deputy
Yahoo News – Jake Offenhartz (Associated Press) | Published: 6/1/2023
A man who briefly worked as an aide to U.S. Rep. George Santos says he got his job after sending a series of payments to one of the Republican’s top deputies. Derek Myers told staff of the House’s ethics subcommittee during an interview that while he was trying to get a job in Santoss congressional office in late January, he sent at least seven $150 payments to Santos’ director of operations, Vish Burra. Myers said he began sending the money unsolicited because he believed Burra was not getting paid by the House at the time and could not afford food. But he said he also hoped the payments might help him secure a job.
From the States and Municipalities
California – Charity Set Up to Support Mayor’s Office Withholds Records, Collected Funds from Companies with Business Before the City
MSN – Jeff McDonald (San Diego Union-Tribune) | Published: 5/30/2023
The nonprofit For All of Us collects tens of thousands of dollars from donors to support causes embraced by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. Only limited fundraising and spending records for the group are routinely disclosed. Instead, the money, board leadership, mission statement, and other information about For All of Us are mostly held confidentially. The San Diego Union-Tribune discovered the entity during a routine review of disclosures of behested payments at the recommendation of an elected official. Such contributions are only required to be disclosed by the mayor and other elected officials when donor contributions exceed $5,000 per year.
California – DWP Executive Placed on Leave Amid Questions About Outside Bitcoin Business
MSN – Dakota Smith (Los Angeles Times) | Published: 5/26/2023
A top executive at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) was placed on administrative leave while the utility looks into his involvement in the bitcoin mining industry and whether he complied with ethics rules that require employees to obtain permission for outside work. John Chen was placed on leave after The Los Angeles Times asked the DWP about Chen’s ventures, according to a source at the utility.
California – Court Upholds California’s Anti-Pay-to-Play Law Barring Votes Benefiting Campaign Contributors
SiliconValley.com – Jason Henry (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) | Published: 5/26/2023
A Sacramento County Superior Court judge rejected a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law prohibiting elected officials from voting on matters involving the people and companies who contribute to their campaigns. Judge Richard Sueyoshi determined the law, which went into effect in January, does not violate either the state or federal constitutions. Senate Bill 1439 requires public office holders to recuse themselves from votes and discussions involving anyone who has contributed more than $250 to their campaigns.
Connecticut – Former Connecticut Lawmaker Gets 27 Months in Prison for Stealing Coronavirus Aid
Associated Press News – Dave Collins | Published: 5/31/2023
Former Connecticut Rep. Michael DiMassa was sentenced to 27 months in prison for stealing more than $1.2 million from the city of West Haven, most of it in federal coronavirus-related aid, and using a portion of it to fuel his gambling addiction. At the time of the thefts, he was both a state representative and an aide to the West Haven City Council, with authority to approve reimbursements for coronavirus-related expenses. DiMassa admitted he and others billed West Haven for legal, lobbying, and consulting services that were never provided.
Connecticut – Connecticut Senate Passes Bill Prohibiting Utilities from Charging Ratepayers for Political Activities
Energy and Policy Institute – David Pomerantz | Published: 5/29/2023
The Connecticut Senate passed legislation that would prohibit investor-owned utilities from charging customers for lobbying, trade association dues, public relations expenses, and efforts to argue for rate increases. If the House passes the bill, Connecticut would join Colorado as the second state this year to pass legislation addressing utilities’ ability to fund their political machines from customers’ rates.
Florida – Ethics Commission Is Investigating Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s Work for a Developer
MSN – Joey Flechas and Sarah Blaskey (Miami Herald) | Published: 5/25/2023
The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust has opened an investigation into Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s work for developer Rishi Kapoor, following a Miami Herald report that Kapoor’s corporate documents show he sought the mayor’s help to resolve issues involving critical permits for a $70 million project. The ethics commission review is being done in coordination with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office. Internal meeting notes document that Kapoor met with Suarez and the city manager to “discuss the permitting problems” last summer. Internal financial statements show Kapoor paid Suarez at least $170,000 since 2021.
Florida – North Miami Beach Mayor Arrested on Charges Related to ‘Voting Irregularities’
MSN – Raisa Habersham (Miami Herald) | Published: 5/31/2023
North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony DeFillipo was arrested and charged with three counts of voter fraud. The charges allege DeFillipo voted three times in 2022 using an address that was no longer where lived. A complaint alleged DeFillipo lived in the town of Davie in Broward County, in violation of the North Miami Beach city charter, which requires elected officials to reside in the city. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said her office used cell phone data to track DeFillipo’s driving from Davie to North Miami Beach, where he cast ballots to vote in three elections in August, October, and November.
Florida – Florida Elections Officials Quietly Made It Easier for Ron DeSantis to Fund His 2024 Bid
NBC News – Matt Dixon | Published: 5/30/2023
Florida officials changed state campaign finance guidelines in a way that could allow allies of Gov. Ron DeSantis to move tens of millions of dollars to a super PAC supporting his 2024 presidential campaign, records show. For years, elections officials said such a transfer to federal super PACs would not be allowed. But in March, just months before DeSantis formally launched his bid for president, officials at the Florida Department of State, which regulates state elections, changed its handbook to assert that such moves are allowed.
Illinois – Legislature Approves Bill to Tighten Restrictions on Red-Light Camera Industry
Yahoo News – Andrew Adams (Capitol News Illinois) | Published: 5/27/2023
Illinois lawmakers unanimously approved a bill that would place new restrictions on the red-light and speed camera industry’s involvement in state and local elections and government. House Bill 3903 would ban automatic traffic enforcement companies or their officers from donating to candidates at the state and local level. It would also prevent state and local government officials from accepting jobs or contracts with those companies while in office or for two years after leaving office.
Massachusetts – Massachusetts Has Passed Just 10 Laws This Year, the Fewest to Open a Legislative Session in Decades. It’s a Sign of the Times.
MSN – Matt Stout (Boston Globe) | Published: 5/29/2023
Five months into the year, Massachusetts lawmakers have touted passing “historic funding” and holding a budget debate that has never been “smoother.” They can also lay claim to something else, a Boston Globe review found: perhaps the least productive start to a legislative session in at least 40 years. The slow start is likely historic, and, current and former Beacon Hill officials say, reflective of a Democratic-controlled body where power is overly concentrated at the top and where leaders increasingly rely on omnibus legislation to move important policy.
Michigan – As Chatfield Probe Continues, Nessel Urges Reforms to Dark Money in Politics
Detroit News – Beth LeBlanc | Published: 5/31/2023
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is urging the state Legislature to take action soon on ethics reforms, including the tightening of reporting requirements for nonprofits, as she continues investigations into lawmakers’ use of “dark money” accounts in politics. Nessel expects to have some resolution on four major public integrity cases, including two involving nonprofit organizations tied to former House Speaker Lee Chatfield and ex-Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, by the end of the year.
Nevada – Source: NLV officials met with authorities about state senator’s finances
Las Vegas Journal-Review – Briana Erickson | Published: 5/23/2023
North Las Vegas city officials met with law enforcement to discuss concerns that state Sen. Dina Neal may have used campaign funds to pay off a $20,000 lien on her home. The meeting with law enforcement took place after the Las Vegas Review-Journal requested public records from the city. The records revealed years of emails from Neal, some of which ask staff to forgive first-time Homebuyer Assistance Program loans. In at least two of those emails, Neal did not reveal she had that type of loan.
New Hampshire – Ethics Flap Over Airfare Offer to N.H. Lawmaker Referred for Criminal Review
MSN – Steven Porter (Washington Post) | Published: 5/31/2023
New Hampshire House Speaker Sherman Packard asked the state’s top law enforcement officials to look into whether an ethics flap over an alleged offer of airfare entailed any illegal activity. Packard suggested in a letter to the Department of Justice that Robin Vogt, the lawmaker at the center of the controversy, might have committed a felony even if he rebuffed an outside offer to cover his travel expenses ahead of a high-stakes vote. That is because the law requires public officials to tell law enforcement if someone offers them a bribe, he wrote.
New York – ‘Lobbying Loophole’ Bill Stuck in Assembly in Final Week of Legislative Session
Albany Times Union – Joshua Solomon | Published: 5/31/2023
An attempt to close a loophole in the state’s lobbying laws, which allowed for undocumented outside influence over the chief judge nomination of Justice Hector LaSalle to occur, has stalled in the final week of the legislative session. The bill would require similar rules for lobbying for a judicial candidate or other state appointee as those governing the efforts to influence the enactment of laws and regulations. Many judicial nominations, including for the Court of Appeals, require approval from the state Senate but not the Assembly.
New York – Despite Hochul’s Vow, Her Policies Have Indirectly Aided Husband’s Firm
DNyuz – Jay Root (New York Times) | Published: 5/28/2023
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s recusal policy that forbids her from using her office to help Delaware North has not stopped the governor from taking actions that could benefit the company or hurt its competitors, especially near Buffalo, Hochul’s hometown. Delaware North – which owns or manages 11 gambling venues and numerous hotels, and handles concessions at scores of stadiums, airports, and parks – employs the governor’s husband, William Hochul, as its senior vice president. In three recent cases involving matters relating to gambling or concessions, the state took actions that aligned with the interests of her husband’s company.
North Carolina – NC’s Election Ended. Then Gambling Money Showed Up in Campaign Reports, Complaint Says
Charlotte Observer – Avi Bajpai (Raleigh News and Observer) | Published: 5/30/2023
Donors across the video gambling industry gave North Carolina lawmakers nearly $900,000 between 2019 and 2022, according to a new complaint that alleges some of the contributions may have violated campaign finance laws. The complaint notes many of those donors are members of the North Carolina Coin Operators Association. By not registering as a PAC, the donors avoided having to disclose their fundraising activity, and skirted limits on when and how much money a PAC can give, alleges the complaint.
Ohio – As Borges Delay Is Denied, Former FirstEnergy Execs Say ‘No Doubt’ the Feds Are After Them
Ohio Capital Journal – Marty Schladen | Published: 5/26/2023
Judges denied two delays in recent days that would have been key to a bribery and money laundering scandal that took place in Ohio between 2017 to 2020. Denial of a delay in one court case means a player will still be sentenced in June. In denying the other, the judge in that case agreed with two former FirstEnergy executives who said federal law enforcement has them in its crosshairs. But she ordered that they be questioned under oath anyway.
Ohio – Ex-Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor Agrees to Plead Guilty in Public Corruption Case
WCPO – Taylor Weiter and Paula Christian | Published: 5/30/2023
Former Cincinnati City Councilperson Jeff Pastor agreed to plead guilty to honor services wire fraud in his public corruption case. In addition to wire fraud, a federal grand jury charged Pastor with bribery, attempted extortion, money laundering, and conspiracy. He was accused of taking $55,000 in bribes and a luxury weekend trip to Miami on a private plane in exchange for votes on two development deals.
Pennsylvania – Philly’s Ethics Board Usually Flies Under the Radar. That Changed with Its Lawsuit Against a Super PAC Backing Jeff Brown
MSN – Sean Collins Walsh (Philadelphia Inquirer) | Published: 5/27/2023
The 2023 Democratic primary for mayor of Philadelphia was just the second open mayor’s race since the advent of super PACs, independent committees that can raise money in amounts that exceed the city’s contribution limits so long as they do not coordinate with candidates. The board ended up spending much of its time dealing with one super PAC, For a Better Philadelphia, which raised about $3 million to boost Jeff Brown in the mayor’s race. The board’s investigation into the group exposed to scrutiny the choices of the agency that plays a role in every election but is often invisible to voters.
Pennsylvania – A DuBois Official Was Arrested on Corruption Charges. Then Nearly $100K in Cash Arrived at City Hall.
Spotlight PA – Angela Couloumbis and Min Xian | Published: 5/30/2023
In May, DuBois’ solicitor showed up at City Hall with $93,920 in cash tucked inside a cardboard box and packaged in a gift bag. Toni Cherry pulled Interim City Manager Chris Nasuti and Police Chief Blaine Clark out of a meeting. According to Nasuti, she handed the gift bag to the two men and told them the cash belonged to the city. She advised them to deposit the money and did not explain why or how it came into her possession. Nasuti and Clark put the cash into a new bank account and alerted the state attorney general’s office. The bag full of cash is now at the center of another storm in a community already reeling from a corruption scandal.
Texas – Texas Republicans Pass Voting Bills Targeting Large Democratic County
MSN – Patrick Marley (Washington Post) | Published: 5/28/2023
Texas Republicans wound down their regular legislative session by changing election policies for a single populous Democratic stronghold but not in other parts of the state. The measure gives the secretary of state under certain conditions the power to run elections in Harris County, home to Houston and 4.8 million residents. It follows a bill approved days earlier that shifts the oversight of elections from its appointed elections administrator to the county clerk and county assessor. Harris County officials said they would bring a lawsuit challenging the measures as soon as Gov. Greg Abbott signs them into law.
Texas – Texas AG Ken Paxton Impeached, Suspended from Duties; Will Face Senate
Texas Tribune – Zach Despart and James Barragán | Published: 5/27/2023
The Texas House voted overwhelmingly to impeach state Attorney General Ken Paxton, suspending him from office over allegations of misconduct that included bribery and abuse of office. The vote revealed substantial divisions within the Texas GOP. Although the party has won every statewide election for a quarter-century and has controlled both houses of the Legislature since 2003, it has deep underlying fissures. The Senate will conduct a trial with senators acting as jurors and designated House members presenting their case as impeachment managers.
June 1, 2023 •
Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance California: “Court Upholds California’s Anti-Pay-to-Play Law Barring Votes Benefiting Campaign Contributors” by Jason Henry (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) for SiliconValley.com Florida: “Florida Elections Officials Quietly Made It Easier for Ron DeSantis to Fund His 2024 Bid” by Matt Dixon for NBC News […]
California: “Court Upholds California’s Anti-Pay-to-Play Law Barring Votes Benefiting Campaign Contributors” by Jason Henry (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) for SiliconValley.com
Florida: “Florida Elections Officials Quietly Made It Easier for Ron DeSantis to Fund His 2024 Bid” by Matt Dixon for NBC News
Michigan: “As Chatfield Probe Continues, Nessel Urges Reforms to Dark Money in Politics” by Beth LeBlanc for Detroit News
North Carolina: “NC’s Election Ended. Then Gambling Money Showed Up in Campaign Reports, Complaint Says” by Avi Bajpai (Raleigh News and Observer) for Charlotte Observer
California: “DWP Executive Placed on Leave Amid Questions About Outside Bitcoin Business” by Dakota Smith (Los Angeles Times) for MSN
Connecticut: “Former Connecticut Lawmaker Gets 27 Months in Prison for Stealing Coronavirus Aid” by Dave Collins for Associated Press News
National: “DEA’s Failure to Punish Distributor Blamed in Opioid Crisis Raises Revolving Door Questions” by Jim Mustian and Joshua Goodman (Associated Press) for MSN
National: “Recent Attacks Put Staffers on Edge as Authorities Look for Answers” by Justin Papp (Roll Call) for MSN
New York: “‘Lobbying Loophole’ Bill Stuck in Assembly in Final Week of Legislative Session” by Joshua Solomon for Albany Times Union
May 31, 2023 •
Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Elections Texas: “Texas Republicans Pass Voting Bills Targeting Large Democratic County” by Patrick Marley (Washington Post) for MSN Ethics California: “Charity Set Up to Support Mayor’s Office Withholds Records, Collected Funds from Companies with Business Before the City” by Jeff McDonald (San Diego Union-Tribune) […]
May 30, 2023 •
Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance National: “Ron DeSantis Administration Officials Solicit Campaign Cash from Lobbyists” by Matt Dixon and Jonathan Allen for NBC News Pennsylvania: “Philly’s Ethics Board Usually Flies Under the Radar. That Changed with Its Lawsuit Against a Super PAC Backing Jeff Brown” by Sean […]
May 26, 2023 •
News You Can Use Digest – May 26, 2023
National/Federal Chief Justice John Roberts Defends Supreme Court’s ‘Highest Standards of Conduct,’ Offers No New Rules ABC News – Devin Dwyer | Published: 5/24/2023 Chief Justice John Roberts defended the integrity of the Supreme Court in the face of slumping public approval […]
Chief Justice John Roberts Defends Supreme Court’s ‘Highest Standards of Conduct,’ Offers No New Rules
ABC News – Devin Dwyer | Published: 5/24/2023
Chief Justice John Roberts defended the integrity of the Supreme Court in the face of slumping public approval and growing political pressure after a recent barrage of misconduct allegations. It was the first time Roberts directly addressed growing concern about how the justices handle potential conflicts-of-interest with their personal lives, a topic that has gotten renewed attention amid a series of alleged ethical infringements by Justice Clarence Thomas.
Rioter Pictured with Foot on Desk in Speaker’s Offices Gets 4½ Years
MSN – Tom Jackman (Washington Post) | Published: 5/24/2023
The U.S. Capitol rioter who was photographed with his foot propped on a desk in then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s offices and then tried to make money with the image was sentenced to four-and-one-half years in prison. The photograph of Richard Barnett in Pelosi’s suite of offices in 2021 became one of the defining images of the insurrection. Barnett carried a walking stick with a 950,000-volt stun device into the Capitol along with a 10-pound metal flagpole and menaced police with them, prosecutors said, but he did not assault any officers.
Stewart Rhodes, Oath Keepers Leader, Sentenced to 18 Years in Jan. 6 Case
MSN – Alan Feuer (New York Times) | Published: 5/25/2023
Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his conviction on seditious conspiracy charges for the role he played in helping to mobilize the pro-Trump attack on the U. S. Capitol. The sentence was the most severe penalty so far in any of the more than 1,000 criminal cases stemming from the insurrection and the first to be increased for fitting the legal definition of terrorism. It was also the first to have been given to any of the 10 members of the Oath Keepers and another far-right group, the Proud Boys, who were convicted of sedition.
Tim Scott Begins Presidential Campaign, Adding to List of Trump Challengers
MSN – Jonathan Weisman and Maya King (New York Times) | Published: 5/22/2023
Tim Scott, the first Black Republican elected to the U.S. Senate from the South since Reconstruction, announced his campaign for president, bringing an aspirational message to a growing field of Republicans running as alternatives to Donald Trump. Scott enters the primary field having amassed $22 million in fundraising and having attracted veteran political operatives to work on his behalf. But his message of hope and inclusion may not resonate among base Republican voters steeped in Trump’s demands for vengeance, and the field of Republicans is about to grow far more crowded.
Crow Sidesteps Panel’s Questions About Gifts to Clarence Thomas
MSN – Michael Macagnone (Roll Call) | Published: 5/23/2023
A billionaire Republican donor brushed off questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee about his relationship with Justice Clarence Thomas, in a letter that argues the panel did not have the authority to investigate the lavish gifts he provided to the member of the U.S. Supreme Court. An attorney for Harlan Crow told the committee Crow did not have to answer questions about reports Thomas did not disclose that Crow had provided luxury vacations for the justice, bought property from him and paid for a relative’s private education.
Ron DeSantis’s 2024 Kickoff on Twitter Is Plagued by Technical Issues
MSN – Hannah Knowles and Faiz Siddiqui (Washington Post) | Published: 5/24/2023
Ron DeSantis and his allies worked to build momentum ahead of a long-expected presidential campaign launch, rolling out endorsements, sleek videos, and the image of an alligator lurking just beneath the water on his campaign website. But the novel Twitter Spaces announcement with Elon Musk that the Florida governor’s team had hyped as the culmination of his big day was plagued by glitches. The live chat came to a halt after roughly 20 minutes of mostly silence; by the time it restarted and DeSantis began his remarks, hundreds of thousands of listeners had peeled off. It was an awkward start to a campaign that had already hit numerous roadblocks.
House Votes to Refer Santos Matter to Ethics Panel
MSN – Lindsay McPherson (Roll Call) | Published: 5/17/2023
The House voted to refer a resolution from Democrats that would expel U.S. Rep. George Santos to the Committee on Ethics. Speaker Kevin McCarthy defended the move as providing Santos with “due process.” Santos was indicted on 13 federal criminal charges, including wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and making false statements to the House. Expelling Santos would put a dent in the GOP’s narrow four-seat majority until a special election can be held. Another Republican victory there would not be guaranteed.
School Librarians Face a New Penalty in the Banned-Book Wars: Prison
MSN – Hannah Natanson (Washington Post) | Published: 5/18/2023
Librarians could face years of imprisonment and tens of thousands in fines for providing sexually explicit, obscene, or “harmful” books to children under new state laws that permit criminal prosecution of school and library personnel. At least seven states have passed such laws in the last two years. Another dozen states considered more than 20 similar bills this year. Some educators and activists say the laws will forge a climate of fear among school librarians, spurring the censorship of books by and about LGBTQ individuals even as the nation already faces a historic onslaught of challenges to books in those categories.
Sen. Feinstein’s Health Complications from Shingles More Severe Than Disclosed
MSN – Liz Goodwin and Carolyn Johnson (Washington Post) | Published: 5/18/2023
Sen. Dianne Feinstein returned to Washington after having suffered more severe health complications from her shingles diagnosis than were previously disclosed. Feinstein’s shingles triggered encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, as well as Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which causes facial paralysis. She returned to the Senate after facing pressure to resign from a few members of Congress and California progressive groups, who complained her months-long absence was slowing judicial confirmations and imperiling the Democratic agenda.
Meet the Influential New Player on Transgender Health Bills
Yahoo News – Jeff McMillan and Kimberlee Kruesi (Associated Press) | Published: 5/20/2023
Do No Harm, a nonprofit that launched last year to oppose diversity initiatives in medicine, has evolved into a significant leader in statehouses seeking to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youths, producing model legislation that has been used in at least three states. Do No Harm organized as a charitable organization whose tax-exempt status would be endangered by substantial lobbying. In March, after the group had already made significant inroads in Legislatures with its model bill, lobbyists, and hearing witnesses, it incorporated Do No Harm Action as a separate nonprofit with a tax status that allows for more lobbying,
From the States and Municipalities
Arizona – Groups Settle Arizona Lawsuit Over Voter Intimidation at Ballot Boxes
MSN – Daniel Gilbert (Washington Post) | Published: 5/21/2023
An Arizona group that monitored ballot drop boxes for signs of fraud during the midterm elections settled a lawsuit and agreed to “publicly condemn intimidation of any kind in connection with the exercise of the right to vote,” according to the League of Women Voters of Arizona, which had filed the suit. The drop boxes, intended to provide a secure, convenient place to submit ballots, have become a symbol of mistrust in elections among many supporters of Donald Trump.
Arizona – Judge Dismisses Kari Lake’s Final Claim in Election Loss for Arizona Governor
Yahoo News – Associated Press | Published: 5/21/2023
A judge dismissed the only remaining legal claim in Kari Lake’s challenge of her loss in last year’s race for Arizona governor, affirming the election of Katie Hobbs. Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson said Lake failed to prove her claim that Maricopa County did not verify signatures on mail ballots as required by law. Lake faced a high bar in proving not only her allegation over signature verification efforts but also that it affected the outcome of her race.
California – 49ers’ Former Lobbyist Emerges as Key Witness in Anthony Becker Perjury Case
MSN – Lance Williams and Ron Kroichick (San Francisco Chronicle) | Published: 5/19/2023
The former chief lobbyist for the San Francisco 49ers testified Santa Clara City Councilperson Anthony Becker illegally leaked a confidential report criticizing the team’s political influence. Rahul Chandhok told a grand jury that Becker gave him a confidential copy of a watchdog agency’s report accusing the 49ers of having undue influence over government in Santa Clara, home of publicly owned Levi’s Stadium. Becker is charged with one felony count of perjury and one misdemeanor count of failing to perform his official duty.
Connecticut – Consultant on New London Pier Project Fined for Ethics Violations – Again
WSHU – Brian Scott-Smith | Published: 5/19/2023
The Connecticut Office of State Ethics fined Seabury Maritime $10,000 for violating the state’s lobbying law. It lobbied from 2017 to 2019 to gain contracts and other business from the Connecticut Port Authority, a quasi-public agency. Seabury spent over $3,000 in lobbying each year, which triggered a requirement for them to register their activity, which they failed to do. The company also did not complete any financial disclosures as required.
Florida – Developer Paid Miami’s Mayor $170K to Push His Project, Company Records State
MSN – Joey Flechas, Jay Weaver, and Sarah Blaskey (Miami Herald) | Published: 5/23/2023
Internal company records provide details, for the first time, of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s private work for the development firm Location Ventures while he held public office. The company paid Suarez at least $170,000 over the past two years to help secure permits for a stalled real estate project, raising legal and ethical questions about the relationship between his role as mayor and his job as a developer’s consultant.
Florida – DeSantis Signs Bill That Makes His Presidential Run Easier
MSN – Gary Fineout (Politico) | Published: 5/24/2023
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis removed a threat to his campaign for president by signing into law a measure that makes it clear he does not have to resign his current position as governor. The change to Florida’s resign-to-run law was part of a larger overall elections bill that has drawn the scorn of Democrats and voting rights groups who have labeled it “voter suppression.” Two lawsuits were immediately filed in federal court challenging the law.
Florida – Florida Senator Sued by His Family Business for ‘Embezzling’ Money
Yahoo News – Lawrence Mower (Tampa Bay Times) | Published: 5/22/2023
State Sen. Nick DiCeglie is being sued by his cousins and his family trash collection business for allegedly spending tens of thousands of the company’s dollars on political expenses, travel, and a personal loan. In two lawsuits, DiCeglie is accused of “embezzling” money while he was president of Solar Sanitation. DiCeglie has agreed to pay back some of the money, including $120,000 in loans from the company. But he said the political spending was to further the company’s business, which relies on contracts with local governments in Pinellas County.
Georgia – Book Removals May Have Violated Student Civil Rights, Education Dept. Says
MSN – Hannah Natanson and Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff (Washington Post) | Published: 5/22/2023
In a move that could affect how schools handle book challenges, the federal government has concluded a Georgia school district’s removal of titles with Black and LGBTQ characters may have created a “hostile environment” for students, potentially violating their civil rights. The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights investigated Forsyth County Schools’ 2022 decision to pull nearly a dozen books from shelves after parents complained of titles’ sexual and LGBTQ content. To resolve the investigation, the district agreed to offer “supportive measures” to students affected by the book removals and to administer a school climate survey.
Illinois – Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s Girlfriend, Ex-Business Partners and City Employee’s Husband Awarded Thousands in Taxpayer-Funded Grants
WTTW – Nick Blumberg | Published: 5/18/2023
The Aurora City Council has awarded dozens of taxpayer-funded business grants to local businesses in recent months. The owners of two of the companies are in personal relationships with top city officials. A majority of recent donations to Mayor Richard Irvin’s campaign fund are from people doing business with or getting incentives from the city, The council approved a $10,000 grant to Laura’s Furniture, owned by Laura Ayala-Clarke. Sources have described her as Irvin’s girlfriend.
Illinois – Under Pressure on Ethics, Illinois Lawmakers Consider Tightened Rules on Red-Light Camera Industry
Yahoo News – Dan Petrella (Chicago Tribune) | Published: 5/24/2023
Facing pressure to bolster state ethics laws following the recent bribery convictions of former Commonwealth Edison executives and lobbyists, Illinois lawmakers have turned their attention to another branch of a corruption investigation: the red-light camera industry. A bill approved in the Senate seeks to place new guardrails around an industry that has been at the center of multiple federal probes that have ensnared a host of state, county, and local officials, including two state senators.
Kansas – Kansas Ethics Commission to Evaluate Factors Influencing Waiver of Campaign Finance Penalties
KPVI – Tim Carpenter | Published: 5/25/2023
At a recent meeting, the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission voted to waive fines against the Geary County Republican Central Committee’s treasurer along with penalties against the treasurer of the defunct Prairie Roots PAC and a lobbyist with Kansans for Life. Others appealing campaign finance penalties had their fines upheld. The hit-or-miss voting on appeals led to discussion of how commission members placed their fingers on the scale to either enforce or waive penalties.
Kentucky – Agency Fines Alison Grimes $10,000 for Handling of Voter Data as KY Secretary of State
Yahoo News – John Cheves (Lexington Herald-Leader) | Published: 5/19/2023
Alison Lundergan Grimes must pay $10,000 in fines for improperly ordering the downloading and distribution of voter registration data from her office while she was Kentucky’s secretary of state. The Lexington Herald-Leader and ProPublica published a series of stories on her improper use of the Voter Registration System. They also showed how Grimes pushed through a no-bid contract with a company owned by a campaign donor.
Louisiana – New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s Office Sought to Avoid Public Disclosure Rules for Anti-Recall Mailer
NOLA.com – John Stanton | Published: 5/23/2023
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration circumvented city public bidding rules to hire a public relations firm with apparent ties to one of her top advisors to defend her record as mayor in the waning days of a failed recall effort. Documents turned over to the city council under a subpoena, provide the clearest picture yet into the development of a potentially illegal taxpayer-funded mailer sent to likely voters in the week before the recall petition deadline, and the lengths to which top Cantrell officials went to obscure their work on it.
Maryland – Treasurer for Baltimore County Campaign Committees Pleads Guilty to Stealing Funds
Maryland Daily Record – Madeline O’Neill | Published: 5/25/2023
William McCollum, the treasurer for a powerful Baltimore County political slate, pleaded guilty Thursday to theft and perjury charges, admitting to stealing campaign funds from the group and from a former county councilperson’s finance committee. The charges alleged McCollum embezzled nearly $100,000 from the Friends of Cathy Bevins fund for his personal benefit. Prosecutors said McCollum used campaign money to travel with a romantic partner while in Puerto Rico and for flights to Palm Beach, Florida, and Iceland. He did not disclose those expenditures on campaign finance reports.
Massachusetts – Calls for Arroyo to Step Down from Boston City Council after Rollins Investigation
WBUR – Walter Wuthmann | Published: 5/19/2023
At least one Boston city councilor and a conservative advocacy group are calling for Councilor Ricardo Arroyo to resign following the release of two federal investigations tying him to alleged election meddling by former U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins. The reports found Rollins attempted to influence the race for Suffolk County district attorney in 2022 by leaking negative information about interim District Attorney Kevin Hayden to help Arroyo, her preferred successor to the office. The Department of Justice report contains 299 mentions of Arroyo and includes portions of 380 private texts and encrypted chats between him and Rollins over two months.
Mississippi – Chris McDaniel’s Reports Deny Accurate Public Accounting of Campaign Money
Mississippi Today – Geoff Pender | Published: 5/18/2023
After six campaign finance filings – including amended, termination-amended, and even one the-computer-temporarily-ate-it reports – it is still unclear exactly how much money longtime Mississippi Sen. Chris McDaniel has raised or now has for his lieutenant governor campaign. McDaniel’s reports for his campaign and a PAC he created last year have been confusing and confounding, at times leaving voters in the dark on the sources of hundreds of thousands of dollars and continuing to contain double-reported donations and amounts and dates that do not add up.
Nebraska – A Year After Scandal, Nebraska Legislature Revises Its Workplace Harassment Policy
Omaha World-Herald – Erin Bamer | Published: 5/17/2023
Over a year after a scandal rocked the Nebraska Legislature, lawmakers adopted a handful of changes to its workplace harassment policy, although some say there is still more work to be done. The changes were developed after the revelation that ex-Sen. Mike Groene took photos of a former female staff member without her knowledge. Soon after, Groene resigned from the Legislature, and a later investigation found his conduct was “boorish, brainless and bizarre,” although not unlawful.
New York – Trump Makes Video Appearance in New York Criminal Case, Trial Date Tentatively Set for Late March
Associated Press News – Michael Sisak | Published: 5/23/2023
Donald Trump threw up his hands in frustration as a judge scheduled his criminal trial for March 25, putting the former president and current candidate in a Manhattan courtroom in the heat of next year’s presidential primary season. Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records at his family company, the Trump Organization. Trump often discusses the cases at his rallies and in other speeches and has repeatedly attacked prosecutors and judges by name. At the hearing, the judge reviewed an order barring Trump from publicly disseminating certain evidence turned over by prosecutors.
New York – Supreme Court Tosses Convictions of Cor Development Executives Steve Aiello and Joe Gerardi
MSN – Tim Knauss (Syracuse Post-Standard) | Published: 5/22/2023
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the convictions of business executives Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, who were accused of bid-rigging and other crimes related to state development projects. The ruling was expected due to the court’s rulings in two related cases. Alain Kaloyeros, a former economic development official in the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also had his conviction formally set aside. Aiello and Gerardi, executives at Cor Development Co., were convicted of conspiring with Kaloyeros, the former president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
New York – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano’s Brothers Run Lobbying Firm with Biz Before City
MSN – Carl Campanile (New York Post) | Published: 5/22/2023
Two brothers of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano run a lobbying firm with clients that have had business before the city during the mayor’s tenure, including with the agency that doles out tax breaks and is chaired by him, records show. Empire Strategic Planning (ESP) was founded by Nick Spano, a former state senator. John Spano is on ESP’s executive team. Mayor Spano and his siblings-led firm said it lobbies on these clients’ behalf in Albany, not Yonkers City Hall.
New York – Lobbyists Fundraise for Adams 2021 Campaign
NY1 – Courtney Gross | Published: 5/23/2023
Documents show lobbyists raised money for Eric Adams in his 2021 race to be New York City mayor, fundraising that has not been reported previously. Adams’ campaign never reported any of these lobbyists as bundlers or intermediaries with the city’s campaign finance board. By law, campaigns must report who collects donations for their campaigns.
North Dakota – Lame-Duck North Dakota Lawmakers Roamed to Faraway Conferences on the Taxpayers’ Dime
Bismarck Tribune – Jeremy Turley (Forum News Service) | Published: 5/23/2023
Since 2014, the North Dakota Legislature has spent more than $45,000 to send a dozen retiring and defeated lawmakers to out-of-state conferences. Some of the departing lawmakers served on interstate policy boards and were expected to show up to faraway meetings, but others went to conferences that could have been attended by any of their colleagues who planned to remain in the Legislature. Sen. Ray Holmberg, Holmberg, who attended more out-of-state trips than any of his peers since 2013, also signed off on his own travel during the time he served as chairperson of Legislative Management, an interim panel of top lawmakers.
Oregon – Before Oregon Elections Officials Slashed Democratic Party’s Fine, State Lawyer Blasted Party’s ‘Lackluster’ Efforts to Find True Source of $500K Donation
Portland Oregonian – Hillary Borrud | Published: 5/23/2023
Two weeks before Oregon elections officials greatly reduced a fine against the state Democratic Party for falsely reporting the source of its largest ever campaign donation, Assistant Attorney General Kevin Gleim criticized the party, calling its efforts to correctly identify the donor “lackluster.” Gleim also said the Elections Division had no authority to reduce a resulting $35,000 fine on the party, which was determined solely on the size of the contribution donation and the number of days the party was tardy in reporting the donor.
Pennsylvania – Allegheny County Council Approves Campaign Finance Regulations
WESA – Julia Zenkevich | Published: 5/24/2023
The Allegheny County Council passed a bill that would impose FEC contribution guidelines on candidates for county offices. Those guidelines are adjusted for inflation every two years, but individual contributions are currently capped at $3,300, while PACs can give $5,000 per election cycle. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has said he would likely veto the bill. He said campaign finance limits should come from the state Legislature.
Texas – Texas Pushes Church into State with Bills on School Chaplains, Ten Commandments
MSN – Michelle Boorstein (Washington Post) | Published: 5/23/2023
Texas lawmakers were scheduled to vote on whether to require the Ten Commandments be posted in every classroom in the state, part of a newly energized national effort to insert religion into public life. Supporters believe the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a high school football coach who prayed with players essentially removed any guardrails between religion and government. The legislation is one of about a half-dozen religion bills approved this session by the state Senate.
Texas – Investigators Detail Years of Alleged Misconduct by Texas AG Ken Paxton in Stunning House Committee Hearing
MSN – Zach Despart and James Barragán (Texas Tribune) | Published: 5/24/2023
A Texas House committee heard testimony that state Attorney General Ken Paxton may have violated multiple state laws and ethics rules during a hearing that summarized its months-long investigation. The testimony came a day after Paxton called for Speaker Dade Phelan to resign, accusing him of being “intoxicated” while presiding over the House recently. One area of the inquiry focused on a proposed $3.3 million agreement to settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed by four high-ranking deputies who were fired after accusing Paxton of accepting bribes and other misconduct.
Virginia – In N. Virginia, Endorsement Primaries Point to Increasingly Politicized School Boards
MSN – Karina Elwood (Washington Post) | Published: 5/21/2023
As Harold Sims Jr. knocked on doors for his school board campaign, many of the Northern Virginia residents on the other side did not know there was an election in May. Sims was not campaigning for the general election or primary that most voters are familiar with. He was door knocking, along with fundraising and debating other candidates to win the local Democratic Party’s endorsement. School board races in Virginia, like most of the country, are nonpartisan. But for years, local political parties around the state have endorsed school board candidates to signal to voters which candidates match their political ideology.
Virginia – A Republican Lawmaker Delivered Doughnuts to Teachers. Then Came a Political Food Fight
Virginia Mercury – Graham Moomaw | Published: 5/23/2023
Virginia Del. Amanda Batten bought almost 1,000 doughnuts to give to public school teachers in her Williamsburg-area district. The doughnut deliveries to 19 schools were accepted. But in a sign of the intensity of Virginia’s political debates over K-12 public schools, some in the system saw an ulterior motive in the gifts. A photo showed a doughnut-box label with a line in smaller print: “Paid for and Authorized by Friends of Amanda Batten.” That phrase signals an activity was funded by money from a political campaign. The pushback was so strong school officials told Batten similar doughnut drop offs would be declined due to their “political nature.”
Virginia – Though Critiques Persist, Many Agree Virginia’s New Political Maps Are ‘Quite Balanced’
Virginia Mercury – Graham Moomaw | Published: 5/17/2023
As Virginia enters a high-stakes General Assembly election year, the first playing out on electoral maps drawn by outside experts rather than incumbent legislators, many lawmakers, advocates, and experts agree it looks like a fair fight, with neither party getting an undue advantage based on political geography alone. Despite fears that the new redistricting process could lead to backsliding in minority representation, a look at the field of candidates running this year indicates the Legislature elected on the new maps will be more diverse, not less.
West Virginia – Democrats Sue W.Va. Gov. Justice Over Refusal to Disclose Work Schedule
MSN – John Wagner (Washington Post) | Published: 5/23/2023
Democrats sued West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat, for refusing to release his work schedule as governor in response to public records request seeking to show a continued pattern of absenteeism. The move by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee follows months of back and forth with Justice’s office over whether disclosure of the records is required under West Virginia law. Such requests are a typical part of opposition research conducted by campaigns and political parties.
May 25, 2023 •
Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance New York: “Lobbyists Fundraise for Adams 2021 Campaign” by Courtney Gross for NY1 Oregon: “Before Oregon Elections Officials Slashed Democratic Party’s Fine, State Lawyer Blasted Part’’s ‘Lackluster’ Efforts to Find True Source of $500K Donation” by Hillary Borrud for Portland Oregonian Pennsylvania: “Allegheny […]
New York: “Lobbyists Fundraise for Adams 2021 Campaign” by Courtney Gross for NY1
Oregon: “Before Oregon Elections Officials Slashed Democratic Party’s Fine, State Lawyer Blasted Part’’s ‘Lackluster’ Efforts to Find True Source of $500K Donation” by Hillary Borrud for Portland Oregonian
Pennsylvania: “Allegheny County Council Approves Campaign Finance Regulations” by Julia Zenkevich for WESA
Arizona: “Groups Settle Arizona Lawsuit Over Voter Intimidation at Ballot Boxes” by Daniel Gilbert (Washington Post) for MSN
National: “Ron DeSantis’s 2024 Kickoff on Twitter Is Plagued by Technical Issues” by Hannah Knowles and Faiz Siddiqui (Washington Post) for MSN
Illinois: “Under Pressure on Ethics, Illinois Lawmakers Consider Tightened Rules on Red-Light Camera Industry” by Dan Petrella (Chicago Tribune) for Yahoo News
Louisiana: “New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s Office Sought to Avoid Public Disclosure Rules for Anti-Recall Mailer” by John Stanton for NOLA.com
North Dakota: “Lame-Duck North Dakota Lawmakers Roamed to Faraway Conferences on the Taxpayers’ Dime” by Jeremy Turley (Forum News Service) for Bismarck Tribune
Texas: “G.O.P. Split in Texas Breaks Wide Open with Drunkenness Accusation” by J. David Goodman (New York Times) for DNyuz
May 24, 2023 •
Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance Virginia: “A Republican Lawmaker Delivered Doughnuts to Teachers. Then Came a Political Food Fight” by Graham Moomaw for Virginia Mercury Elections Arizona: “Judge Dismisses Kari Lake’s Final Claim in Election Loss for Arizona Governor” by Associated Press for Yahoo News Ethics National: “Crow […]
May 23, 2023 •
Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance Mississippi: “Chris McDaniel’s Reports Deny Accurate Public Accounting of Campaign Money” by Geoff Pender for Mississippi Today Elections National: “Tim Scott Begins Presidential Campaign, Adding to List of Trump Challengers” by Jonathan Weisman and Maya King (New York Times) for MSN Virginia: “In […]
May 22, 2023 •
Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Elections Kentucky: “Agency Fines Alison Grimes $10,000 for Handling of Voter Data as KY Secretary of State” by John Cheves (Lexington Herald-Leader) for Yahoo News Ethics National: “House Votes to Refer Santos Matter to Ethics Panel” by Lindsay McPherson (Roll Call) for MSN Florida: “Lawsuit […]
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