March 27, 2012 •
Disclosure and campaign finance reform issues made the news today. Take a look at today’s articles:
Federal: “Two SEC Commissioners Could Dramatically Change Campaign Finance” by George Zornick in The Nation. ↬via Eric Brown’s Political Activity Law blog.
California: “State political watchdog ramps up enforcement” by Brian Joseph in the Orange County Register.
Connecticut: “Connecticut legislators set focus on campaign finance reform; look to increase transparency” by Jordan Fenster in The Register Citizen.
District of Columbia: “Campaign money orders to cease?” by Jim McElhatton and Luke Rosiak in the Washington Times.
District of Columbia: “D.C. ethics law overhaul hampered by hiring difficulties, enforcement duties” by Mike DeBonis in The Washington Post.
January 13, 2012 •
Assumes Duties January 20th
Sebastian N. Giuliano, the former mayor of Middletown, Connecticut, has been chosen by the State Elections Enforcement Commission to serve as the agency’s executive director and general counsel.
The selection was announced Thursday night by commission chairman Stephen F. Cashman, but will not be formally approved until the commission’s January 18, 2012 meeting.
Giuliano was selected for the position from a field of 35 candidates. He is due to assume the duties of the position January 20, 2012.
January 10, 2012 •
Considering Charter Revision or Ordinance
The Charter Review Commission for the city of Stamford, Connecticut is considering whether changes should be made in order to mandate a city ethics code. Local officials are considering whether to institute a requirement for an ethics code into the city charter, revised only once every ten years, or by ordinance.
If an ethics code is mandated into the city charter, some commission members worry repealing or altering it could become a burdensome task due to the required approval by Stamford residents through voter referendum. In contrast, an ordinance requiring a code of ethics could be changed as necessary by Stamford officials.
The Commission will be holding several meetings to allow public comments concerning the situation prior to making any decision.
November 28, 2011 •
House District 24 Seat to be Filled January 10, 2012
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has issued a writ of special election setting January 10, 2012 as the date to fill the vacant seat in Connecticut’s 24th house district.
The seat became vacant after former state representative Timothy O’Brien left the position November 15, 2011. O’Brien, who had represented the district since 2003, resigned his seat after he was elected to the position of mayor in the city of New Britain, Connecticut during the 2011 general election held on November 8.
November 18, 2011 •
Connecticut Working Families Organization’s Executive Director to Pay $10,000 Fine
Jon Green, the executive director of Connecticut Working Families has been fined $10,000 by the Connecticut Office of State Ethics for not wearing a badge while he lobbied on legislation in the 2010 election cycle.
You can find news coverage of the story here:
“Working Families Official To Pay $10,000 Ethics Fine” by Jon Lender in the Hartford Courant.
“WFP Director Fined For Lobbying Without Badge” by Christine Stuart in CT News Junkie.
“CT levies $10K fine against unsanctioned lobbyist” in the Hartford Business Journal.
October 3, 2011 •
Gay and Chiusano Selected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman
Retired Major General David W. Gay has been selected to serve as the chairman of the nine-member Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board. Gay was initially appointed to his position on the board by then-Governor M. Jodi Rell on October 1, 2009.
Prior to his appointment, Gay served as the Adjutant General of the Connecticut National Guard from 1992 to 1999, when he retired after forty-three years of distinguished military service. His military career began in 1953 when he served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He enlisted in the Guard in 1960 as a PFC and served in several different positions and disciplines at all levels.
Further, Charles F. Chiusano has been selected to serve as vice-chairman of the board. Chiusano was appointed in 2010 by Senate Minority Leader John McKinney after he had retired from his position as vice president of Avant Business Services Corporation. Each member’s one year term fulfilling the position is effective as of October 1, 2011.
September 2, 2011 •
Executive Administrator Named For New Connecticut Watchdog Office
Governor Dannel P. Malloy is set to name David L. Guay as the head of Connecticut’s newly created Office of Governmental Accountability.
Guay was one of three finalists for the position of executive administrator recommended to the governor in July by the heads of the nine agencies comprising the new Office of Governmental Accountability, including the Office of State Ethics and the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
Guay has served as the executive director of the Board of Accountancy since 1989, and has also held the position of director of election campaign finance services.
Guay’s new position calls for assisting each of the nine agencies in meeting their needs, while also promoting autonomy over the watchdog function each agency provides.
August 19, 2011 •
In a continuing effort to better serve the needs of its clients, State and Federal Communications, Inc. is expanding coverage of laws and regulations in more municipalities.
We now provide information on lobbying, political contributions, and procurement lobbying for:
Fort Collins, Colorado
New Haven, Connecticut
July 15, 2011 •
Ten Lobbyists to be Audited in Connecticut
Thomas H. Dooley, Chairman of the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board, will be selecting at random 10 lobbyists to be audited by the Office of State Ethics during an audit selection ceremony on Thursday, July 21, 2011.
The ceremony will be a part of the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting, scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.
Lobbyists to be audited will be selected from a pool of all registered client lobbyists.
During audits of these selected client lobbyists, the Office of State Ethics will audit all associated communicator lobbyists.
A list of those selected to be audited will be made available on the website of the Office of State Ethics following the ceremony.
July 11, 2011 •
Here are highlights from the latest edition of News You Can Use:
From the States and Municipalities:
State and Federal Communications produces a weekly summary of national news, offering more than 80 articles per week focused on ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance.
News You Can Use is a news service provided at no charge only to clients of our online Executive Source Guides, or ALERTS™ consulting clients.
Jim Sedor is editor of News You Can Use.
June 28, 2011 •
Called Due to Expected State Union Rejection of Wage and Benefits Deal
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has issued a Call of Special Session for Thursday, June 30, 2011.
Governor Malloy issued the call after ratification of a deal struck in May with union leadership for the state’s public employees came into doubt.
Ratification of the deal, essential to the balancing of the state’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, would save the positions of the up to 7,500 state workers Malloy insists may have to be laid off in order to achieve a balanced budget.
Photo of the Connecticut State Capitol dome derived from a photo by jglazer75 on Wikipedia.
March 11, 2011 •
Delayed Contributions Ban Proposal Now Moves Forward
The Hartford city council is debating a proposal to ban campaign contributions from contractors who have business deals with the city. Proposed more than two years ago, the measure is now moving forward after receiving word from the city’s corporation counsel assuring the legality of such a measure.
There are still details to be determined concerning the measure, including who will be expected to enforce the measure. A vote is expected by the end of March.
Aerial photo of downtown Hartford by Sage Ross on Wikipedia.
February 23, 2011 •
An effort to save money could bring cuts.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has proposed reducing the number of budgeted state agencies from 87 to 57 in a move intended to increase efficiency and save the state money. Included in the reduction plan is a proposal to combine the Office of State Ethics, Elections Enforcement Commission, Contracting Standards Board, Freedom of Information Commission, and Judicial Review Council into a new agency to be named the Office of Governmental Accountability.
While not detailing how these agencies would be capable of functioning as one, or where any cost savings would be seen, Malloy did question in a press release why all these agencies are presently separate, stating “…why are all of the government accountability functions…separate entities when so many of their issue areas and jurisdiction overlap? It just didn’t make sense.”
Quickly voicing their concern against this proposal was the non-profit group Common Cause, noting how each of these “watchdog” agencies presently must keep watch over the other. A statement released by Common Cause noted “If a citizen files a complaint that the Elections Enforcement Commission or the Office of State Ethics has violated the FOI Act, the watchdog agency would be both the respondent and judge. It is unlikely that the new commission would bring ethics charges against itself, and this watchdog agency would undermine the public’s confidence and become a national joke.”
Photo of the state capitol by Ragesoss on Wikipedia.
September 21, 2010 •
The Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board will hold a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, September 23, 2010, at 1:00 p.m.
The meeting will take place at the Office of State Ethics, 18-20 Trinity Street in Hartford. The board is scheduled to discuss the feasibility of easing eligibility restrictions of members after it was recently reported an August meeting was forced to be canceled due to lack of quorum. The board is allotted nine positions; however, only six are presently occupied.
After news of the available positions and canceled meeting were reported, officials stated several Connecticut citizens had been in contact with the board about filling a vacancy. Before any new board member can be seated, the individual must first be determined to be a Connecticut voter, have not held or currently hold political office, and have not campaigned for election to political office in the three years preceding the appointment. Further, a board member is not permitted to hold office in any political committee or party, make contributions to state campaigns, be a state employee, be a lobbyist, or be in an organization wherein the purpose is to influence legislation or public agency decisions.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.