January 11, 2011 •
Changes Could Be Coming for Lobbyist Registration Rules
The Houston City Council is expected to consider a new ethics ordinance this week wherein attorneys would no longer be able to lobby city officials under the guise of performing legal work. The ordinance would require all persons lobbying to register as lobbyists or face criminal penalties.
Further, changes would also be made prohibiting city officials from accepting or soliciting gifts from parties seeking to do business with the city.
Photo of Houston City Hall by Daniel2986 on Wikipedia.
November 30, 2010 •
Download is available in December.
The Texas Ethics Commission has issued a public notice to all lobbyists registered with the commission. The commission advises all filers to install the newest lobby electronic filing software, version 2.5.3, prior to filing a lobby activities report. In Texas, lobbyists required to register with the commission may include corporations, partnerships, association or other types of business entities as well as individuals.
The new software will be available for download on the Ethics Commission website beginning December 1, 2010 at: www.ethics.state.tx.us/whatsnew/elf_info_lobby.htm
Image of the Seal of the State of Texas by Juan Vega on Wikipedia.
November 16, 2010 •
The King Street Patriots, a non-profit, non-partisan group, have counter-sued the Texas Democratic Party while simultaneously asking a state judge to strike down significant portions of the Texas Election Code.
Citing extensively to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, King Street Patriots, with the aid of Indiana attorney James Bopp, allege Texas law governing campaign finance contributions is unconstitutional. King Street Patriots claim Texas’s general ban on corporate political contributions violate the principles established in Citizens United because it permits non-corporate groups and individuals to make political contributions, but bans corporations from making the same speech.
The claim is also advanced Texas’s ban violates the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendments because it creates an unconstitutional content and speaker-based restriction on speech.King Street Patriots have also targeted Texas law’s reporting requirements associated with direct campaign expenditures by individuals as well as the 30 and 60-day blackout provisions banning contributions by political committees which form close to election dates.
Finally, The King Street Patriots allege Texas law unconstitutionally burdens the free speech of individuals by imposing the same reporting burdens on individuals who wish to make direct campaign contributions over $100 as are associated with political committees conducting a similar activity. The case is currently pending in Travis County District Court.
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.