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.
July 7, 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.
By Labor Day, our clients will find 36 additional municipalities included on our website. As they are completed, we will update our postings so you can check out the additional resources.
Right now, we have provided information on lobbying, political contributions, and procurement lobbying for Alexandria, Virginia (my former home) and Tacoma, Washington.
In the future look for additional cities in New York, Arizona, and Michigan.
May 26, 2011 •
Comes after passage of state budget.
The first special session of the 2011 Washington Legislature adjourned on May 25, 2011.
The 30 day session was called by Governor Gregoire after lawmakers failed to finish a budget and address spending matters before the conclusion of the regular session.
The special session adjourned after the passage of a state budget that includes billions in spending reductions with no increase in taxes.
Photo of the Washington State Capitol interior by Cacophony on Wikipedia.
February 24, 2011 •
Ninth Circuit Court Decision Upheld
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Human Life of Washington challenging Washington’s campaign finance disclosure law. The Supreme Court let stand without comment a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld the state’s disclosure requirements for political committees, independent expenditures and political advertising.
Human Life of Washington challenged the requirements as a violation of its free-speech rights, as it sought to keep donors in a 2008 campaign opposing an assisted-suicide ballot measure confidential. The group argued that it was not required to register as a political-action committee and disclose donors because its advertisements did not specifically reference the ballot measure.
Photo of the U.S. Supreme Court by UpstateNYer on Wikipedia.
February 2, 2011 •
House Bill 1474, introduced before the Washington Legislature, seeks to make electronic filing of lobbyist and lobbyist employer reports mandatory by July 1, 2012.
The bill creates a new electronic filing system funded by both an initial fee charged to registered lobbyists and lobbyist employers in 2011 and an annual fee collected thereafter.
The bill states that the increased fees are required for data development costs and the purchase and maintenance of computer hardware and software associated with the new system.
Photo of the Washington State Capitol by Bluedisk on Wikipedia.
October 7, 2010 •
Court of Appeals Issues Stay of Decision Declaring Washington Law Limiting Late Campaign Spending Unconstitutional
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the decision in Family PAC v. McKenna, et al. which declared a Washington law limiting campaign contributions in the final weeks of ballot measure campaigns unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton ruled last month that the Washington limit is an unconstitutional infringement on political speech. Late Tuesday, a panel of Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges blocked that ruling from taking effect while the state appeals.
The three-judge panel wrote “Washington and its voters have a significant interest in preventing the State’s long-standing campaign finance laws from being upended by the courts so soon before the upcoming election.” The Court also considered that Family PAC had failed to identify any contributions greater than $5000 that it expected to receive in the event the law would be overturned and appeared not to be participating in the upcoming general election, mitigating any harm that may come from the stay of the ruling. Family PAC was created shortly after last year’s legal deadline for large campaign contributions had passed. The committee said it had an offer for a large donation to finance political ads but could not accept the money because of the state law.
September 27, 2010 •
The BIAW Receives a Fine.
The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) was fined $548,000 by the state Attorney General’s office for violating the state’s campaign finance disclosure law. The fine is for $584,527 in undisclosed funds that went to the campaign against Gov. Christine Gregoire.
Here is the source article: “For Conservative BIAW, a $548,000 Fine,” by Joel Connelly in the Seattle Post Intelligencer on September 24.
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.