September 6, 2011 •
Gift law provisions to be modified
The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has issued recommendations to reform the state code of ethics.
The Commission has recommended repealing the provision allowing lobbyists to spend $100 annually on food and beverages for each legislative official and their respective families.
Further, the Commission has recommended that candidates for the state legislature be subjected to the same gift restrictions as legislative officials.
This would include a prohibition on the receipt of anything of value from lobbyists.
August 26, 2011 •
Salt Lake City 311 App Allows Citizens to Make Reports From Their Phones
A new 311 smart phone app for Salt Lake City, Utah allows a citizen to take a geo-coded picture with his or her smartphone and enter more detailed information about the problem. In response to the citizen’s entry, a real-time case is created that’s sent directly to the staff person who will handle the situation.
According to this article on GovTech, the app called Salt Lake City 311 transmits the request to the city’s GIS database, which then provides an address match for the city responder to answer the notification personally, with no middleman in between.
This app streamlines the process of fieldworkers responding to calls, as well as creating a convenient and easy way for everyday citizens to report problems.
This kind of 311 app is something that is likely to be seen in many other municipalities across the nation in the near future.
August 4, 2011 •
August 1, 2011 •
Online Coupon Providers Being Used for Political Campaigns
With social media platforms such as Twitter and FaceBook accepted as valuable and almost necessary platforms to be utilized by politicians during their campaigns for office, could online coupon providers such as Groupon be the next online resource to be considered by public officials?
In June, Massachusetts state Representative Dan Winslow sought approval to use Groupon for a campaign fundraiser that would allow a certain number of supporters the chance to attend the $100 per person fund-raiser with just a $25 coupon.
Winslow sought an opinion on his proposal from the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, and it was approved Monday, July 25th. Winslow is going ahead with the plan for a Sept. 20 fund-raiser at Boston’s Battery Park Bar & Lounge. Instead of Groupon, he’ll be going through the similar-but-Massachusetts-based GoodTwo.com.
Winslow’s innovative thinking has called into attention this new potential relationship between online coupon providers and politicians. Read the full article: “Massachusetts Pol Grouponomizes Campaign Finance“.
June 14, 2011 •
The whole inspiration of our life as a nation flows out from the waving folds of this banner. ~Unknown Author
The week of June 14 each year is designated as “National Flag Week.” This year, President Obama is expected to issue a proclamation encouraging citizens to fly the American flag. Usually, the flag is also displayed inside and/or outside all government buildings for the duration of National Flag Week. Some organizations and cities hold parades and events in celebration of our flag and what it represents.
Today, it seems more appropriate to quote others in our nation’s history to show how they have been inspired by our national flag. Our flag gives a sense of promise, hope, and pride—something that the below quotes exemplify.
I am whatever you make me, nothing more. I am your belief in yourself, your dream of what a people may become…. I am the clutch of an idea, and the reasoned purpose of resolution. I am no more than you believe me to be and I am all that you believe I can be. I am whatever you make me, nothing more.
~Franklin Knight Lane
We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents.
~Justice William J. Brennan, Majority U.S. Supreme Court Decision, July 3, 1989
That piece of red, white and blue bunting means five thousand years of struggle upwards. It is the full-grown flower of ages of fighting for liberty. It is the century plant of human hope in bloom.
The flag of the United States has not been created by rhetorical sentences in declarations of independence and in bills of rights. It has been created by the experience of a great people, and nothing is written upon it that has not been written by their life. It is the embodiment, not of a sentiment, but of a history.
You’re the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
~George M. Cohan
Cheers for the sailors that fought on the wave for it,
Cheers for the soldiers that always were brave for it,
Tears for the men that went down to the grave for it,
Here comes the flag!
~Arthur Macy, The Flag
I name thee Old Glory.
~Captain William Driver, said upon the hoisting of a large American flag
The union of hearts—the union of hands—and the flag of our Union forever.
~George Pope Morris
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.