E-News from State and Federal
My Team—Educating Others
Have you met these men from the staff yet? You will if you are
attending the Council on Government Ethics Laws (COGEL) in
Columbus, Ohio this week. Each of them is presenting at the
conference and taking the work they do every day and sharing it
Jim Sedor is our in-house rock star. He is Editor of News You
Can Use our weekly news service we provide to all of our
clients. We know now difficult it is to read 100 newspapers a
week so we…I mean, Jim…helps you out by reviewing them for you.
At COGEL, Jim will speak at one of the breakfast table topics on
Monday, December 4th on How Do You Use the News.
John Cozine is the Research Manager and oversees a group of
attorneys reviewing states, municipalities, and Canadian
provinces and territories to make sure our website has all of
the information our clients need for lobbying, political
contributions, procurement lobbying, pay-to-play, gift laws,
legislative sessions, and on and on and on. Next week at COGEL
he is leading a breakfast table topic on Monday about the
Popular Vote vs. the Electoral College.
Joe May, Social Media Coordinator, has an encore performance of
an earlier presentation—DIY Outreach and Education:
e-Learning and Beyond.
Joe has taken State and Federal Communications and put us on
Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Lobby Comply blog, and even You
Tube (State and Federal Communications TV). He has conducted
presentations to federal government agency staff and at the
Heartland Group (a regional part of COGEL) on how everything can
work together to reach people using social media…and that
includes a lot of people.
love sharing my staff with others. They are in the trenches and
making sure we are always providing our clients with
Until next month, we wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy
Hanukah, and a Happy New Year. We look forward to 2013 and know
you will be extremely busy with every state’s legislature in
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Wrestle with Montana Campaign Finance Laws Leading Up to Election
One month before the November elections, Montana’s
statutory limits on political contributions were thrown into question
with court decisions being issued almost weekly and half a million
dollars of campaign contributions at stake.
On October 3, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the
District of Montana, issuing a decision in Lair v. Murry, found the
contribution limits in Montana Code Annotated §13-37-216 “prevent
candidates from ‘amassing the resources necessary for effective campaign
advocacy’” and enjoined the state from enforcing the provisions of the
code relating to limiting political contributions.
Attorney General Steve Bullock, who was a candidate for
governor, stated he would aggressively pursue all legal remedies
available to overturn the decision. Additionally, the commissioner of
political practices strongly urged candidates, political committees, and
contributors to abide by the contribution limits.
On October 9th, the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals reinstated the state's campaign contribution limits, overruling
the district court, and ordered the court to outline the reasoning for
its decision. The next day the district court issued a 38 page opinion
and order detailing its reasoning. However, on October 16th,
the Ninth Circuit issued a 41 page opinion explaining its continued stay
of the lower court’s decision. On October 23rd, the United
States Supreme Court denied an application to vacate the Ninth Circuit’s
stay, allowing Montana to enforce its political contribution limits.
Meanwhile, in the period of time between the October 3rd
order and the October 9th stay, republican gubernatorial
candidate Rick Hill accepted a $500,000 political contribution. The
opposing candidate, Attorney General Steve Bullock, sued to prevent use of the
$500,000 by Hill. On October 24, the district court issued a temporary
order staying Hill’s campaign from using the money. Finally, on October
31st, less than a week before election day, Judge Seeley
issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting use of the disputed funds,
finding the impact of the contribution on a tight race “significant.”
Hill’s campaign complied with the order and Bullock won the election for governor. The case remains with the Ninth
Circuit, which will rule on the merits of the district court’s decision.
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
NORTH DAKOTA: A federal court’s
preliminary injunction found the state’s 100-year ban on election-day
campaigning to be an unreasonable restraint on free speech. The lawsuit
was filed by the Center for Competitive Politics, a pro-free speech
group. The center represents Gary Emineth, who wished to post yard signs
on his property, distribute fliers, and discuss the upcoming election
with his neighbors. The North Dakota statute bans any person, on
election day, from trying to induce or persuade others to support or
oppose any candidate or ballot measure. The court’s ruling also orders
state officials to refrain from prosecuting any person for a violation
of N.D.C.C. §16.1-10-06 while the case is pending.
ARIZONA: Certain statutes requiring
registration and reporting by political committees are unconstitutional,
according to a ruling made by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Crane
McClennen on October 10, 2012. Presently, however, reporting is still
required, according to the secretary of state. The secretary’s office
e-mailed registered political committees the following: “By way of
gentle reminder, the recent trial court decision in Committee for
Justice and Fairness v. the Secretary of State does NOT affect the
requirements to file campaign finance reports.” In deciding whether a
television advertisement made by the Committee for Justice & Fairness (CJF)
was "express advocacy" or issue-oriented speech, therefore requiring
registration and reporting by CJF as a political committee, the county
court found A.R.S. §§16–901, –901.01, –902.01, –913, and related
statutes unconstitutional. The secretary of state is expected to appeal
PUERTO RICO: The United States Court
of Appeals for the First Circuit on October 19, 2012 ordered the
district court to enjoin Puerto Rico from enforcing provisions of Law
222, a campaign finance law passed in 2011. The provisions in question
required corporations and unions to establish separate committees in
order to make independent expenditures. Such committees were required to
hold membership meetings and vote to approve expenditures related to
elections. The court found those provisions were likely to be held
unconstitutional regulations of political speech.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: The Seattle
City Council approved a bill on October 16, 2012 changing the way
campaign finance will work in future elections. The new law changes the
definition of election cycle, which now starts January 1st in
the year prior to the general election for that office and ends April 30th
following the election. Candidates will only be allowed to raise money
and accept contributions during the election cycle period. The new law
also limits the amount of money incumbents can carry over to the next
election. The council believes this will give challengers more of
an opportunity to unseat an incumbent. Currently, there is no limit to
how much money candidates can stockpile, leading most incumbents to
create massive war chests to fend off challengers. The new law does not
allow any candidate to carry money over past the end of the election
cycle. Current city council members have 30 days to transfer their
current funds to a new campaign without being subject to the rules.
Political committees are also subject to the carry-over provisions.
Finally, the new law also raises the contribution limits from $600 to
$700 to candidates for mayor, city council, or city attorney.
CALIFORNIA: Assembly Bill 481,
signed by Governor Jerry Brown, is the latest amendment to the Political
Reform Act of 1974. The changes are an effort to increase accountability
and transparency by requiring faster disclosure of major contributions
and independent expenditures occurring shortly before an election.
Definitions for late contributions and late independent expenditures
have been expanded to include any aggregated contributions or
expenditures of $1,000 or more made within 90 days before the date of
the election. Disclosure of these late transactions is required within
24 hours of delivery. The law also requires advertisements to contain a
disclosure of the two top contributors of the committee making the
independent expenditure. The measure became effective on January 1,
Legislation We Are
At any given time, more than 1,000
legislative bills, which can affect how you do business as a government
affairs professional, are being discussed in federal, state, and local
jurisdictions. These bills are summarized in the State and Federal
Communications’ digital encyclopedias for lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying, and can be found in the client
portion of the State and Federal Communications' website.
Summaries of major bills are also included
in monthly e-mail updates sent to all clients. The chart below shows the
number of bills we are tracking in regards to lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying.
Number of Jurisdictions
E B S I T E
T I P
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
continues to upgrade our website to make content easier to use. One
newly implemented change includes adding quick reference information to
the "landing" pages on our website. The landing pages are what you see
after you select a jurisdiction, but before you choose a topic from the
menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
All landing pages now include links to legislative updates and past
issues of the Summary of Changes. In the Lobbying Laws publication, in
the states we refer to as the "Tricky 11" – the states where reporting
dates can hinge on the session dates of the state legislature – we
include information on how to determine whether a report is due as well
as the date of the next lobbying report due. The landing pages in the
Political Contributions publication now include a list of upcoming
elections in the jurisdiction. The Procurement Lobbying landing pages
include pay-to-play information for that jurisdiction. We hope you find
these improvements helpful.
ASK THE EXPERTS
State and Federal
Communications’ Experts Answer Your Questions
Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and
Federal Communications, Inc. You can directly submit questions for this
feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here.
Send your questions to:
(Of course, we have always been available to answer questions from
clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to
continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular
company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly
provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions
are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of
laws, rules, and regulations.
I am a registered lobbyist who will
be having a colleague accompany me to meetings with
legislators. Should I be concerned with registration and/or
reporting for my colleague?
individuals believe the presence of a registered lobbyist
relieves a person of any disclosure requirements. Most
jurisdictions have no exemption for this scenario. Lobbyist
registration and reporting is required upon meeting the
Some jurisdictions do have limited exemptions
from lobbyist registration requirements. In California, these
particular actions would not be counted towards the lobbyist
registration threshold. You do not engage in direct
communication when you meet with a covered official in the
company of a registered lobbyist retained by you or your
employer. In Idaho, corporate employees need not register if
the corporation is registered as a lobbyist and designates one
or more of its employees as the corporation’s official lobbyist
and the designated lobbyist is also registered.
Even if registration is not required, you must
consider the applicable reporting requirements. A number of
jurisdictions require your employer to report all lobbying
expenses, which include those for employees who lobby but do not
meet the registration requirements. Wisconsin specifically
requires the disclosure of pro-rata compensation and expenses
for these non-lobbyist employees. In Idaho, even if you are not
required to register as discussed above, expenditures made by
unregistered corporate employees in a lobbying effort must
appear on the applicable reports.
lobby state officials, consider all disclosure and compliance
requirements, especially those related to the reporting for a
November's Expert -
James Warner, Esq.
Wealth of Information at
Want to interact
with your fellow government affairs and procurement colleagues? Then
jump into the State and Federal Communications, Inc. blog at
Once there, you
can join the exchange of ideas and view solutions to common challenges
and problems. Also, State and Federal Communications continually adds
content to the blog, including ‘hot topics,’ which are summaries of
important news items you need to know.
the conversation, and make use of this valuable information resource.
State and Federal
What a surprise to see the United Way of Summit County thank
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
in such a big way. We have chosen to support the
United Way for years. Once again,
we have 100% participation in 2012.
See Us in Person
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
December 3, 2012
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