E-News from State and Federal
Federal Filings Are Due This Month
There still might be a few of you out there who remember before
BCRA and HLOGA, when we only needed to submit a quarter of a
page card as our federal lobbying report. Those were the days,
These days you need to clear your schedule so you can:
Compile and track activity in accordance with your
Conduct extensive outreach and follow up to capture
Obtain salaries of all employees engaged in lobbying
activities—whether registered or not;
Respond to questions about reporting requirements;
Provide definitions for determining applicability;
Institute tracking mechanisms for Issues and Agency
Coordinate with outside consultants to ensure accurate
Coordinate LD-203 filing process;
Prepare documentation in case of an audit; and
File the report.
You are not doing this? You are guesstimating! Tell me that is
not the case.
If you are in DC you have probably seen me with Rebecca South,
Federal Compliance Associate. She has created an amazing program
to help the top Fortune 500 companies insure timely and accurate
compliance for the LD-2 and LD-203 reports. If we can help
alleviate your quarterly headaches, please feel free to contact
Until next month, remember the LD-2 isn’t the only report due in
April. According to our Key Dates chart, there are 112
lobbying/employer reports due in this country’s states,
counties, and cities.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Bill by Any Other Name
Legislators are again addressing ethics and campaign finance laws
following a Missouri Supreme Court decision that voided provisions of
Senate Bill 844. The 2010 ethics law increased disclosure requirements
for lobbyists, banned campaign committee-to-campaign committee
transfers, and gave greater investigative powers to the Missouri Ethics
Commission. The court affirmed a circuit court decision holding all
provisions of Senate Bill 844, except those relating to procurement, to
be in violation of article III, section 21 of the Missouri Constitution,
which prohibits changes in the original purpose of a bill. Senate Bill
844 violated this provision by being introduced as an act relating to
contracts for purchasing but being passed as an act relating to ethical
to the decision has been swift and urgent. On January 14, 2012, the same
day the opinion was released, the Missouri Ethics Commission stated in a
press release that the court’s decision “deals a blow to the
Commission’s ability to enforce and administer the law.” Several
lawmakers and Governor Jay Nixon quickly called for bills to reinstate
the voided provisions. Representative Jason Kander sponsored a bill
(House Bill 1756) filed the day after the decision that would reinstate
the voided provisions. Prior to the decision, Kander also sponsored a
bill (House Bill 1080) that would go beyond Senate Bill 844 to prohibit
gifts from lobbyists and limit campaign contributions. Senate Bills 546
and 825 propose contribution limits. Senate Bill 826, filed by Senator
Crowell, would reenact the voided provisions of Senate Bill 844.
Currently, Missouri does not have any campaign contribution limits and
is the only state to allow lawmakers to receive both unlimited campaign
contributions and unlimited gifts from registered lobbyists.
Not all of Missouri’s lawmakers are ready for change. House Majority
Leader Tim Jones believes an ethics bill would have a better chance
after this year’s elections. Jones notes that both Kander and the
governor are proposing limits that will go into effect after their own
campaigns benefit from the status quo. To date, no new ethics bill has
been passed in Missouri, by any name.
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
A federal court pushed back the state’s primary date from April 3rd
to May 29th. Additionally, the general primary runoff
election changed to July 31st
from June 5th. A three judge panel from the U.S. District
Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, having
entered redistricting plans for the 2012 elections for the U.S. House of
Representatives, the Texas House of Representatives, and the Texas State
Senate, found it necessary to make certain adjustments to the election
schedule. The court’s order stipulates various other changes of filing
dates and deadlines for candidates and for voting activities concerning
elections of federal, state, county, and local offices held in the
state. The court order also mandates that for the 2012 elections to the
Texas House and Senate, a person must be a continuous resident of the
district the person seeks to represent from April 9, 2012, until the
date of the general election.
The U.S. Supreme Court stayed a Montana Supreme Court decision upholding
the state’s law prohibiting independent political expenditures, related
to a candidate, by a corporation. In December of last year, the Montana
Supreme Court found Citizens United v. FEC did not compel
invalidating the state’s 1912 Corrupt Practices Act, concluding the
state, because of its history and the history of the act, has a
compelling interest to impose statutory restrictions. The Montana
Supreme Court emphasized the
Citizens United decision allows restrictions to be upheld if the
government demonstrates a sufficiently strong interest. The U.S. Supreme
Court’s ruling stays the state court’s ruling until either a formal
appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is denied, or, if an appeal is
accepted, the U.S. Supreme Court mandates the termination of the stay.
The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) released its annual adjustment of
the threshold limit for lobbyist bundling disclosure. The federal
lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold has been increased from $16,200
for 2011 to $16,700 for 2012. The FEC is required to adjust the
threshold amount annually to account for inflation, rounding to the
nearest multiple of $100.
Executive Robert Ficano issued a new executive ethics policy that
contains lobbyist registration provisions, gift restrictions, and
conflict of interest disclosure requirements for executive appointees.
The policy requires a lobbyist who lobbies any executive appointee to
register with the state of Michigan and bars lobbyists not verified as
registered from meeting with executive appointees. Additionally, the
policy prohibits lobbyists from providing executive appointees with food
or beverage valued at more than $100 annually and prohibits all other
monetary or non-monetary gifts or gratuities.
Secretary of State Jason Gant has unveiled an online lobbyist
registration and reporting system. The EZ Lobby system can be accessed
https://sdsos.gov/Lobbyist/default.aspx. The site allows
lobbyists and their employers to register, pay fees, update information,
and report expenses electronically. Paper forms are still available for
lobbyists who choose to register by mail.
were the one term U.S. Presidents?
||John Quincy Adams
||Martin Van Buren
||William Henry Harrison
||George H.W. Bush
Note: Gerald Ford was never
* Ran for re-election unsuccessfully
Research by Nicolette B. Koozer, State and Federal
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
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:
email@example.com. (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 would like to attend a charitable
golf tournament. Are there specific restrictions or
requirements for this type of event?
Mere attendance at a charitable golf tournament or similar event
is not typically restricted.
However, this activity may be prohibited or subject to
disclosure requirements depending on the circumstances.
Being a registered lobbyist does not hinder your ability to
donate independently to a 501(c)(3) organization. However, in
some instances, your attendance may be requested because the
event is associated with a public official. If an official asks
you to attend or sponsor the charitable event, this may be
considered making a contribution “at the behest of” the
official, depending on the laws in your jurisdiction.
If a charitable contribution is made “at the behest of” a public
official, there are two considerations: permissibility and
disclosure. First, is the charitable contribution permissible?
A jurisdiction may consider the charitable contribution to be a
gift to the public official who requested it. For example,
Massachusetts considers a charitable contribution in this
scenario to be a prohibited gift. Even if the charitable
contribution is a permissible gift, there may be a limit as to
how much a lobbyist may donate.
Second, if a lobbyist may make the charitable contribution, is
it disclosed on a lobbying report? In Illinois, these
charitable contributions are not reportable on a lobbying
report. In California, the official who made the request of the
lobbyist must disclose the charitable contribution. However,
this type of expenditure is reportable on a lobbying report in
If you are a registered lobbyist, check with the applicable
state regulatory agency before making a charitable contribution
“at the behest of” an official.
Wealth of Information at
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jump into the State and Federal Communications, Inc. blog at
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important news items you need to know.
the conversation, and make use of this valuable information resource.
State and Federal
State and Federal's Ren Koozer, Executive
Director, I.T. and Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President
photo opportunity during the Winter PAC Grassroots
Conference at the Eden Roc in Miami, FL.
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