E-News from State and Federal
Good Government Possible in This Environment?
I think we all have an idea of what the definition of good
government might look like.
1. Bipartisan discussion over important current issues.
2. Keeping “what is best for the country and the electorate”
as the most important issue.
3. Maintaining an acceptable conduct as elected public
4. Being receptive to business and other public opinions
without being manipulated by special
Most of you understand this definition, although I am sure many
of you are wondering where these things have gone and
what has made them so difficult to maintain and achieve.
Well, I think it has a lot to do with the second part of
the title and that includes the words, “In This Environment.”
Just what do these words mean and how have things changed to
create the environment we now live in or at least have to
And, of course, the most difficult question “Will good
government improve and change the environment we live in or
vice versa, Will a better environment give us the opportunity
to create good government”
Do I have you sufficiently confused?
The fact is no two topics are more closely related when trying
to evaluate this simple statement, “Is good government
possible in this environment?”
The sad state of affairs is if you asked the majority of the
voting population, the first answer would be “NO.” Of course, NO
would be followed by a long litany of their own personal
opinions and political advice, be it left or right, which would
make everything better if we just follow blindly.
They would also say, not following these simple but absolutely
uncompromising ideals is what has gotten us into this mess in
the first place.
Judging which of these groups—be they left, right, up, down, or
in the middle—is the most responsible for the dilemma of
searching for good government, is worse than flipping channels
on cable news networks at 5 after 8 p.m. each weekday evening.
Almost incredibly, the art of bad politics has created such an
adversarial environment; it seems to be blocking out the
sunlight and preventing what this country has done so well for
more than 200 years…Govern well.
We seem to be so bogged down in the processes and partisanship,
we have lost track of what are the important issues of the day.
Good governing—which means in the end, getting things done in a
manner as outlined by our Constitution. This document has no
provisions for obstructionism. If anything, it has far more
implied provisions for compromise and reconciliation.
This is a bit overwhelming for me—a small business owner, in a
regional city like Akron, Ohio—to address. You see, the main
goal of my company, in a manner of speaking, is to assure good
government has half a chance to exist. State and Federal
Communications is responsible for assisting corporations and
trade associations to realize what the laws say and stay
compliant to the laws as they relate to their lobbying and
political contributions activities.
This simple idea of operating within the framework of the
law is what we excel in conveying to our clients. We make no
compromises, and we expect good ethical conduct from our
clients. We suggest by doing this, our clients can create a GOOD
environment, which in turn will allow for the opportunity for
good government to thrive and, thereby, help our clients
continue to be successful businesses.
This is just our small world of specific topics—lobbying and
political contributions—but it also allows us to think of how
these simple principles work on a much more grand scale—such as
on the national level.
It seems the environment has become polluted and is no
longer conducive to allowing good government to thrive. At every
turn, we hear about corruption and degradation of “the
environment” at almost every level.
Think for a minute. How often do you read or hear about an
elected or appointed official, tasked with the responsibility of
good governing or overseeing good government at
the municipal, state, or even federal level, in some type of
ethical or criminal trouble?
These constant stains on our national environment
leave those attempting to provide good government with an almost
impossible task. Add to this situation the lack of confidence by
the electorate and the constant partisan bashing of government
officials in the media, and you begin to see how difficult
changing this environment has become.
So, who wins? Good government or the bad environment? And, is it
possible for good government to inevitably thrive again?
My answer is, YES. But, we must be diligent and use the power we
have been given to fix this situation. It may be one of the most
disheartening bits of information out there, but the fact that
sometimes only 25 to 50 percent of eligible voters take
advantage of this privilege is amazing.
We have it within our power as individuals to push things back
on the path of good governing and good government. And, we
will. We need to encourage everyone to use their
constitutional right and step up and be heard. We need to:
politicians maintain a high ethical standard;
policies and issues are dealt with in a compromising manner
so progress can be made; and
3. Be assured,
elected officials are more concerned with doing what is best
for the people and the country and are not driven by special
interest groups or mindless re-election campaigns.
And, most of all, encourage everyone to go out and VOTE.
That single simple task, just a few times a year, is our best
hope for assuring good government is still possible in this
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Concludes Same-Sex Couples Can Make Joint Political
On July 25, 2013, the Federal Election Commission (FEC)
concluded same-sex couples married under state law can make
joint federal political contributions from an individual
bank account. Earlier this year, a same-sex couple married
under Massachusetts law sought to make a political
contribution to Dan Winslow, a candidate for the U.S.
Senate. The contribution check included instructions to
attribute the contribution separately and equally between
both individuals, even though the check was drawn from one
individual’s bank account.
11 C.F.R. §110.1(i) provides spouses a legal exception to
the prohibition on making a contribution in the name of
another person. However, the term "spouse" is not defined in
the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 or in the
In the spring, the commission relied on the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA) interpretation of spouse referring “only
to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”
It issued AO 2013-02, in which the FEC concluded DOMA
prohibited applying the exception under 11 C.F.R. §110.1(i).
However, after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA in
June, Winslow asked the FEC to reconsider its conclusion in
light of the Court’s decision. At the same time, the
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) asked the
if it may apply separate contribution limits, under 11 C.F.R. §110.1(i), to a contribution it receives from
legally married same-sex spouses, even if only one
spouse has income;
if a Senate candidate who is legally married to a
same-sex spouse may utilize “jointly-held assets” under
11 C.F.R. §§100.33(c) and 100.52(b)(4) to the same
extent as a senate candidate who is married to an
opposite-sex spouse; and
if DSCC representatives may appear at restricted-class
events, pursuant to 11 C.F.R. §114.3(c)(2),
at which legally married same-sex spouses are present as
“families” of other restricted-class members under 11
In its follow-up advisory opinions AO 2013-06 and 2013-07,
the Commission concluded same-sex couples married under
state law are spouses for the purpose of all Commission
regulations. The new decisions by the Commission supersede
its early spring decision.
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.
special election for the state’s 5th Congressional
District for the U.S. House of Representatives was
called to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of
Rep. Edward J. Markey on July 15, 2013. Markey, who won
a special election in the spring to fill Sen. John
Kerry’s seat following Kerry’s resignation to become
secretary of state, was sworn into the Senate on July
16. The Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin
announced the special primary election will be held on
October 15, 2013. The special general election will
follow on December 10, 2013.
NORTH CAROLINA: With
the passage of the state’s budget bill, Senate Bill 402,
the registration fees for lobbyists and principals
increased. On August 1, lobbyists and principals saw the
fee more than double when it increased from $100 to
$250. Additionally, effective October 1, 2013, all
registrations and reports must be filed electronically.
Currently, electronic filing is available, but it is not
mandatory. As a result, the next quarterly reports for
lobbyists and principals must be filed electronically.
for positions on the Board of Trustees in the Office of
Hawaiian Affairs will now be required to run in the
primary and general election. Senate Bill 3 took effect
September 9, 2013, after Gov. Neil Abercrombie failed to
take any action on the bill. The bill requires members
of the Board of Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian
Affairs to be nominated at a primary election and be
elected during the regular general election. Previously,
those positions were filled during a special election
taking place at the same time as the regular general
election. The Board of Trustees for the Office of
Hawaiian Affairs is a nine-member board with five
trustees serving individual districts and four serving
the island at large.
CALIFORNIA: The U.S.
Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has affirmed the
district court’s order. upholding the constitutionality
of the state’s top-two primary system. California Senate
Bill 6 implemented Proposition 14, which changed the
state’s election system by eliminating party primaries
and general elections with party-nominated candidates.
Primaries are now nonpartisan with a two-candidate
runoff. In early 2012, the 9th Circuit upheld a similar
Washington state ballot initiative.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA:
Treasurer Mark J. Saladino announced his office will no
longer do business with securities brokers making
political contributions to school-bond campaigns. The
pay-to-play policy is an attempt to prevent campaign
donations from influencing the hiring of underwriters by
school districts. The policy is also expected to
increase competition between dealers and save taxpayer
dollars. Under the new policy, underwriters must not
donate to school bond measures if they want to qualify
for the treasurer's list of investment banks and
securities dealers eligible to sell county bonds. The
restriction applies to monetary donations, non-monetary
contributions, and pre-election services. In statewide
surveys, virtually every securities broker hired by a
school district contributed to the district's bond
campaign and was retained without competitive bidding. A
recent study focusing on California school bond issues
found post-election fees paid to underwriters making
contributions were on average $27,576 more than those
paid to brokers not contributing.
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 State and Federal
Communications' digital encyclopedias for lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying, and can be found in the client
portion of our 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 regard to lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying.
Number of Jurisdictions
Municipalities Added to our
The number of municipalities and regional
governments our research associates track continues to grow.
We now cover more than 230 municipalities and local
governments. This is part of a continuous effort to
better serve the needs of our clients.
We recently added seven municipalities
for which our clients will find comprehensive, timely, and
accurate information that includes: complete calendars of
reporting deadlines; critical statutory citations; extensive
directories of contact information; summaries of each state
law; detailed reference charts on goods and services
contributions; highlights of every statute; copies of all
required forms; and much more.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools, FL
DuPage County, IL
York County, PA
Sioux Falls, SD
E B S I T E
T I P
the Lobbying Laws publication, jurisdictions with a lobbying law include
a subheading titled "Registration threshold," which is found in the
Registration section. So, what exactly is a registration threshold? Many
jurisdictions do not require registration before engaging in lobbying
activities. Rather, the requirement to register may not be triggered
until certain conditions are met. For instance, some jurisdictions do
not require registration until a certain amount of time is spent engaged
in lobbying. As long as an individual remains below the threshold, he or
may lobby without registration. Other jurisdictions have compensation or
expenditure thresholds that must be met before registration is required.
Always check the registration threshold before becoming active in a
jurisdiction, as the rules may allow you to avoid registration or to at
least delay it. Note that even if an individual’s activities and
expenditures do not require registration, those same activities or
expenditures may still need to be reported on another lobbyist’s or on
the employer’s activity reports.
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.
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 are not legal advice,
just our analysis of
laws, rules, and regulations.
I am a registered lobbyist in five jurisdictions and just moved
into a new house. Is there anything I need to do to stay in
It is easy to be overwhelmed by all of the tasks associated with
a move. However, it is important to notify the jurisdictions in
which you are registered of your new address as soon as possible
as this affects both your lobbyist registration and reports.
For example, in Florida, a lobbyist must amend his or her
registration within 15 days of a change. Additionally,
registration renewal must occur on forms distributed by the
state directly to the address listed on the lobbyist
registration on file. Without amending the registration to
include a current address, the lobbyist will not receive the
registration renewal materials.
In some states, a lobbyist can face penalties for failure to
amend a registration upon a change of address. In Arizona, a
registrant must notify the secretary of state within five
business days after any change to the information in the
registration statement. If the state determines a violation has
occurred, and the lobbyist fails to comply with the request to
amend the registration, a hearing will occur and the state may
issue a fine of up to $1,000.
To avoid facing penalties, know the registrations provisions of
your jurisdictions. In most cases, the jurisdiction will
require you to provide an updated address. Whether this process
requires a phone call or amendment to your existing registration
will vary. When in doubt, contact the overseeing agency to
clarify the requirements.
September's Expert -
Sarah Kovit, Esq., Compliance Associate
State and Federal
Scrapbook - 2013
Celebrating the newly installed President of SGAC,
Katrina Iserman, are Chris Badgley - Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.,
Elizabeth Z. Bartz, and Jacqueline Clark - Ash Grove
Kimball Brace - Elections Data Services, visiting
Elizabeth Z. Bartz at the State and Federal
Communications booth at NCSL 2013.
Amber Fish Linke, Esq. - Director, Client and
Product Operations with a State and Federal Communications
newcomer to NCSL, Melissa Coultas -
Manager, Sales and Marketing.
Nola Werren, Esq., Client Specialist, with the
Georgia State Panther mascot.
The National Conference of State Legislatures
[NCSL] took place at the Georgia World Congress Center in
Part of our team attending included Melissa Coultas - Manager,
Marketing and Sales; Amber Fish Linke, Esq.- Director, Client
and Product Operations; Nola Werren, Esq. - Client Specialist; and
Elizabeth Z. Bartz - President and CEO.
[Team member/photographer - Ren Koozer - Executive Director.]
We were prepared for long hours at NCSL in Booth
It became a favorite spot for current and future customers,
especially with the double-padding we had installed for comfort.
Glad we could see so many of you.
Our 20th Anniversary Service Project happened on
a sunny day in Akron.
This team was prepared for the Susan G. Komen Race for
Back row: Melissa Coultas, Ren Koozer, and Joe May.
Middle row: Myra Cottrill, Kim Crowley, Ken Kelewae, and Jon
Front row: John Chames, Elizabeth Bartz, Nola Werren, Joy
Cosgrove, and Sarah Kovit.
We are proud of our own survivors.
Pictured together are Nola Werren - Two Year Survivor and
Elizabeth Bartz - Seven Year Survivor.
See Us in Person
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
September 17, 2013
National Press Club - Guest Speaker,
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin
September 18, 2013
Ohio Birthday Party
September 18, 2013
PAC Branding Advocacy Campaign
September 19, 2013
Social Media for Government and NonProfit
September 19-22, 2013
CSG National Conference
Kansas City, Missouri
September 25-27, 2013
PAC State and Local Government Relations Seminar
September 30 -
October 1, 2013
PLI Corporate Political Activities Conference
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The Mission of State
and Federal Communications is
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We are the leading
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legislation and regulations surrounding campaign finance
and political contributions; state, federal, and
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Contact us to learn how
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