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Listen, Learn, Live – My
I love to read commencement speeches given every spring. So many people
imparting words of wisdom to high school and college graduates. Well, this year,
I had the opportunity to speak to the graduating class at Kent State Trumbull
Campus, the place where it all began for me in 1976. Below is a portion of my
A link to the entire 10 minute speech is included.
Let’s start by talking a little about things that represent constants
A great example of this was something I heard PBS’ Ken Burns, who recently spoke
at the President’s Speaker Series at Kent State’s Kent campus. He noted
Gerard Early, an American essayist and cultural critic who teaches at
Washington University in St. Louis said, “There are only three things that
America will be remembered for 2000 years from now when they study this
civilization: The Constitution, Jazz music, and Baseball. These are the three
most beautiful things this culture's ever created.”
What do each of you want to be remembered for down the road?
I would like to give you three ideas about the way you might want to go forward
with your life.
Barry Salzberg, the Global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Toe-Ma-Tsu) Limited,
in a recent interview said it best; “Effective leaders are great listeners.”
I say become a student of listening.
Regardless of whether you’re going on with your education, enlisting in the
military, starting a family or beginning a new career, learn to listen in
life first and speak second. It is something you must always
But, also keep in mind, the paradox of listening first and speaking second is in
this day and age, no one is really listening to YOU speak or even when
those 10 fingers are on-line. Your challenge is how to be a great example to
all. Everyone from your brothers or sisters, your parents, your children, your
spouse, your employer, your pastor, and your friends are all WATCHING YOU.
They are not listening.
Don’t let your “I’s” get to close together. That is the letter “I” not the eyes
in your head. Great lives and great jobs do not come from what you promise
people you will accomplish. They come from what you have already
accomplished in life.
And, by the way, that is referred to as a resume, early on in your
career. As time goes on, it becomes about your life and what or how you have
passed it forward and made other peoples’ lives or the world a better place.
Whether it’s big or small, it starts today, so make it good and
make it meaningful. You have all proven you are capable of accomplishing this
goal because you are sitting here today as graduates.
How many of you have heard the cliché once you graduate from college, learning
doesn’t stop; it just begins. Well it’s true, but it doesn’t have to be a
cliché. Even if you stop your formal education, you never stop learning, IF
you keep an open mind.
One of my husband’s favorite sayings is “Education is but life’s
experiences.” And, this is so true. But, you must keep your eyes and
ears pointed outward. Learn and absorb everything going on
around you, watch the news, read newspapers, a book, or some Internet news media
And, by all means never, ever miss an opportunity to VOTE in any local or
Each day you continue to learn you are one step ahead of all the people
around you who have stopped learning. And, believe me, you will find there are
way too many of those types of people in the world today. Continue to improve
yourself by continuing your education both classically through higher education
or specific employment-skilled training such as associations or certifications.
Take time each year to stop and say “How have I advanced myself this
year. Have I done enough to learn more?” You might want to use a mirror when
you ask yourself these questions. It’s so darn hard to lie when you are staring
back at yourself.
This amazing country is 238 years old and the Internet has just been
around a little more than 25 years. Just imagine how many new things there will
be to learn in the next 25 years. OMG, that sounds scary for
someone as old as me.
Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
This has always been one of my favorite quotes. Keep learning regardless of the
direction your life takes. No one in this room should want to be a bystander
to the life that is going on around them.
You all need to be in the middle of your futures. Opinionating, participating,
and stimulating your world with your new ideas and viewpoints. To do this well
each and every day, you must draw on some new knowledge and solutions you have
Let me share a few quotes about the word, LIVE.
Albert Einstein once said, “Learn from yesterday, Live for today, Hope
The renowned humorist Erma Bombeck put living like this. “When I stand before
God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit
of talent left and I could say to God, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”
[I wanted to insert God into my speech but I was afraid, so I let Erma Bombeck
do it for me. May Her Memory Be Eternal.]
And, finally, once again from Albert Einstein. “Only a life lived for others,
is a life worthwhile.”
Let me give you a couple of definitions. To experience and survive. To pursue
a positive satisfying existence. In my opinion, to live is to stay
engaged. To find what it is that gives you the most satisfaction in the deepest
part of your heart.
And, this could be a place where some of you may not have been to yet. But
maybe, just maybe, the last years of your education here at Kent State Trumbull
Campus has begun to make you see more clearly. Last, but certainly not any
less important when it comes to living, is being accountable.
Remember earlier when I spoke about what you accomplished as being the barometer
of how you have lived your life? That barometer of accountability measures you
in whatever direction you have taken or whatever future life has in store for
you that maybe you are not even aware of today.
To live is to self-evaluate.
To live is to be critical, but to also be compassionate.
To live, is knowing there will be regrets but the positives and happiness will
always overshadow those regrets.
Kent State University and all the work you have completed to accomplish these
degrees have made you all very prepared to go forth from this ceremony…
and most important
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Saskatchewan Passes Lobbyists Act
Cummins, Esq. Research
After more than two years of debate, the
Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly passed legislation
containing a lobbyist registration scheme. Bill No. 120
regulates consultant lobbyists and in-house lobbyists, as
defined therein. Under the new law, lobbyists must file
returns online with a newly-established Lobbyist Registry.
The returns must contain the contact information for
lobbyists and their clients; the dates and subject matter of
planned lobbying activities, including enumeration of
specific legislation or regulations; and the names of public
officials lobbied. A consultant lobbyist must file a return
within 10 days of undertaking lobbying activity. An in-house
lobbyist must file a return within 60 days of designating an
employee to lobby for at least 100 hours annually. Each
return covers a six month period and must be filed within 30
days following the end of such period. Amendments must be
filed within 30 days of any change in information listed on
the return. In order to terminate the filing requirement,
lobbyists must notify the Lobbyist Registrar within 30 days
of the completion or termination of lobbying activities,
indicating the date of such completion or termination.
There is a notable provision excepting some
individuals from the filing requirement, including officers,
directors, or employees of
the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association, the Saskatchewan
Association of Rural Municipalities, and the Saskatchewan School
Boards Association, when acting in their official capacity.
Bill No. 120 also provides a method for auditing
returns and for document retention, as well as a penalty for
non-compliance of up to $25,000 for the first offense and $100,000
for subsequent offenses. The bill further contains revolving door
restrictions prohibiting former public officials from lobbying
within one year of leaving office.
The act becomes effective upon proclamation by the
lieutenant governor. Justice Minister Gordon Wyant estimates no such
proclamation will be issued for at least nine months, as the
province must still develop protocols to administer and enforce the
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
by John Cozine, Esq.,
A provincial Supreme Court judge has ruled the British
Columbia law requiring registration for political
advertising is constitutional, even if no money on
advertising has been spent. The Election Act requires
individuals and organizations wanting to sponsor
election advertising to register with the province’s
chief electoral officer. According to The Globe and
Mail, Judge Bruce Cohen wrote, “The salutary effects
of the impugned measure outweigh the deleterious effects
[by increasing] the transparency, openness and
accountability of B.C.’s electoral process and promotes
an informed electorate.” The B.C. Freedom of Information
and Privacy Association had argued the law discourages
participation from individuals and groups without the
means or ability to register.
Attorney General Beau Biden and Elections Commissioner
Elaine Manlove are appealing a federal district court
ruling enjoining enforcement of a Delaware campaign
finance law. Section 8031 of the Delaware Election
Disclosures Act requires any person who makes an
expenditure for a third-party advertisement exceeding
$500 during an election period to file a report with the
Elections Commission, providing the names and addresses
of each person who has made contributions exceeding
$100. The district court found the disclosure provision
to be too broad and likely unconstitutional. Biden and
Manlove are appealing the ruling.
Near the end of its 2014 session, the Kentucky General
Assembly passed significant ethics legislation
containing recommendations the Legislative Ethics
Commission had requested for years. House Bill 28
prohibits employers of legislative lobbyists and
permanent committees from making campaign contributions
to legislators and candidates for the General Assembly
during a regular legislative session. Employers of
legislative lobbyists must disclose on their expenditure
reports the cost of advertising supporting or opposing
legislation during a session of the General Assembly.
The bill also includes the “no cup of coffee rule,”
eliminating the exception previously allowing
legislative lobbyists to spend up to $100 on food and
beverage for a legislator; extends the gift prohibition
to legislative candidates; and prohibits legislative
lobbyists and their employers from providing
out-of-state transportation or lodging for legislators.
The bill was signed Gov. Steve Beshear on April 10,
2014, and the changes become effective on July 14, 2014.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York struck down a campaign finance law limiting
contributions to super PACs. Sections 14-114(8) and
14-126 of the New York Election Law impose an annual
aggregate contribution limit of $150,000 per
contributor. New York Progress and Protection PAC
challenged the aggregate contribution limits on First
Amendment grounds. The committee, although ruled by the
court to be an independent expenditure committee, was
formed to support the candidacy of Republican Joseph
Lhota, the unsuccessful New York City mayoral candidate
in 2013. Judge Paul A. Crotty, citing the precedent
established in Citizens United and
McCutcheon, enjoined New York's aggregate
contribution limit as an unconstitutional ban on free
Beginning August 1, 2014, a lobbyist may not lobby a
public official while at the Utah Capitol Hill complex
unless the lobbyist is wearing a newly required name tag
in plain view. House Bill 246 will require all lobbyists
to be issued name tags bearing the word "Lobbyist" and
the lobbyist’s full name in at least 18-point type. The
procedure to apply for name tags is being developed by
the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and will be
available before August 1, 2014. The Capitol Hill
complex includes the grounds, monuments, parking areas,
buildings, and other man-made and natural objects within
the area bounded by 300 North Street, Columbus Street,
500 North Street, and East Capitol Boulevard, in Salt
Lake City. Additionally, the new law has raised the
lobbyist registration fee from $100 to $110 and now
requires lobbyists to inform public officials of the
identity of the person or entity the lobbyist is
representing at the beginning of a lobbying
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 email 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
E B S I T E
T I P
addition to the in-depth resources available to subscribers, State and
Federal Communications also has a wealth of publically available
information. The State and Federal Communications blog, found at
www.lobbycomply.com, contains updates
on lobbying, ethics, campaign finance, procurement, pay-to-play, and
items of general interest to the government affairs community. We also
maintain an active presence on social media with our constantly updated
Twitter (@StateandFederal), LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts. Join the
conversation and stay up-to-date in your field!
ASK THE EXPERTS
State and Federal
Communications’ Experts Answer Your Questions
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 email 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.
To streamline LDA tracking and reporting, our company includes
100 percent of our in-house lobbyists’ compensation as lobbying on our
quarterly report. Is this a reasonable approach?
The LDA does not contain any special tracking requirements for
reporting expenditures. Registrants employing in-house
lobbyists are required to provide a “good faith estimate of the
total expenses” of their lobbying activities. With the “good
faith” standard as the back drop, an organization should
determine whether including 100 percent of their lobbyists’
compensation meets that standard. Aside from the tax
implications of including 100percent of compensation, typically, there is some time
that is spent during the course of a quarter that is not defined
as lobbying and varies from month to month depending on what
issues are being addressed. Therefore, providing a good faith
estimate, in most cases, will require a registrant to implement
some sort of tracking process to meet the standard. In
the event of an audit, the ability to demonstrate
reasonable efforts to track and capture lobbying activity, and
only lobbying activity, is an additional benefit.
June's Expert -
Rebecca South, Federal Compliance
State and Federal Communications, Inc. was represented at the
University of Akron Law School Reunion
held on May 16, 2014, by John Chames; Elizabeth Z. Bartz; Nola
R. Werren, Esq.; Stacy Hunter; and
George Ticoras, Esq.
On May 9, Elizabeth Z. Bartz presented the
commencement speech at the Kent State University Trumbull Campus
[where she began her education.] She gave an inspiring
speech encouraging the students to focus on listening, learning,
John Chames and Elizabeth Z. Bartz joined the
American Heart Association Go Red for Women luncheon at
Quaker Station in Akron on May 13, 2014.
The University of Akron School of Law partnered
with State and Federal Communications, Inc. for a Spring
Semester L3 Externship Program with law student, LaToya
She worked 90 hours to earn this credit required for graduation.
[See video on LaToya's Externship.]
In April, DiversityBusiness.com announced its 2014
State and Federal Communications, Inc. of Akron, Ohio, was the
only Women Owned Business in Ohio on the Top 50 List. We
are very excited!
The Akron Roundtable, a community forum, invited
Bob Spitz, author of "Dearie: The Remarkable life of Julia
Child" to speak at its April luncheon. Several staff
members attended and enjoyed his presentation.
[above left: Spitz with Elizabeth Z. Bartz and Zack Koozer]
[above right: Spitz greeting Nola Werren, Esq.; Katlin
Newman, J.D.; Melissa Coultas; Becky Campbell; and LaToya
Plan to say hello at future
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
will be attending and/or speaking regarding
PAC Northeast Know-How
BIO Convention, San
Legislative Conference, Omaha, Nebraska
Bonita Springs, Florida
Leaders, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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