E-News from State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Nellie Tayloe Ross—
First Female Governor in the US

We are continuing our series of women who paved the way in being elected. Today, we will learn about Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first woman elected governor in the country, which was a huge step for gender equality and allowed women to pay bigger roles in our government.

Nellie Tayloe Ross, a Missouri native, is one of the most iconic women in the history of our government. She had done amazing things in her lifetime, such as being the first women director of the U.S. Mint, and more famously, becoming the first women governor of Wyoming.

Nellie decided to run for governor after the passing of her husband, William Ross, due to appendicitis. Nellie was told to not run since it was unorthodox for a woman to be a governor. Being a governor was a man’s role. Boy, how many times have I heard that line.

She heard the naysayers, and decided to keep pushing her limits, and by doing so, she won her election by 8,000 votes and became the 14th governor of Wyoming, serving from 1925-1927.  By becoming the first women governor, she helped open the door to other women to fight for gender equality.

Nellie ran for governor for her second term, but she did not win, losing to Frank Emerson. After losing in the election she traveled across the West and Midwest regions of the United States giving speeches until 1928. Nellie then became the director of the women’s division for the National Democratic Committee. In 1933, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Nellie the director of the U.S. Mint, overseeing the creation/retiring of coins or bills. She served until her 1953 retirement.

Nellie was very involved in politics in her lifetime and helped fight for gender equality in the United States. She didn’t always have it easy, but Nellie fought because she knew how important her fight was. She has been a hero to many, and an icon to all.

We love learning about these great historical women of our past. Check this column next month to read about another pioneer.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO

Ohio’s JLEC Opinion Limits Rideshare Travel
Paid for by Lobbyists

Alexandra Vernis, JD
Research Associate

The Ohio Joint Legislative Ethics Committee (JLEC) issued an opinion imposing stricter rules on Ohio lawmaker travel. The opinion finds travel in a ridesharing vehicle (e.g., Lyft, Uber) to be covered under the definition of common carrier for purposes of the lobbyist gift restriction on travel. Legislators and legislative employees are prohibited from accepting travel expenses from a lobbyist unless such travel expenses are incurred for participation in a panel, seminar, or speaking engagement; or were incurred at a meeting or convention of a national organization of which any state agency or state institution of higher education is a dues-paying member.

The opinion permits legislators and legislative employees to ride with a lobbyist in a ridesharing vehicle for personal travel if the legislator or legislative employee reimburses the lobbyist for their portion of the total fare within seven days of accepting the ride. Alternatively, legislators and legislative employees may directly pay the ridesharing service for their portion of the fare. Lobbyists may continue to offer legislators and legislative employees rides in their personal or rented vehicles for trips not exceeding 50 miles one way.

This advisory opinion stemmed from an ongoing federal investigation into former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and his ties to payday lending lobbyists. Through a federal subpoena and search warrant, Rosenberger was found to have traveled with lobbyists both around Ohio and abroad. Ohio law requires lobbyists to report travel worth more than $25 purchased for legislators. Lawmakers are also required to disclose the source of their travel. Records released from the ongoing investigation hint that a corruption case is being built against Rosenberger and the payday industry lobbyists with whom he has taken trips.

The requirements of the recent opinion do not apply to or affect any ridesharing that might have occurred before its adoption on September 10, 2018.

[The details for this article have been updated on our website in the Gift Law section of Lobbying Compliance Laws and Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws for Ohio.]

Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to Compliance Regulations 

Michael Beckett, Esq., Research Manager

COLORADO: The Office of Secretary of State cleared and certified Initiative 173 for the November 6 general election ballot. The ballot measure proposes amending the state constitution regarding campaign contribution limits. If passed, candidates in a race may accept contributions from individuals five times the limit authorized in the state constitution if at least one candidate loans or contributes $1 million to his or her own campaign, to a committee to support or oppose any candidate in the same election, or to any committee to influence the candidate’s own election.

MASSACHUSETTS: The state Supreme Judicial Court ruled unanimously to uphold the state’s prohibition on corporate contributions this week. Rick Green, the Republican nominee for the state’s Third Congressional District seat, owns 1A Auto Inc., one of the companies asserting the ban discriminated against businesses’ right to free speech. The Massachusetts contribution ban applies to corporations and business entities but does not extend to unions or nonprofits. Attorneys for Green and 1A have stated their intention to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

MISSOURI: The 8th District Court of Appeals upheld a 2017 federal court ruling striking down a prohibition on political action committees (PACs) donating to other PACs. The PAC-to-PAC prohibition was part of a voter-passed constitutional amendment in 2016, but the appeals court found the prohibition to be a First Amendment violation. The ruling does not invalidate other aspects of the 2016 changes, including the $2,600 contribution limit to state candidates from PACs and individuals.     

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: City Council passed legislation establishing a Charter Revision Commission to draft a new or revised City Charter. On September 4, the commission approved three ballot questions to be approved by voters in November. One ballot measure would reduce contribution limits for all candidates and amend public matching funds for candidates participating in the public financing program. The other ballot measures involve civic engagement and community boards.

OKLAHOMA: The Ethics Commission adopted rules for the second time this year. In February, the commission submitted its 2018 Promulgated Ethics Rules to the governor and both houses of the Legislature. Proposed changes included a revolving door provision prohibiting elected state officers and chief administrative officers from lobbying for two years following their terms of office or service, new rules regarding the due dates of electronic filings, and revised reporting periods for candidate election reports and independent expenditure reports. The Legislature rejected those rules during the 2018 session. Despite the legislative rejection, the commission adopted the rules again on September 14. If the Legislature chooses not to reject the proposed rule changes again, all amendments will be effective upon adjournment sine die of the 2019 regular legislative session.


Legislation We Are Tracking

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.

  Total bills Number of Jurisdictions Passed Died Carried over
to 2019
Lobbying Laws 410 49 23 217 6
Political Contributions 693 52 58 395 10
Procurement Lobbying 553 51 32 297 7

W  E  B  S  I  T  E      T  I  P

Our Lobbying Compliance Laws and Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws have extensive information addressing the restrictions on giving gifts to public officials and employees. This information has rules specific to gifts given by lobbyists and those given by non-lobbyists. Keep in mind that lobbyist employers may be treated the same as lobbyists, the same as non-lobbyists, or could be subject to additional rules aimed directly at entities employing a lobbyist. To address all of these possibilities, please review “Restrictions specific to lobbyist employers.” Subscribers are now able to easily locate gift rules applicable to lobbyists, non-lobbyists, and lobbyist employers.

Tip Sheet: Gift Splitting and Reimbursement

We have a free tip sheet for you to download. That’s right…FREE. Our newest tip sheet, “Gift Splitting and Reimbursement” will help your government affairs team. How do you know whether you are complying with all the rules and restrictions? What are the benefits of splitting gift costs? How do you avoid penalties? When should you ask for partial or complete reimbursement? We are pleased to explain some of the best practices for your company to consider.

Before you act, know your reporting threshold and the actions you can take to keep in compliance with the law. We are here to give you our new, FREE Tip Sheet to help you develop a strategy and to gather support and resources. Please click here to download.


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 experts@stateandfed.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 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.

I have heard about new lobbyist regulations in New York.  What do I need to know to be compliant when I file my reports?

The New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics enacted comprehensive lobbying regulations that take effect January 1, 2019.  Bi-monthly lobbyist reports filed in January 2019 will contain information covering November and December 2018 and must conform to the new regulations. You need to review and become familiar with new requirements now.

Key elements of the new regulations include some changes with how you report the specific targets of your lobbying efforts...


Read the full article here


The information from this response can easily be found on our website in the New York entry of the Lobbying Compliance Laws publication.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.

James Warner, Esq., Sr. Compliance Associate

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State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Scrapbook - September 2018



A random sighting of Cory Booker at DCA.

Left to Right - Kevin Newman, Esq., Elizabeth Z. Bartz,
and Senator Cory Booker, [D-NJ]

Senator Cory Booker, [D-NJ] with Alexandra Vernis, JD.

Enjoying another staff 10 year Anniversary.
This group includes all that have worked over 10 years at State and Federal Communications, Inc.  Our newest members include Myra Cottrill, Esq., James Warner, Esq., and Joseph May.  Congratulations.

Happy Anniversary to the following valued staff members:

Alexandra Vernis, JD

John Cozine, Esq.

David Jones

George Ticoras, Esq.

Jon Spontarelli

Jim Sedor

Kevin Newman, Esq.

Anthony Didion

Plan to say hello at future events where State and Federal Communications, Inc.
will be attending and/or speaking regarding compliance issues.


October 3, 2018

GPN Agora Market Place, Washington, DC

October 5, 2018

PAC PALS Outing, Washington, DC

 October 5, 2018  Leadership Akron: Insight Akron, Akron, OH
 October 9, 2018  Akron Press Club: Jim Renacci Event, Akron, OH
 October 9-11, 2018  Professional Women in Advocacy Conference, Washington, DC
 October 13, 2018  Project GRAD Achieving Dreams, Akron, OH
 October 18, 2018  Akron Roundtable, Akron, OH
 October 25, 2018  Greater Akron Chamber Candidates and Elected Officials Reception, Akron, OH


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The Mission of State and Federal Communications is
to make sure that your organization can say, "I Comply."

We are the leading authority and exclusive information source on legislation and regulations surrounding campaign finance and political contributions; state, federal, and municipal lobbying; and procurement lobbying.

Contact us to learn how conveniently our services will allow you to say "I Comply" for your compliance activities.