I am a huge fan of Broadway musicals…No,
really a HHHUUUGGGEEE fan. I can spend
hours singing (or my version of singing)
songs from musicals.
One of my favorites came on SIRIUS this
morning on my way to the office. “What
You Own” from RENT. When it gets to this
part, I am at the top of my lungs—of
course with the windows shut.
“You're living in America
At the end of the millennium
You're living in America
Where it's like the Twilight Zone
And when you're living in America
At the end of the millennium
You're what you own”
I think the part which affects our
present life is the mention of the
Twilight Zone. The episodes are in
various genres, including
psychological thriller, often
concluding with a
unexpected twist, and usually with a
Where am I going with this? The graphics
department always wonders, too.
We are living in an odd fantasy, science
fiction, suspense, horror, and
psychological thriller since the
beginning of this pandemic. The only
thing missing right now is the moral.
Here is what I own…State and Federal
Communications. We have been working to
stay on top of all of the changes in
election dates; changes in when lobbying
reports are due; helping clients
understand when there is communication
about helping a state or the country
with COVID-19, it could be procurement
The State and Federal Communications
team has been phenomenal. We have all
helped to flatten the curve by staying
close to home. We worked from home
starting March 24th until Governor Mike
DeWine relaxed the stay-at-home order
effective May 12th. No one has been out
partying at the now-opened bars where
social distancing is not followed. We
are working together to help us return
to the office together. For the past
three weeks we have only had one third
of the staff in the office at a time.
On June 1st, we will increase it to
about 50%...and we will continue to
monitor the situation.
This has not been easy. We all know
people who need a neutral sounding board
to help with pressure and stress. We
need to reach out to those we know, to
those we are connected to through
digital media, and see how we can help.
It's time now - to sing out
Tho' the story never ends
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love
Remember the love
Remember the love
Measure in love
My dear friends, I look forward to when
we are all together again at
conferences, meetings, or just running
into folks at airports. In the meantime,
stay close to your family, figure out
how to expand the bubble to see people,
and remember we will all get through
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
Oregon Political Contributions Remain Unlimited
Despite State Supreme Court Ruling
Mario Dalessandro, J.D.
The Oregon Supreme Court reversed its
longstanding ban on strict
campaign finance limits by ruling in favor of a
voter approved Multnomah County law putting a $500 limit on campaign
donations. The court concluded contribution limits are not
invalid under the state constitution.
However, Oregon political candidates in
legislative and statewide races can continue to accept
contributions vastly exceeding the caps voters approved in 2006.
Measure 47 placed a $1,000 limit on donations to statewide
candidates and a $100 limit on contributions to legislative
candidates, but was held unenforceable by a prior state Supreme
Court ruling. On May 1, Secretary of State Bev Clarno announced
Measure 47 was not made operative by the Oregon Supreme Court
decision and as such there remains no change in current state
election laws. Clarno’s decision was based on a verbal opinion
from the state Department of Justice.
In Portland, Multnomah County Circuit Judge
Thomas Ryan ruled Mayor Ted Wheeler’s campaign did not need to
limit spending after a suit filed by his main opponent
questioned his use of contributions. Portland mayoral candidate
Sarah Iannarone had joined several campaign finance activists in
a lawsuit against Wheeler’s campaign, contending the mayor must
repay all the donations he’s received surpassing the $500
campaign finance limit approved by city voters in 2018, but
never enforced due to legal challenges.
Because of the Oregon Supreme Court ruling, the
Office of City Auditor will begin enforcing Portland’s campaign
finance measure starting May 4. However, the auditor’s office
will not be retroactively punishing candidates for taking large
donations. Portland Attorney Dan Meek said he would ask the
state Supreme Court to reconsider its April decision to make it
clear Measure 47 should go into effect immediately. Candidates
who violate the new donation limits will face fines of up to
$3,000 per violation.
In November, voters will decide on a proposed
amendment to the Oregon Constitution authorizing adoption of
state and local laws limiting political contributions and
expenditures and requiring campaign finance related disclosures.
ARKANSAS: A federal judge
has made his temporary injunction permanent to allow Arkansas
candidates for statewide office to accept campaign contributions
more than two years before an election. U.S. District Judge
James Moody, Jr. reinforced his initial ruling that it is
unconstitutional for the state to ban contributions for state
office candidates more than two years before an election. In
January, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals upheld Moody’s decision to grant a preliminary
injunction against the state’s blackout period for accepting
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: At the request of the executive
director of the Board of Ethics, Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposed
an amendment to the lobbying ordinance passed late last year.
Lightfoot’s proposed Ordinance 2020-2328 would amend lobbying
rules to allow elected officials from outside Chicago to lobby
the City Council, the mayor’s office and other city government
offices, as long as the public body they represent does not have
pending or recurring legislative or contractual matters
involving the city of Chicago. If passed, the ordinance would
become effective immediately.
FEDERAL: On May 19, the U.S.
Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee to the Federal
Election Commission (FEC), restoring a quorum for the agency.
With the confirmation of James “Trey” Trainor, the FEC now has
four commissioners, which meets the minimum threshold of
commissioners required for any official action. The Commission
has two registered members of the Republican Party, one
registered member of the Democratic Party, and one Independent.
Trainor is a lawyer licensed in Texas who specializes in
election law, campaign finance, and ethics. Trainor previously
served in the president’s administration as a special assistant
to Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Trump had originally
nominated Trainor to serve as a commissioner in 2017, but a
hearing in the Senate was never held. Two seats on the FEC still
HAWAII: The State Ethics Commission voted to
accept new testimony prior to its public hearing on May 21
concerning proposed amendments to lobbying and gift rules. In
order to consider the new testimony, the commission deferred the
matter to its next meeting scheduled for mid-June. The proposals
include clarifications as to what activities constitute
lobbying, exclusions from lobbyist registration requirements,
and a requirement that expenditures be reported on an accrual
rather than cash basis. Additionally, the proposals would amend
prohibitions on certain kinds of gifts, valuation of gifts, and
gift disclosure statements. Once the commission approves the
rules, the rules are subject to approval by the attorney general
and the governor. Afterward, they will be posted with the Office
of the Lieutenant Governor for a period of 10 days before
NORTH DAKOTA: The North Dakota Ethics Commission
website is now live. The website, ethicscommission.nd.gov,
includes board information, meeting minutes, and complaint
forms. The website includes board information, meeting minutes,
and complaint forms. On April 23, the five-member board
discussed reconciling perceived conflicts in constitutional and
statutory language related to commission procedures. During the
live streaming meeting on May 13, the commission heard from
Ellen Chaffee of North Dakotans for Public Integrity regarding
allowable gifts between public officials and lobbyists.
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 regarding lobbying laws, political contributions,
and procurement lobbying.
To help keep you
news updates relevant to your government affairs
program. The updates appear in the right-hand column
of your User Dashboard, which is the first thing you
see after logging in to the website. Updates appear
on the list for 10 days after their initial
appearance. Clicking on the headlines will bring you
to the text of the article. A list of the news
updates also appears on the home page. However, you
must log in to view the text of the articles. Please
also take advantage of our feature that allows you
to search news updates by jurisdiction. Click on the
Important Jurisdictional Updates and choose your
jurisdiction to see all the updates of the past
State and Federal Communications’ Experts
Here is your chance
to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Send your questions to
firstname.lastname@example.org. (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.
What do I need
to do to make sure I am staying compliant during the
For the April issue of
Compliance Now, my colleague Nola Werren addressed some
of the responses of state governments early on
in the pandemic. Now that some time has passed since
stay-at-home orders became widespread, we have advice on
how to remain compliant during the ever-shifting
The most important thing
to remember is that no lobbying reporting
requirements have been eliminated. Reports remain due,
and if you took advantage of a delayed due date or other
relief offered by the state, you need to take steps to
ensure those reports are filed on time. There are
several steps you will need to take to ensure these
reports are not missed:
Read the full article here
Click here to read ALL Ask the Experts articles in full
Please fill out the small form to gain access to all
articles free! Thanks.
For complete and up-to-date information on changes due
to COVID-19, please visit our LobbyComply Blog at
John Cozine, Esq.
Associate Director, Compliance Services
Sharing her heartfelt desires with her friends and
colleagues on digital media, Elizabeth asks you
to give to
needs your donations.
BE THE CHANGE
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
has been feeding our neighbors during this pandemic.
Monetary donations make the biggest impact and
help meet the needs of our community.
The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
needs your donations.
We look forward to seeing you
NOW is published for our customers and friends.
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comments regarding the COMPLIANCE NOW e-newsletter.
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