State and Federal Communications + Inside Elections =
Together for Another Year

I am so excited to let the State and Federal Communications community know we have signed another year-long commitment with Nathan Gonzales for his Inside Elections newsletter. I do not think I have received as many positive comments from clients since we sent out jars of Smucker’s jelly!

Inside Elections with Nathan Gonzales provides nonpartisan analysis of campaigns for the Senate, House, governorships, and presidency. He does not endorse candidates, but he sure does talk about them…a lot. The issues are sent to our community every other week. He sends them to us on Fridays and we prep it for a Monday delivery to your inbox. We do avoid Fridays because for 20 years we have sent you News You Can Use and really do not want to interrupt the fan base Jim Sedor has amassed!

Nathan was an editor, analyst, and writer for The Rothenberg Political Report for more than 13 years before taking over the company in 2015 (another reason I like him). He is also elections analyst for CQ Roll Call, a CNN political analyst, and founder and publisher of Nathan has appeared on NBC's Meet the Press and NBC Nightly News, C-SPAN's Washington Journal, NPR's All Things Considered and the Fox News Channel, and he has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. His work has also appeared on FiveThirtyEight,,, and in Campaigns & Elections magazine (my first job in DC, in 1982). I go crazy in my car when I hear him on NPR. But, he has to talk fast, I only have a five mile commute to work!

He annually drives through Akron on his way to see his in-laws in Indiana. I need to make sure to host Nathan, his wife, and their four children when we have a baseball game in Cleveland. I think it would be fun. Nathan says I do not know what I would be getting into!

I am proud to call Nathan a friend and a great partner in this collaboration. Stay tuned for a call we have with him in October as we approach the November elections. All our great clients will be invited to join.

Remember, Election Day is only 90+ days away. The best reading in Inside Elections is yet to be printed.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO



Hawaii Ethics Commission Approves Administrative Rules
on Lobbying, Gifts

Joanna Kamvouris, J.D.
Manager, Research Services


After several months of delay due to COVID-19, the Hawaii Ethics Commission approved a package of proposals on June 18 to amend and adopt portions of the Hawaii Administrative Rules related to lobbying and gifts. Amendments include changes to the statement of contribution and expenditures, updated definitions for lobbying, and new valuation rules for gifts. The rules were approved by the Department of the Attorney General and are now pending review by the governor. Once approved, the rules will be posted with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor for 10 days before becoming effective.

Statement of Contribution and Expenditures

Rule Section 21-10-5 addresses the statutory requirement for statements of contributions and expenditures to be filed by up to three different entities including the client, the employing organization, and the lobbyist. The new rule creates a single, client-based report that avoids double or triple reporting. This also eliminates the practice of having lobbyists submit expenditure reports listing “zero” expenditures when all expenditures are covered by the client or the employing organization.

Direct and Grassroots Lobbying

Rule Section 21-10-1 contains definitions of direct lobbying and grassroots lobbying to clarify both direct and indirect lobbying are covered by the statute. Direct lobbying is defined as any oral or written communication with a legislator, an employee, intern, or volunteer of the Legislature or an agency that would appear to a reasonable person to be an attempt to influence legislation or rulemaking. Grassroots lobbying is defined as any oral or written communication directed at any member of the public that expresses an opinion about existing or potential legislation, administrative rules, or ballot issues and includes an explicit or implied call to action.

Valuation of Gifts

Rule Section 21-7-6 defines the value of a gift as the cost a member of the public would reasonably expect to incur to purchase the item. For example, if the face value of a ticket to an event is $100, but tickets on the secondary market are $500 at the time the ticket is offered, the value of the ticket is $500.

[The details for this article will be updated on our website in the Hawaii Definitions, Gift Law, Grassroots Lobbying, and Reports Required sections of the U.S. Lobbying Compliance Laws. Updates to Hawaii Definitions, Gift Law, and Reports Required will also appear in the U.S. Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws.]

Michael Beckett, Esq.,
Associate Director, Research Services

LOUISIANA: Lobbyists can spend a bit more on state lawmakers and other public officials. When the new budget year began on July 1, the lobbying limit on food and drink for a public official edged up $1 per person per occasion. The new limit per person at an event is $63. When the lobbying cap was first enacted, the limit was $50 per occasion. The 2008 law setting the limit allows an annual adjustment tied to increases in the federal Consumer Price Index for food and beverages. The index rose 1.8 percent in the last year. 

MISSOURI: Gov. Mike Parson approved House Bill 1386, modifying the definition of legislative lobbyist for purposes of lobbying laws to exclude legislative liaisons. Legislative liaison is defined as any state employee hired to communicate with members of the General Assembly on behalf of any elected official of the state, the judicial branch of state government, or any department, agency, board, or commission of the state, provided such entity is a part of the executive branch of state government. Any state employee employed as a legislative liaison who performs lobbying services for any other entity must register as a lobbyist with respect to such lobbying services. The law becomes effective August 28, 2020.

NEVADA: The Legislative Counsel Bureau gave notice the requirements for registration and reporting of lobbyist activities will not be applicable to the upcoming special session. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to prevent the potential spread of the virus, access to the legislative building during the upcoming special session will be limited to legislators, essential staff, and a small press pool. All floor sessions and committee meetings will be livestreamed through both the Legislature’s website and YouTube. In addition, the teleconference system will allow individuals to call in to participate in the legislative process. Written comments available to Legislators will be accepted by email, fax, and mail.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: The Public Ethics Commission has launched the OAKAPPS Lobbyist Registration and Reporting System. This system allows users to register as an Oakland lobbyist, maintain a client list, enter lobbyist activity, draft disclosure reports, and submit them online. In order to use the system, a user name and password is needed. The system is available at

WISCONSIN: The Ethics Commission adopted a formal opinion stating lobbyists may make a campaign contribution during the contribution window to officeholders and candidates of partisan elective state office, regardless of whether the individual is on the ballot. The contribution window begins the first day authorized by law for the circulation of nomination papers as a candidate for a general election or special election and closes the day of the general or special election. A contribution to a candidate for legislative office may only be made during the period if the Legislature has concluded its final floor period and is not in special or extraordinary session. The contribution window opened on May 14 and will close on November 3.


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.

  Total bills Number of Jurisdictions Passed Died Carried over
from 2021
Lobbying Laws 310 41 20 140 0
Political Contributions 508 52 40 175 7
Procurement Lobbying 313 44 24 127 1


Pay-to-play regulation of vendor campaign contributions raises the stakes of corporate participation in political campaigns. State and Federal Communications covers pay-to-play regulations in the Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws publication. Each entry contains detailed information about any pay-to-play regulations applicable to vendors in that jurisdiction. It will also be noted if state pay-to-play laws are applicable at the municipal level. In addition to the comprehensive information in each jurisdiction’s entry, there are two quick reference charts dedicated to cataloging these restrictions in the states and covered municipalities. The charts can be accessed by clicking on the right side of the red Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws button and selecting "States with Pay-to-Play Laws” or “Municipalities with Pay-to-Play Laws” in the pop-up menu. Make sure you refer to this information before you approve a contribution because an otherwise acceptable contribution can be trouble if given by a person doing business with the candidate’s jurisdiction.


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 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 know about recent lobbyist act changes
in British Columbia?

British Columbia enacted changes to the Lobbyist Transparency Act in May of this year.  The province also implemented a new electronic filing system and upgraded all existing users to it.  In British Columbia, both your initial registration and subsequent reporting are completed by filing what is called a return. If your organization is lobbying the BC government, it is very likely you have to submit an initial return and register...  

Read the full article here


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


Click here to read ALL Ask the Experts articles in full

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James Warner, Esq.
Assistant Director, Compliance Services


Business in the time of Corona

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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.