October 31, 2018 •

New York to Launch New Lobbyist Reporting System

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics will be launching a new online lobbying reporting system to coincide with the new lobbying regulations, effective January 1, 2019. The new system is expected to launch in November. Reports covering 2018 must be […]

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics will be launching a new online lobbying reporting system to coincide with the new lobbying regulations, effective January 1, 2019. The new system is expected to launch in November.

Reports covering 2018 must be submitted though the current system.

All filings covering 2019 activity, including registration and reportable business relationship forms, must be submitted through the new system.

Registrations for the 2019-20 biennial period may be submitted through the new system in early December.

The Commission will inform users when the registration function becomes available.

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October 31, 2018 •

Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance National: “Female Candidates Break Barriers, Except When It Comes to Money” by Kate Zernike (New York Times) for WRAL Oklahoma: “Legislators Act As ‘Super Donors,’ Sending Their Own Donors’ Cash to Other Candidates” by Trevor Brown (Oklahoma Watch) […]

Campaign Finance

National: “Female Candidates Break Barriers, Except When It Comes to Money” by Kate Zernike (New York Times) for WRAL

Oklahoma: “Legislators Act As ‘Super Donors,’ Sending Their Own Donors’ Cash to Other Candidates” by Trevor Brown (Oklahoma Watch) for KGOU

Elections

National: “2 State Ballots with Felons’ Rights, 2 Different Directions” by J. Brian Charles for Governing

National: “Paper Is Big Again, at Least for Elections. These States Don’t Have It” by Gopal Ratnam for Roll Call

Maryland: “Maryland Voters to Decide Whether to Adopt Election Day Registration” by Rachel Chason for Washington Post

Ethics

New Jersey: “Phil Murphy Investigation: NJ lawmakers get subpoena power after sex assault claims” by Nicholas Pugliese for Bergen Record

Lobbying

National: “A Donald Trump Appointee – Also a Saudi Government Lobbyist – Is Reassessing His Roles” by Sarah Kleiner and Lateshia Beachum for Center for Public Integrity

Canada: “Province Tables Amendments to Lobbyist Legislation” by Rattan Mall for Voiceonline.com

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October 30, 2018 •

Washington D.C. Campaign Finance Reform Addresses Pay-to-Play

The Washington D.C. Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety unanimously passed a bill that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district. The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees […]

The Washington D.C. Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety unanimously passed a bill that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district.

The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees and independent expenditure committees.

The pay-to-play component of the bill would ban campaign contributions by businesses seeking contracts of $250,000 or more.

If passed by the full council, the bill is subject to appropriation and, if funded, would take effect on October 1, 2019.

Pay-to-play provisions would take effect after the November 2020 general election.

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October 30, 2018 •

Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Kentucky: “Kentucky Officials Seek Changes in Campaign-Finance Laws” by Adam Beam (Associated Press) for Huntington Herald-Dispatch Montana: “How Big Sky Country Became the Front Line in a Long Battle Over Dark Money” by Christa Case Bryant for Yahoo!News […]

Campaign Finance

Kentucky: “Kentucky Officials Seek Changes in Campaign-Finance Laws” by Adam Beam (Associated Press) for Huntington Herald-Dispatch

Montana: “How Big Sky Country Became the Front Line in a Long Battle Over Dark Money” by Christa Case Bryant for Yahoo!News

New Jersey: “Baraka, Ex-Campaign Treasurer Still Face Campaign Finance Accusations” by Rebecca Panico for TAPinto.net

Elections

National: “‘Staying on the Sidelines Is No Longer an Option’: How Silicon Valley is trying to help Democrats capture Congress in 2018” by Tony Romm for Washington Post

Ethics

Florida: “Former City Manager Rick Fernandez Agrees to Settlement with Ethics Commission” by Jeff Burlew for Tallahassee Democrat

Legislative Issues

Wisconsin: “Last-Minute Surprises and Secretive Moves Hide Wisconsin Lawmakers’ Actions from Public View” by CV Vitolo-Haddad and Dee Hall (Wisconsin Center For Investigative Journalism) for Wisconsin Public Radio

Lobbying

Arizona: “Arizona Commissioner Andy Tobin Texted APS Lobbyists Frequently, Including About Open Rate Case” by David Pomerantz for Energy Policy Institute

Redistricting

Michigan: “Volunteer Movement Helped Carry Redistricting Proposal to the Ballot” by Lauren Gibbons for MLive.com

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October 29, 2018 •

Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Florida: Undercover FBI Agent May Have Helped Pay for Gillum Fundraising Dinner Gary Fineout (Associated Press) Orlando Sentinel Ethics National: ‘My Comrades Will Kill You’: Pipe bombs sent in year of many death threats against politicians by Alan […]

Campaign Finance

Florida: Undercover FBI Agent May Have Helped Pay for Gillum Fundraising Dinner Gary Fineout (Associated Press) Orlando Sentinel

Ethics

National: ‘My Comrades Will Kill You’: Pipe bombs sent in year of many death threats against politicians by Alan Greenblatt for Governing

National: 9 Hours of ‘Executive Time’: Trump’s unstructured days define his presidency by Eliana Johnson and Daniel Lippman for Politico

California: Newsom’s Business Holdings Could Pose Ethics Bind by The Associated Press for KPIX

South Carolina: SC Rep. Harrison Found Guilty in Public Corruption Case, Gets Prison Sentence by John Monk (The State) for Greenville News

Lobbying

National: Campbell Soup Jettisons Exec Who Peddled Soros Conspiracy Theory About Caravan by Mary Papenfuss for The Huffington Post

Maine: Pro-Offshore Oil Group Chaired by LePage Is Run by Energy Lobbyists by Colin Woodward (Portland Press Herald) for Biddeford Journal Tribune

Pennsylvania: A Powerful Lobby Blocked Changes in Pa. Child Sex Abuse Laws. Here’s Who and Here’s Why. By Candy Woodall for York Daily Record

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October 26, 2018 •

News You Can Use Digest – October 26, 2018

      National: How a Billionaire from Another State Could Influence Your Elections Center for Public Integrity – Liz Essley Whyte | Published: 10/18/2018 Twenty-five American billionaires have invested more than $70.7 million for initiative campaigns this year in 19 states where […]

 

 

 

National:

How a Billionaire from Another State Could Influence Your Elections
Center for Public Integrity – Liz Essley Whyte | Published: 10/18/2018

Twenty-five American billionaires have invested more than $70.7 million for initiative campaigns this year in 19 states where they do not reside. Meanwhile, as little as $7.2 million has gone from their wallets and those of other billionaires to campaigns in their home states. In total, the $78 million tally from all 34 billionaires may be pocket change to them, but it is more than 10 percent of the $648 million disclosed so far this year for statewide ballot measure campaigns. The contributions from the wealthy to campaigns across state lines rankle some local opponents, even though no one questions their legality. Just who should decide issues in their states, they ask – the people who live there or some rich folks from out-of-state?

Three Secretaries of State Are Refereeing the Election While Running in the Field
McClatchy DC – Tim Johnson | Published: 10/18/2018

In three states, the referee for the midterm elections is also on the field as a player. Elected secretaries of state in Georgia and Kansas, who in their official capacities oversee the elections in their states, are running for governor. Ohio’s secretary of state is running for lieutenant governor. They have faced scattered calls to resign but have refused to do so. Election reformers say the situation underscores the conflict-of-interest when an official has responsibilities for an election while also running as a candidate. While the three secretaries of state are Republican, concerns about inappropriate actions by partisans who hold the office transcend parties.

Federal:

Inside the Saudis’ Washington Influence Machine: How the kingdom gained power through fierce lobbying and charm offensives
MSN – Tom Hamburger, Justin Reinhard, and Justin Moyer (Washington Post) | Published: 10/21/2018

A sophisticated influence machine has shaped policy and perceptions of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. for decades, batting back critiques of the kingdom by doling out millions of dollars to lobbyists, law firms, prominent think tanks, and large defense contractors. In 2017, Saudi payments to lobbyists and consultants in Washington more than tripled over the previous year. Beyond their spending, the Saudis have enjoyed a priceless advantage: a warm relationship with President Trump, who has done business its wealthy citizens, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who developed a close bond with the crown prince as he crafted the administration’s Middle East policy.

U.S. Begins First Cyberoperation Against Russia Aimed at Protecting Elections
MSN – Julian Barnes (New York Times) | Published: 10/23/2018

The United States Cyber Command is targeting individual Russian operatives to try to deter them from spreading disinformation to interfere in elections, telling them that American operatives have identified them and are tracking their work. The campaign, which includes missions undertaken in recent days, is the first known overseas cyberoperation to protect U.S. elections, including the November midterms. The operations come as the Justice Department recently outlined a campaign of “information warfare” by Russians aimed at influencing the midterm elections, highlighting the broad threat the American government sees from Moscow’s influence campaign.

From the States and Municipalities:

Alaska: State Regulators to Alaska Lobbyist: Stop helping candidates raise money
Alaska Public Media – Nathaniel Hertz | Published: 10/18/2018

Alaska lobbyists have been breaking an anti-corruption law by promoting fundraising events on behalf of candidates, according to a preliminary opinion from the state’s campaign finance watchdog. Lobbyist Ashley Reed asked for the formal opinion from the Alaska Public Offices Commission. He wanted to know whether state law allows for lobbyists to email copies of invitations to fundraisers for political candidates. The Legislature banned lobbyists from engaging in fundraising activity more than two decades ago. But despite the ban, Reed and lobbyist Jerry Mackie have been sending copies of fundraiser invitations to their clients and friends.

Florida: Text Messages Raise New Questions Over Andrew Gillum’s Lobbyist Connections
WRAL – Patricia Mazzei (New York Times) | Published: 10/23/2018

Undercover FBI agents paid for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s hotel room and his ticket to the Broadway musical “Hamilton” during a 2016 trip to New York City, according to newly released documents that raise questions just before Florida’s gubernatorial election, in which Gillum is locked in a close race with former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis. Text messages between Gillum and former lobbyist Adam Corey, who set up meetings with the agents, show Gillum knew the tickets came from men he believed to be businesspeople looking to develop property in Tallahassee, but were undercover FBI agents investigating public corruption in the city. The records contradicted Gillum’s past statements on the state ethics probe.

Indiana: No Charges Against Hill, But Investigation Reveals Searing New Details
Indianapolis Star – Tony Cook, Ryan Martin, and Kaitlin Lange | Published: 10/23/2018

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill will not be charged over allegations he groped a state lawmaker and several staffers at a party celebrating the end of the legislative session. He also was cleared of any ethical breaches by the inspector general’s office. Special Prosecutor Daniel Sigler, who said he believed the women’s stories to be “true and credible,” announced that bringing charges would be difficult due to the time that elapsed between the alleged incident in March and the filing of the claims against Hill. But the fallout from Hill’s alleged behavior that night is likely to continue as his accusers prepare a civil lawsuit and Republican leaders continue to call for his resignation.

Kentucky: Kentucky AG Defends Campaign Finance Reform in Sixth Circuit
Courthouse News Service – Kevin Koeninger | Published: 10/18/2018

The constitutionality of several Kentucky ethics laws was debated before a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, with the state’s attorney general arguing they are necessary to maintain citizens’ confidence in the government. Plaintiffs alleged numerous restrictions on campaign financing and lobbying were unconstitutional, including contribution limits and a prohibition on gifts to legislators and their spouses. Kentucky made sweeping changes to its campaign finance laws in 2017, which mooted several of the plaintiffs’ claims. But U.S. District Court Judge William Bertelsman sided with the plaintiffs on several issues last year. Bertelsman struck down the law that prevents legislators and their spouses from receiving “anything of value,” ruling the statute was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.

Maine: Crowdfunding of Collins Opponent in 2020 Likely Faces Legal Challenge
Lewiston Sun Journal – Kevin Collins (Portland Press Herald) | Published: 10/22/2018

In an effort to pressure U.S. Sen. Susan Collins on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, organizers pledged to collect contributions nationwide and give them to a hypothetical Democratic challenger in 2020 if Collins voted to confirm the nominee. If she opposed Kavanaugh, whose nomination nearly collapsed amid allegations of sexual misconduct, no money would be collected. The unprecedented campaign, which Collins has labeled a bribe, is a testament to the power of small-dollar “crowdfunding” at a time when corporations, interest groups, and wealthy donors can dump unlimited money into elections. Yet the tactics used by the three organizations behind the campaign to pressure Collins are raising sticky legal questions that could end up in court, with national implications.

Missouri: Clean Missouri Proposition Puts Redistricting Front and Center, Limits Lobbyist Influence
St. Louis Public Radio – Jason Rosenbaum | Published: 10/23/2018

Amendment 1 on the November ballot in Missouri would limit the meals, entertainment, and travel a lobbyist can give a lawmaker, and place a two-year waiting period on lawmakers and their staff to become lobbyists. It would also lower contributions limits for state House and Senate candidates, as well as alter how state legislative districts are drawn. Supporters believe the measure will make lawmakers more responsive to people instead of special interest groups or lobbyists. Detractors believe the initiative is not about improving ethics, and instead is about giving Democrats a leg up on the state legislative redistricting process.

New Hampshire: N.H. Legislators Look to Lobbyists for Reliable Source of Re-Election Cash
New Hampshire Public Radio – Casey McDermott | Published: 10/19/2018

A review of fundraising reports in New Hampshire over the most recent legislative session shows donations from lobbying interests with a direct stake in the decisions made by state senators accounted for roughly half of all the money raised by those same senators’ re-election campaigns. The rate of reliance on lobbying money varied from as little as 16 percent to 75 percent or more. In many cases, senators’ fundraising reports reflected the intersection of money and influence inherent to statehouse lobbying. Candidates can, and often do, accept separate contributions from lobbying firms, the lobbyists they employ, and the clients they represent, magnifying their impact in legislative races.

New York: Dean Skelos, Ex-New York Senate Leader, Gets 4 Years and 3 Months in Prison
WRAL – Benjamin Weiser and Vivian Wang (New York Times) | Published: 10/24/2018

Former New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was sentenced to four years and three months in prison on federal corruption charges, including soliciting bribes and defrauding the public. The sentence was lighter than the five years that the same judge imposed in 2016 when he was convicted on the same charges. That conviction was overturned. Skelos’ son, Adam, who was convicted along with his father, was sentenced to four years in prison. Prosecutors accused Dean Skelos of using his position to pressure three companies to provide his son with consulting work, a “no-show” job, and a $20,000 payment.

North Dakota: All of the Above? The Ancient Voting Method One City Might Adopt
Governing – Alan Greenblatt | Published: 10/19/2018

In November, voters in Fargo, North Dakota, will decide whether to adopt a ballot measure that would create a system known as “approval voting” for local elections. Under the system, everybody can vote for as many candidates as they would like. If there are four candidates for the city commission, for example, you could choose to vote for one of them, or for two, or for the whole lot. Unlike the other multiple-choice method known as ranked-choice voting, which is gaining favor in some places, each vote would count the same. The person with the highest total would win. Supporters say voters would not have to worry about wasting votes on spoilers with little chance of winning since they can also select candidates expected to be more popular. In theory, however, candidates with extreme viewpoints would have a harder time since the winner would have to be broadly acceptable to most voters.

Pennsylvania: Ex-Allentown Mayor Gets 15 Years in Prison on Corruption Charges
Philadelphia Inquirer – Associated Press | Published: 10/23/2018

Former Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski was sentenced to 15 years in prison on corruption charges. He was convicted of trading city contracts for campaign donations to fund his bids for mayor, governor, and U.S. Senate. Jurors found him guilty on 47 counts in connection to eight schemes, including those involving contracts for a city pool, tax collection service, cybersecurity, and streetlight installation. Pawlowski must also pay more than $93,000 in restitution in restitution to the city and to vendors that prosecutors say were cheated out of a fair and open bidding process.

South Carolina: Should SC Roads Be Named After Lawmakers Who Have Pleaded Guilty to Corruption?
The State – Avery Wilks | Published: 10/22/2018

A few days after he resigned from the South Carolina Senate and pleaded guilty to misconduct in office, John Courson asked the Department of Transportation to remove the signs bearing his name from a state road. But another former state senator, Robert Ford, who pleaded guilty to corruption in 2015, says he earned the right to have a Charleston road named after him and would not give up the honor. Unseemly exits from the South Carolina General Assembly can create a host of awkward circumstances. Among them: what to do with the state roads or buildings named after politicians who have admitted to corruption?

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October 25, 2018 •

Massachusetts Ballot Measure Seeks to Regulate Corporate Influence in Elections

Next month, Massachusetts voters will decide on a ballot measure seeking to cap corporate spending in elections. Ballot Question 2, if passed, will create a commission made up of citizens tasked with producing a report on the state of political […]

Next month, Massachusetts voters will decide on a ballot measure seeking to cap corporate spending in elections.

Ballot Question 2, if passed, will create a commission made up of citizens tasked with producing a report on the state of political spending in Massachusetts and promoting an amendment to the United States Constitution. The commission would also report on whether the state can legally limit corporate contributions.

The ballot measure has been characterized as a way for the state to show their opposition to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.

The group advocating for Ballot Question 2 envisions a 28th Amendment removing the ability of corporations, labor unions, super PACs and other wealthy interests from financially influencing political campaigns.

To pass, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution would require approval by two-thirds of the U.S. House and Senate and must also be ratified by 38 states.

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October 25, 2018 •

We Are for the Child

The CASA Board Volunteer Association of Summit County held its annual fundraiser, “I Am for the Child” breakfast on October 25, 2018. The CASA/GAL (Court Appointed Special Advocates/Guardian ad Litem) Program of Summit County is a trained community of volunteers […]

The CASA Board Volunteer Association of Summit County held its annual fundraiser, “I Am for the Child” breakfast on October 25, 2018. The CASA/GAL (Court Appointed Special Advocates/Guardian ad Litem) Program of Summit County is a trained community of volunteers appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of an abused or neglected child in court. State and Federal Communications was proud to be one of the sponsors.

State and Federal Communications’ very own Research Manager Michael Beckett has been serving as chairman of the CASA Board. Beckett led the breakfast event with the compelling story of the many children in Summit County who need the services of CASA. This year’s focus was on the shocking problem of human trafficking in our own community.

“We had a great morning celebrating Signet’s David Bouffard as the 2018 Kannel Child Advocate of the Year and learning about how we can help victims of human trafficking here in Summit County. The immediate goal of the CASA/GAL Program is to provide each child victim of abuse and neglect with a trained CASA volunteer,” said Beckett.  “Thank you to Elizabeth Bartz and State and Federal Communications for facilitating and supporting my involvement with the CASA Board.”

Thank you, Michael Beckett and all of the CASA volunteers for the terrific work you are doing for the children of Summit County!

Pictured: State and Federal Research Manager Michael Beckett and President and CEO Elizabeth Z. Bartz

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October 25, 2018 •

Missouri Ballot Initiative to Amend Lobbying, Campaign Finance Laws

Missouri voters in the November 6 election will decide on Constitutional Amendment One, which seeks to change campaign contribution limits, gift laws, and the rules for political action committees. If passed, Amendment One would impose new contribution limits for candidates […]

Missouri voters in the November 6 election will decide on Constitutional Amendment One, which seeks to change campaign contribution limits, gift laws, and the rules for political action committees.

If passed, Amendment One would impose new contribution limits for candidates to the Missouri House and Senate. Currently, individuals and committees can contribute no more than $2,600 per election to such candidates. Amendment One would establish a limit of $2,500 for state Senate and $2,000 for state House candidates and would prevent political action committees from circumventing those limits.

Under the proposed ballot initiative, legislators and legislative employees would be banned from accepting gifts of more than $5 from lobbyists. Amendment One would also prohibit elected members and employees of the General Assembly from working as lobbyists until two years after they leave the General Assembly. Additionally, the measure would bar political fundraising on state property.

Clean Missouri is leading the campaign in support of Amendment One. The Missourians First and Advance Missouri PACS have registered to oppose Amendment One.

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October 25, 2018 •

Come and Get Your Donuts and Apple Cider!

On Wednesday, October 31, State and Federal Communications is hosting its Ninth Annual Halloween Donuts and Cider Sale. All sales will go directly to the United Way of Summit County. Drop in and say hello from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. […]

On Wednesday, October 31, State and Federal Communications is hosting its Ninth Annual Halloween Donuts and Cider Sale. All sales will go directly to the United Way of Summit County.

Drop in and say hello from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. and enjoy a delicious treat, or take some of these goodies to your office! We’ll be in the lobby of 80 South Summit St. in Downtown Akron, across from Quaker Square.

The Krispy Kreme regular and chocolate donuts are $1.00 per donut or $7.00 per dozen. The apple cider will be $1.00 per cup or $8.00 per gallon.

To reserve your donuts, you can email Joe May at jmay@stateandfed.com, or call us at 330-761-9960.

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October 25, 2018 •

North Dakota Ethics Policy Finalized

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum finalized an ethics policy that applies to the governor, lieutenant governor, and employees of the governor’s office. According to the new policy, lobbyists who request a meeting with the governor’s office will be encouraged to […]

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum finalized an ethics policy that applies to the governor, lieutenant governor, and employees of the governor’s office.

According to the new policy, lobbyists who request a meeting with the governor’s office will be encouraged to bring a principal of his or her client to the meeting. The policy also addresses conflicts of interests and gifts and honoraria.

No gift of any value may be accepted if offered with the intent to directly or indirectly influence the exercise of official action.

Any gift greater than $50 must be reported to the ethics officer and returned to the donor or given to charity.

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October 25, 2018 •

Georgia Governor Announces Special Session

Gov. Nathan Deal announced a special session for November 13 regarding the costs associated with Hurricane Michael. The hurricane lead to deaths and destruction of property in southwest Georgia last month. The governor’s office expects the recovery costs to be […]

Gov. Nathan Deal announced a special session for November 13 regarding the costs associated with Hurricane Michael.

The hurricane lead to deaths and destruction of property in southwest Georgia last month.

The governor’s office expects the recovery costs to be more than $100 million.

The legislature will also vote on an executive order passed by Gov. Deal last July suspending the collection of sales tax on jet fuel.

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October 25, 2018 •

Alaska Governor Drops Re-election Bid

Gov. Bill Walker dropped out of his race for re-election on October 19, just days after his lieutenant governor resigned for making “inappropriate” comments. Public and private polling showed him trailing in third place, behind Republican Mike Dunleavy and Democrat […]

Gov. Bill Walker dropped out of his race for re-election on October 19, just days after his lieutenant governor resigned for making “inappropriate” comments.

Public and private polling showed him trailing in third place, behind Republican Mike Dunleavy and Democrat Mark Begich.

While dropping out, Gov. Walker said, “Alaskans deserve a competitive race,” and then endorsed Begich to replace him.

Due to the timing of the announcement, Walker’s name will still appear on the ballot.

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October 25, 2018 •

Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance California: “Supervisors Order Destruction of Campaign Money Enforcement Emails” by Nick Gerda for Voice of OC Maine: “Crowdfunding of Collins Opponent in 2020 Likely Faces Legal Challenge” by Kevin Collins (Portland Press Herald) for Lewiston Sun Journal Maryland: […]

Campaign Finance

California: “Supervisors Order Destruction of Campaign Money Enforcement Emails” by Nick Gerda for Voice of OC

Maine: “Crowdfunding of Collins Opponent in 2020 Likely Faces Legal Challenge” by Kevin Collins (Portland Press Herald) for Lewiston Sun Journal

Maryland: “Prince George’s Approves Matching Funds for Local Candidates – Starting in 2026” by Rachel Chason for Washington Post

Pennsylvania: “Ex-Allentown Mayor Gets 15 Years in Prison on Corruption Charges” by Associated Press for Philadelphia Inquirer

Washington: “Corporate Dollars Gushing into Washington’s Initiative Campaigns Spur Push for New Campaign-Finance Laws” by Joseph O’Sullivan for Seattle Times

Elections

Federal: “U.S. Begins First Cyberoperation Against Russia Aimed at Protecting Elections” by Julian Barnes (New York Times) for MSN

Michigan: “Lack of Precedent Clouds Brenda Jones’ Bid for Conyers Seat” by Melissa Nann Burke for Detroit News

Ethics

Alabama: “Former Drummond V.P. and Balch Lawyer Sentenced to Federal Prison” by Ivana Hrynkiw for AL.com

Colorado: “Ethics Commission Votes to Investigate Complaint Against Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper” by Anna Staver for Denver Post

Lobbying

Florida: “Text Messages Raise New Questions Over Andrew Gillum’s Lobbyist Connections” by Patricia Mazzei (New York Times) for WRAL

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