January 31, 2019 •

New Mexico Passes Bill Requiring Additional Lobbying Disclosures

Senate Bill 191 is on its way to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk. If signed, the bill will require the disclosure of the cumulative total of all individual expenditures of less than $100 made or incurred by the employer or […]

Senate Bill 191 is on its way to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk.

If signed, the bill will require the disclosure of the cumulative total of all individual expenditures of less than $100 made or incurred by the employer or lobbyist during the covered reporting period.

The expenditures must be separated into meals and beverages, other entertainment expenditures, and other expenditures.

Grisham has indicated she intends to sign the bill. Once signed, the bill will be effective July 1, 2019.

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January 31, 2019 •

Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance New York: “Ex-AG Used Campaign Cash for Legal Bills” by Michael Sisak (Associated Press) for Albany Times Union Ethics National: “Democrats’ Money-in-Politics Reform Package Draws Praise – and Strong Objections” by Raymond Arke for Center for Responsive Politics […]

Campaign Finance

New York: “Ex-AG Used Campaign Cash for Legal Bills” by Michael Sisak (Associated Press) for Albany Times Union

Ethics

National: “Democrats’ Money-in-Politics Reform Package Draws Praise – and Strong Objections” by Raymond Arke for Center for Responsive Politics

National: “Steven Mnuchin Draws Claims of Conflict of Interest in Decision on Russian Oligarch” by Kenneth Vogel (New York Times) for MSN

Illinois: “Ald. Daniel Solis, Who Wore Wire for FBI, Paid Himself Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars from Campaign Fund” by Hal Dardick, Jason Meisner, and David Heinzman for Chicago Tribune

Indiana: “Lawmaker Who Employs Minors at Ski Resort Shelves Plan to Scrap Child Labor Laws” by Kaitlin Lange for Indianapolis Star

Pennsylvania: “Indictment of ‘Johnny Doc’, Councilman Bobby Henon Heaps Scrutiny on Philly’s Soda Tax” by Chris Brennan and Andrew Seidman for Philadelphia Inquirer

Lobbying

National: “K Street Women Seek Closer Ties to Female Lawmakers” by Kate Ackley for Roll Call

National: “Dem Bill Would Block Former Intel Chiefs from Lobbying for Foreign Governments” by Olivia Beavers for The Hill

Maryland: “Lobbyists Vent Frustrations About Assembly Website” by Diane Rey for MarylandReporter.com

Montana: “Bill to Create Lobbyist Code of Conduct, Require Anti-Harassment Training Opposed by Lobbyists” by Holly Michels for Helena Independent Record

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January 30, 2019 •

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Election Resigns

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher resigned last week from her post. Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended her earlier this month for failing to meet deadlines during last November’s election recount. Wendy Santory Link has been appointed by the […]

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher resigned last week from her post.

Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended her earlier this month for failing to meet deadlines during last November’s election recount.

Wendy Santory Link has been appointed by the governor to replace her.

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January 30, 2019 •

Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance New Mexico: “Campaign Finance Overhaul Clears Hurdle” by Dan McKay for Albuquerque Journal Elections Kentucky: “A Onetime Rising Democratic Star Faces Questions About Voter Privacy” by Daniel Desrochers (Lexington Herald-Leader) and Jessica Huseman for ProPublica Ethics Arizona: “GOP […]

Campaign Finance

New Mexico: “Campaign Finance Overhaul Clears Hurdle” by Dan McKay for Albuquerque Journal

Elections

Kentucky: “A Onetime Rising Democratic Star Faces Questions About Voter Privacy” by Daniel Desrochers (Lexington Herald-Leader) and Jessica Huseman for ProPublica

Ethics

Arizona: “GOP Maneuver Halts Effort to Oust Arizona Rep. David Stringer” by Howard Fischer (Capitol News Services) for Arizona Daily Star

Illinois: “FBI Secretly Recorded Mike Madigan at His Law Office Pitching Firm’s Services” by John Seidel, Tina Sfondeles, and Fran Spielman for Chicago Sun-Times

Legislative Issues

National: “All Red or All Blue, State Legislatures Run to Partisan Sides” by Timothy Williams (New York Times) for MSN

Lobbying

National: “Lawmakers Push Crackdown on Foreign Lobbyists” by Alex Gangitano for The Hill

Michigan: “Bill Targets Lawmakers’ Lobbyist Switchover” by Jonathan Oosting for Detroit News

Texas: “In the Texas House, They’re Seen as Lobbyists. In the Senate, They Sit at the Press Table.” by Emma Platoff for Texas Tribune

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January 29, 2019 •

House Joint Resolution Introduced Eliminates Counting All Noncitizens During Census

On January 24, Rep. Warren Davidson introduced a resolution proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution providing members of the House of Representatives be apportioned among only U.S. citizens. House Joint Resolution 34, the Fair Representation Amendment, would eliminate the […]

On January 24, Rep. Warren Davidson introduced a resolution proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution providing members of the House of Representatives be apportioned among only U.S. citizens.

House Joint Resolution 34, the Fair Representation Amendment, would eliminate the practice of counting noncitizens during each census, counting only citizens for apportionment of representatives and electoral votes.

“Proper census calculations are needed to ensure that every citizen’s vote counts,” says Davidson in his press release. Davidson first introduced the legislation in the last Congress.

Currently, the census counts everyone residing in the U.S., including individuals employed, working, and residing legally in the country.

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January 29, 2019 •

New York Enacts Election Reform

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed three bills relating to elections and campaign finance on January 24. Assembly Bill 776 requires limited liability companies making expenditures for a political purpose to file with the State Board of Elections the identity of all […]

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed three bills relating to elections and campaign finance on January 24.

Assembly Bill 776 requires limited liability companies making expenditures for a political purpose to file with the State Board of Elections the identity of all direct and indirect owners of the membership interests and the proportion of ownership in the LLC.

Assembly Bill 779 creates a consolidated statewide primary election date and changes the protocol for calling a special election.

Senate Bill 1102 enacts early voting in the state.

Assembly Bill 779 and Senate Bill 1102 are effective immediately, and Assembly Bill 776 is effective January 31.

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January 29, 2019 •

Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Europe: “Nick Clegg Uses Debut as Facebook Lobbyist to Win Over EU” by Natalia Drozdiak for Bloomberg Maryland: “Bill Would Loosen Md. Campaign Donations” by Rachel Chason (Washington Post) for Laredo Morning Times Utah: “Who Funds Utah Legislators’ […]

Campaign Finance

Europe: “Nick Clegg Uses Debut as Facebook Lobbyist to Win Over EU” by Natalia Drozdiak for Bloomberg

Maryland: “Bill Would Loosen Md. Campaign Donations” by Rachel Chason (Washington Post) for Laredo Morning Times

Utah: “Who Funds Utah Legislators’ Campaigns? Special Interests Provide 82% of Money, While Voters in Lawmakers’ Own Districts Gave Only 6%.” by Lee Davidson for Salt Lake Tribune

Ethics

Indiana: “Indiana Lawmaker Who Employs Hundreds of Minors Pushes to Scrap State Child Labor Laws” by Kaitlin Lange for Indianapolis Star

Maine: “Maine Bills Target Money in Politics, Lobbyist Influence” by Marina Villeneuve (Associated Press) for Fosters Daily Democrat

Lobbying

Oklahoma: “Groups on Right, Left Oppose Proposed Grassroots Lobbying Rules” by Paul Monies for Oklahoma Watch

South Dakota: “Lobbyist Can Return House Floor After Judge Issues Restraining Order” by Chris Huber for Rapid City Journal

Washington: “Ousted Lawmaker Registers as Lobbyist” by Rachel LaCorte (Associated Press) for Peninsula Daily News

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January 28, 2019 •

Gov. Bill Lee Signs Three Executive Orders on State Ethics Laws

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed three executive orders, changing former Gov. Bill Haslam’s policies on gifts to state employees, ethics disclosures for interactions with the General Assembly, and government hiring, among others. Lee added to Haslam’s policy on gifts by […]

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed three executive orders, changing former Gov. Bill Haslam’s policies on gifts to state employees, ethics disclosures for interactions with the General Assembly, and government hiring, among others.

Lee added to Haslam’s policy on gifts by including “beverage” and “refreshment” on the list of banned gifts that can be accepted by a state employee from those intending to conduct business with the state agency where the employee works.

Lee’s Executive Order 2 expands the scope of employees required to file ethical disclosures by adding senior members and all employees who regularly interact with the General Assembly.

Lee’s Executive Order 3 requires human resources and labor officials to train executive branch managers on nondiscrimination employment practices within 120 days and with “reasonable frequency” afterward.

Under Executive Order 4, Lee’s anti-discrimination policy in government hiring practices changes “gender” to “sex” and adds pregnancy, veteran’s status, and any other “category protected and/or federal civil rights laws”.

The executive orders were issued on January 24.

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January 28, 2019 •

Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Missouri: “St. Louis County’s Campaign Contribution Limit Is in Effect. Probably. Maybe. Who Knows.” by Jeremy Kohler for St. Louis Post-Dispatch Oregon: “Oregon Supreme Court Could Beat Gov. Brown to Campaign Finance Change” by Dirk Vanderhart for Oregon […]

Campaign Finance

Missouri: “St. Louis County’s Campaign Contribution Limit Is in Effect. Probably. Maybe. Who Knows.” by Jeremy Kohler for St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Oregon: “Oregon Supreme Court Could Beat Gov. Brown to Campaign Finance Change” by Dirk Vanderhart for Oregon Public Broadcasting

Elections

National: “Longtime Trump Adviser Roger Stone Indicted by Special Counsel in Russia Investigation” by Devlin Barrett, Rosalind Helderman, John Wagner, and Manuel Roig-Franzia (Washington Post) for Seattle Times

Ethics

California: “State Controller Betty Yee Disputes Claim That City of Industry Audit Was ‘Politically Motivated’” by Melody Gutierrez and Adam Elmahrek for Los Angeles Times

Florida: “Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel Resigns After Halloween Blackface Photos Emerge” by Jeffrey Schweers for Tallahassee Democrat

Florida: “Andrew Gillum’s Ethics Case Continues after Florida Commission Finds Cause” by Elizabeth Koh for Tampa Bay Times

Indiana: “Indiana Lawmakers Must Now Aide by Sexual Harassment Policy. Expert Calls It ‘Very 1980s.’” by Kaitlin Lange for Indianapolis Star

Tennessee: “Lee Signs 3 Executive Orders on Ethics, Transparency” by Kimberlee Kruesi and Jonathan Mattise for apnews.com

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January 25, 2019 •

Lobbyist Loophole Closure Act Introduced in US House

On January 24, Rep. Max Rose introduced a bill to amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to expand the scope of individuals and activities subject to the Act. House Bill 783, the Lobbyist Loophole Closure Act, requires individuals who […]

On January 24, Rep. Max Rose introduced a bill to amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to expand the scope of individuals and activities subject to the Act.

House Bill 783, the Lobbyist Loophole Closure Act, requires individuals who provide paid strategic advice in support of lobbying contacts with covered government officials to register as lobbyists, even if the individuals themselves do not make direct contact with the official.

“If someone acts like a lobbyist, and is paid like a lobbyist, then they ought to register as a lobbyist,” Rose said in his press release.

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January 25, 2019 •

Florida Governor Announces Special Election

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the dates to hold a special election to fill the vacancy in House District 7. The special primary election will take place on April 9, while the special general election will be on June 18. The […]

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the dates to hold a special election to fill the vacancy in House District 7.

The special primary election will take place on April 9, while the special general election will be on June 18.

The seat was vacated when Halsey Beshears resigned in order to serve as the head of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

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January 25, 2019 •

NYCU Video Digest – January 25, 2019

We know there is a lot of news happening today, but here are four lobbying, campaign finance and pay-to-play stories from this week you don’t want to miss!  

We know there is a lot of news happening today, but here are four lobbying, campaign finance and pay-to-play stories from this week you don’t want to miss!

 

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January 25, 2019 •

News You Can Use Digest – January 25, 2019

National: Lawmakers Eye Changes to Ballot Measures – Passed and Future Governing – Alan Greenblatt | Published: 1/16/2019 Ballot measures have become a popular way to enact new policies, from minimum wage hikes and legalized marijuana to ethics reforms. But voter-approved measures are […]

National:

Lawmakers Eye Changes to Ballot Measures – Passed and Future
Governing – Alan Greenblatt | Published: 1/16/2019

Ballot measures have become a popular way to enact new policies, from minimum wage hikes and legalized marijuana to ethics reforms. But voter-approved measures are meeting more pushback. Republican lawmakers in several states are fighting ballot measures on two fronts: as was the case following the 2016 election, they are trying to overturn provisions of some laws that voters just passed in November. They are also seeking legislative changes that would make it harder to pass in the future.

Federal:

BuzzFeed’s Stumble Is Highest-Profile Misstep at a Time When Press Is Under Greatest Scrutiny
Danbury News-Times – Paul Farhi (Washington Post) | Published: 1/19/2019

Reporters at the Guardian, CNN, McClatchy News, and other outlets have published disputed, suspect, or uncorroborated stories about President Trump and the investigation swirling around him since special counsel Robert Mueller began his probe. Each instance has elicited cries of “fake news” from the president and his supporters, stoking the claim that the mainstream media is biased and irresponsible. But these disputed stories have tended to be about distinct events or actions; they were effectively clues rather than conclusions about Trump’s potential criminality. BuzzFeed News’ apparently mistaken story about Michael Cohen and Trump was of a different nature and magnitude.

GOP Reaches Landmark Agreement to Juice Small-Dollar Fundraising
Politico – Alex Isenstadt | Published: 1/21/2019

President Trump’s political team and top Republican officials have reached an agreement to reshape the party’s fundraising apparatus and close the financial gap that devastated them in the midterms. With the deal, Republicans hope to create a rival to ActBlue, the Democratic online fundraising behemoth that plowed over $700 million in small-dollar donations into Democratic coffers in the 2018 campaign. Republicans agreed to create a new platform dubbed Patriot Pass, which will be used to cultivate and process online donations.

Law Firm Tied to Manafort Reaches $4.6 Million Settlement
apnews.com – Chad Day and Eric Tucker | Published: 1/17/2019

A prominent law firm that helped former Trump campaign chairperson Paul Manafort lobby on behalf of pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine agreed to pay more than $4.6 million and publicly acknowledge it failed to report its work for a foreign government. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom admitted that in 2012 it acted as an agent of Ukraine by participating in a public relations campaign for a report it authored for that country’s government. The firm will register retroactively as a foreign agent. The Justice Department, which is charged with enforcing the Foreign Agents Registration Act, had largely turned a blind eye until Robert Mueller began charging Trump’s associates, including Manafort, who had built a lucrative business advising Russia-aligned politicians and wealthy business executives in Ukraine.

From the States and Municipalities:

California: Former California Lawmaker Registers as a Lobbyist After #MeToo Investigation
Sacramento Bee – Sophia Bollag | Published: 1/22/2019

A month after the California Assembly said he had likely violated its sexual misconduct policy, former Assemblyperson Sebastian Ridley-Thomas moved to return to the Capitol by registering as a lobbyist. The state’s online lobbying database shows he registered as a lobbyist with his firm Millennial Advisors, drawing criticism from anti-sexual harassment activists at the Capitol. Ridley-Thomas quit the Legislature in December 2017, citing health problems. Records released by the Assembly show at least two people accused him of harassment before he resigned. “We have made progress on #metoo issues in #caleg but a solution that does not include lobbyists is incomplete,” tweeted Adama Iwu, one of the lobbyists who started the We Said Enough movement.

California: With FBI Probe Looming, L.A. City Council Members Revive Plan to Limit Developer Donations
Los Angeles Times – Emily Alpert Reyes and David Zahniser | Published: 1/15/2019

Two years ago, Los Angeles City Council members called for a ban on political donations from real estate developers seeking city approval for their projects. That plan languished at City Hall and was tabled by the Ethics Commission before it officially expired. Now, with FBI agents conducting a corruption investigation into City Hall, council members have revived the idea. Under the proposal, real estate developers would be barred from giving to city candidates and officeholders once they have turned in an application that requires city approval or other action, provided the request involves building or adding more than 4,000 square feet of floor area for residential projects or 15,000 square feet for commercial projects.

Connecticut: $97 Million of Influence: Lobbyists are fixtures at the Capitol, pushing their message amid rules on gifts, perks, receptions
Hartford Courant – Josh Kovner | Published: 1/23/2019

Every January at the Connecticut Capitol, the lobbying effort revs up to a fever pitch and does not stop until the final roll call. This session, the race to gain an edge promises to be even more frenetic, propelled by highly charged issues like gun control and taxes. With a new governor and 40 new lawmakers, lobbyists will be scrambling just to make connections. While there are substantial restrictions on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers, there is a sizable exception. A lobbyist can, from his or her personal account, give a legislator up to $1,000 for each of several “life events” per year, such as a wedding or birth. Each session, staffers in the Office of State Ethics school freshman legislators on the restrictions and reporting requirements.

District of Columbia: D.C. ‘Pay-to-Play’ Ban Closer to Becoming Law after Mayor Declines Veto
Washington Post – Peter Jamison | Published: 1/18/2019

Sweeping changes to campaign finance regulations in the District of Columbia are on track to become law after Mayor Muriel Bowser opted not to veto legislation passed by the city council. Among other provisions, the measure would ban campaign contributions from companies and their top executives if they hold or are seeking government contracts worth at least $250,000; give new authority and independence to the city’s Office of Campaign Finance; and require increased disclosure from independent expenditure committees.

Illinois: Contractor Challenges Illinois Campaign Finance Law
Courthouse News – Lorraine Bailey | Published: 1/18/2019

An Illinois law prohibiting government contractors from making campaign contributions is being challenged as unconstitutional after a public housing management firm lost a contract because its founder donated to Democratic gubernatorial candidates. The Habitat Company is a Chicago-based real estate firm that has managed a building called Lake Shore Plaza. Ellen Daley, Illinois’ chief procurement officer for general services, notified the company that its founder’s campaign contributions violated state law and required voiding a 2019 management contract for Lake Shore Plaza. Habitat sued to challenge Daley’s decision and the law banning government contractors or affiliated persons from making any contribution to a political committee of the officeholder responsible for awarding their contracts.

Michigan: Outgoing State Officials Turn to Lobbying Under Lax Michigan Rules
Detroit News – Jonathan Oosting | Published: 1/23/2019

At least seven former state officials and lawmakers in Michigan have registered as lobbyists or joined lobbying firms since leaving office at the end of 2018. The recent moves highlight that Michigan is among a minority of states that do not ban recent legislators, department heads, or executive branch officials from immediately taking paid jobs to lobby former colleagues. Restrictions in other states and Congress are designed to reduce ethical conflicts. Those include the potential for interest groups to promise future jobs to officials in exchange for preferential treatment while they are still in office. Michigan prohibits lawmakers from resigning to take lobbyist jobs during the term they had been elected to, but its lack of broader restrictions.

New York: Gov. Cuomo Signs Major Voting Reforms
Legislative Gazette – James Gormley | Published: 1/24/2019

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that implements major changes to the state’s election and campaign finance laws. The new laws enact early voting in New York, synchronize state and federal elections, and allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. One bill will close the so-called LLC loophole by limiting political spending by a limited liability company to a total of $5,000 annually, which is the same limit as corporations. It will also require the disclosure of direct and indirect membership interests in the LLC making a contribution, and for the donation to be attributed to that individual.

South Carolina: After Ethics Snafu, SC Lawmakers Move to Change How They Accept Gifts from Public
The State – Avery Wilks | Published: 1/23/2019

The South Carolina House moved to change its rules on accepting gifts from special interests and the public, two weeks after a donation of nearly 200 books to state lawmakers caused confusion about whether the gifts needed to be recorded on ethics filings. The new rule would prohibit anyone from dropping off gifts of any value in the House chamber. It also would require someone to get a lawmaker’s written signature before leaving any gift worth more than $25. The giver must also document with the state Ethics Commission any gift worth more than $25.

South Dakota: Lobbyist Files Suit Against South Dakota House Speaker
Sioux Falls Argus Leader – Jonathan Ellis | Published: 1/22/2019

Lobbyist Yvonne Taylor, executive director of the South Dakota Municipal League, filed suit against House Speaker Steve Haugaard after she says she was banned from the House floor for writing a critical column. According to her lawsuit, Haugaard took issue with a May column she wrote for the Municipal League’s membership magazine. Haugaard complained the column, which was published before the June primary election, made the Legislature look like “a bunch of buffoons.” Taylor complained that the number of “wackies” in the Legislature were increasing. The “wackies” oppose government and any taxation, even when groups that would pay added taxes or fees wanted them, Taylor said in the column.

Wisconsin: Judge: GOP can’t block liberal group’s Twitter comments
Charlotte Observer – Todd Richmond (Associated Press) | Published: 1/18/2019

Top Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature violated the First Amendment when they blocked a liberal advocacy group from seeing their Twitter feeds, a federal judge ruled. U.S. District Court Judge William Conley’s decision marks One Wisconsin Now’s second legal victory in as many days over Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. Another federal judge struck down early-voting restrictions Vos and his fellow Republicans passed in a contentious lame-duck session in December. One Wisconsin Now and other groups had challenged those provisions days after former Gov. Scott Walker signed them into law.

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January 24, 2019 •

Special Election Set for Pennsylvania Congressional Seat

Gov. Tom Wolf announced he has scheduled a special election to fill Pennsylvania’s U.S. House District 12 seat for May 21. Last week, Rep. Tom Marino announced he would be resigning to take a job in the private sector. The […]

Gov. Tom Wolf announced he has scheduled a special election to fill Pennsylvania’s U.S. House District 12 seat for May 21.

Last week, Rep. Tom Marino announced he would be resigning to take a job in the private sector.

The special election coincides with the state’s primary election date.

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