August 13, 2020 •

Group Seeks to Block Measure 3 from November Ballot in North Dakota

elections

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger confirmed a third measure to be on the November ballot. Measure 3, a constitutional amendment put forth by Fargo-based North Dakota Voters First, makes several changes to election procedures. This amendment creates paper […]

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger confirmed a third measure to be on the November ballot.

Measure 3, a constitutional amendment put forth by Fargo-based North Dakota Voters First, makes several changes to election procedures.

This amendment creates paper record and audit requirements for ballots; requires ballots to be sent to military and overseas voters at least 61 days before an election; and makes the Ethics Commission responsible for state legislative redistricting procedures.

The amendment would also introduce an open primary system in which all candidates, regardless of party, would appear on a single ballot.

This would also have the top four candidates advancing to the general election.

A ranked-choice vote would decide the winner.

Additionally, if implemented, North Dakota would become only the second state in the country, after Maine, to employ a statewide ranked-choice system.

A North Dakota-based 501(c)(4) called Brighter Future Alliance is challenging the measure’s eligibility for the ballot.

The alliance is seeking a writ of injunction from the North Dakota Supreme Court prohibiting Jaeger from placing Measure 3 on the November 2020, general election ballot.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

August 10, 2020 •

Minnesota Legislature’s Third Special Session Set for August 12

Gov Tim Walz with Ly Gov Peggy Flanagan

Gov Tim Walz, with Lt Gov Peggy Flanagan - by Lorie Shaull

Gov. Tim Walz issued a proclamation on August 7 for a third special session of the Legislature to begin Wednesday, August 12 at 12:00 p.m. The main purpose will be to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency originally declared on March […]

Gov. Tim Walz issued a proclamation on August 7 for a third special session of the Legislature to begin Wednesday, August 12 at 12:00 p.m.

The main purpose will be to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency originally declared on March 13, and ending on August 12.

Minnesota statutes require that if the governor extends a peacetime emergency beyond the original 30 days and the Legislature is not in session, the governor must call a special session for lawmakers to approve the emergency declaration.

Additionally, the Legislature will determine the length of the session.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

August 6, 2020 •

Lawmakers Introduce The Ohio Anti-Corruption Act Bill to Amend Campaign Finance Law

Ohio Statehouse

Ohio Lawmakers have introduced identical House and Senate bills to increase transparency in corporate campaign contributions. House Bill 0739 and Senate Bill 0349, named the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act, require 501(c)(4)s and limited liability companies to disclose contributions and expenditures made […]

Ohio Lawmakers have introduced identical House and Senate bills to increase transparency in corporate campaign contributions.

House Bill 0739 and Senate Bill 0349, named the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act, require 501(c)(4)s and limited liability companies to disclose contributions and expenditures made to influence elections.

The bills eliminate the category of continuing association and expand the definition of “political contributing entity” to include partnerships and unincorporated business organizations or associations.

The bills also require political contributing entities to disclose the name of each officer, director, principal shareholder, partner, owner, or member of the corporation or unincorporated business.

In an effort to strengthen restrictions against foreign interests influencing Ohio elections, the bills also expand the definition of “foreign national.”

The definition will now include a corporation that is owned twenty percent or more by persons or entities from outside of the United States and a corporation that is owned five percent or more by any one person or entity from outside of the United States.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

July 30, 2020 •

House Votes to Remove Speaker Larry Householder

gavel

In a morning session without debate, lawmakers voted unanimously to remove Larry Householder from the position as Ohio House speaker, though he retains his seat in the Legislature. Nine members, including Householder, were absent. Householder was arrested July 22 and […]

In a morning session without debate, lawmakers voted unanimously to remove Larry Householder from the position as Ohio House speaker, though he retains his seat in the Legislature.

Nine members, including Householder, were absent.

Householder was arrested July 22 and formally indicted today in connection with a $60 million federal racketeering case related to House Bill 6, Ohio’s new nuclear bailout law.

Additionally, republicans are in the process of selecting a new speaker and representatives interested in succeeding Householder include Rick Carfagna, Robert Cupp, Timothy Ginter, and Speaker Pro Tem Jim Butler.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 29, 2020 •

Lawmakers to Remove House Speaker, Governor Plans More Transparency

Ohio Statehouse

Ohio Lawmakers intend to remove Speaker of the House Larry Householder, arrested last week in connection with a $60 million federal bribery investigation. Republican house members gathered yesterday at a downtown hotel to make a decision. House rules require a […]

Ohio Lawmakers intend to remove Speaker of the House Larry Householder, arrested last week in connection with a $60 million federal bribery investigation.

Republican house members gathered yesterday at a downtown hotel to make a decision.

House rules require a session to be convened in order to hold a vote to remove Householder.

Currently, it is up to the speaker to call or schedule a session.

In the event he or she is absent, Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Jim Butler can call the House in for a session.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine also announced plans to present lawmakers with a proposal to provide more transparency in campaign finance laws for 501(c)(4) committees, which under current law do not have to disclose contributors.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 28, 2020 •

Ohio Introduces Bill to Amend Campaign Finance Law

Ohio Statehouse

A bipartisan group including Republican Rep. Gayle Manning and Democrat Rep. Jessica Miranda have introduced House Bill 737. This bill will amend campaign finance law regarding independent expenditures and political action committees. This bill modifies the definition of person to […]

A bipartisan group including Republican Rep. Gayle Manning and Democrat Rep. Jessica Miranda have introduced House Bill 737.

This bill will amend campaign finance law regarding independent expenditures and political action committees.

This bill modifies the definition of person to include corporations and labor organizations.

Additionally, it requires any independent expenditure of $500 or more to be reported on a statement of contributions and expenditures.

The bill also modifies the definition of political action committee to eliminate the exclusion for a political club.

This effort to increase campaign finance transparency follows unethical activities involving Speaker of the House Larry Householder and House Bill 6.

Republican lawmakers are meeting today for an unofficial vote on whether to expel Householder.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 21, 2020 •

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder Arrested in $60M Bribery Case

Ohio Statehouse

House Speaker Larry Householder was arrested in connection with a $60 million federal racketeering case related to House Bill 6, Ohio’s new nuclear bailout law. FBI Agents assisted by the Perry County Sheriff’s Department made the arrest Tuesday morning at […]

House Speaker Larry Householder was arrested in connection with a $60 million federal racketeering case related to House Bill 6, Ohio’s new nuclear bailout law.

FBI Agents assisted by the Perry County Sheriff’s Department made the arrest Tuesday morning at Householder’s farm in Glenford.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Hoffman and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers are expected to hold a press conference on the federal racketeering case Tuesday at 2:30 pm.

Householder, a farmer and businessman, has led the GOP-controlled Ohio House since January 2019.

He was previously House Speaker from 2001 to 2004.

However, he left due to term limits and returned to the House in 2017.

 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 20, 2020 •

Missouri Bill Modifying Definition of Legislative Lobbyist Passes

Missouri Capitol Building

Gov. Mike Parson approved Missouri 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 […]

Gov. Mike Parson approved Missouri 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.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 16, 2020 •

Missouri General Assembly to Hold Special Session

Missouri Capitol Building

Gov. Mike Parson announced a Special Session of the General Assembly beginning July 27 to focus on addressing violent crime in Missouri. The escalating violence has become especially deadly in St. Louis and Kansas City, and both cities have tried […]

Gov. Mike Parson announced a Special Session of the General Assembly beginning July 27 to focus on addressing violent crime in Missouri.

The escalating violence has become especially deadly in St. Louis and Kansas City, and both cities have tried various measures to stem the violence.

A new Kansas City program announced by the White House last week, Operation Legend, will bring in more than 100 agents from the FBI and other agencies to battle violent crime.

Parson said stopping this trend is more than just a big city problem, “It is a Missouri problem and we cannot wait until next session to address it.”

Other states are considering police reforms in the wake of protests.

Parson indicated Missouri lawmakers will focus only on measures that could strengthen laws and put more people behind bars.

He wants lawmakers to focus on six issues: juvenile certification, witness statement admissibility, witness protection funds, the unlawful transfer of weapons, and laws against endangering the welfare of a child.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

July 15, 2020 •

Wisconsin Ethics Commission Adopts Formal Opinion

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission adopted a formal opinion stating lobbyists may make a campaign contribution to partisan elective state officials and candidates for partisan elective office, regardless of whether the individual is on the ballot for that election, during the […]

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission adopted a formal opinion stating lobbyists may make a campaign contribution to partisan elective state officials and candidates for partisan elective office, regardless of whether the individual is on the ballot for that election, during the contribution window.

The contribution window begins the first day authorized by law for the circulation of nomination papers as a candidate at 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.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 8, 2020 •

Minnesota Legislature to Hold Another Special Session Beginning July 13

Gov Tim Walz with Ly Gov Peggy Flanagan

Gov Tim Walz, with Lt Gov Peggy Flanagan - by Lorie Shaull

Gov. Tim Walz announced on July 7, he intends to call lawmakers back for an open-ended session beginning July 13. Walz stated the session will coincide with the 30-day extension of the peacetime emergency ending July 12, and added that […]

Gov. Tim Walz announced on July 7, he intends to call lawmakers back for an open-ended session beginning July 13.

Walz stated the session will coincide with the 30-day extension of the peacetime emergency ending July 12, and added that other issues should get top billing.

Walz is obligated by law to call a special session for the Legislature to approve the emergency declaration.

The Senate tried to revoke the governor’s executive power during the first special session ending June 19.

However, the attempt failed because it requires the vote of both chambers.

In the first special session, no deals were reached on legislation both parties said was necessary and everything will be on the agenda again.

The Legislature will determine the length of the session.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 6, 2020 •

Chicago Lobbying Ordinance Stalled

Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot - MacLean Center

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed amendment to the lobbying ordinance has been stalled. The stall comes after Lincoln Park Alderwoman Michele Smith, chair of the Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight, said she has no plans to call Lightfoot’s ordinance for […]

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed amendment to the lobbying ordinance has been stalled.

The stall comes after Lincoln Park Alderwoman Michele Smith, chair of the Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight, said she has no plans to call Lightfoot’s ordinance for a vote.

The Mayor introduced Ordinance 2020-2328 in April over concerns that the language in the original ordinance passed by City Council late last year was too broad.

Additionally, there were concerns the ordinance would force registered lobbyists to give up positions on suburban bodies in order to keep lobbying Chicago government.

The proposed amendment would allow elected officials from outside Chicago to lobby City Council, the mayor, and other city offices.

This would be allowed as long as the public body they represent does not have pending or recurring legislative or contractual matters involving the city of Chicago.

In response to Smith’s statement, a spokesman for Lightfoot stated the administration looks forward to partnering with Smith to make necessary updates to any existing lobbying policies.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

July 2, 2020 •

Toledo Mayor Calls for Resignation of City Council Members

Toledo, Ohio skyline

Toledo, Ohio skyline - by NorthernMagnolia

Toledo, Ohio Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz has requested the resignation of four City Council members accused of encouraging and accepting bribes in exchange for votes. Yvonne Harper (District 4), Tyrone Riley (District 1), Gary Johnson (At-large), and Larry Sykes (At-large), are […]

Toledo, Ohio Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz has requested the resignation of four City Council members accused of encouraging and accepting bribes in exchange for votes.

Yvonne Harper (District 4), Tyrone Riley (District 1), Gary Johnson (At-large), and Larry Sykes (At-large), are named in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court at the conclusion of a two-year FBI investigation.

The court documents detail how each of the members allegedly accepted payments in the range of $500 to $5,000 for “yes” votes on zoning requests to internet cafes.

In an official statement, Kapszukiewicz explained these members are entitled to their day in court and should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

However, he is concerned about the cloud of doubt that would rest over city government if they continue to hold office.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

June 19, 2020 •

Illinois Board of Elections Announces Amnesty Period for Late Contribution Reports

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Board of Elections announced an amnesty period for late filers of the March 2020 quarterly report of campaign contributions and expenditures, due on April 15. No penalties will be assessed for reports filed […]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Board of Elections announced an amnesty period for late filers of the March 2020 quarterly report of campaign contributions and expenditures, due on April 15.

No penalties will be assessed for reports filed on or before June 30.

Similarly, no penalties will be assessed for late Schedule A-1 reports of contributions of $1,000 or more, due between March 18 and June 30, as long as they are filed on or before June 30.

Late reports (Quarterly or A-1) filed after June 30 will be subject to statutorily mandated penalties.

The Board’s one-time amnesty will not apply to the upcoming June 2020 Quarterly Report, which is due no later than July 15. 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close