January 6, 2020 •

Oregon Representative Resigns to Campaign for Secretary of State

Rep. Jennifer Williamson resigned from her Oregon House of Representatives District 36 seat to focus on her campaign for secretary of state. Multnomah County Democrats can forward three to five names to the Multnomah County Commission for a replacement. The […]

Rep. Jennifer Williamson resigned from her Oregon House of Representatives District 36 seat to focus on her campaign for secretary of state.

Multnomah County Democrats can forward three to five names to the Multnomah County Commission for a replacement.

The commissioners will hold a public hearing on January 16 to decide which of the Democratic Party’s several nominees to select to fill the vacancy.

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January 3, 2020 •

Idaho Governor Appoints Boise Woman to Vacant House Seat

Lauren Necochea - MARSHALL CLARKE

Gov. Brad Little appointed Lauren Necochea to fill the vacant House of Representatives District 19 seat. Necochea was one of three possible candidates and the top choice the Democratic Legislative Committee for District 19 submitted to the governor. The seat […]

Gov. Brad Little appointed Lauren Necochea to fill the vacant House of Representatives District 19 seat.

Necochea was one of three possible candidates and the top choice the Democratic Legislative Committee for District 19 submitted to the governor.

The seat became vacant when former Rep. Mat Erpelding resigned to take a job with the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce.

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December 13, 2019 •

Federal Judge Blocks Los Angeles from Enforcing NRA Disclosure Law

NRA Headquarters - Joe Loong

A federal judge temporarily blocked a Los Angeles law requiring businesses seeking city contracts to disclose any links to the National Rifle Association (NRA). The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance in February requiring companies doing business with the […]

A federal judge temporarily blocked a Los Angeles law requiring businesses seeking city contracts to disclose any links to the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance in February requiring companies doing business with the city to disclose any financial connections to the gun-rights advocacy organization.

The NRA responded with a federal lawsuit against the city, arguing the policy silences NRA members and supporters in the city by forcing them to disclose their ties with the organization.

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the ordinance while the case moves forward.

However, the judge granted the city’s motion to dismiss claims the ordinance violates the NRA’s equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and the ordinance has the effect of compelling speech.

Also, the judge removed Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city clerk as defendants in the lawsuit.

The city may appeal the ruling or the NRA may request the injunction be made permanent.

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December 12, 2019 •

Utah Governor Calls Special Session

Utah Capitol Building - Jkinsocal

Gov. Gary Herbert called a special session of the Utah Legislature for December 12 to consider a massive tax reform plan. The special session comes a day after a divided legislative panel voted to advance a significant tax cut for […]

Gov. Gary Herbert called a special session of the Utah Legislature for December 12 to consider a massive tax reform plan.

The special session comes a day after a divided legislative panel voted to advance a significant tax cut for Utah residents.

In addition to the tax reform, the special session will include discussion of funding for behavioral health programs.

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December 11, 2019 •

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Maryland Online Political Ad Law

Maryland Capitol Building - Jimmy Emerson

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Maryland law aimed at extending the state’s campaign finance oversight into online political ads to prevent foreign interference in local elections is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment. The […]

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Maryland law aimed at extending the state’s campaign finance oversight into online political ads to prevent foreign interference in local elections is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment.

The Online Electioneering Transparency and Accountability Act, passed by state legislators in 2018, requires newspapers and other media platforms to collect and self-publish information about sponsors of online political ads.

The three-judge panel found that the law targets political expression and compels certain speech, and affirmed a lower court’s ruling to strike down the law.

The state’s attorney general’s office will review the decision and decide whether to file an appeal.

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December 9, 2019 •

New Portland, Oregon Lobbying Administrative Rules in Place

The Portland Auditor has announced administrative rule changes to the city’s lobbying regulations. The revised rules clarify the definition of lobbying to include grassroots lobbying and attempts to gain goodwill. Fiscal disclosures are required to include expenses related to grassroots […]

The Portland Auditor has announced administrative rule changes to the city’s lobbying regulations.

The revised rules clarify the definition of lobbying to include grassroots lobbying and attempts to gain goodwill.

Fiscal disclosures are required to include expenses related to grassroots lobbying.

The rule changes also provide guidance on governments registering as lobbying entities if certain types of lobbying occur.

Governments will be considered lobbying entities when certain outside individuals lobby on their behalf.

The regulation changes also exclude certain cultural gifts from the city’s lobbying registration and reporting requirements if the market value of the gift cannot be easily determined and declining the gift is likely to cause offense.

Additionally, the revised rules provide guidance on when lobbying groups and city officials may be fined for late filings.

The auditor’s office will issue a warning notice for late filings.

Reports must be filed within 24 hours after the deadline or a late fee will be assessed up to $500 per report.

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December 6, 2019 •

Los Angeles Limits Campaign Donations from Developers

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to prevent real estate developers who have project applications pending at city hall from making campaign contributions to elected officials or candidates for municipal office. City Councilman David Ryu introduced the proposal to […]

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to prevent real estate developers who have project applications pending at city hall from making campaign contributions to elected officials or candidates for municipal office.

City Councilman David Ryu introduced the proposal to ban developer donations to prevent interference with the ethical commitments candidates make when running for office.

Under the new ordinance, real estate developers will be barred from giving political contributions to Los Angeles city officials and candidates for council, mayor, or city attorney while the city decides on key approvals for building projects.

These restrictions will be in effect for one year after a final decision on each developer application.

The law does not prohibit developers from hosting fundraisers or raising money from other donors and does not apply to major subcontractors on a development project.

Critics contend the new rules will spur developers to donate more money to independent expenditure committees, which have no limits on how much they can receive and cannot coordinate with their chosen candidates.

The council also voted to have a committee reexamine possible restrictions on behested payments, which are donations solicited by candidates or elected officials for various charities or causes.

The ordinance becomes operative the first day a candidate for elected city office can file a Declaration of Intent to Solicit and Raise Contributions for the 2022 general election.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has until December 16 to act on the ordinance.

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December 2, 2019 •

Maryland State Senator Retires

State Sen. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam

Sen. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam announced she is retiring from the Maryland State Senate District 44 seat, effective December 1. Nathan-Pulliam cited health issues as the reason for stepping down from the seat. Both the Baltimore City and Baltimore County state central […]

Sen. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam announced she is retiring from the Maryland State Senate District 44 seat, effective December 1.

Nathan-Pulliam cited health issues as the reason for stepping down from the seat.

Both the Baltimore City and Baltimore County state central committees are now accepting resumes and will make a recommendation to Gov. Larry Hogan.

Gov. Hogan officially makes the appointment to fill the vacant seat.

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December 2, 2019 •

Bentz Resigning from Oregon Senate

State Sen. Cliff Bentz - via Pamplin Media Group

Sen. Cliff Bentz announced his intention to resign from the Oregon State Senate District 30 seat, effective January 2, 2020. Bentz intends to run for the 2nd Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Greg Walden, who announced that he […]

Sen. Cliff Bentz announced his intention to resign from the Oregon State Senate District 30 seat, effective January 2, 2020.

Bentz intends to run for the 2nd Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Greg Walden, who announced that he will not run for reelection in 2020.

The 2nd Congressional District is one of the largest in the nation and covers about two-thirds of state.

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November 26, 2019 •

Supreme Court Questions Alaska Contribution Limit

U.S. Supreme Court Building

United States Supreme Court Building

The U.S. Supreme Court is raising doubts about Alaska’s $500-a-year limit on contributions to political candidates. The justices are ordering a lower court to take a new look at the issue. The court says in an unsigned opinion on Monday […]

The U.S. Supreme Court is raising doubts about Alaska’s $500-a-year limit on contributions to political candidates.

The justices are ordering a lower court to take a new look at the issue.

The court says in an unsigned opinion on Monday that federal judges who rejected a challenge to the contribution cap did not take into account a 2006 high court ruling.

The 2006 ruling invalidated low-dollar limits on political contributions in Vermont.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a separate opinion expressing that Alaska’s reliance on the energy industry may make the state unusually vulnerable to political corruption and justify the low limits.

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November 26, 2019 •

Maryland Governor Appoints New District 22 Delegate

Del. Nicole Williams

Gov. Larry Hogan has announced the appointment of Nicole Williams to represent District 22 in Prince George’s County. Williams is replacing Del. Tawanna Gaines, who resigned last month after pleading guilty in federal court to illegally using campaign funds for […]

Gov. Larry Hogan has announced the appointment of Nicole Williams to represent District 22 in Prince George’s County.

Williams is replacing Del. Tawanna Gaines, who resigned last month after pleading guilty in federal court to illegally using campaign funds for personal benefit.

Gov. Hogan appointed Williams following the unanimous recommendations by the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee.

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November 26, 2019 •

Montgomery County, Maryland Launches Bid Solicitation Tracker

The Montgomery County Office of Procurement has launched a new online tool to find the status of a solicitation from issuance to contract execution. The new system increases transparency by giving the public the ability to view the solicitation process […]

The Montgomery County Office of Procurement has launched a new online tool to find the status of a solicitation from issuance to contract execution.

The new system increases transparency by giving the public the ability to view the solicitation process from beginning to end.

The tracker system is located on the procurement website.

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November 26, 2019 •

Conservative Groups Challenge Rhode Island Campaign Finance Law

https://www.flickr.com/photos/iip-photo-archive/45393591104

Rhode Island Skyline

Two conservative groups are asking a federal judge to strike down Rhode Island campaign finance laws that make them report political advertising and identify donors. Rhode Island’s Gaspee Project and the Illinois Opportunity Project filed a lawsuit against the Rhode […]

Two conservative groups are asking a federal judge to strike down Rhode Island campaign finance laws that make them report political advertising and identify donors.

Rhode Island’s Gaspee Project and the Illinois Opportunity Project filed a lawsuit against the Rhode Island Board of Elections in U.S. District Court arguing that paid political messaging not coordinated with a specific campaign is protected free speech that should not be subject to state financial disclosure laws.

The suit claims the disclosure laws regarding campaign contributions are unconstitutional and that revealing the identity of donors can expose them to retribution, making them less likely to donate.

The Rhode Island law requires any group that makes more than $1,000 in independent expenditures not coordinated with a campaign to report them to the Board of Elections, list what candidate or referendum is involved, list all individual donors who gave more than $1,000 that election cycle, and list the top five donors.

Supporters of the disclosure law believe it will survive the challenge because federal courts around the U.S. have upheld similar disclosure provisions.

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November 21, 2019 •

North Carolina Legislature Adjourns

North Carolina Legislature

North Carolina State Legislative Building

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned after finalizing a replacement map for congressional districts. Legislators extended the legislative session to redraw the map due to state judges blocking lines drawn in 2016 from being used next year. The session was […]

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned after finalizing a replacement map for congressional districts.

Legislators extended the legislative session to redraw the map due to state judges blocking lines drawn in 2016 from being used next year.

The session was one of the longest legislative sessions in recent history due to the redistricting lawsuit and a fight over the budget.

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