January 4, 2018 •

Ask The Experts – Ride-Along Exception

Q. I’m an in-house lobbyist planning to meet with California legislators to influence state government action. If I go to the meeting accompanied by a registered lobbyist, isn’t my time at the meeting exempt from counting toward the lobbyist registration […]

Q. I’m an in-house lobbyist planning to meet with California legislators to influence state government action. If I go to the meeting accompanied by a registered lobbyist, isn’t my time at the meeting exempt from counting toward the lobbyist registration threshold under the “ride-along” exception?

A. That depends. The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) amended its regulations in 2016 to narrow the so-called “ride-along” exception.  The exception is now only available to in-house employees who act as “subject matter experts” in communicating with California government officials while accompanied by a registered lobbyist employed or retained by their employer. If the exception does not apply to your circumstances, you must…

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August 31, 2017 •

San Francisco Ethics Commission to Consider Pay-to-Play Ordinance

At its August 28, 2017, meeting, the San Francisco Ethics Commission discussed the adoption of the 2017 San Francisco Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance to revise city campaign and government conduct laws. The ordinance would create a series of new rules […]

At its August 28, 2017, meeting, the San Francisco Ethics Commission discussed the adoption of the 2017 San Francisco Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance to revise city campaign and government conduct laws.

The ordinance would create a series of new rules to reduce the incidence of pay-to-play politics by increasing the applicability of current pay-to-play laws to encompass more parties seeking contracts with the city. The ordinance would also create new limits and disclosure requirements on contributions and behested payments.

The commission voted 4-0 to continue the matter to its next meeting on September 25, 2017.

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August 30, 2017 •

Alaska Ballot Initiative Proposed to Limit Gifts from Lobbyists

An Alaska ballot initiative has been proposed to limit perks received by lawmakers. The proposed Alaska Government Accountability Act would limit lawmakers and aides from accepting meals or drinks purchased by lobbyists by restricting the acceptance of food and drink […]

An Alaska ballot initiative has been proposed to limit perks received by lawmakers.

The proposed Alaska Government Accountability Act would limit lawmakers and aides from accepting meals or drinks purchased by lobbyists by restricting the acceptance of food and drink from a lobbyist to de minimis and non-alcoholic items for immediate consumption. It would also ban corporations with five percent or more non-U.S. ownership from spending money on campaigns that target individual candidates.

The initiative sponsors are aiming for the proposal to appear on the 2018 ballot and are still in the process of collecting the necessary signatures.

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August 30, 2017 •

Judge Invalidates California Law Allowing Public Financing of Local Campaigns

On August 28, a judge upheld a ban on the public financing of local campaigns, invalidating last year’s reforms put in place by Senate Bill 1107. The Sacramento Superior Court ruled in favor of plaintiffs, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and […]

On August 28, a judge upheld a ban on the public financing of local campaigns, invalidating last year’s reforms put in place by Senate Bill 1107.

The Sacramento Superior Court ruled in favor of plaintiffs, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and retired State Senator and Judge Quentin L. Kopp, invalidating SB 1107 and ruling that the matter must be sent to voters on a statewide ballot.

SB 1107 was passed in 2016 and allowed any municipality the option to create systems for publicly funded campaigns. In the absence of SB 1107, only six charter cities can offer limited public funds to match small campaign donations.

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August 28, 2017 •

California Assembly Speaker Faces Recall Effort; Opens Debate for Universal Healthcare

Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is currently facing a recall effort launched by single-payer healthcare activists after Rendon blocked Senate Bill 562 that would have established a single-payer healthcare system in California. Rendon represents District 63 in the California State […]

Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is currently facing a recall effort launched by single-payer healthcare activists after Rendon blocked Senate Bill 562 that would have established a single-payer healthcare system in California. Rendon represents District 63 in the California State Assembly.

On August 24, Rendon announced plans for special committee hearings this fall to develop legislation for a path forward for universal health care legislation.

Recall organizers must collect 22,963 signatures for a recall election to be held.

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August 28, 2017 •

California Recall Fight Continues

Senate Bill 117 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on August 24. The law is effective immediately upon passage and extends the recall election timeline and would consolidate the Josh Newman recall election with the June 2018 primary […]

Senate Bill 117 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on August 24.

The law is effective immediately upon passage and extends the recall election timeline and would consolidate the Josh Newman recall election with the June 2018 primary instead of a standalone special ballot this fall.

Under the law, people who signed recall petitions now have 30 days to withdraw their signatures.

Within hours of Gov. Jerry Brown signing the bill, a legal challenge was filed to block the new law claiming SB 117 violates the due process rights of Newman recall proponents. No court date has been set.

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August 28, 2017 •

California Disclose Act Gets Closer to Passage

Assembly Bill 249, also known as the “California Disclose Act,” will be heard in the Senate on August 29. The bill requires most campaign ads to display their top three funders, even if those contributions were funneled through other committees. […]

Assembly Bill 249, also known as the “California Disclose Act,” will be heard in the Senate on August 29. The bill requires most campaign ads to display their top three funders, even if those contributions were funneled through other committees.

Similar versions of AB 249 have been introduced without passage since 2012. A similar bill from 2016 failed by one vote in the Senate. Last year’s bill was opposed by the California Fair Political Practice Commission (FPPC) due to the bill’s language making enforcement difficult.

The current version of the bill underwent changes to make the proposed law more acceptable to opponents and the FPPC has remained neutral.

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August 17, 2017 •

FPPC Votes to Change Recall Election Campaign Finance Rule

On August 17, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) voted to reverse a longstanding rule that limited how much money politicians and their committees can give to a candidate-controlled recall committee. The 2002 FPPC opinion that was reversed by today’s […]

On August 17, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) voted to reverse a longstanding rule that limited how much money politicians and their committees can give to a candidate-controlled recall committee.

The 2002 FPPC opinion that was reversed by today’s vote limited politician contributions to candidate-controlled recall committees to $4,400.

The rule change now allows politicians to give unlimited amounts of money to help fight the recall of Democratic Senator Josh Newman.

Chair Jodi Remke was the only dissenting commissioner in the 3-1 final vote.

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August 16, 2017 •

Anaheim, CA Adopts Lobbyist Registration and Reporting Ordinance

On August 15, the Anaheim City Council adopted an ethics and lobbying ordinance. The ordinance imposes a two-year revolving door restriction and requires lobbyist registration and quarterly reporting. The ordinance will go into effect 30 days after passage on September […]

On August 15, the Anaheim City Council adopted an ethics and lobbying ordinance.

The ordinance imposes a two-year revolving door restriction and requires lobbyist registration and quarterly reporting. The ordinance will go into effect 30 days after passage on September 14.

City Council is also expected to consider additional amendments to broaden the new ordinance in 90 days.

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August 11, 2017 •

Los Angeles City Council Seeking Disclosure Ordinance for Contractors Working on Border Wall

The Los Angeles City Council voted to draft a law that would require contractors doing business with the city to disclose whether they have any contracts connected with the proposed border wall between Mexico and the United States. The current […]

The Los Angeles City Council voted to draft a law that would require contractors doing business with the city to disclose whether they have any contracts connected with the proposed border wall between Mexico and the United States.

The current proposal would not ban companies working on the wall from doing business with Los Angeles, but many council members said it would be a factor they could consider when voting on city contracts.

The City Council voted 13-0 to have city attorneys draft the ordinance. Once drafting is complete, the council will consider the ordinance for approval.

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August 10, 2017 •

North Carolina Changes Session Dates

The North Carolina General Assembly convened for a special session on August 3 to address unresolved conference reports and amend the previous adjournment resolution, cancelling a previously scheduled September 6 special session. Lawmakers will now convene on August 18 to […]

The North Carolina General Assembly convened for a special session on August 3 to address unresolved conference reports and amend the previous adjournment resolution, cancelling a previously scheduled September 6 special session.

Lawmakers will now convene on August 18 to address redistricting.

The change in session dates was needed after a federal three-judge panel ordered lawmakers to draw new legislative district maps by September 1.

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August 4, 2017 •

West Virginia Governor to Switch Parties

Reports are surfacing that Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia is expected to switch parties from Democrat to Republican. According to the New York Times, Justice’s announcement is scheduled to take place at President Trump’s Huntington, West Virginia rally on […]

Reports are surfacing that Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia is expected to switch parties from Democrat to Republican.

According to the New York Times, Justice’s announcement is scheduled to take place at President Trump’s Huntington, West Virginia rally on August 3.

Justice was elected as a Democrat in the 2016 general election.

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August 4, 2017 •

No Special Elections for Redrawn North Carolina Districts

A panel of three federal judges ordered North Carolina lawmakers to draw new maps to eliminate racially gerrymandered districts by September 1, 2017. The judges also rejected a request for special elections to be held in March 2018 for redrawn […]

A panel of three federal judges ordered North Carolina lawmakers to draw new maps to eliminate racially gerrymandered districts by September 1, 2017.

The judges also rejected a request for special elections to be held in March 2018 for redrawn districts.

The next legislative elections will take place as regularly scheduled in November 2018.

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July 26, 2017 •

California Governor Sets Special Election Dates

Gov. Jerry Brown announced special election dates for California’s Assembly District 51. A primary election will be held on October 3, 2017, and the general election is set for December 5, 2017. The seat became vacant when Democrat Jimmy Gomez […]

Gov. Jerry Brown announced special election dates for California’s Assembly District 51.

A primary election will be held on October 3, 2017, and the general election is set for December 5, 2017.

The seat became vacant when Democrat Jimmy Gomez resigned upon his election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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