November 29, 2018 •

Columbus Officials Propose Campaign Finance Reform

Mayor Andrew Ginther and the City Council announced plans to limit contributions to municipal elections for the first time in city history. The proposal seeks to limit annual contributions to municipal candidates by following state contribution amounts of $12,707.79. The […]

Mayor Andrew Ginther and the City Council announced plans to limit contributions to municipal elections for the first time in city history.

The proposal seeks to limit annual contributions to municipal candidates by following state contribution amounts of $12,707.79.

The proposal also requires anyone issuing an advertisement in an election period to disclose contributions, expenditures, and debt. Additionally, all campaign finance filings must be audited.

Officials will host a presentation and hear public feedback on the proposal on Tuesday, December 4 at 6 p.m. in City Council chambers.

City Council will vote on the proposal at the December 10 council meeting. If passed, the proposal will take effect for the 2019 municipal elections.

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September 28, 2016 •

Columbus, OH City Council Approves Emergency Legislation on Ethics

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed emergency legislation yesterday creating a City Council Ethics Policy. The ethics policy aligns with state ethics law as well as with an executive order signed by Ginther in May 2016. Ginther’s executive order was immediately […]

columbus_mayor_andy_ginther_31_dec_2015Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed emergency legislation yesterday creating a City Council Ethics Policy. The ethics policy aligns with state ethics law as well as with an executive order signed by Ginther in May 2016.

Ginther’s executive order was immediately effective for executive branch public officials and employees. The new City Council policy has nearly identical provisions on prohibited conduct and financial disclosure, but is applicable to all public officials and city employees.

Effective immediately, public officials and employees may not solicit or accept gifts or employment from anyone doing business with the city. They also must wait at least one year after leaving public service before representing any person or entity before any city department or division with respect to a matter they personally participated in while serving with the city.

Designated officials and employees must also file financial disclosure statements each year. The statements must include a description of each gift, or aggregate of gifts, exceeding $75 from certain sources during the previous calendar year.

Photo of Mayor Andrew Ginther by David Paul on Wikimedia Commons.

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May 12, 2016 •

Columbus Mayor Signs Executive Order on Ethics

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed Executive Order 2016-01 on Tuesday, May 10, establishing ethics guidelines for public officials. Effective immediately, public officials and employees may not solicit or accept gifts or employment from anyone doing business with the city. They […]

Columbus City HallColumbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed Executive Order 2016-01 on Tuesday, May 10, establishing ethics guidelines for public officials.

Effective immediately, public officials and employees may not solicit or accept gifts or employment from anyone doing business with the city. They also must wait at least one year after leaving public service before representing any person or entity before a department, board, or commission with respect to a matter they personally participated in while serving with the city.

Designated officials and employees must also file financial disclosure statements each year. The statements must include a description of each gift, or aggregate of gifts, exceeding $75 from certain sources during the previous calendar year.

Ginther believes the order will help to improve public opinion of City Hall.

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March 30, 2016 •

Columbus City Council Passes New Ethics Legislation

The Columbus City Council passed three new pieces of ethics legislation on Monday, March 28, strengthening financial disclosure provisions and amending city campaign finance and lobbying laws. Ord. 0084-2016 requires lobbyists to file updated registration statements in January, May, and […]

Columbus OH skylineThe Columbus City Council passed three new pieces of ethics legislation on Monday, March 28, strengthening financial disclosure provisions and amending city campaign finance and lobbying laws.

Ord. 0084-2016 requires lobbyists to file updated registration statements in January, May, and September of each year. Knowingly failing to register as a lobbyist will be a third degree misdemeanor, while knowingly filing a false statement will be a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Although state campaign finance laws apply to municipal elections, Ord. 0087-2016 requires additional election period communication disclosure statements to be filed with the Franklin County Board of Elections and with the city clerk if contributions or expenditures for the reporting period equal or exceed $10,000.

Among other changes, Ord. 0086-2016 expands financial disclosure requirements for public office holders and candidates, requiring a description of each gift or aggregate of gifts over $75 from certain sources.

All three ordinances go into effect September 28, 2016.

 

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February 12, 2016 •

Public Hearing Scheduled to Discuss Changes to Columbus, OH Ethics Laws

Columbus City Council President Zach Klein will hold a public hearing on proposed ethics legislation on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. The proposed changes enhance transparency and accountability for lobbyists, strengthen ethics disclosure laws, and amend campaign finance reporting requirements. Public […]

Columbus City HallColumbus City Council President Zach Klein will hold a public hearing on proposed ethics legislation on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. The proposed changes enhance transparency and accountability for lobbyists, strengthen ethics disclosure laws, and amend campaign finance reporting requirements.

Public testimony will be accepted. Comments will be limited to three minutes. Those wishing to comment must fill out a speaker slip at Columbus City Hall on the day of the hearing.

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October 12, 2015 •

Columbus Mayoral Candidate Proposes New Ethics Plan

Columbus mayoral candidate Andrew Ginther recently proposed a plan for new ethics rules for lobbyists and elected officials. His plan would amend the definition of lobbyist and expand lobbyist reporting requirements. Elected officials would be required to report all gifts […]

Columbus OH skylineColumbus mayoral candidate Andrew Ginther recently proposed a plan for new ethics rules for lobbyists and elected officials. His plan would amend the definition of lobbyist and expand lobbyist reporting requirements. Elected officials would be required to report all gifts received as well as participate in annual ethics training. The plan would also require additional disclosure in city campaign finance filings beyond the requirements already set by state law.

Ginther, president of Columbus City Council, faces Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott in the November election; Scott also has a plan for tightening restrictions on lobbyists and proposing gift rules.

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