March 21, 2018 •

Free White Paper on Assessing the Health of Your Government Relations Work

Have you assessed the health and overall risks in your company’s government affairs compliance program? Reputation is your company’s most valued asset. A strong compliance program will help your company remain qualified for future contract opportunities and will save your […]

Have you assessed the health and overall risks in your company’s government affairs compliance program?

Reputation is your company’s most valued asset.

A strong compliance program will help your company remain qualified for future contract opportunities and will save your brand reputation.

State and Federal Communications is here to help you. Our newest white paper “Corporate Compliance and Knowing the Score: Assessing the Health and Overall Risks in Your Company’s Government Affairs Compliance Program” will inform you on important elements and characteristics of an effective compliance program and tips to audit the effectiveness of your government affairs program.

This new white paper will provide you with the key information to keep in mind as you continue your government affairs program.

Click here to get this FREE white paper today – and ensure you and your team can say “I Comply!”

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 1, 2017 •

Let State and Federal Communications be your guide in 2018

It is not too early to start planning…Not for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve. I am talking about 2018 legislative sessions, primary elections, and the November 6th general election. The Research Department at State and Federal Communications has been […]

It is not too early to start planning…Not for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve. I am talking about 2018 legislative sessions, primary elections, and the November 6th general election.

The Research Department at State and Federal Communications has been busy, busy, busy updating our website with the important dates you need for 2018.

  • When will the states go into session? √
  • When are lobbying reports due? √
  • Will there be blackout periods in 2018? √
  • When will the primaries be held in the states? √
  • When are pre- and post-election reports due? √
  • Does every state have a general election in 2018? √

You just cannot go wrong when connected with the State and Federal Communications Community to know when your reports are due; elections are held; and when legislatures convene, adjourn, recess, and go into special session.

Access is easy for our subscribers. Sign onto StateandFed.com and input your login and password. The world is then at your fingers. If you need assistance with your access information, please call Megan Huber-Kovachik or Tony Didion at 330-761-9960 and they will provide the information.

You might not be able to tell by my desk, but my calendar is organized. Staying on top of these important compliance dates will help you manage your time in 2018.

This year is almost ending, which is hard to believe. Rest assured, State and Federal Communications is at your side for 2018.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

January 23, 2017 •

Joint Committee Formed to Improve Vermont’s Campaign Finance Rules

Attorney General TJ Donovan and Sec. of State Jim Condos announced the creation of a joint Committee on Campaign Finance Education, Compliance, and Reform. The committee’s goal is to encourage a greater level of knowledge to facilitate compliance and to […]

Vermont state sealAttorney General TJ Donovan and Sec. of State Jim Condos announced the creation of a joint Committee on Campaign Finance Education, Compliance, and Reform.

The committee’s goal is to encourage a greater level of knowledge to facilitate compliance and to seek out areas where Vermont’s current law could be improved. A series of public forums will be held to seek input from citizens of the state, including elected officials, PACs, and parties.

This input will assist the committee toward creating more robust campaign finance rules.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 12, 2017 •

The Guidebooks Are on Their Way!

We are sending out the 2017 Compliance Laws Guidebook for Government Relations Professionals ™ today! Our clients rave about this handy resource. Keep an eye out for this value-added benefit. If you would like to know more about the guidebook […]

We are sending out the 2017 Compliance Laws Guidebook for Government Relations Professionals ™ today! Our clients rave about this handy resource. Keep an eye out for this value-added benefit.

2017 Guidebooks collage

If you would like to know more about the guidebook and our online compliance publications, contact us at marketing@stateandfed.com.

 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 9, 2016 •

News You Can Use Digest – December 9, 2016

National: Gun Control Advocates Find a Deep-Pocketed Ally in Big Law New York Times – Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Ben Protess | Published: 12/7/2016 On the defensive, gun control advocates are now quietly developing a plan to chip away at the gun lobby’s growing […]

News-You-Can-Use-Logo

National:

Gun Control Advocates Find a Deep-Pocketed Ally in Big Law
New York Times – Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Ben Protess | Published: 12/7/2016

On the defensive, gun control advocates are now quietly developing a plan to chip away at the gun lobby’s growing clout: team up with corporate law firms. Together, the firms are committing tens of millions of dollars in free legal services from top corporate lawyers who typically bill clients $1,000 an hour or more. Although law firms often donate time to individual causes, and some firms have worked on gun control on a piecemeal basis, the number and the prominence of the firms involved in the new coalition are unheard-of for modern-day big law. Rather than fighting the political headwinds, the coalition is focusing on courts and state regulatory agencies, among the few places where they might still gain some traction.

Ontario Overhauls Campaign Finance Rules with Sweeping Reforms
Toronto Globe and Mail – Adrian Morrow | Published: 12/1/2016

Legislation that alters the political fundraising landscape in Ontario was approved recently. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2017. It will prohibit all provincial politicians, candidates, and senior political staff from attending fundraising events, ban corporations and unions from giving, and cap donations from individuals at $3,600 per political party annually, among other provisions. The reforms were introduced following revelations that corporate leaders and lobbyists seeking government contracts or favorable policy decisions had spent up to $10,000 to buy exclusive face-time with Premier Kathleen Wynne and members of her cabinet over cocktails and dinner.

Federal:

Business Since Birth: Trump’s children and the tangle that awaits
New York Times – Matt Flegenheimer, Rachel Abrams, Barry Meier, and Hiroko Tabuchi | Published: 12/4/2016

Since his election, Donald Trump has chafed at the suggestion that keeping his business in the family could create problems, despite several episodes during his transition that seemed to mix business and diplomacy. While he has insisted he faces no legal requirement to turn over the company, the Trump Organization said it is preparing an “immediate transfer of management” to Trump’s three eldest children, along with a team of executives. An examination of the professional histories of the three children shows how deeply the family, business, and politics are interwoven, raising doubts about how a meaningful wall can ever be erected between the president-elect and his heirs.

Justices Wrestle with Role of Race in Redistricting
New York Times – Adam Liptak | Published: 12/5/2016

Race and politics divided the U.S. Supreme Court along ideological lines in two cases that could affect the way state Legislatures draw election districts in the future. The court’s more liberal justices criticized maps drawn after the 2010 Census by Republican Legislatures in North Carolina and Virginia for focusing predominantly on the percentage of African Americans in various districts. The more conservative justices mostly defended the maps, either because race did not dictate the contours of the districts or because the motivator was political advantage, something the high court has not ruled against. Several justices expressed frustration that unless they define clearly what is allowed and what is not, they could be left with what Justice Stephen Breyer called “a set of standards that district courts can’t apply, which will try to separate sheep from goats.”

Trump Adviser Has Pushed Clinton Conspiracy Theories
Politico – Bryan Bender and Andrew Hanna | Published: 12/5/2016

Before the election, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who is Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser, tweeted a fake news story that claimed police and prosecutors had found evidence linking Hillary Clinton and much of her senior campaign staff to money laundering, perjury, and other felonies. Flynn’s tweet is attracting renewed attention after a man fired a rifle inside a Washington, D.C. restaurant that was the subject of false stories tying it and the Clinton campaign to a child sex trafficking ring. Some say Flynn’s fondness for spreading fake news casts doubt on his fitness to serve as national security adviser, suggesting he either cannot spot a blatant falsehood or is just ideologically bent to believe the worst of his perceived enemies.

Trump Sold All Shares in Companies in June, Spokesman Says
Washington Post – Drew Harwell and Rodsalind Helderman | Published: 12/6/2016

Donald Trump sold all his stock back in June, a transition team spokesperson said, showing the president-elect has begun to address concerns about complicated entanglements between his business and new government life. Questions about Trump’s stock holdings came back into view after he criticized the costs of Boeing to build a new Air Force One. Trump’s portfolio included shares in a number of banks, oil giants, and other companies with business pending before the U.S. government and whose value could rise due to Trump’s decisions in office. Those stock holdings, ethics advisers said, offered a potentially troublesome facet of Trump’s private finances that could entangle his public decision-making.

From the States and Municipalities:

Alabama
Ethics Commission Pulls Opinion Over Nonprofit Concerns
Montgomery Advertiser – Brian Lyman | Published: 12/7/2016

The Alabama Ethics Commission withdrew an opinion that said the state ethics law’s definition of a principal – an individual or organization that hires a lobbyist – included not only a firm that hired the lobbyist but anyone in the organization with authority, including executives, officers, and members of boards of directors. Lobbyists and principals cannot provide legislators with things of value. The jury that convicted former House Speaker Mike Hubbard on corruption charges accepted a broad definition of principal favored by prosecutors. That stirred unease in the business community and among nonprofits. Representatives of nonprofits who spoke at a recent commission hearing said many of their chief donors had cut off funds over concerns about the principal definition.

California
EBay Faces Fines from State Ethics Watchdog after Failing to Disclose Sacramento Lobbying on Time
Los Angeles Times – Patrick McGreevy | Published: 12/6/2016

The California Fair Political Practices Commission proposed a $6,500 fine for eBay after the company missed deadlines for filing lobbying spending reports and failed to properly disclose campaign contributions. The commission will vote on December 15 whether to approve the deal. EBay representatives told investigators the failure to file the reports on time was “inadvertent” and caused by a transfer of responsibility for filing during a “corporate transition.” The firm also was late in filing statements required of major donors that disclose their contributions.

Colorado
Amendment 71 Made It Harder to Get Initiatives on the Ballot – What Happens Now?
Denver Post – Brian Eason | Published: 12/5/2016

Anyone able to raise enough money and signatures can propose an amendment to the Colorado Constitution through a ballot initiative, sidestepping the legislative process. But Amendment 71, approved by voters November 8, made that harder to do, so much harder, critics say, that amending the constitution is no longer an option for all but the most well-funded organizations. Statutory ballot measures that fall short of amending the constitution are still on the table, but there are downsides to that approach too.

Florida
Corcoran Offers Lobbyist ‘Training’ to Adjust to New Legislative Limitations
Sunshine State News – Allison Nielson | Published: 12/1/2016

The Florida House passed a sweeping set of rule changes during its organization session, with several of those changes directly affecting lobbyists. To help lobbyists transition to the new guidelines, the House will be holding training sessions on December 13 and December 14 in Tallahassee. The lobbyist training will cover disclosure requirements for lobbyists, as well as other rules.

Massachusetts
Businesses Seek to Overturn Massachusetts Ban on Political Contributions
MassLive.com – Shira Schoenberg | Published: 12/7/2016

Under Massachusetts campaign finance law, businesses are not allowed to contribute to candidates. Individuals can donate up to $1,000 per year and unions can give up to $15,000. Republican lawmakers have tried, unsuccessfully, to bring the amount unions can donate down to $1,000. The law has typically benefited Democrats, who get the bulk of union campaign contributions. Attorneys for two businesses recently tried to convince a Superior Court judge to allow businesses to make the same political donations as labor unions.

Missouri
Lawsuit Seeks to Stop Campaign Contribution Limits Approved by Missouri Voters Last Month
St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Kurt Erickson | Published: 12/7/2016

A lawsuit filed in federal court challenges the voter-approved referendum that reinstated campaign contribution limits in Missouri. The same group that unsuccessfully sought to block the ballot measure before the November election argues the change in the state constitution unfairly limits some businesses and associations from giving money to campaigns. In particular, the change would stop the Association of Missouri Electrical Cooperatives from donating to campaigns and PACs, violating the free speech rights of its members, the lawsuit notes. The legal action comes one day before the new limits are set to take effect.

New York
Anthony Weiner Fined $65,000 for Campaign Finance Violations
New York Times – J. David Goodman | Published: 12/1/2016

The New York City Campaign Finance Board ordered Anthony Weiner’s campaign to repay more than $195,000 in public matching funds he received as part of his failed 2013 mayoral bid.  The board also ordered the campaign to pay a $64,956 fine for spending irregularities, including personal expenses not allowed under the current law.  The campaign committed multiple infractions, the board found, including accepting 21 contributions that exceeded the legal limit, accepting contributions in excess of the limit for donors who have business with the city, and failing to demonstrate how some expenses were made in furtherance of the campaign. New revelations of sexually explicit text messages and photographs, sent to women after he had left Congress, came to light and derailed Weiner’s bid for mayor.

North Carolina
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) Concedes Closely Contested Governor’s Race
Washington Post – Amber Phillips | Published: 12/5/2016

Ending an acrimonious stalemate that dragged on for nearly a month, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory conceded in his bid for re-election, clearing the way for the ascension of his challenger, Roy Cooper, and giving the national Democratic Party a rare cause for celebration. Cooper, the current state attorney general, declared victory on election night, but McCrory’s allies lodged election challenges in dozens of counties. Most of the challenges proved to be of little consequence, however. As partial results of a recount of more than 90,000 votes that Republicans had demanded in Durham County showed no significant change in the results, McCrory had little choice but to admit defeat.

Washington
EPA, Tribe: State commission not venue for complaint
The Olympian – Don Jenkins (Capital Press) | Published: 12/7/2016

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a Puget Sound tribe say the Washington Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) should step away from an investigation into whether the What’s Upstream advocacy campaign violated state law. The EPA said a federal audit will answer whether What’s Upstream organizers misspent public funds. The tribe said the PDC has no jurisdiction over how a tribe spends money. Save Family Farming alleges What’s Upstream lead organizer Larry Wasserman, the tribe’s environmental policy director, failed to register his group as a political committee or grassroots lobbying organization. The complaint also named EPA Northwest Administrator Dennis McLerran and Seattle lobbying firm Strategies 360.

Jim-SedorState and Federal Communications produces a weekly summary of national news, offering more than 60 articles per week focused on ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance.

Continue Reading - 12 min read Close

December 6, 2016 •

It is Going to Be a New Era in Compliance

One of the most important facets of any professional in the government relations field is knowing what you can, and cannot do, regarding Political Contributions, Lobbying, and Procurement Lobbying. Making a compliance mistake can be costly, in reputation, negative media […]

2017-brochureOne of the most important facets of any professional in the government relations field is knowing what you can, and cannot do, regarding Political Contributions, Lobbying, and Procurement Lobbying. Making a compliance mistake can be costly, in reputation, negative media exposure, and fines.

The laws and regulations in our field are continually changing. And due to the recent presidential and other elections, we expect many more changes to come in 2017.

We are ready for all of this at State and Federal Communications. We are ready to help you!

That is why we have re-branded our 2017 website guides as the Online Compliance Publications for Government Relations Professionals. These four online publications are:

  • Political Contributions Compliance Laws for Government Relations ProfessionalsTM
  • Lobbying Compliance Laws for Government Relations ProfessionalsTM
  • Procurement Lobbying Compliance Laws for Government Relations ProfessionalsTM
  • Canadian Compliance Laws for Government Relations ProfessionalsTM

Note the emphasis from each title, first on ‘what’ compliance area the online publication is intended to serve, and second on our focused audience, ‘Government Relations Professionals.’

These unique online publications are considered invaluable to government relations professionals. They make it easy to decipher and understand compliance regulations, and to accurately report activities to government entities as needed. They are optimized to easily use and search on any device – computer, laptop, tablet, or smart phone – and updated continually so government relations professionals can comply in a timely and accurate manner.

This is an annual subscription-based service, where you can purchase one, two, three, or four online publications, whatever you need, with special bundled pricing available. They provide accurate, comprehensive, and timely information on thousands of compliance rules, regulations, and statutes across the states, the U.S. federal government, more than 600 municipalities, and Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial governments.

In the weeks ahead, we will send our new 2017 brochure of services, so look for it in the mail. You can also read and download a PDF of the new brochure by visiting a special landing page on our website, at: marketing.stateandfed.com. Note, for 2017 we have updated subscription rates (first time in four years), so for subscribers looking to renew and capture 2016 pricing, consider making the payment by the end of this year.

For the many clients who have used our publications through the years, we thank you for your loyalty, and for the new clients that come onboard in 2017, we look forward to serving you.

There is no other company like State and Federal Communications.

Thank you.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz

President and CEO
@elizabethbartz

Continue Reading - 3 min read Close

October 27, 2016 •

5000 Posts and Going Strong

Lobby Comply is pleased to announce the celebration of our 5,000th blog post! We will continue to be your expert source, providing the latest news and analysis on campaign finance, lobbying, procurement, and ethics laws. Thank you to all of […]

5000-blog-posts

Lobby Comply is pleased to announce the celebration of our 5,000th blog post! We will continue to be your expert source, providing the latest news and analysis on campaign finance, lobbying, procurement, and ethics laws.

Thank you to all of our loyal readers!

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

October 14, 2016 •

Do You Have Questions about Pay-to-Play and the Procurement Process?

Most of us have an idea of what lobbying is, but as states expand the definitions of lobbying, more activities may now trigger registration and reporting requirements. And, as states tighten political contribution rules, more and more contractors may run […]

Most of us have an idea of what lobbying is, but as states expand the definitions of lobbying, more activities may now trigger registration and reporting requirements. And, as states tighten political contribution rules, more and more contractors may run into problems because of pay-to-play laws. But in order to comply with the rules, you need to know the rules.

Nola WerrenState and Federal Communications is taking part in two events over the next few weeks looking specifically at these issues. This fall our Compliance Client Specialist Nola Werren, Esq., will present “Compliance: Pay-to-Play and Procurement Lobbying Process” at events with the Public Affairs Council and WASRG, the Washington Area State Relations Group.

As an expert in the field, Nola will share her knowledge and experiences during a Public Affairs Council webinar and at the annual WASRG Symposium. Topics she will cover include the procurement process; lobbying requirements in the states, including best practices to ensure compliance; and pay-to-play laws. It is this area of pay-to-play, the nexus between making a contribution and the award of a contract, that can have far-reaching consequences for a business.

The Public Affairs Council’s webinar will be held on October 27th and is entitled “Compliance: State-Level Laws and Recent Trends.” The WASRG Annual Symposium begins at noon on November 2nd at Carmine’s at 425 7th Street NW in Washington, DC.

Make sure you keep checking in with State and Federal Communications, Inc. We are your #1 resource on government relations compliance.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

September 2, 2016 •

Most Trusted Online Publications on Government Relations Compliance

We had an amazing experience at the 2016 NCSL Legislative Summit. Our team offered immediate, up-to-date knowledge to clients throughout the week. You can benefit from the same expertise. We are always available to answer questions. Contact us today at […]

NCSL Group_lr

We had an amazing experience at the 2016 NCSL Legislative Summit. Our team offered immediate, up-to-date knowledge to clients throughout the week.

You can benefit from the same expertise. We are always available to answer questions. Contact us today at info@stateandfed.com.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

August 2, 2016 •

Jurisdiction Added to our Website

The number of municipalities and regional governments our research associates track continues to grow. We now cover almost 300 municipalities and local governments. This is part of a continuous effort to better serve the needs of our clients. In that […]

Map of Nassau CountyThe number of municipalities and regional governments our research associates track continues to grow. We now cover almost 300 municipalities and local governments. This is part of a continuous effort to better serve the needs of our clients.

In that effort, we have added abridged jurisdictions to our website. These entries, condensed due to the limited number of relevant local laws, provide the core information our clients need for their government relations work.

The new jurisdiction is: Nassau County, New York

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 7, 2016 •

Take a Look at Our User’s Guide to National Party Conventions!

State and Federal Communications, the industry expert in providing government compliance information and consulting to many Fortune 500 companies, has developed a new ‘User’s Guide to National Party Conventions’ to provide organizations and convention participants with comprehensive compliance advice and […]

User's Guide to National Party ConventionsState and Federal Communications, the industry expert in providing government compliance information and consulting to many Fortune 500 companies, has developed a new ‘User’s Guide to National Party Conventions’ to provide organizations and convention participants with comprehensive compliance advice and guidelines to navigate the national party conventions. The publication is being offered free to any interested person after registering their inquiry on the company’s website at http://www.stateandfed.com/conventions/

The firm’s staff of attorneys and researchers has expertise in state, federal, and municipal laws regarding lobbying, political contributions, and procurement lobbying. They have teamed together to prepare the new User’s Guide in advance of this year’s Republican National Convention being held in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena from July 18-21, 2016, and also the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center and Pennsylvania Convention Center from July 25-July 28, 2016.

Each convention operates to nominate a Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate for that party. These conventions are a gathering place for delegates and party members from across the United States, providing an excellent opportunity for organizations and individuals to interface and network with a wide range of public officials. Therefore, knowledge of the applicable federal, state, and local rules governing interactions and gift giving with both convention delegates and other public officials in attendance is of vital importance. The User’s Guide explains and details state-by-state jurisdiction permissibility of gifts to delegates and attendees who are public officials. It also informs readers of the different political leaders and attendees that will be at the conventions, including their roles, and the contribution rules that apply.

According to Ms. Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and CEO of State and Federal Communications, based in Akron, Ohio, “Producing the 2016 User’s Guide to National Party Conventions, and offering this free of charge, is our way to give back to the many people involved in our country’s great political system. We want to provide lobbying and compliance information from our vast resources to help everyone stay compliant at these conventions.”

This is the third edition of the State and Federal Communications User’s Guide to National Party Conventions. Previous issues were produced in 2012 and 2008.

Ms. Bartz adds, “We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to know and act correctly about what gifts can be given, to avoid potential ethics problems and unexpected fines at the conventions.”

For more information and to receive the free ‘User’s Guide to National Party Conventions’ please visit: http://www.stateandfed.com/conventions/

Continue Reading - 3 min read Close

March 1, 2016 •

Jurisdiction Added to our Website

The number of municipalities and regional governments our research associates track continues to grow. We now cover almost 300 municipalities and local governments. This is part of a continuous effort to better serve the needs of our clients. In that […]

Seal of Asheville, NCThe number of municipalities and regional governments our research associates track continues to grow. We now cover almost 300 municipalities and local governments. This is part of a continuous effort to better serve the needs of our clients.

In that effort, we have added abridged jurisdictions to our website. These entries, condensed due to the limited number of relevant local laws, provide the core information our clients need for their government relations work.

The new jurisdiction is: Asheville, North Carolina

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

February 22, 2016 •

State Lobbying Compliance Webinar a Success!

State and Federal Communications hosted the first of a series of free government relations compliance webinars for 2016. President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz and Amber Fish Linke, Director of Client and Product Operations, presented the widely attended “Lobbying Compliance at […]

State and Federal Communications hosted the first of a series of free government relations compliance webinars for 2016. President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz and Amber Fish Linke, Director of Client and Product Operations, presented the widely attended “Lobbying Compliance at the State Level” webinar on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. If you are interested in participating in our future webinars, contact us at training@stateandfed.com!

State Lobbying Compliance webinar

 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 22, 2016 •

Research Associate Position Available at State and Federal Communications

State and Federal Communications is hiring for the position of Research Associate. Reporting to the Research Manager, Research Associates use independent judgment and discretion to maintain and expand online publications in the areas of lobbying, campaign finance, and procurement law. […]

2015 Logo 22nd anniversaryState and Federal Communications is hiring for the position of Research Associate. Reporting to the Research Manager, Research Associates use independent judgment and discretion to maintain and expand online publications in the areas of lobbying, campaign finance, and procurement law. There are excellent opportunities for advancement to assist corporate clients with lobbying compliance in states and municipalities. A clear understanding of the importance of deadlines and absolute accuracy are required. This is a great opportunity to join a distinctive organization offering professional growth opportunities. Applicants must possess a JD academic degree and have exceptional written and verbal communication skills.

State and Federal Communications offers a competitive salary and benefit package including company-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401(k), short and long-term disability insurance, life insurance, FSA plan, a generous annual PTO benefit, company-paid parking, and professional development. To be considered, email cover letter, resume, references, and salary requirements to hr@stateandfed.com.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close