May 23, 2019 •

D.C. Mayor Signs Fair Elections Emergency Amendment Act of 2019

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser - by AFGE [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Fair Elections Emergency Amendment Act of 2019 on May 22. The act amends the definition of a qualified small-dollar contribution to set a minimum value of cash or in-kind contributions at $5. The act became […]

Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Fair Elections Emergency Amendment Act of 2019 on May 22.

The act amends the definition of a qualified small-dollar contribution to set a minimum value of cash or in-kind contributions at $5.

The act became effective following the approval by Mayor Bowser and will remain in effect until August 20.

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March 12, 2019 •

Major Campaign Finance Reform Becomes Effective

District of Columbia Act 22-578 passed Congressional review and is now effective. The Campaign Finance Reform Amendment Act of 2018 removes the Office of Campaign Finance from the Board of Elections and establishes an independent five-member Campaign Finance Board (CFB). […]

District of Columbia Act 22-578 passed Congressional review and is now effective.

The Campaign Finance Reform Amendment Act of 2018 removes the Office of Campaign Finance from the Board of Elections and establishes an independent five-member Campaign Finance Board (CFB).

The Act restricts political contributions by contractors doing business with the district and addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees, and independent expenditure committees.

The pay-to-play component of the bill bans campaign contributions by businesses seeking contracts of $250,000 or more.

The pay-to-play provisions take effect after the November 2020 general election.

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December 5, 2018 •

D.C. Campaign Finance Bill Passes Second Vote

The D.C. Council unanimously approved a bill in a second full council vote that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district. The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees and independent […]

The D.C. Council unanimously approved a bill in a second full council vote that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district.

The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees and independent expenditure committees.

The pay-to-play component of the bill would ban campaign contributions by businesses seeking contracts of $250,000 or more.

Provided the mayor approves the legislation, the act of the council travels to Congress for a 30-day review. If approved and funded, the bill would take effect on October 1, 2019.

Pay-to-play provisions would take effect after the November 2020 general election.

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November 26, 2018 •

D.C. Council Approves Pay-to-Play Reforms

The Washington D.C. Council approved a bill in a first full council vote that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district. The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees and independent […]

The Washington D.C. Council approved a bill in a first full council vote that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district.

The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees and independent expenditure committees.

The pay-to- play component of the bill would ban campaign contributions by businesses seeking contracts of $250,000 or more.

The council votes again on the bill in December. If approved and funded, the bill would take effect on October 1, 2019.

Pay-to-play provisions would take effect after the November 2020 general election.

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November 16, 2018 •

The District of Columbia Adjusts Procurement and Lobbying Requirements

Act A22-0442, which included the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Amendment Act of 2018, passed congressional review. The Act expands the scope of procurement lobbying in the District of Columbia to include action by an executive agency or official […]

Act A22-0442, which included the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Amendment Act of 2018, passed congressional review.

The Act expands the scope of procurement lobbying in the District of Columbia to include action by an executive agency or official in the executive branch to contract, grant or procure goods or services.

The lobbyist reporting periods change from semi-annual to quarterly reporting in January 2019.

Additional registration requirements were added including the precise description of the subject matter, including any bill, proposed resolution, contract, or other legislation of all writing or oral communications related to lobbying activities conducted with an executive or legislative member or official’s staff.

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October 30, 2018 •

Washington D.C. Campaign Finance Reform Addresses Pay-to-Play

The Washington D.C. Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety unanimously passed a bill that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district. The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees […]

The Washington D.C. Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety unanimously passed a bill that aims to restrict political contributions by government contractors doing business with the district.

The bill also addresses improper coordination between campaigns, political action committees and independent expenditure committees.

The pay-to-play component of the bill would ban campaign contributions by businesses seeking contracts of $250,000 or more.

If passed by the full council, the bill is subject to appropriation and, if funded, would take effect on October 1, 2019.

Pay-to-play provisions would take effect after the November 2020 general election.

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March 14, 2018 •

Washington D.C. Mayor Signs Bill Creating Publicly Financed Elections

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser signed the Fair Elections Act creating publicly financed elections. In this voluntary program, qualified candidates for mayor, attorney general, Council, or the State Board of Education must raise a certain amount of money from small-dollar […]

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser signed the Fair Elections Act creating publicly financed elections.

In this voluntary program, qualified candidates for mayor, attorney general, Council, or the State Board of Education must raise a certain amount of money from small-dollar donors.

The city would then provide start-up support and a 5:1 match on the small dollar-contributions.

Before receiving any public money, candidates would also have to accept lower contribution limits and reject all corporate and political action committee contributions.

The law is expected to take effect in 2020.

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January 10, 2018 •

D.C. Council Moves Forward with Public Campaign Finance Program

In the first of two required votes, Washington D.C. City Council voted unanimously in favor of the Fair Elections Act of 2017. The legislation would create a voluntary public campaign finance program for local elections. Under the program, qualified candidates […]

In the first of two required votes, Washington D.C. City Council voted unanimously in favor of the Fair Elections Act of 2017. The legislation would create a voluntary public campaign finance program for local elections.

Under the program, qualified candidates would receive a base sum that varies by office, as well as a 5-to-1 match on small donations. If passed, the program would not be in place until 2020.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has previously stated she would not fund the program; however, City Council can allocate money to pay for the program, according to the bill’s author, D.C. Council member David Grosso.

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January 8, 2018 •

Washington D.C. Council Considering New Campaign Finance Rules

Washington D.C. City Council is reviewing four bills that would impose new regulations and restrictions on political contributions. Three bills under review would add various pay-to-play provisions. A fourth, which will be voted on by City Council on January 9, […]

Washington D.C. City Council is reviewing four bills that would impose new regulations and restrictions on political contributions.

Three bills under review would add various pay-to-play provisions. A fourth, which will be voted on by City Council on January 9, would institute public campaign financing for local elections.

The legislation, however, is not without its opponents.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced she would not fund a public financing program. The public finance program, if passed by the Council, would not be in place until 2020.

Council Member David Grosso said if Bowser does not choose to fund the bill in her budget, the council can allocate money for the program.

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January 11, 2017 •

Bills Aim to Reduce Pay-To-Play Politics in D.C.

On Tuesday, January 10, the D.C. Council introduced several bills aimed at limiting big donors’ influence and increasing transparency in campaign fundraising. Citizens have accused Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, a Democrat, of participating in pay-to-play politics. One of the bills […]

Wilson Building

On Tuesday, January 10, the D.C. Council introduced several bills aimed at limiting big donors’ influence and increasing transparency in campaign fundraising. Citizens have accused Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, a Democrat, of participating in pay-to-play politics.

One of the bills introduced would block contractors from city business for two years following a political contribution to a candidate or political committee.

Bill 22-0038 would increase the number of lobbying reports by requiring monthly filings. Currently, reports are due twice a year.

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November 14, 2016 •

DC Voters Approve Statehood Measure

Voters in the District of Columbia passed a measure in favor of petitioning Congress to become a state in the union. The newly approved measure seeks to have the District admitted to the Union as the State of New Columbia. […]

District of ColumbiaVoters in the District of Columbia passed a measure in favor of petitioning Congress to become a state in the union. The newly approved measure seeks to have the District admitted to the Union as the State of New Columbia.

The measure also approves a constitution to be adopted by the Council, state boundaries, and the guarantee of an elected representative form of government.

The petition now goes to Congress, which has the power to permit or deny it.

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August 25, 2016 •

D.C. Procurement Bill Moves Closer to Becoming Law

On August 18,  District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser returned an unsigned bill to reform the District’s procurement processes signaling that it can become effective without her signature. On August 24, the legislation was sent to Congress for the 30-day […]

District of ColumbiaOn August 18,  District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser returned an unsigned bill to reform the District’s procurement processes signaling that it can become effective without her signature. On August 24, the legislation was sent to Congress for the 30-day congressional review period needed for enactment. The bill will make procedural changes and establish the Office of the Ombudsman for Contracting and Procurement.

As introduced, the bill had a pay-to-play provision that banned campaign contributors from bidding on contracts over $100,000 for a year after making a donation to a District candidate. The pay-to-play provision was defeated in a council vote and is not part of the final bill.

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August 2, 2016 •

Preliminary Injunction Order to be Issued Concerning Unauthorized Committee Naming

Today, a federal court ruled an unconnected committee should be allowed to use candidates’ names in the titles of their websites and social media pages while the case is being resolved. In Pursuing America’s Greatness v. FEC, the United States […]

District_of_Columbia_Court_of_Appeals_Seal.svgToday, a federal court ruled an unconnected committee should be allowed to use candidates’ names in the titles of their websites and social media pages while the case is being resolved.

In Pursuing America’s Greatness v. FEC, the United States Court of Appeals for The District of Columbia Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction and remanded the case for the district court to enter a preliminary injunction enjoining the Federal Election Commission (FEC) from enforcing the application of 11 C.F.R. § 102.14(a) against the plaintiff pending the outcome of the case.

Federal law requires a candidate’s committee to include the name of the candidate in the committee’s title and requires an unauthorized political committee to not use a candidate’s name in its title. The purpose of the law is to avoid confusion. Through regulation, the FEC has extended the naming prohibition to other committee activities, solicitations, and communications, including special project names for websites or social media pages.

The court found there is a substantial likelihood the regulation violates the First Amendment and the plaintiff will prevail in the lawsuit because the FEC has not shown the regulation is the least restrictive means of achieving the government’s interest.

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June 29, 2016 •

D.C. Council Addresses Procurement Reforms

The D.C. Council has preliminarily approved a bill that will bring more transparency and accountability to the government procurement process. Among other structural and procedural reforms, the measure establishes the Office of the Ombudsman for Contracting and Procurement. The bill […]

Seal of the District of ColumbiaThe D.C. Council has preliminarily approved a bill that will bring more transparency and accountability to the government procurement process. Among other structural and procedural reforms, the measure establishes the Office of the Ombudsman for Contracting and Procurement.

The bill will need approval at a second reading before it is sent to the Mayor. A stricter reform measure that included a one year pay-to-play restriction failed to pass.

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