July 15, 2019 • Written by Timothy Kilcullen
State utility regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission approved a new code of ethics. The new code prohibits commissioners from ruling on issues involving interested parties that have given them direct campaign donations. Only commissioners that publicly finance their campaigns […]
State utility regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission approved a new code of ethics.
The new code prohibits commissioners from ruling on issues involving interested parties that have given them direct campaign donations.
Only commissioners that publicly finance their campaigns may make rulings on issues regarding interested parties with employees or owners that gave them personal donations.
July 15, 2019 • Written by Jim Sedor
Campaign Finance Arizona: “Utility Panel OKs New Limits on Campaign Contributions to Commission Candidates” by Howard Fischer (Capitol News Services) for Arizona Daily Star California: “California Lawmakers Consider New Rules for Political Ads” by Andrew Oxford for AP News Washington: […]
Arizona: “Utility Panel OKs New Limits on Campaign Contributions to Commission Candidates” by Howard Fischer (Capitol News Services) for Arizona Daily Star
California: “California Lawmakers Consider New Rules for Political Ads” by Andrew Oxford for AP News
Washington: “In Win for Public Campaign Financing, State Supreme Court Upholds Seattle’s Unique ‘Democracy Vouchers’” by Daniel Beekman (Seattle Times) for Governing
National: “To Unlock the Youth Vote in 2020, Democrats Wage Legal Fights Against GOP-Backed Voting Restrictions” by Amy Gardner (Washington Post) for Northwest Herald
National: “Trump Tells Freshman Congresswomen to ‘Go Back’ to the Countries They Came From” by Katie Rogers and Nicholas Fandos (New York Times) for MSN
National: “Alex Acosta Resigns as Labor Secretary Amid Intense Scrutiny of His Handling of Jeffrey Epstein Case” by David Nakamura, John Wagner, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post) for MSN
National: “Trump Says He Will Seek Citizenship Information from Existing Federal Records, Not the Census” by Katie Rogers, Adam Liptak, Michael Crowley, and Michael Wines (New York Times) for MSN
West Virginia: “A Resolution Condemning Pipeline Challengers Passed Easily. A Pipeline Lobbyist Wrote It.” by Kate Mishkin (Charleston Gazette-Mail) for ProPublica
July 12, 2019 • Written by Jim Sedor
National/Federal 2020 Democrats Vow to Get Tough on Lobbyists The Hill – Alex Gangitano | Published: 7/7/2019 Democratic presidential hopefuls are taking aim at the lobbying world, vowing to enact sweeping reform proposals if they win election. Contenders from both parties […]
2020 Democrats Vow to Get Tough on Lobbyists
The Hill – Alex Gangitano | Published: 7/7/2019
Democratic presidential hopefuls are taking aim at the lobbying world, vowing to enact sweeping reform proposals if they win election. Contenders from both parties have long run as outsiders to K Street, with President Trump famously vowing on the campaign trail to “drain the swamp.” But the spotlight on K Street has intensified this cycle, with the left urging candidates to reject corporate money and Democratic lawmakers raising concerns about the “revolving door” that sees lobbyists land top administration posts. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bennet have called for a strict lifetime ban on lawmakers lobbying. Those candidates in the U.S. House are touting tough restrictions on lobbyists they helped pass this year as part of a sweeping ethics bill.
AP: Federal grand jury probing GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy
AP News – Jim Mustian and Desmond Butler | Published: 7/8/2019
A federal grand jury in New York is investigating top Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy, examining whether he used his position as vice chairperson of President Trump’s inaugural committee to drum up business deals with foreign leaders. Prosecutors appear to be investigating whether Broidy exploited his access to Trump for personal gain and violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for U.S. citizens to offer foreign officials “anything of value” to gain a business advantage. Things of value in this case could have been an invitation to the January 2017 inaugural events or access to Trump.
Appeals Court Tosses Emoluments Suit Against Trump
Politico – Josh Gerstein | Published: 7/10/2019
A federal appeals court panel dismissed a lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution by continuing to do business with foreign and state governments while serving as president. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia, who joined together to file the suit, lacked legal standing to object to his alleged violations of the Constitution’s clauses prohibiting receipt of so-called emoluments while in office. Writing for the court, Judge Paul Niemeyer concluded the case turned on unduly speculative claims that the District of Columbia and Maryland governments were being harmed by people favoring Trump’s Washington hotel in order to curry favor with him.
Democrats Grapple with a Sprawling Primary Field, and No One to Shape It
MSN – Reid Epstein (New York Times) | Published: 7/4/2019
Many strategists say the Democratic Party’s slate of 24 presidential candidates is too unwieldy for a constructive debate, and too large for most voters to follow. With a leadership vacuum at the top of the party, there is no one to elevate candidates with an endorsement, or help steer third-tier candidates out of the race when they have reached their plausible expiration date. Former President Obama is sitting out the primary. The Clintons, a once-dominant party presence, are largely unwelcome this time around. Of the party’s living former presidential nominees, just Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis have weighed in on the race. The rest are keeping their distance from the messy primary, which polling shows has bifurcated between a top tier of five candidates and everyone else vying just to qualify for the party’s fall debates.
Elizabeth Warren Shuns Conventional Wisdom for a New Kind of Campaign
Politico – Alex Thompson | Published: 7/9/2019
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is defying the traditional playbook for running a modern presidential campaign. She raised $19.1 million in the second quarter of this year despite swearing off large fundraising events. Her campaign has gone without an outside polling firm, and says it has no plans to hire one, even though it is standard operating procedure. The campaign is shunning the typical model for producing campaign ads, in which outside firms are hired and paid commissions for their work. Instead, Warren’s campaign is producing TV, digital, and media content itself, as well as placing its digital ad buys internally. The approach is a rebuke of the consultant-heavy model of campaigns. Warren and her team see the standard campaign as another symbol of Washington corruption, and an opportunity to do things differently.
Eric Swalwell Ends White House Bid, Citing Low Polling, Fundraising
Politico – Carla Marinucci and Jeremy White | Published: 7/8/2019
U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, dogged by fundraising challenges and a failure to register in the polls, is ending his longshot bid for the presidency. He had called on Democratic front-runner Joe Biden to “pass the torch” of party leadership to a new generation in the first Democratic presidential debates. But Swalwell later called a press conference to announce that instead of continuing in the primaries, he will instead seek a fifth term representing his strongly Democratic district in Congress. Consultant Garry South said Swalwell’s attempts at generational appeal “could have had traction, but he was pre-empted by someone a year younger, Pete Buttigieg. He didn’t have that lane to himself.”
FBI Arrests Former Top Puerto Rico Officials in Government Corruption Scandal
National Public Radio – Bobby Allyn | Published: 7/11/2019
U.S. authorities unsealed a corruption indictment against two former top officials in Puerto Rico for directing some $15.5 million in contracts to favored businesses, allegedly edging out other firms for the lucrative government work despite allegations of being unqualified. The two former Puerto Rico leaders – Julia Keleher, who was the secretary of the island’s department of education before stepping down in April, and Ángela Ávila-Marrero, who led Puerto Rico’s Health Insurance Administration until June – were arrested by FBI agents. Prosecutors wrote in the indictment that the conspiracy involved the two former public officials handing four associates who had an inside track to contracts.
Female Tech Lobbyists Shake Up Industry
The Hill – Alex Gangitano | Published: 7/9/2019
Male-dominated Silicon Valley has long faced criticism over gender diversity issues, but in Washington, D.C., the tech industry’s most prominent groups are increasingly led by women. For women in the industry, those changes are a promising trend and long overdue, and come at a critical time for tech businesses. Shirley Bloomfield, chief executive officer of The Rural Broadband Association (NTCA), first started as a lobbyist at NTCA 30 years ago, when she said it was a “barren wasteland for women in the tech industry.” She left after 20 years for stints at Qwest and Verizon, before returning as chief executive nine years ago. Bloomfield says there is more to be done to improve representation.
GOP at War Over Fundraising
Politico – Alex Isenstadt | Published: 7/10/2019
Tensions over the future of the Republican Party’s grassroots fundraising are reaching a breaking point, with the national party turning to strong-arm tactics to get Republicans behind its new, Donald Trump-endorsed platform for small donors. The Republican National Committee (RNC) is threatening to withhold support from party candidates who refuse to use WinRed, the GOP’s newly established online fundraising tool. And the RNC, along with the party’s Senate and gubernatorial campaign arms, are threatening legal action against a rival donation vehicle. The moves illustrate how Republican leaders are waging a determined campaign to make WinRed the sole provider of its small donor infrastructure and to torpedo any competitors.
In the Aftermath of Khashoggi’s Murder, Saudi Influence Machine Whirs on in Washington
Stamford Advocate – Beth Reinhard, Jonathan O’Connell, and Tom Hamburger (Washington Post) | Published: 7/10/2019
Since fall 2018, Washington, D.C. lobbyists and lawyers have reaped millions of dollars for assisting Saudi Arabia as it works to develop nuclear power, buy American-made weapons, and prolong U.S. assistance to the Saudi-led coalition waging war in Yemen, foreign lobbying records show. Shaped by a sophisticated machine that was built over decades, Saudi support on Capitol Hill has been tested in recent months amid international outrage over the kingdom’s involvement in journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death and a war in Yemen that has killed tens of thousands of civilians. In recent months, some Republicans have joined Democrats in trying to limit U.S. military aid and weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. But with billions of dollars at stake, the powerful defense industry has helped the lobbying corps contain GOP defections.
‘It Can’t Be Worse’: How Republican women are trying to rebuild
New York Times – Maggie Astor | Published: 7/9/2019
As their own election losses poured in, Republicans watched Democratic women make historic gains in 2018 and decided to adopt the Democrats’ strategy for themselves. Those attending the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University said saving Republican women from political extinction was a challenge far bigger than one election cycle. This is because the deeper problem is that Democratic women have a bench; Republican women do not. Part of the trouble is demographic. There are just more Democratic than Republican women among registered voters, and President Trump, who is less popular among women than among men, has not helped. Republicans also lag strategically in several areas: in recruiting female candidates, training them, funding them, and helping them through primaries.
Judge Blocks Trump Rule Requiring Drug Companies to List Prices in TV Ads
New York Times – Katie Thomas and Katie Rogers | Published: 7/8/2019
A federal judge ruled the Trump administration cannot force pharmaceutical companies to disclose the list price of their drugs in television ads, dealing a blow to one of the president’s most visible efforts to pressure drug companies to lower their prices. U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled the Department of Health and Human Services exceeded its regulatory authority by seeking to require all drug makers to include in their television commercials the list price of any drug that costs more than $35 a month.
Rep. Duncan Hunter’s ‘Deep State’ Defense Falls Apart
Roll Call – Emily Kopp | Published: 7/8/2019
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter’s bid to dismiss the corruption charges against him by alleging a “deep state” conspiracy by U.S. attorneys fell apart when it was revealed that Hunter’s lead attorney had attended the same Democratic fundraiser that he said biased prosecutors. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Whelan ruled against a motion filed by Hunter’s team, arguing the case should be relocated or dismissed because two of the prosecutors attended a 2015 fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, who was running for president. Their attendance, Hunter’s lawyers said, meant they would be biased in the case against Hunter, an early supporter of Donald Trump. The Justice Department revealed that the lead attorney for Hunter’s defense, Gregory Vega, was also present, and even donated to her campaign.
Steve Bullock Hates ‘Dark Money.’ But a Lobbyist for ‘Dark Money’ Donors Is Helping His Campaign.
Center for Public Integrity – Laura Zornosa | Published: 7/8/2019
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is staking his presidential campaign on battling “dark money.” But in August, Bullock is scheduled to visit Washington, D.C., for a closed-door campaign fundraiser co-hosted by 11 of the capital’s, including a federally registered lobbyist whose clients have contributed corporate cash to groups that do not disclose their donors, according to an invitation. Jay Driscoll, a Bullock friend and managing partner at lobbying firm Forbes-Tate, lobbied for 37 corporate clients during the first quarter of 2019 alone. The Center for Public Integrity in 2014 found nine of Driscoll’s current corporate lobbying clients had contributed to politically active nonprofit groups that do not voluntarily disclose their donors.
Study: Firm governance key as shareholders assess risk of political activity
Phys.org; Staff – | Published: 7/9/2019
It is the structure of a firm’s governance that may cause shareholders to walk away if they think they cannot hold the company accountable for its political activity, according to a new study. The research provides empirical evidence to inform the debate surrounding whether companies should be required to disclose details of their investments in political activities as a means of increasing accountability to both shareholders and the public. “The study clearly presents the various ways that U.S. companies can influence the political process via campaign finance and what risk it presents to the average investor because of the lack of transparency over the amounts spent,” said the study’s co-author, Hollis Skaife, an accounting professor at the University of California.
Trump Campaign Knew Consultant Was Behind Joe Biden Parody Site. Does That Make It a Campaign Finance Violation
Newsweek – Asher Stockler | Published: 7/9/2019
Multiple members of President Trump’s re-election campaign knew one of their colleagues was the creator of the Joe Biden parody site before his identity was disclosed recently, a campaign source familiar with the matter said. The New York Times revealed Trump campaign consultant Patrick Mauldin as the digital guru behind JoeBiden.info, a website “parody” of the Biden campaign that was designed to highlight unfavorable quotes and gaffes from the former vice president. While his campaign activities and his extracurricular activities appear to be separate functions, Mauldin’s dual status as a bona fide campaign worker and off-duty web guru raises the question of potential campaign finance violations.
Trump Can’t Block Critics from His Twitter Account, Appeals Court Rules
MSN – Charlie Savage (New York Times) | Published: 7/9/2019
President Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter, a federal appeals court ruled in a case that could affect officials’ communications with the public on social media. Because Trump uses Twitter to conduct government business, he cannot exclude some Americans from reading his posts, and engaging in conversations in the replies to them, because he does not like their views, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled unanimously. The ruling was one of the highest-profile court decisions yet in a growing constellation of cases addressing what the First Amendment means in a time when political expression increasingly takes place online.
Warren and Whitehouse call for investigation into Chamber of Commerce
The Hill – Alex Gangitano | Published: 7/10/2019
U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse are calling for an investigation into whether the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is properly disclosing lobbying activities. The senators wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House, where entities file lobbying disclosures, asking for a review of the Chamber’s reports to determine if they are in compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). The senators reviewed the Chamber’s disclosures from 2008 through the first quarter of 2019 and claim that since the second quarter of 2016, the Chamber has failed to provide information on its affiliated organizations. The LDA requires a coalition or association disclose entities that contribute at least $5,000 a quarter to its lobbying activities and that actively participate in its lobbying activities.
White House Kills Key Drug Pricing Rule to Eliminate Hidden Rebates
Washington Post – Yasmeen Abutaleb | Published: 7/11/2019
The Trump administration pulled one of its key proposals to lower drug prices that would have eliminated rebates to middlemen in Medicare, which President Trump’s top health official had touted as one of the most significant changes to curb medicine costs for consumers. The rule is the second major drug pricing effort to get blocked recently, complicating the administration’s efforts to make lowering prescription medicine costs a key 2020 presidential campaign issue. Drug makers had favored the rule, but it was strongly opposed by pharmacy benefits managers.
Why the Trump White House Is Caught Up in the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal
MSN – Vivian Wang (New York Times) | Published: 7/7/2019
By the time Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire financier and felon, was arrested recently and charged with sex trafficking, he had been repeatedly accused of pedophilia and sexual abuse for more than a decade. But Epstein, whose acquaintances include two presidents and multiple celebrities, had until then avoided federal prosecution. The case could shed new light not only on the allegations, which span years and countries, but also on the extent to which officials who have been linked to Epstein – including, most notably, President Trump and his labor secretary, Alexander Acosta — knew about or downplayed them.
From the States and Municipalities
California – California Bill Limits Spending by Local Government Groups
AP News – Kathleen Ronayne | Published: 7/9/2019
A California lawmaker wants to limit how local government associations can spend taxpayer money after two city councilors got into a brawl at a recent seminar put on by one of the groups. Assemblyperson Cristina Garcia’s bill targets groups that lobby on behalf of and hold education events for local governments. It specifically references the California Contract Cities Association, but it would also apply to groups such as the League of California Cities and the Independent Cities Association. The bill would prohibit them from using dues collected from cities for anything other than lobbying or expenses directly related to educational seminars. The groups would have to disclose how they spend their money.
Florida – Florida, the Sunshine State, Is Slow to Adopt Rooftop Solar Power
New York Times – Ivan Penn | Published: 7/7/2019
Florida calls itself the Sunshine State. But when it comes to the use of solar power, it trails 19 states, including not-so-sunny Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maryland. Solar experts and environmentalists blame the state’s utilities. The utilities have hindered potential rivals seeking to offer residential solar power. They have spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbying, ad campaigns, and political contributions. And when homeowners purchase solar equipment, the utilities have delayed connecting the systems for months. In Florida, utilities make money on virtually all aspects of the electricity system – producing the power, transmitting it, selling it, and delivering it. Critics say the companies have much at stake in preserving that control.
Georgia – ‘Drag This Out as Long as Possible’: Former official faces rare criminal charges under open-records law
New York Times – Richard Fausset | Published: 7/8/2019
When he was mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed’s relationship with the news media was notoriously contentious. At one news conference, Reed responded to reporters’ requests for records by simultaneously releasing more than 1.4 million pages of documents on paper, stuffed into more than 400 boxes, some of them filled with blank sheets and minuscule spreadsheet printouts – a gesture interpreted by many in the local press corps as an act of nose-thumbing. His former press secretary, Jenna Garland, is now facing criminal charges for allegedly failing to comply with Georgia’s open records law. It is a rare predicament for an American government official, and the allegations will do little to allay investigative reporters’ worst suspicions about the spirit with which bureaucrats receive their nagging, but legal, records requests.
Massachusetts – New Disclosure System Creating Headaches for Lobbyists
Taunton Gazette – Matt Murphy (State House News Service) | Published: 7/11/2019
Multiple lobbyists said that over the course of the past week they have tried to input their data to comply with Massachusetts’ disclosure law – including bills that they are lobbying on, expenditures for clients, and campaign contributions – only to be unable to save their work, have the system crash, or see their data erased. Penalties for late filings start at $50 a day for the first week and grow to $100 after July 20. While a larger firm may be able to absorb some fines, one person who works in the industry said they have seen the bills mount for smaller clients, including non-profits, who are less familiar with their responsibilities to report.
Mississippi – Mississippi Politician Blocks Female Reporter from Campaign Trip
MSN – Karen Zraik (New York Times) | Published: 7/10/2019
State Rep. Robert Foster, who is running for governor of Mississippi, blocked a female reporter from shadowing him on a campaign trip “to avoid any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise” his marriage. Larrison Campbell of Mississippi Today said Foster’s campaign manager, Colton Robison, told her a male colleague would need to accompany her on a 15-hour campaign trip around the state. In blocking the reporter, Foster invoked the “Billy Graham rule,” which refers to the Christian evangelist’s refusal to spend time alone with any woman who was not his wife. The practice has drawn renewed attention in recent years, especially after the resurfacing of a 2002 comment by Vice President Mike Pence that he would not eat alone with any woman other than his wife.
Missouri – ‘Dream for Fans of Corruption’: Greitens Confide ruling vexes transparency advocates
Kansas City Star – Jason Hancock | Published: 7/9/2019
A Cole County judge ruled former Gov. Eric Greitens did not violate Missouri’s Sunshine Law when he and his government staff used a self-destructing text message app called Confide. Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem said because the text messages were automatically deleted, it meant they were never officially retained, and therefore were not covered by the law. There is no right for a private citizen to sue under the state’s record retention law, the judge said, so the lawsuit against the governor’s office that was filed in late 2017 could not move forward. “[Beetem’s decision] blows a giant hole in the Sunshine Law, and invites further deliberate, automatic destruction of records by public officials,” said Daxton Stewart, a journalism professor at Texas Christian University.
New York – Cuomo Signs a Bill to Allow Release of Trump’s State Tax Returns
New York Times – Jesse McKinley | Published: 7/8/2019
As the battle over President Trump’s federal taxes intensifies in Washington, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to allow congressional committees to access the president’s state tax returns. The bill requires state tax officials to release the president’s state returns for any “specified and legitimate legislative purpose” on the request of the chairperson of one of three congressional committees. It is effective immediately, though it is unclear whether it would be challenged by the administration or used by the congressional committees. Still, the state tax documents from New York, the president’s home state and business headquarters, would likely contain much of the same information as the contested federal returns, tax experts say.
New York – Legendary ‘Three Stooges’ Were Briefly NY Campaign Donors
Albany Times Union – Chris Bragg | Published: 7/10/2019
Last year, a campaign account controlled by Nick Langworthy, the new chairperson of the New York State Republican Party, received nearly $13,000 in donations from “Moe Howard” and “Larry Howard,” and also made a $150 payment to “Curly Howard,” according to campaign finance records. A state GOP spokesperson said the Three Stooges’ listing in the campaign filings resulted from errors by the committee’s campaign treasurer, who had put the names in as “placeholders” for real, living peoples’ donations made through PayPal. The Stooges’ names were then accidentally left in place when reports were filed with the state Board of Elections.
North Dakota – North Dakota House Energy Committee Chairman Says Business Relationship with Lobbyist Unrelated to Legislative Work
Grand Forks Herald – John Hageman | Published: 7/8/2019
The chairperson of the North Dakota House’s energy committee defended a business relationship with the state’s top oil and gas lobbyist. Rep. Todd Porter and North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness are both listed in state records as partners in a commercial real estate investment group. Porter said the relationship does not affect his decision-making at the Capitol because the oil industry is unrelated to the property partnership, which he said includes 42 partners. He said he and Ness were friends “long before” he joined the Legislature in 1999.
Oklahoma – Stitt Outlaws State Agency Lobbyist Hiring with Executive Order
Tulsa World – Keaton Ross (The Oklahoman) | Published: 7/6/2019
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order that bars state agencies from hiring outside lobbyists as long as he remains in office. Stitt first addressed lobbying in state government in January, when he filed an executive order requiring all state agencies to submit a list of every lobbyist they hired and the terms of their contract. This order also prohibited agencies from entering into, or renewing, any contract with a lobbyist through the duration of Fiscal Year 2019. A total of 35 state agencies hired lobbyists last fiscal year. Some paid local public relations firms, while others consulted with individuals.
Oregon – Political Theater Overshadows Policy; Some Fear Oregon’s Drift Toward D.C. Politics
Salem Statesman-Journal – Connor Radnovich | Published: 7/3/2019
Bookended by concerns about safety in the Oregon Capitol and packed in the middle with partisan squabbling that exploded into a pair of Senate Republican walkouts, 2019 was one of the most contentious sessions in recent history. There is concern among legislative leaders it could get worse. Senate President Peter Courtney said lawmakers across the country are starting to mimic the “legislative anarchy” he sees in Congress, and without a functioning legislative branch, he fears over-powered executives. In February, the Legislature agreed to pay more than $1 million in damages after an investigation by the Bureau of Labor and Industries determined legislative leadership created a hostile workplace by allowing sexual harassment to continue unabated for years against lawmakers, interns, staff, and lobbyists.
July 11, 2019 • Written by Carlo Aguja
On July 11, the New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics launched the ability to file client semi-annual reports and source of funding information through the online Lobbying Application for the 2019-2020 reporting period. JCOPE has granted an extension to […]
On July 11, the New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics launched the ability to file client semi-annual reports and source of funding information through the online Lobbying Application for the 2019-2020 reporting period.
JCOPE has granted an extension to all clients to file the client reports until July 31.
The extension only applies to semiannual reports and source of funding disclosures; lobbyist bimonthly reports are still due on July 15.
JCOPE has also produced a guideline “How to Properly Disclose Lobbying Activities” on their website to assist proper disclosure.
July 11, 2019 • Written by Jim Sedor
Campaign Finance National: “Trump Campaign Knew Consultant Was Behind Joe Biden Parody Site. Does That Make It a Campaign Finance Violation” by Asher Stockler for Newsweek National: “GOP at War Over Fundraising” by Alex Isenstadt for Politico California: “Insurance Commissioner […]
National: “Trump Campaign Knew Consultant Was Behind Joe Biden Parody Site. Does That Make It a Campaign Finance Violation” by Asher Stockler for Newsweek
National: “GOP at War Over Fundraising” by Alex Isenstadt for Politico
California: “Insurance Commissioner Will Return Funds from Companies with Ties to Industry He Regulates” by Jeff McDonald for San Diego Union-Tribune
Maine: “New Group Uses Exploited Advocacy Rules to ‘Educate’ Mainers About Sen. Collins” by Steve Mistler for Maine Public Radio
National: “Study: Firm governance key as shareholders assess risk of political activity” by for Phys.org; Staff
National: “Appeals Court Tosses Emoluments Suit Against Trump” by Jpsh Gerstein for Politico
National: “Federal Judge Rejects Trump Administration’s Bid to Swap Out Lawyers for Census Case on Citizenship Question” by Matt Zapotosky, Seung Min Kim, and Tara Bahrampour (Washington Post) for Duluth News Tribune
Missouri: “Former Sen. Hutchinson Pleads Guilty to Bribery in Missouri Federal Court” by Wesley Brown for talkbusiness.net
National: “In the Aftermath of Khashoggi’s Murder, Saudi Influence Machine Whirs on in Washington” by Beth Reinhard, Jonathan O’Connell, and Tom Hamburger (Washington Post) for Stamford Advocate
California: “California Bill Limits Spending by Local Government Groups” by Kathleen Ronayne for AP News
July 10, 2019 • Written by Jim Sedor
Campaign Finance National: “Rep. Duncan Hunter’s ‘Deep State’ Defense Falls Apart” by Emily Kopp for Roll Call New York: “Cautious Optimism Among Reformers After State Public Campaign Financing Commission Named” by Ethan Geringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette Elections National: “‘It Can’t […]
National: “Rep. Duncan Hunter’s ‘Deep State’ Defense Falls Apart” by Emily Kopp for Roll Call
New York: “Cautious Optimism Among Reformers After State Public Campaign Financing Commission Named” by Ethan Geringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette
National: “‘It Can’t Be Worse’: How Republican women are trying to rebuild” by Maggie Astor for New York Times
National: “Elizabeth Warren Shuns Conventional Wisdom for a New Kind of Campaign” by Alex Thompson for Politico
National: “President Trump Cannot Block His Critics on Twitter, Federal Appeals Court Rules” by Ann Marimow for Washington Post
Missouri: “Former Missouri Gov. Greitens’ Use of Confide Didn’t Violate Sunshine Law, Judge Says” by Jason Hancock for Kansas City Star
North Dakota: “North Dakota House Energy Committee Chairman Says Business Relationship with Lobbyist Unrelated to Legislative Work” by John Hageman for Grand Forks Herald
National: “Female Tech Lobbyists Shake Up Industry” by Alex Gangitano for The Hill
July 9, 2019 • Written by Jim Sedor
Campaign Finance National: “Political Fundraising App Wants to Make Donations a Social Experience” by Sara Swann for Fulcrom Colorado: “Campaign Finance Laws Have More Bite for Enforcement” by Charles Ashby for Grand Junction Sentinel Ethics National: “AP: Federal grand jury […]
National: “Political Fundraising App Wants to Make Donations a Social Experience” by Sara Swann for Fulcrom
Colorado: “Campaign Finance Laws Have More Bite for Enforcement” by Charles Ashby for Grand Junction Sentinel
National: “AP: Federal grand jury probing GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy” by Jim Mustian and Desmond Butler for AP News
National: “Why the Trump White House Is Caught Up in the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal” by Vivian Wang (New York Times) for MSN
Georgia: “‘Drag This Out as Long as Possible’: Former official faces rare criminal charges under open-records law” by Richard Fausset for New York Times
New York: “Cuomo Signs a Bill to Allow Release of Trump’s State Tax Returns” by Jesse McKinley for New York Times
National: “2020 Democrats Vow to Get Tough on Lobbyists” by Alex Gangitano for The Hill
Florida: “Florida, the Sunshine State, Is Slow to Adopt Rooftop Solar Power” by Ivan Penn for New York Times
July 8, 2019 • Written by Jonathan Spontarelli
A bill to stop the revolving door in Congress, new dark money laws in New Jersey, and Oregon passes a slew of new campaign finance and ethics legislation in this edition of News You Can Use Video Digest!
A bill to stop the revolving door in Congress, new dark money laws in New Jersey, and Oregon passes a slew of new campaign finance and ethics legislation in this edition of News You Can Use Video Digest!
July 8, 2019 • Written by Joanna Kamvouris
Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order on July 5 instructing state agencies to end the practice of hiring outside firms to lobby the Legislature. Executive Order 2019-29 prohibits all state agencies from entering or extending any contracts with lobbyists […]
Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order on July 5 instructing state agencies to end the practice of hiring outside firms to lobby the Legislature.
Executive Order 2019-29 prohibits all state agencies from entering or extending any contracts with lobbyists without securing written approval from one of Stitt’s cabinet secretaries.
Stitt stated in the executive order that the practice of expending taxpayers’ money on the hiring of outside lobbyists to lobby on behalf of a state agency was not a proper use of state funds.
July 8, 2019 • Written by Jim Sedor
Campaign Finance National: “Steve Bullock Hates ‘Dark Money.’ But a Lobbyist for ‘Dark Money’ Donors Is Helping His Campaign.” by Laura Zornosa for Center for Public Integrity California: “State’s Top Insurance Regulator Accepted Tens of Thousands of Dollars from Industry […]
National: “Steve Bullock Hates ‘Dark Money.’ But a Lobbyist for ‘Dark Money’ Donors Is Helping His Campaign.” by Laura Zornosa for Center for Public Integrity
California: “State’s Top Insurance Regulator Accepted Tens of Thousands of Dollars from Industry Executives, Records Show” by Jeff McDonald for San Diego Union Tribune
National: “Democrats Grapple with a Sprawling Primary Field, and No One to Shape It” by Reid Epstein (New York Times) for MSN
National: “Justice Dept. to Replace Lawyers in Census Citizenship Question Case” by Michael Wines, Katie Benner, and Adam Liptak for New York Times
Virginia: “Former Del. Ron Villanueva Sentenced to 2½ Years in Prison for Defrauding Federal Government” by Scott Daugherty for The Virginian-Pilot
Washington DC: “D.C. Council Member Jack Evans Increasingly Isolated as FBI Probe Advances” by Peter Jamison and Paul Schwartzman for Washington Post
Oregon: “Political Theater Overshadows Policy; Some Fear Oregon’s Drift Toward D.C. Politics” by Connor Radnovich for Salem Statesman-Journal
Oklahoma: “Stitt Outlaws State Agency Lobbyist Hiring with Executive Order” by Keaton Ross (The Oklahoman) for Tulsa World
July 5, 2019 • Written by Jim Sedor
National/Federal 2020 Census Will Not Include Citizenship Question, DOJ Confirms Philadelphia Inquirer – Ann Marimow, Matt Zapotosky, and Tara Bahrampour (Washington Post) | Published: 7/2/2019 In a defeat for President Trump, his administration ended its effort to add a citizenship question […]
2020 Census Will Not Include Citizenship Question, DOJ Confirms
Philadelphia Inquirer – Ann Marimow, Matt Zapotosky, and Tara Bahrampour (Washington Post) | Published: 7/2/2019
In a defeat for President Trump, his administration ended its effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census, saying it will begin printing forms that do not include the contentious query. The move comes days after the U.S. Supreme Court the rationale for the question as “contrived.” Officials determined there would not be enough time to continue the legal battle and meet the printing deadlines for the census questionnaire. Critics of the question, including some at the Census Bureau, said it could cause an undercount of millions of people in immigrant communities who would be afraid to return the form, leading to an inaccurate number that could skew representation and apportionment in favor of Republican areas.
Ethics Panel Launches Gaetz Investigation Over Cohen Tweet
Politico – Kyle Cheney | Published: 6/29/2019
The House Committee on Ethics announced it is investigating U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz for a February tweet in which he threatened to release embarrassing personal information about President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. The committee said it has opened a formal inquiry into Gaetz’s comment based on a complaint from a fellow lawmaker, who is not identified. According to the ethics panel, Gaetz disregarded an initial review of the complaint, an extraordinary rebuke to his colleagues. Gaetz’s initial attack on Cohen came a day before the former Trump confidant was slated to testify to the House Oversight Committee, a high-profile hearing in which Cohen ultimately slammed the president as dishonest and provided evidence he paid hush money to women ahead of the 2016 election.
Gregory Craig Preps for Trial Tightrope in Foreign Agent Case
Law.com – Andrew Strickler | Published: 7/1/2019
Attorney Gregory Craig was charged with misleading Department of Justice officials six years ago about a Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom report commissioned by Paul Manafort and public-relations activities that would have triggered a duty for Skadden to publicly register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Craig has vehemently denied lying to FARA officials or helping spin the report to influence a U.S. audience. He has also argued that neither of the government’s charged statutes imposed a clear obligation on him to reveal to FARA officials all the information they might have wanted to know.
House Democrats Sue for Trump’s Tax Returns
Politico – Brian Faler | Published: 7/2/2019
House Democrats sued for President Trump’s tax returns, marking the beginning of a high-stakes legal fight over his efforts to keep them secret. Democrats are seeking six years’ worth of returns under a 1924 law allowing the leaders of Congress’ tax committees to examine anyone’s confidential tax information. Democrats hope the documents will answer a host of questions about Trump’s finances. The president has defied a decades-old tradition of presidents voluntarily releasing their returns, and his administration is fighting the effort to force his hand, arguing Democrats do not have a legitimate reason for seeking the information. While the fight over Trump’s taxes could be lengthy, with the administration likely to try to drag out the proceedings beyond next year’s elections, some see signs the courts are trying to move quickly on the oversight challenges.
It’s a Question No One Says They Want to Ask. But the Women Running for President Keep Hearing It.
New York Times – Lisa Lerer | Published: 7/2/2019
Three years after nominating the first woman in history to head a presidential ticket, nearly six months after a wave of energized women swept Democrats into power in the U.S. House, and as a record number of women run for president, the party finds itself grappling with the strangely enduring question of the electability of women, and with the challenge for the candidates of refuting it before it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Privately, Democratic strategists, candidates, and officials say they have been alarmed by how deeply doubts about female electability have taken hold. A portion of the party’s voters suggest they are eager to see a woman on the ticket but fear that putting her in the top slot could cost them the White House again.
Journalists, Pundits and Retired Politicians Put on a Show for Lobbyists
MAPLight.org – Andrew Perez, Abigail Luke, and Tom Zelina | Published: 7/2/2019
The practice of paying high-profile Washington, D.C. insiders to speak at industry trade shows and conferences, known as “buckraking,” is not a recent development. But as the rules on political participation by nonprofits and trade associations have been loosened, it has become common for lobbying groups to pay large sums to influential insiders who drive news coverage and public opinion. Guidelines on paid speeches vary widely across the industry, although the Society of Professional Journalists calls for reporters and editors to “refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.”
NRA Meltdown Has Trump Campaign Sweating
Politico – Alex Isenstadt | Published: 7/3/2019
The National Rifle Association (NRA) aired an avalanche of television ads and pushed its five million-plus members to the polls for Donald Trump in 2016, propelling him in the Rust Belt states that delivered him the presidency. Now, the gun rights group is in total meltdown and senior Republicans and Trump campaign officials are alarmed. The turmoil is fueling fears that the NRA will be diminished heading into the election, leaving the Republican Party with a gaping hole in its political machinery. With the Chamber of Commerce and Koch political network withdrawing from their once-dominant roles in electing conservatives, Republicans worry that three groups that have long formed the core of their electoral infrastructure will be effectively on the sidelines.
Rep. Duncan Hunter’s Affairs with Congressional Staff Raise Sexual Harassment Concerns
Roll Call – Emily Kopp | Published: 6/28/2019
Republican Party leaders have demurred on whether U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter should resign over revelations he pursued relationships with two congressional staffers, including one of his own aides. But that does not mean allegations that Hunter had “intimate relationships,” as U.S. attorneys described them in a recent court filing, with two staffers will not trigger consequences on Capitol Hill. The relationships were revealed in a motion filed in connection with Hunter’s upcoming trial on charges alleging he misused campaign funds for personal expenses. Hunter dipped into campaign coffers to pay for drinks out, couples’ trips, and Uber rides from the women’s homes to his congressional office, prosecutors say. The relationships predate a law that amended the House’s code of conduct to prohibit members of Congress from dating subordinates. But Hunter’s behavior still raises ethical concerns, experts say.
‘The Enigma of the Entire Mueller Probe’: Focus on origins of Russian investigation puts spotlight on Maltese professor
MSN – Rosalind Helderman, Shane Harris, and Ellen Nakashima (Washington Post) | Published: 6/30/2019
A conversation between Maltese-born academic Joseph Mifsud and Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, eventually relayed by an Australian diplomat to U.S. government officials, was cited by special counsel Robert Mueller as the event that set in motion the FBI probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. With Attorney General William Barr’s review of the counterintelligence investigation underway, the origins of the inquiry itself are now in the spotlight and with them, the role of Mifsud. Some of President Trump’s allies and advisers have been floating a provocative theory: that Mifsud was a Western intelligence plant, citing exaggerated and at times distorted details about his life. Such a notion runs counter to the description of Mifsud in the Mueller report, which states he “had connections to Russia” and “maintained various Russian contacts.”
The Nationwide Battle Over Gerrymandering Is Far from Over
Politico – Steven Shepard and Scott Bland | Published: 6/27/2019
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that federal courts have no business deciding how much partisan gerrymandering is too much did not end the fight over how politicians draw political lines, it just moved the battlefield. The justices accelerated the race between the two parties to tilt the system to their advantage by electing as many governors and legislators as possible or, in some states, getting voters to support ballot measures to take the redistricting process out of politicians’ hands by 2021. While the justices closed off filing legal challenges to gerrymandering in federal courts, they explicitly said those lawsuits are still fair game in state courts. It was there that Democratic-aligned plaintiffs successfully demolished Pennsylvania’s Republican-drawn congressional map before the 2018 elections.
Trump Advisers Pursue Democratic Drug-Price Ideas as Campaign Looms
Washington Post – Yasmeen Abutaleb, Josh Dawsey, and Laurie McGinley | Published: 7/2/2019
As President Trump presses to make health care a central plank of his 2020 reelection bid, he is frustrated with those he thinks are thwarting his ability to deliver on a major campaign promise: lowering drug prices. That has included Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, a former drug executive who until very recently pushed back on proposals to import lower-cost drugs from Canada and negotiate drug prices in Medicare. Now, though, under pressure to deliver campaign talking points, Azar has reversed his long-standing opposition to ideas traditionally espoused by Democrats and reviled by most Republicans and the drug industry.
Trump Facebook Ads Use Models to Portray Actual Supporters
AP News – Robert Condon | Published: 7/2/2019
A series of Facebook video ads for President Trump’s re-election campaign shows what appears to be a young woman strolling on a beach in Florida, a Hispanic man on a city street in Texas, and a bearded hipster in a coffee shop in Washington, D.C., all making glowing, voice-over endorsements of the president. But the people in the videos that ran in the past few months are all actually models in stock video footage produced far from the U.S. in France, Brazil, and Turkey, and available to anyone online for a fee. Though the 20-second videos include tiny disclaimers that say, “actual testimonial, actor portrayal,” they raise the question why a campaign that can fill arenas with supporters would have to buy stock footage of models.
Twitter Adds Labels for Tweets That Break Its Rules – a Move with Potentially Stark Implications for Trump’s Account
Boston Globe – Elizabeth Gwoskin and Tony Romm (Washington Post) | Published: 6/27/2019
Political figures who use Twitter to threaten or abuse others could find their tweets slapped with warning labels. The new policy comes amid complaints that President Trump has gotten a free pass from Twitter to post hateful messages and attack his enemies in ways they say could lead to violence. From now on, a tweet that Twitter deems to involve matters of public interest, but which violates the service’s rules, will be obscured by a warning explaining the violation. Users will have to tap through the warning to see the underlying message, but the tweet will not be removed. Twitter said the policy applies to all government officials, candidates and similar public figures with more than 100,000 followers. In addition to applying the label, Twitter won’t use its algorithms to “elevate” or otherwise promote such tweets.
Ukraine Role Focuses New Attention on Giuliani’s Foreign Work
New York Times – Kenneth Vogel | Published: 6/30/2019
Pavel Fuks, a wealthy Ukrainian-Russian developer looking for ways to attract more investment from the U.S. to his hometown of Kharkiv, Ukraine, enlisted an especially well-connected American to help him: Rudolph Giuliani. Fuks hired Giuliani, who in 2018 would become the president’s personal lawyer, under a one-year deal to help improve Kharkiv’s emergency services and bolster its image as a destination for investment. Fuks’s description of Giuliani as a lobbyist further highlighted a controversy over what some say is a pattern by Giuliani of providing influence with the Trump administration. Democrats have asked whether Giuliani’s role working in a number of foreign countries fits the legal definition of lobbying and requires him to register as a foreign agent, something Giuliani has not done.
Welcome to 2020, the Era of Crowdfunded Presidential Debates
Washington Post – Michelle Ye Hee Lee | Published: 7/2/2019
Democrats this year are giving not only to help their preferred candidates, but also to offer a small token of appreciation for a clever policy idea for someone else, or to keep an underdog in the game. Welcome to the 2020 primaries, an era of crowdfunded presidential debates. Campaign donations and debates have become intermingled this year, with the Democratic National Committee for the first time requiring that candidates reach a certain number of donors to qualify for primary debates. That has created an intense focus on fundraising, with candidates asking supporters for money specifically to help them qualify for the widely watched forums. More than 100 debate viewers from across the country responded to a call-out by The Washington Post on Instagram, asking them about the moments that resonated with them and drove them to give money.
From the States and Municipalities
Arizona – A GOP Governor Wants to Cancel a Nike Contract after Flag-Shoe Flap, but the City It’s Headed for Isn’t Backing Down
Greenwich Time – Eli Rosenberg and Michael Brice-Saddler (Washington Post) | Published: 7/3/2019
Nike stopped production of shoes that featured the image of an American flag after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick reportedly lodged a complaint. Kaepernick, who is a face of the company, said he found the Betsy Ross flag designed in 1777 offensive because of its connection to the era of slavery. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said he ordered state authorities to revoke an incentive package it offered Nike to open a factory in the state. But Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord said the city would honor the agreement. Boycotts by companies and independent contractors over governmental policies that cross what some see as lines on race or gender have become a common. Ducey’s decision inverted the calculation – in this case, a state would monetarily punish a private company for a political decision it made.
Connecticut – They Love Public Financing. The Oversight, Not as Much.
Connecticut Mirror – Mark Pazniokas | Published: 7/3/2019
Watchdogs are concerned the Connecticut General Assembly’s relationship with the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) could undermine campaign finance reforms adopted in 2005. Near the end of the 2019 session, a deal by legislative leaders sped an elections bill that contained a calculated slap at the SEEC through the Senate in little more than a minute. It would have set term limits on the agency’s director, treating elections enforcement differently than the state’s other watchdogs. The measure marked the fifth time since 2011 the Legislature has at least attempted to curb the powers of the SEEC or loosen campaign finance rules, reflecting a longstanding antipathy towards the agency that not only enforce the laws, but bankrolls campaigns.
Missouri – Meet the Consultant Who Got Stenger Elected, and Why He’s Still ‘Proud’ He Won
St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Jacob Barker | Published: 6/30/2019
Two days after Steve Stenger pleaded guilty to federal “pay-to-play” charges, Democratic consultant Michael Kelley was on television, sounding as though he barely knew the former St. Louis County executive. “… An absolutely ridiculous thing for Steve Stenger to have been involved in,” Kelly said. Left unsaid was the fact that Stenger’s campaign had paid Kelley’s Show Me Victories – the political communications arm of the Kelley Group – $550,000 during his two successful election campaigns. Nor did Kelley mention that Stenger, as county executive, had been a regular at the Kelley Group’s offices, visiting almost weekly for meetings in 2018. In addition to the Stenger campaign, Show Me Victories has worked on nearly every major local ballot proposition in the last few years.
New Jersey – U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Bridgegate Appeal. Stunning Move Keeps Alive Case That Dogged Christie.
Newark Star Ledger – Ted Sherman (NJ Advance Media) | Published: 6/28/2019
Bridget Anne Kelly, the one-time aide to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie whose “time for some traffic problems” email became a key focal point of the Bridgegate corruption scandal, will get a final chance to argue she was wrongfully convicted. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Kelly’s appeal – weeks before she is due to report to federal prison – reviving a case that many had thought was finally over. The decision to review her conviction could raise new questions about the ability of the government to take on major political prosecutions, by a court that has taken aim at a number of high-profile corruption cases in recent years. Lawyers for Kelly had argued that federal prosecutors used criminal fraud statutes typically used in cases of personal gain, such as bribery, to instead criminalize routine political behavior.
North Dakota – Legislator as Landlord: Financial disclosures don’t highlight state agency leases with North Dakota elected officials
Jamestown Sun – John Hageman | Published: 6/30/2019
Several current or former elected state officials in North Dakota have an interest in property rented by state agencies, but those financial relationships were not readily apparent on campaign disclosure forms. The officials defended the leases, which are not awarded through a formal competitive bidding process, as a byproduct of North Dakota’s citizen-run Legislature and said they do not affect their decision-making. Dina Butcher, who led the effort to pass last year’s ballot measure etching new ethics rules into the state constitution, did not directly criticize the state officials because the arrangements are not illegal, and she was not aware of any leases being unfairly awarded. But she said the ethics commission created by Measure 1 may take up the issue once it is formed.
Oregon – Campaign Finance Limits on Track to Oregon Ballot
Oregon Public Broadcasting – Jeff Mapes | Published: 7/1/2019
Voters in Oregon will decide next November whether the state constitution should allow limits on campaign donations. Legislative approval of the historic campaign finance measure comes three months after The Portland Oregonian revealed how the outsize influence of corporate campaign money helped limit environmental protections in a state that once aimed to be an environmental pioneer. Per capita, corporate interests have given more money to the average Oregon lawmaker than in any state in the country, the investigation found. Lawmakers also passed House Bill 2716, under which some large funders will need to be disclosed in some advertisements.
Texas – How a Longtime Aide to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Became a Top Lobbyist
Austin American-Statesman – Asher Price | Published: 6/27/2019
Daniel Hodge, a former aide to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott who is now a lobbyist, earned as much as $3.7 million this year representing more than two dozen clients at the state Legislature. It illuminates how someone like Hodge can, within a couple of years of hanging a shingle, become one of the highest-paid lobbyists in the state. Longtime lobbyists say the transition is a natural one, using knowledge learned and relationships built in the public sector for effective advocacy outside it. But watchdogs have pointed to the close link between the Legislature and those who peddle access to government funds as an erosion of public trust. In recent years, lawmakers have tried, with limited success, to expand restrictions on the path from state government to lobbying.
Wyoming – Wyoming Tribe Funded Effort to Kill Gambling Regulations; Sides Dispute Who Created the Group
Casper Star-Tribune – Nick Reynolds | Published: 7/1/2019
A casino managed by the Northern Arapaho tribe gave thousands of dollars to a secretive organization trying to defeat regulated gambling in Wyoming, records show, but tribal officials say they were duped by their lobbyist who set up the group. The tribe fired the lobbyist, Mark Howell recently. Howell, and a minority of tribal leadership, denied the officials’ version of events, saying they ordered the group’s creation. The Wind River Hotel and Casino put more than $80,000 into the Wyoming Public Policy Center, which formed prior to the 2019 legislative session. The group has spent more than $60,000 in lobbying expenses and engaged in a sophisticated advertising campaign. Little had been known about the group’s activities prior to the filing. Hidden behind a wall of anonymous filings in multiple jurisdictions, the group had been afforded a level of secrecy unavailable in states with stricter corporate filing laws.
July 4, 2019 • Written by Jim Sedor
Campaign Finance Connecticut: “They Love Public Financing. The Oversight, Not as Much.” by Mark Pazniokas for Connecticut Mirror Elections National: “It’s a Question No One Says They Want to Ask. But the Women Running for President Keep Hearing It.” by […]
Connecticut: “They Love Public Financing. The Oversight, Not as Much.” by Mark Pazniokas for Connecticut Mirror
National: “It’s a Question No One Says They Want to Ask. But the Women Running for President Keep Hearing It.” by Lisa Lerer for New York Times
National: “NRA Meltdown Has Trump Campaign Sweating” by Alex Isenstadt for Politico
National: “Trump Facebook Ads Use Models to Portray Actual Supporters” by Robert Condon for AP News
National: “2020 Census Will Not Include Citizenship Question, DOJ Confirms” by Ann Marimow, Matt Zapotosky, and Tara Bahrampour (Washington Post) for Philadelphia Inquirer
National: “House Democrats Sue for Trump’s Tax Returns” by Brian Faler for Politico
California: “‘Big Soda’ Reaffirms Its Clout in California, Blocks 5 of 5 Bills on Sugary Beverages” by Patrick McGreevy for Los Angeles Times
Arizona: “A GOP Governor Wants to Cancel a Nike Contract after Flag-Shoe Flap, but the City It’s Headed for Isn’t Backing Down” by Eli Rosenberg and Michael Brice-Saddler (Washington Post) for Greenwich Time
July 3, 2019 • Written by George Ticoras, Esq.
A bill meant to permanently ban former members of Congress from lobbying the U.S. Legislature was introduced in the House on June 21 by U.S. Representative Angie Craig. House Bill 3419, the HUMBLE (Halt Unchecked Member Benefits with Lobbying Elimination) […]
A bill meant to permanently ban former members of Congress from lobbying the U.S. Legislature was introduced in the House on June 21 by U.S. Representative Angie Craig.
House Bill 3419, the HUMBLE (Halt Unchecked Member Benefits with Lobbying Elimination) Act, would prohibit former Members and elected officers of Congress from lobbying Congress at any time after leaving office.
The legislation also prohibits Members of the House of Representatives from owning individual stocks while in office.
Additionally, the bill prohibits use of government funds for first-class airline accommodations.
The bill also eliminates certain benefits currently available to former members of the House, such as access to parking, athletic facilities, and the House members’ dining room.
“A lifetime ban on lobbying will ensure that Congress is no longer a revolving door of influence, and banning individual stock ownership will cut down on conflicts of interest and show that Congress has its priorities straight so that we can advocate for policies that will improve lives and expand economic opportunity for every Minnesotan,” said Craig in her press release.
July 3, 2019 • Written by Jim Sedor
Campaign Finance National: “Welcome to 2020, the Era of Crowdfunded Presidential Debates” by Michelle Ye Hee Lee for Washington Post Ethics National: “Journalists, Pundits and Retired Politicians Put on a Show for Lobbyists” by Andrew Perez, Abigail Luke, and Tom […]
National: “Welcome to 2020, the Era of Crowdfunded Presidential Debates” by Michelle Ye Hee Lee for Washington Post
National: “Journalists, Pundits and Retired Politicians Put on a Show for Lobbyists” by Andrew Perez, Abigail Luke, and Tom Zelina for MAPLight.org
California: “Santa Cruz County Raises Campaign Finance Cap, No Longer State’s Strictest” by Nicholas Ibarra for Santa Cruz Sentinel
New Mexico: “Ethics Commission Is Getting Started” by T.S. Last for Albuquerque Journal
Pennsylvania: “Ex-Mayor Pleads Guilty to Corruption Day After Resignation” by Mark Scolforo for AP News
National: “Gregory Craig Preps for Trial Tightrope in Foreign Agent Case” by Andrew Strickler for Law.com
National: “Ukraine Role Focuses New Attention on Giuliani’s Foreign Work” by Kenneth Vogel for New York Times
Wyoming: “Wyoming Tribe Funded Effort to Kill Gambling Regulations; Sides Dispute Who Created the Group” by Nick Reynolds for Casper Star-Tribune