December 2, 2016 •

First Hearing Set in Court Challenge Against South Dakota’s Initiated Measure 22

The lawsuit filed in state court to block the government ethics overhaul recently approved by voters will have its first hearing December 8th. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Initiated Measure 22 which became effective last week restricting campaign contributions […]

SouthDakota-StateSealThe lawsuit filed in state court to block the government ethics overhaul recently approved by voters will have its first hearing December 8th. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Initiated Measure 22 which became effective last week restricting campaign contributions and gifts from lobbyists.

The group of 24 Republican lawmakers bringing the suit are seeking an injunction to block the law, and South Dakotans for Integrity, the ballot question committee that supported Initiated Measure 22, has filed a motion to intervene.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 2, 2016 •

Special Election Likely for California’s 34th Congressional District

Gov. Jerry Brown has selected 34th Congressional District Rep. Xavier Becerra to be the next attorney general of California. The attorney general position became available when Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate in the November election. State law […]

xavier-becerraGov. Jerry Brown has selected 34th Congressional District Rep. Xavier Becerra to be the next attorney general of California.

The attorney general position became available when Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate in the November election.

State law requires the governor to arrange a special election date within two weeks of Becerra leaving his congressional post.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 2, 2016 •

NYCU Video Digest – December 2, 2016

See what’s happening in government relations this week in our News You Can Use Video Digest. Enjoy!

See what’s happening in government relations this week in our News You Can Use Video Digest. Enjoy!

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 2, 2016 •

Florida House Offers Training Sessions for New Rules Affecting Lobbyists

The Florida House is offering training sessions to assist lobbyists in getting to know the new House Rules adopted last month. A seminar will be offered on December 13 and December 14, 2016, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Room […]

Florida State CapitolThe Florida House is offering training sessions to assist lobbyists in getting to know the new House Rules adopted last month. A seminar will be offered on December 13 and December 14, 2016, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 404 of the House Office Building.

The training will focus on disclosure requirements and the new rules governing lobbyist and member conduct. Supplementary information and tutorials are available on the House’s website, www.myfloridahouse.gov, and lobbyists are encouraged to review the materials prior to attending a training session.

Photo of the Old and New Florida State Capitols by Infrogmation on Wikimedia Commons.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 2, 2016 •

News You Can Use Digest – December 2, 2016

    National: Donald Trump’s Early Backers in State Government May See Rewards New York Times – Monica Davey | Published: 11/23/2016 In every race for the White House, there are early and fierce endorsers of the winning candidate who are […]

News-You-Can-Use-Logo

 

 


National:

Donald Trump’s Early Backers in State Government May See Rewards
New York Times – Monica Davey | Published: 11/23/2016

In every race for the White House, there are early and fierce endorsers of the winning candidate who are then viewed, post-election, as having greater influence. Some are courted for cabinet spots, but more seek the president’s ear on state policies, federal funds, and infrastructure projects. Rarely, though, are the lines as stark as in this election, largely because some Republican leaders took the unusual step of not endorsing Donald Trump – early or ever. And what this means now for the ones who did is far from clear.

How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red’
New York Times – Amanda Taub | Published: 11/29/2016

Political scientists have a theory called “democratic consolidation,” which holds that once countries develop democratic institutions, a robust civil society, and a certain level of wealth, their democracy is secure. Yascha Mounk, a lecturer in government at Harvard, has spent the past few years challenging that assumption. His research suggests that liberal democracies around the world may be at serious risk of decline.

News Outlets Rethink Usage of the Term ‘Alt-Right’
New York Times – Sydney Ember | Published: 11/28/2016

With the election of Donald Trump – and his subsequent appointment of Stephen Bannon, a former chairperson of the right-wing website Breitbart News, as his chief White House strategist – the term alt-right has emerged as a linguistic flash point. Generally deployed by news organizations to describe a far-right, white nationalist movement known for its aggressive online expression, the term has attracted widespread criticism among those, particularly on the left, who say it euphemizes and legitimizes the ideologies of racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and white supremacy.

Federal:

Trump Announces He Will Leave Business ‘in Total’ – Leaving Open How He Will Avoid Conflicts of Interest
Washington Post – Drew Harwell | Published: 11/30/2016

Donald Trump said he would take steps to separate himself from his global business empire in the hopes of preventing the appearance of a conflict-of-interest as he becomes president. But Trump’s announcement, delivered in a series of early-morning posts on Twitter, drew an immediate rebuke from legal and ethics experts, who said the posts suggest Trump is not planning to take sufficient steps to eliminate the conflicts. It remains unclear what the president-elect’s plan will look like, but simply removing Trump from operational, day-to-day control of business decisions still could allow him to benefit financially from payments made to his companies by foreign governments, which may be prohibited by the so-called emoluments clause of the Constitution.

Trump to Accept Inauguration Funds from Corporations and Big Donors
New York Times – Nicholas Fandos | Published: 11/23/2016

President-elect Donald Trump is hoping to raise $65 million to $75 million to fund the activities planned for his inauguration. Trump plans to ban money from registered lobbyists, whom he barred from working for his administration. But the restrictions will be lighter on corporations and individuals, the groups that have traditionally provided a vast majority of funding for the festivities surrounding the transfer of power. Trump will seek corporate contributions of up to $1 million and even allow donations from PACs on a case-by-case basis. The restrictions, which members of the inaugural committee cautioned have yet to be finalized, represent a continued march back from standards set in 2009 by Barack Obama.

Trump’s Twitter Addiction Could Reshape the Presidency
Politico – Eli Stokols | Published: 11/29/2016

President-elect Donald Trump has recently proposed a reversal in American diplomatic relations with Cuba, boasted about negotiations with a major manufacturer, trumpeted false claims about millions of illegal votes, and hinted that he might upend current free speech laws by banning flag burning. All in 140 characters or less. As news organizations grapple with covering a commander in chief unlike any other, Trump’s Twitter account – a bully pulpit, propaganda weapon, and attention magnet all rolled into one – has as quickly emerged as a journalistic challenge and a source of lively debate.

From the States and Municipalities:

District of Columbia – D.C. Council to Debate Emergency Legislation on Campaign Finance Reform
Washington Post – Jasper Scherer | Published: 11/23/2016

District of Columbia Councilperson Kenyan McDuffie said he will introduce emergency legislation to bar contributions to PACs during non-election years in an effort to close what some view as a major campaign finance loophole before the start of 2017. McDuffie chairs the council’s Judiciary Committee, which is considering five related campaign finance reform bills, some of which include a closure of the loophole. Those bills are unlikely to pass before the legislative period closes at the end of the year, but McDuffie’s emergency bill would bypass many of the steps ordinarily required.

Maine – Maine Lawmakers Say Trips at Taxpayer Expense Are Vital
Portland Press Herald – Scott Thistle | Published: 11/27/2016

Five Maine lawmakers traveled to northern Labrador to learn more about a growing hydropower industry that some hope could lower electricity costs in Maine. Reps. Mark Dion and Ken Fredette said the nearly $1,500 cost to taxpayers was justified by what they and their colleagues learned. Both said that getting into the field and away from the meeting rooms in Augusta was important in helping policymakers understand how their state might benefit from shifting regional energy markets. The trip is one highlight in dozens of taxpayer-funded excursions reviewed as part of a Freedom of Access Act request for records of out-of-state travel by lawmakers in 2015 and 2016. The Maine Sunday Telegram sought the expense records after Democratic state senators accused two of their Republican colleagues of “double dipping” on expense reimbursements, including for out-of-state travel.

Minnesota – Obscure Party Funds Become Minnesota Campaign Cash Magnets
Minnesota Public Radio – Brian Bakst | Published: 11/30/2016

While Minnesota law limits how much individual candidates can take from lobbyists and PACs, the rules are looser for local party units. Interest groups have channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican and Democratic causes the past few years by moving the money through the local political units of some of the state’s most powerful lawmakers. The money flies mostly under the public radar but buys lobbyists visibility and possibly influence with the Capitol’s power brokers.

Missouri – Could 2017 Be The Year That Ethics Reform Takes Hold in Missouri?
Kansas City Star – Jason Hancock | Published: 11/28/2016

Jefferson City’s reputation has been fueled in part by the fact that Missouri is the only state with no limits on both campaign contributions and lobbyist gifts. As a result, huge donations to campaigns have become commonplace, and elected officials accept hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts every year. Reform efforts stalled during the 2016 legislative session. But disappointment has given way to optimism over the results of the recent election. Missourians approved a constitutional amendment reinstating contribution limits, and elected candidates for governor and attorney general who made corruption the centerpiece of their campaigns. Voters gave lawmakers a mandate to finally pass meaningful ethics reform, said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Bob Onder.

New York – Emails Released by Mayor de Blasio’s Office Detail Reliance on Outside ‘Agents’
New York Times – J. David Goodman | Published: 11/23/2016

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration released a third batch of its correspondence with outside advisers that it has designated as “agents of the city.” The emails date to the first days of de Blasio’s tenure, from early 2014 through April 2015. Watchdog groups have raised concerns that the advisers act as a “shadow government” and present concerns about conflicts-of-interest because they also represent companies that do business with the city.

North Carolina – In North Carolina, No End in Sight to Governor’s Race
New York Times – Richard Fausset | Published: 11/29/2016

The North Carolina governor’s race remains an unresolved, contested muddle. The challenger, Roy Cooper, has declared victory. But incumbent Pat McCrory, trailing by thousands of votes in the as-yet-unfinished tally, has refused to concede, as he and his allies charge the election was marred by numerous irregularities. The imbroglio is so complicated that a spokesperson for the State Board of Elections could not say when it might be resolved. It comes amid a broader wave of skepticism about the integrity of the basic mechanics of the American electoral process, including the recount of the presidential results in three states. The move enraged President-elect Donald Trump, who said on Twitter that “millions” of people had illegally voted for Hillary Clinton, a widely derided claim for which he offered no evidence.

South Dakota – Daugaard Favors Repeal of New Ethics Law
Rapid City Journal – James Nord (Associated Press) | Published: 11/23/2016

Over two dozen Republican lawmakers and others are going to court to block a government ethics overhaul approved by South Dakota voters on November 8. Their lawsuit filed in state court challenges the constitutionality of the ballot measure that took effect recently. Foes of the measure argue provisions including an ethics commission and limitations on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers run afoul of the state or federal constitutions, or both. Gov. Dennis Daugaard said he does not plan to include millions of dollars of funding in his December budget proposal for a public campaign finance system established under the new law.

Virginia – Special Interests Spend Millions to Pay Virginia Legislators’ Bills
The Daily Press – Dave Ress | Published: 11/27/2016

Virginia law does not place limits on who can give to political campaigns or on how much can be donated. Similarly, state law sets no rules for where or how candidates may spend campaign funds. That means money contributed to campaigns can, and often does, pay for expenses that have nothing to do with running for office. Large sums flow in – and keep rising, year after year, even though many legislators do not actually face opponents and only a handful represent districts where opponents can mount a serious challenge.

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 - 11 min read Close

December 1, 2016 •

Thursday News Roundup

Lobbying “Wave of Lobbyist Deregistrations in Trump Orbit After Announcement of New Policy” by Catherine Ho for The Washington Post Campaign Finance “Ackman’s Fund Asks SEC for Exemption After Campaign Donation” by Svea Herbst-Bayliss for Reuters “Trump to Accept Inauguration […]

gov-building-symbol-mdLobbying

Wave of Lobbyist Deregistrations in Trump Orbit After Announcement of New Policy” by Catherine Ho for The Washington Post

Campaign Finance

Ackman’s Fund Asks SEC for Exemption After Campaign Donation” by Svea Herbst-Bayliss for Reuters

Trump to Accept Inauguration Funds from Corporations and Big Donors” by Nicholas Fandos for The New York Times

Michigan: “Rizzo Expands Empire After Pumping Cash into Campaigns” by Robert Snell and Michael Gerstein for Detroit News

Minnesota: “Obscure Party Funds Become Minnesota Campaign Cash Magnets” by Brian Bakst for Minnesota Public Radio

Ethics

Trump’s Twitter Addiction Could Reshape the Presidency” by Eli Stokols for Politico

Trump Announces He Will Leave Business ‘in Total’ – Leaving Open How He Will Avoid Conflicts of Interest” by Drew Harwell for The Washington Post

Elections

Anti-Trump Forces Launch Attack on Electoral College” by Kyle Cheney for Politico

North Carolina: “In North Carolina, No End in Sight to Governor’s Race” by Richard Fausset for The New York Times

Legislative Issues

Nancy Pelosi Chosen Again as House Democratic Leader – But Tally Suggests Deep Division” by Paul Kane and Ed O’Keefe for The Washington Post

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

December 1, 2016 •

Chairman of JCOPE Steps Down

On November 29, 2016, Daniel Horwitz’s departure as the chairman of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) was announced at a panel meeting. Horwitz has been a member of JCOPE since 2011 and the chairman since […]

JCOPEOn November 29, 2016, Daniel Horwitz’s departure as the chairman of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) was announced at a panel meeting.

Horwitz has been a member of JCOPE since 2011 and the chairman since 2013. A replacement for Horwitz has not been appointed, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo is currently vetting candidates for the position.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 30, 2016 •

Wednesday Government Relations News

Lobbying “How Exactly Do You ‘Drain the Swamp’? Here Are 4 Ways It Could Be Done.” by Catherine Ho for The Washington Post Campaign Finance “Justin Trudeau Faces Criticism Over Fund-Raisers in Canada” by Ian Austen for The New York Times […]

Government-Relations-NewsLobbying

How Exactly Do You ‘Drain the Swamp’? Here Are 4 Ways It Could Be Done.” by Catherine Ho for The Washington Post

Campaign Finance

Justin Trudeau Faces Criticism Over Fund-Raisers in Canada” by Ian Austen for The New York Times

Ethics

News Outlets Rethink Usage of the Term ‘Alt-Right’” by Sydney Ember for The New York Times

The Controversial Legal Theory That Could Get Trump Sued” by Josh Gerstein for Politico

Trump Names White House Counsel as Potential Conflicts Loom” by Jennifer Jacobs and Toluse Olorunippa for Bloomberg.com

Alabama: “Bodyguard: Alabama governor spent anti-terror funds on staff” by Tim Lockette for The Anniston Star

Missouri: “Could 2017 Be The Year That Ethics Reform Takes Hold in Missouri?” by Jason Hancock for Kansas City Star

Elections

How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red’” by Amanda Taub for The New York Times

Trump’s Baseless Assertions of Voter Fraud Called ‘Stunning’” by Andrew Restuccia for Politico

For Trump Son-in-Law and Confidant Jared Kushner, a Long History of Fierce Loyalty” by Shawn Boberg for The Washington Post

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

November 29, 2016 •

Tuesday Lobbying and Campaign Finance News Update

Lobbying “Trump’s Lobbying Ban Might Actually Make Corruption Worse” by Tim LaPira and Herschel Thomas for Washington Post Florida: “A Liberal Leader from Tallahassee’s Past Praises GOP Speaker’s Call for Change” by Steve Bousquet for Tampa Bay Times New York: […]

K StreetLobbying

Trump’s Lobbying Ban Might Actually Make Corruption Worse” by Tim LaPira and Herschel Thomas for Washington Post

Florida: “A Liberal Leader from Tallahassee’s Past Praises GOP Speaker’s Call for Change” by Steve Bousquet for Tampa Bay Times

New York: “Emails Released by Mayor de Blasio’s Office Detail Reliance on Outside ‘Agents’” by J. David Goodman for New York Times

Oklahoma: “Gov. Mary Fallin Used Private Email to Set Up Meeting with Lobbyist” by Phil Cross for KOKH

Campaign Finance

District of Columbia: “D.C. Council to Debate Emergency Legislation on Campaign Finance Reform” by Jasper Scherer for Washington Post

Virginia: “Special Interests Spend Millions to Pay Virginia Legislators’ Bills” by Dave Ress for The Daily Press

Ethics

Iowa: “Daugaard Favors Repeal of New Ethics Law” by James Nord (Associated Press) for Rapid City Journal

Elections

Clinton Campaign Will Participate in Wisconsin Recount, with an Eye on ‘Outside Interference,’ Lawyer Says” by Matt Zapotosky for Washington Post

Donald Trump’s Early Backers in State Government May See Rewards” by Monica Davey for New York Times

Legislative Issues

Maine: “Maine Lawmakers Say Trips at Taxpayer Expense Are Vital” by Scott Thistle for Portland Press Herald

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

November 28, 2016 •

A group of Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit in state court Wednesday, Nov. 23, to block the government ethics overhaul recently approved by voters. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Initiated Measure 22, which became effective last week restricting campaign […]

SouthDakota-StateSealA group of Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit in state court Wednesday, Nov. 23, to block the government ethics overhaul recently approved by voters.

The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Initiated Measure 22, which became effective last week restricting campaign contributions and gifts from lobbyists. Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he supports repeal of the measure and he will not include money in his budget for the public campaign finance system called for by the new law.

 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 23, 2016 •

Wednesday Government Relations News

Lobbying Indiana: “Holcomb Transition Team Enjoys Pacers Game at Team’s Expense” by Leslie Weidenbener for Indianapolis Business Journal Oregon: “Governor’s Respected Energy Chief to Step Down, Partly Because of Lobbyist Influence” by Scott Thistle and Tux Turkel for Portland Press […]

blue-diamond-smLobbying

Indiana: “Holcomb Transition Team Enjoys Pacers Game at Team’s Expense” by Leslie Weidenbener for Indianapolis Business Journal

Oregon: “Governor’s Respected Energy Chief to Step Down, Partly Because of Lobbyist Influence” by Scott Thistle and Tux Turkel for Portland Press Herald

Campaign Finance

FEC Questions Trump Donations Worth $1.3M” by Mark Hensch for The Hill

New York: “City Council Hears Legislative Package on Conflicts of Interest and Campaign Finance” by Samar Khursid for Gotham Gazette

Washington: “GMO Labeling Supporters Fined $320K Over Campaign Disclosure” by the Associated Press for KOMO

Ethics

Trump Drops Threat of New Hillary Clinton Investigation” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael D. Shear for The New York Times

Trump Foundation Admits to Violating Ban on ‘Self-Dealing’’ New Filing to IRS Shows” by David Fahrenthold for The Washington Post

Missouri: “Columbia Lawmaker Proposes Ethics Bills in Response to Greitens’ Campaign Promises” by Brittany Ruess for Columbia Daily Tribune

New York: “Percoco, Kaloyeros, Six Others Indicted” by Casey Seiler for Albany Times Union

Pennsylvania: “Pittsburgh’s Revamped Ethics Board Up, Running” by Bob Bauder for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Elections

North Carolina: “North Carolina Governor Alleges Voter Fraud in Bid to Hang On” by Elena Schneider for Politico

Wisconsin: “Many in Milwaukee Neighborhood Didn’t Vote – and Don’t Regret It” by Sabrina Tavernise for The New York Times

Redistricting

Wisconsin: “Judges Find Wisconsin Redistricting Unfairly Favored Republicans” by Michael Wines for The New York Times

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

November 22, 2016 •

Transparency Bills Filed for Arkansas 2017 Session

Since pre-filing began for the 2017 Arkansas legislative session, multiple measures have been introduced regarding lobbying, ethics and campaign finance. If passed, measures introduced in the House would require reporting and disclosure of electioneering communications and covered transfers (House Bill […]

Arkansas State Capitol BuildingSince pre-filing began for the 2017 Arkansas legislative session, multiple measures have been introduced regarding lobbying, ethics and campaign finance.

If passed, measures introduced in the House would require reporting and disclosure of electioneering communications and covered transfers (House Bill 1005), prevent a member of the General Assembly from forming more than one political action committee (PAC) as either a registered agent or an officer (House Bill 1009), require the Secretary of State to make independent expenditures and PAC reports public (House Bill 1010), prohibit PAC-to-PAC transfers (House Bill 1011)  and ban direct contributions to candidates from PACs (House Bill 1012). Several measures introduced in the Senate mirror the House bills.

Additionally, bills introduced in the Senate would bar soliciting or accepting campaign contributions before the expiration of the immediately preceding general election (Senate Bill 2), prohibit elected officials from registering as a lobbyist while serving as an elected state official (Senate Bill 3) and ban constitutional officers, like the governor, from soliciting or accepting loans from lobbyists (Senate Bill 7).

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

November 22, 2016 •

Tuesday Lobbying and Campaign Finance News Update

Lobbying “White Nationalists Dress Up and Come to Washington in Hopes of Influencing Trump” by Lisa Mascaro for Los Angeles Times “Groups Ease Off Events for Lawmakers Under New Lobbying Law” by James Nord (Associated Press) for The Washington Times […]

gov-building-symbol-mdLobbying

White Nationalists Dress Up and Come to Washington in Hopes of Influencing Trump” by Lisa Mascaro for Los Angeles Times

Groups Ease Off Events for Lawmakers Under New Lobbying Law” by James Nord (Associated Press) for The Washington Times

Campaign Finance

FEC Deadlocks, Won’t Investigate Dark Money Group That Spent All Its Funds On an Election” by Robert Maguire for Center for Responsive Politics

California: “Did Money Buy California Ballot Measure Contests?” by Taryn Luna for The Sacramento Bee

Kentucky: “State Agencies Investigate Political Donations Raised by Tim Longmeyer, Others” by John Cheves for Lexington Herald-Leader

Ethics

Ethics Watchdog Updates Gift Rules for Federal Workers” by Megan Wilson for The Hill

A Scramble to Assess the Dangers of President-elect Donald Trump’s Global Business Empire” by Drew Harwell and Anu Narayanswamy for The Washington Post

Arkansas: “Lawmakers File Bills on Ethics, Taxes, Sessions” by John Lyon (Arkansas News Bureau) for The Times Record

Florida: “Convicted Opa-locka City Manager Gets 3 Years in Prison for Taking Bribes” by Jay Weaver and Michael Sallah for Miami Herald

Pennsylvania: “Mastery Charter Schools to Pay $2,000 to Settle City Ethics Complaint” by Martha Woodall for Philadelphia Inquirer

Elections

Underestimating the Unconventional” by Susan Milligan for U.S. News and World Report

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

November 21, 2016 •

Missouri Lawmaker Outlines Ethics Reform Proposal

Missouri Rep. Kip Kendrick wants to see his seven-point ethics reform proposal introduced in the House. The proposal bans gifts from lobbyists, amends the state’s revolving door policy for legislators seeking to become lobbyists, imposes term limits for statewide officeholders, […]

Missouri CapitolMissouri Rep. Kip Kendrick wants to see his seven-point ethics reform proposal introduced in the House.

The proposal bans gifts from lobbyists, amends the state’s revolving door policy for legislators seeking to become lobbyists, imposes term limits for statewide officeholders, prohibits the giving or solicitation of political contributions during a legislative session, prohibits someone no longer seeking office from maintaining a candidate committee, restricts the use of campaign funds, and broadens the Missouri Ethics Commission’s enforcement authority.

Each part of the proposal will be pre-filed as a separate bill. He is working to find seven House Democrats to pre-file the bills.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close