January 16, 2020 •

Ethics Commission Proposes Stricter Grassroots Lobbying Regulations

Maine Capitol Building

The Maine Ethics Commission has drafted a proposal to mandate lobbying reports from any group spending over $2,000 in a month on grassroots activism, including television or digital advertising, aimed at pending legislation. The current threshold to trigger a report […]

The Maine Ethics Commission has drafted a proposal to mandate lobbying reports from any group spending over $2,000 in a month on grassroots activism, including television or digital advertising, aimed at pending legislation.

The current threshold to trigger a report is $15,000, and even then only if the group first employs a traditional lobbyist.

The commission’s proposal is partly a response to the environmental organization Stop the Corridor, which ran advertisements last year opposing a proposed transmission line while lawmakers were considering bills pertaining to the project.

Ethics Commission proposals go to the state Legislature, which decides if it will craft them into legislation.

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October 4, 2017 •

Will your grassroots advocacy work trigger reporting requirements?

Does your advocacy work include grassroots lobbying? Do you know what actions are considered grassroots lobbying? Generally, Grassroots Lobbying is defined as the act of encouraging the public to contact lawmakers and administrative officials for the purpose of influencing legislation […]

Does your advocacy work include grassroots lobbying? Do you know what actions are considered grassroots lobbying?

Generally, Grassroots Lobbying is defined as the act of encouraging the public to contact lawmakers and administrative officials for the purpose of influencing legislation or other official action.

These actions may trigger registration requirements.  And if your organization already has registered lobbyists, these actions may have to be reported.

State and Federal Communications is here to help you. Our newest tip sheet on Grassroots Lobbying will provide you with guidance on how to ensure you can stay compliant with all your grassroots advocacy efforts.

This tip sheet will provide you with the key information to keep in mind as you begin your efforts, including knowing what activities trigger registration and when you have to register.

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

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January 27, 2017 •

We’re Heading to The Advocacy Conference!

Public Affairs Council Advocacy Conference, here we come! We can’t wait to see everyone. If you’ll be attending, come on by and say hello at our Resource Marketplace Booth.

Public Affairs Council Advocacy Conference, here we come! We can’t wait to see everyone. If you’ll be attending, come on by and say hello at our Resource Marketplace Booth.

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June 13, 2016 •

We’re Heading to the 2016 National Grassroots Conference!

State and Federal Communications is excited to be a sponsor of the 2016 National Grassroots Conference next week. We  believe in the great value of this gathering! Elizabeth Bartz, president and CEO of the company, will be bringing a team […]

State and Federal Communications is excited to be a sponsor of the 2016 National Grassroots Conference next week.

We  believe in the great value of this gathering! Elizabeth Bartz, president and CEO of the company, will be bringing a team to Alexandria, VA to participate in the program. We never miss it.

You can follow the conversations from the conference on Twitter @PACouncil #2016GRC.

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January 27, 2016 •

New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics Releases New Advisory Opinion

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics has released an Advisory Opinion regarding what constitutes lobbying activity when it comes to political consultants and grassroots communications. Advisory Opinion 16-01 requires public relations consultants to register their efforts to influence government through […]

JCOPEThe Joint Commission on Public Ethics has released an Advisory Opinion regarding what constitutes lobbying activity when it comes to political consultants and grassroots communications. Advisory Opinion 16-01 requires public relations consultants to register their efforts to influence government through public campaigns, which includes any contact with editorial boards aimed at publishing communications involving a political issue.

The Advisory Opinion is meant to encompass grassroots communications, an action the public relations community is calling an unconstitutional restraint on free speech. With the Opinion taking effect, grassroots communication is considered lobbying if it references, suggests, or otherwise implicates activity covered by the Lobbying act; takes a clear position on the issue in question; or is an attempt to influence a public official through a call to action. If a consultant had control over the delivery of the message and had input into its content, registration and reporting will now be required.

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January 13, 2016 •

See You at the National Grassroots Conference in Orlando!

What grassroots activities are you involved in? Did you know that reporting your grassroots activities in one state or municipality doesn’t mean that you are required to do so in another? Failure to report if it is required could cause […]

What grassroots activities are you involved in? Did you know that reporting your grassroots activities in one state or municipality doesn’t mean that you are required to do so in another? Failure to report if it is required could cause major problems for you and your company. Are you registered as a lobbyist? Could your activities trigger registration and reporting? These are just a few of the items that require your attention when it comes to your government compliance.

Take the opportunity to sit down during the 2016 PAC Grassroots Conference and come have lunch on us! State and Federal Communications is hosting a luncheon on Wednesday, January 27th where you can discuss government compliance and more.

All attendees will be entered into a drawing to win a Fitbit Surge for attending. Seats are limited and are going fast, so check out our video for luncheon details and R.S.V.P. here!

See you in Orlando!

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November 19, 2015 •

New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics Seeking Public Comment

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics is seeking public comment on a proposed advisory opinion. The advisory opinion is in regards to the applicability of New York’s Lobbying Act to the activities of consultants when they are taking part in […]

New York mapThe Joint Commission on Public Ethics is seeking public comment on a proposed advisory opinion. The advisory opinion is in regards to the applicability of New York’s Lobbying Act to the activities of consultants when they are taking part in direct and grassroots lobbying, and whether they are subject to registration and reporting requirements.

The advisory opinion seeks to articulate when the Lobbying Act covers the services of consultants, and to clarify the test used to determine when grassroots advocacy constitutes reportable activity.

Comments will be taken by the Committee until December 4, 2015.

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February 10, 2015 •

NY’s JCOPE Issues Report, Recommendations for Statewide Ethics Reform

On February 2, 2015, the commissioners of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) issued a report to the governor and the Legislature outlining requested changes to existing ethics and lobbying laws. Among their recommendations are mandatory electronic filing for […]

Seal of New YorkOn February 2, 2015, the commissioners of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) issued a report to the governor and the Legislature outlining requested changes to existing ethics and lobbying laws. Among their recommendations are mandatory electronic filing for lobbyists and lobbyist employers, disclosure of political consulting or fundraising activities undertaken by lobbyists, assessment of financial penalties for non-compliance with audits, and barring individuals or entities from acting as lobbyists if they have repeat violations of the Lobbying Act.

The report also notes the need for a review of the Lobbying Act to ensure all forms of government advocacy, including grassroots lobbying and strategic consulting, are being captured for reporting purposes.

According to the Times Union, Gov. Cuomo said he is willing to delay budget negotiations in exchange for an ethics reform package from the Legislature, incorporating the recommendations of the JCOPE.

The entire report is available here.

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January 23, 2015 •

2015 PAC Grassroots Pre-Conference Luncheon

  What grassroots activities are you involved in? Are you registered as a lobbyist? Could your activities trigger registration and reporting? What doesn’t require reporting in one state or municipality could easily require it in another and failure to do […]

 

What grassroots activities are you involved in? Are you registered as a lobbyist? Could your activities trigger registration and reporting? What doesn’t require reporting in one state or municipality could easily require it in another and failure to do so could cause major problems for you and your company.

Don’t get caught with your head in the sand! Come have lunch on us and sit down with State and Federal Communications before the start of the PAC Grassroots Conference to discuss government compliance and more.

As a special thank you, all attendees will receive a Starbucks gift card.

Check out our video for luncheon details and R.S.V.P. here!

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January 21, 2015 •

Proud to Be a Sponsor of the 2015 National Grassroots Conference!

  State and Federal Communications is excited to be attending the 2015 National Grassroots Conference on February 3-6. Elizabeth Bartz, president and CEO of the company, and a team of three of the staff, will be heading to Key West […]

 

State and Federal Communications is excited to be attending the 2015 National Grassroots Conference on February 3-6. Elizabeth Bartz, president and CEO of the company, and a team of three of the staff, will be heading to Key West to participate in the program.

We  believe in the great value of this gathering and so we are proud to be the sponsor of the Live Twitter Board at the conference. You can follow the conversations on Twitter @PACouncil #GRC15.

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February 21, 2014 •

Proud to Be a Sponsor of the National PAC Conference!

  State and Federal Communications is excited to be a supporter of the Public Affairs Council’s National PAC Conference. We have a team of four attending this great event. More than this, we are sponsoring the Conference Wi-Fi and the […]

 

State and Federal Communications is excited to be a supporter of the Public Affairs Council’s National PAC Conference. We have a team of four attending this great event.

More than this, we are sponsoring the Conference Wi-Fi and the Wednesday Networking Breakfast.

Why do we sponsor, you ask? Here is State and Federal Communications President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz to explain:

 

 

If you are attending the conference, be sure to join us on Monday, March 3, for our Pre-Conference Luncheon and engage with our experts to see if you can safely say, “I comply!” Our very own compliance expert, Nola Werren, will be on-hand to answer any of your questions. Lunch will be on us and we are also giving away a $25 Starbucks gift card to all attendees!

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October 29, 2013 •

Hawaii State Ethics Commission Issues Ethics Advisory

Grassroots Activities May be Reportable as Lobbying Expenses

Seal of the State of HawaiiThe Hawaii State Ethics Commission issued an ethics advisory in response to inquiries received regarding grassroots lobbying activity during the Legislature’s second special session. The Legislature convened on October 28 to discuss same-sex marriage, and many organizations involved in supporting or opposing the bill may be required to report activities to the commission under Hawaii lobbying law.

Grassroots lobbying activities such as preparing or distributing flyers and other mailers encouraging members of the public to contact their legislators in support of or in opposition to the bill; producing or paying for broadcast, print, or internet media announcements advocating for or against the issue; and organizing sign-waving or rallies to demonstrate support for or against same-sex marriage may all constitute reportable lobbying expenses under Hawaii law.

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April 20, 2013 •

NJ ELEC Makes Recommendations in Annual Report

2012 Annual Report

ELEC Annual ReportIn the 2012 Annual report issued by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) on April 15, the Commission listed several recommendations and ideas to strengthen the state’s campaign finance and lobbying laws.

ELEC recommends requiring disclosure from super PACs and non-profit groups organized under Section 527 and Section 501(c) of the IRS code, requiring disclosure of lobbying activity by local vendors who are required to report pay-to-play contributions, and expanding the 48-hour notice requirement for continuing PAC expenditures to require the filing of notices for expenditures made in May municipal, runoff, school, and special elections.

Among its other recommendations, ELEC calls for the state to expand the regulation of “wheeling” to include contributions by county political party committees to other county political party committees during the entire year.

In the report, the Commission also lists general ideas to strengthen the laws, including requiring grassroots lobbying materials to list the name and address of the committee paying for the material, increasing penalties for public financing violations, and banning the use of partnership funds for the purpose of making contributions.

The annual report can be found here.

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February 28, 2013 •

A New LinkedIn Group Just for Compliance!

State and Federal Communications starts Government Relations Compliance Group

LinkedIn Government Relations Compliance groupThere are a number of terrific LinkedIn groups devoted to government relations professionals and to the industry in general. What we found was that there was no group specifically for the discussion of compliance.

We are excited to announce that we are meeting that need by forming the Government Relations Compliance group.

Government relations professionals can discover what colleagues are saying about complying with government rules and regulations for lobbying, grassroots lobbying, political contributions, and procurement.

Join the conversation!

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