August 3, 2010 •

Cook County Introduces Lobbyist Disclosure Web Site

County Clerk David Orr and Commissioner Bridget Gainer announced “Lobbyist Online,” a searchable database of lobbyists and lobbying activity in Cook County. This Web site allows users to find out who is lobbying county government, what they are promoting, who they are trying to influence, and how much money they make. This site comes on the heels of a newly implemented electronic lobbyist registration and reporting system.

Orr’s office reported lobbyists made 576 contacts seeking to influence nearly 60 county officials during the first half of 2010.

Here is the Cook County Clerk Web site with a link to the Lobbyist Online database.

June 2, 2020 •

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Campaign Finance Law

U.S. Supreme Court Building

United States Supreme Court Building

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case challenging a Montana disclosure law. Specifically, the law requires disclosure of spending for political ads within 60 days of an election. In August 2019, the 9th U.S Circuit […]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case challenging a Montana disclosure law.

Specifically, the law requires disclosure of spending for political ads within 60 days of an election.

In August 2019, the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Montana’s law requiring nonprofit groups running ads mentioning candidates, political parties or ballot issues in the 60 day window before an election to report any spending of $250 or more and disclose who funded their efforts.

This law is part of the state’s Disclosure Act, while the case was filed by the National Association of Gun Rights in 2016.

In their lawsuit, the group stated they were planning on sending mailers in Montana.

However, they would not report their donors or spending because it violated their constitutional rights of free speech.

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June 2, 2020 •

Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance National: “Campaign Funds for Judges Warp Criminal Justice, Study Finds” by Adam Liptak for New York Times California: “More Costly Campaigns During COVID? Councilwoman Asks About Raising Contribution Limits” by Jason Ruiz for Long Beach Post Connecticut: “Jon […]

Campaign Finance

National: “Campaign Funds for Judges Warp Criminal Justice, Study Finds” by Adam Liptak for New York Times

California: “More Costly Campaigns During COVID? Councilwoman Asks About Raising Contribution Limits” by Jason Ruiz for Long Beach Post

Connecticut: “Jon Lender: Despite COVID-19, legislators and PACs still put the touch on lobbyists, others for contributions; but now the touch is virtual” by Jon Lender for Hartford Courant

Nevada: “Nev. Elections Office Reviewing MedMen Donation Allegations” by Michelle Price for AP News

Ethics

National: “Judge Sullivan’s Refusal to Immediately Dismiss Flynn’s Case Raises Novel Questions About the Limits of Judicial Power” by Ann Marimow for Washington Post

National: “Houston Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s Bestselling New Book Got Boost from Purchases by House GOP Campaign Arm” by Tom Benning for Dallas Morning News

Colorado: “Hickenlooper Subpoenaed to Testify Thursday About Private Flights” by Jason Wingerter for Denver Post

Michigan: “Bucci Pleads Guilty in Macomb Extortion Scandal” by Robert Snell for Detroit News

Mississippi: “Lt. Governor Withdraws Request for Ethics Decision Over Small Business Grants for Lawmakers” by Luke Ramseth for Jackson Clarion-Ledger

North Carolina: “Raleigh Mayor Now Working for Company That Got $6M City Contract. No Conflict, She Says.” by Anna Johnson for Raleigh News and Observer

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June 1, 2020 •

Newark, New Jersey Lawmakers Amend Pay-to-Play Laws

New Jersey Capitol Building

On May 20, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka signed Ordinance No. 20-0515 amending the city’s contractor pay-to-play laws to reflect state law. The ordinance removes Essex County political party committees, political committees and continuing political committees regularly engaging in the support […]

On May 20, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka signed Ordinance No. 20-0515 amending the city’s contractor pay-to-play laws to reflect state law.

The ordinance removes Essex County political party committees, political committees and continuing political committees regularly engaging in the support of candidates for Newark municipal offices or County of Essex offices from the definition of campaign committee.

Additionally, ordinance 20-0515 removed the monetary thresholds of $300 per calendar year and annual aggregate limit of $2,500 for all business entity contributions to covered Newark political recipients.

Under the ordinance, all contributions to covered recipients by a business entity submitting a proposal, in negotiations for, or in agreement with the city for services is prohibited during the term of the contract.

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June 1, 2020 •

Missouri Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Missouri Capitol Building

The Second Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly adjourned sine die, officially ending the session, on May 27. Before adjourning lawmakers sent House Bill 1386 to the governor, modifying the definition of legislative lobbyist for purposes of lobbying laws. The […]

The Second Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly adjourned sine die, officially ending the session, on May 27.

Before adjourning lawmakers sent House Bill 1386 to the governor, modifying the definition of legislative lobbyist for purposes of lobbying laws.

The definition will exclude legislative liaisons, defined as any state employee hired to communicate with members of the General Assembly on behalf of any elected official of the state, the judicial branch of state government, or any department, agency, board, or commission of the state, provided such entity is a part of the executive branch of state government.

The Legislature also passed Senate Joint Resolution 0038, placing a constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot enacting a lobbyist gift ban.

Additionally it will reduce contribution limits made to or accepted by any candidate or committee from $2,500 to $2,000.

And finally it will repeal a redistricting plan enacted by voters in 2018.

The veto session is scheduled for September 16.

 

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June 1, 2020 •

U.S. Court of Appeals Permanently Enjoins PA Ban on Gaming Contributions

Cards, Chips and Dice

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit permanently enjoined the Commonwealth’s prohibition on political contributions from gaming-license applicants, licensees, and principals of licensees. Judge Richard Nygaard upheld the lower court’s conclusion and granted summary judgment in favor of […]

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit permanently enjoined the Commonwealth’s prohibition on political contributions from gaming-license applicants, licensees, and principals of licensees.

Judge Richard Nygaard upheld the lower court’s conclusion and granted summary judgment in favor of appellees Deon and Hardy.

Judge Nygaard found Section 1513 of the Gaming Act furthers a substantially important state interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption.

However, the restriction imposed on political contributions is unconstitutional because the Commonwealth did not closely draw the scheme to address the issue.

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June 1, 2020 •

Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Ethics National: “Pence Chief of Staff Owns Stocks That Could Conflict with Coronavirus Response” by Tim Mak for National Public Radio National: “Trump Signs Order That Could Punish Social Media Companies for How They Police Content, Drawing Criticism and Doubts […]

Ethics

National: “Pence Chief of Staff Owns Stocks That Could Conflict with Coronavirus Response” by Tim Mak for National Public Radio

National: “Trump Signs Order That Could Punish Social Media Companies for How They Police Content, Drawing Criticism and Doubts of Legality” by Elizabeth Dwoskin and Tony Romm (Washington Post) for Seattle Times

California: “Corruption Probe Takes Down Another at LA City Hall” by Nathan Solis for Courthouse News Service

Colorado: “John Hickenlooper Must Testify in Ethics Hearing, Commission Rules” by Saja Hindi for Denver Post

Kentucky: “Beshear Makes Appointments to Executive Ethics Commission” by Staff for AP News

North Carolina: “A Confrontation Between NC Senators, a Police Report, and a Secretive Ethics Process” by Jessica Huseman (ProPublica) and Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan (Raleigh News and Observer) for MSN

Legislative Issues

Pennsylvania: “Pa. House Democrats Say They Were in the Dark for a Week About Republican’s Positive Coronavirus” by Julia Terruso (Philadelphia Inquirer) and Angela Couloumbis for Spotlight PA

Lobbying

National: “Veteran Lobbyists Flex Muscles in K Street’s New Normal” by Alex Gangitano for The Hill

Idaho: “Ada Co. GOP Chair Used Party Funds on Private Expense, Allowed Questionable Audit” by James Dawson for Boise State Public Radio

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May 29, 2020 •

Rhode Island General Assembly Cancels Sessions for the First Week of June

Rhode Island State House

Rhode Island State House - by Farragutful

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly has canceled legislative sessions for the week of June 1 to June 5. Committee hearings have been scheduled in both chambers of the General Assembly and will be live streamed at www.rilegislature.gov/CapTV. […]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly has canceled legislative sessions for the week of June 1 to June 5.

Committee hearings have been scheduled in both chambers of the General Assembly and will be live streamed at www.rilegislature.gov/CapTV.

During this time, the State House building will remain closed.

Members of the public wishing to testify on any of the matters before the committees may submit written testimony.

The General Assembly is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, June 9.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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May 29, 2020 •

Chicago Extends Deadline for First Quarter Lobbyist Activity Reports

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The Chicago Board of Ethics is further extending the first quarterly report filing deadline from June 1 to July 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. First quarter reports cover the January 1 to March 31 period and must be filed […]

The Chicago Board of Ethics is further extending the first quarterly report filing deadline from June 1 to July 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First quarter reports cover the January 1 to March 31 period and must be filed even if there was no activity.

In addition, registered lobbyists now have until December 31st to complete their annual mandatory ethics training.

The board expects additional amendments to the city’s lobbying laws later in 2020.

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