June 22, 2020 •
The Hawaii Ethics Commission approved a package of proposals on June 18. These proposals amend and adopt portions of the Hawaii Administrative Rules related to lobbying and gifts.
The amendments in chapters one through six address the Commission’s operations and procedures. Additionally, chapters seven through 10 now include sections on “Lobbying” and “Gifts and Fair Treatment”.
The proposed rules do not purport to amend any statutes. Rather, they are designed to interpret and execute the statutes enacted by the Legislature.
Section 21-10-5, statement of contributions and expenditures, addresses the statutory requirement that statements of contributions and expenditures must be filed by up to three different entities. This could be the client, the employing organization, and the lobbyist. Or, in the case of lobbyists employed in-house by the client, the client or employing organization and the lobbyist.
This rule creates a single, client-based report rather than requiring separate reports from the client, the employing organization, and the lobbyist. This single, client-based reporting method avoids double or sometimes triple reporting. Additionally, it eliminates the practice, when clients or employing organizations cover expenditures, of having lobbyists submit reports listing “zero” expenditures.
Section 21-10-1 contains definitions of “direct lobbying” and “grassroots lobbying” to demonstrate that lobbying can be both direct and indirect, consistent with the definition of lobbying in Section 97-1 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes. Under Rule 21-10-1, direct lobbying is defined as any oral or written communication with a legislator, an employee, intern, or volunteer of the legislature or an agency that would appear to a reasonable person to be an attempt to influence legislation or rule-making.
Additionally, grassroots lobbying is defined as any oral or written communication directed at any member of the public that expresses an opinion about existing or potential legislation, administrative rule, or ballot issue and includes an explicit or implied call to action.
Section 21-7-6, valuation of gifts, defines the value of a gift as the cost that a member of the public would reasonably expect to incur to purchase it. For example, If the face value of a ticket to an event is $100, but the event is sold out and tickets on the secondary market are $500 at the time the ticket is offered as a gift, the value of the ticket is $500.
The rules must now be approved by the Department of the Attorney General, and then by the governor. Once approved by both offices, they will be posted with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor for 10 days before becoming effective.
October 20, 2020 •
Campaign Finance Illinois: “Illinois Dems Slam GOP Candidate for Taking Donations from Red-Light Camera Biz – but Madigan’s Ties to Industry Run Deep” by Robert Herguth for Chicago Sun-Times Elections California: “Loops, Slants and Crossed ‘T’s’: How election workers verify […]
Illinois: “Illinois Dems Slam GOP Candidate for Taking Donations from Red-Light Camera Biz – but Madigan’s Ties to Industry Run Deep” by Robert Herguth for Chicago Sun-Times
California: “Loops, Slants and Crossed ‘T’s’: How election workers verify voter signatures” by John Wilkens for San Diego Union Tribune
Michigan: “Michigan Appeals Court Reinstates Election Day Mail-In Ballot Deadline as Early Voting Surge Continues” by Elise Viebeck, John Glionna, and Douglas Moser for Washington Post
National: “Full Federal Appeals Court in D.C. to Weigh House Subpoena to Ex-White House Counsel Donald McGahn” by Spencer Hsu for Washington Post
National: “Supreme Court Tees Up Census Case Over Whether Trump Can Exclude Undocumented Immigrants” by Steven Shepard for Politico
National: “On the Job and On the Stump, Cabinet Officials Flout Hatch Act” by Stephen Lee, Megan Boyanton, Andrew Kreigbaum, Shaun Courtney, and Alex Ruoff for Bloomberg Law
Kansas: “Wichita Man Arrested for Allegedly Threatening to Kidnap and Kill Mayor Over City’s Mask Mandate, Police Say” by Timothy Bella for Washington Post
New Mexico: “NM Investment Scandal Winds Down” by Mike Gallagher for Albuquerque Journal
Ohio: “Indicted Lobbyist Caims Jay Edwards Is ‘Representative 8’ in HB6 Affidavit, Report Says” by Ben Peters for Athens News
October 19, 2020 •
Lawmakers adjourned the fifth special session of the Legislature on October 15 after passing four bills. This included the bonding bill, which requires a three-fifths supermajority in each house to pass. Gov. Tim Walz called the session to extend the […]
Lawmakers adjourned the fifth special session of the Legislature on October 15 after passing four bills.
This included the bonding bill, which requires a three-fifths supermajority in each house to pass.
Gov. Tim Walz called the session to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days.
Walz is obligated by law to call a special session for lawmakers to approve the emergency declaration.
October 14, 2020 •
Campaign Finance National: “As U.S. Politics Heats Up, Companies Seek to Avoid Controversy” by Jessica DiNapoli for Reuters Rhode Island: “A Chaotic Campaign Helped Save Rhode Island’s House Speaker in 2016. Now It Threatens to End His Political Career” by […]
National: “As U.S. Politics Heats Up, Companies Seek to Avoid Controversy” by Jessica DiNapoli for Reuters
Rhode Island: “A Chaotic Campaign Helped Save Rhode Island’s House Speaker in 2016. Now It Threatens to End His Political Career” by Dan McGowan and Edward Fitzpatrick for Boston Globe
Washington: “Twitter to Pay $100k to Washington State in Settlement Over Political Ad Disclosure Violations” by Todd Bishop for GeekWire
Alaska: “Alaska Absentee Witness Requirements Scrapped for Election” by Becky Bohrer for Associated Press News
Minnesota: “Federal Judge Upholds Minnesota’s Deadline Extension for Counting Ballots” by Jason Slotkin for National Public Radio
Texas: “Appeals Court OKs Texas Governor’s Order to Limit Drop Off Locations for Absentee Ballots” by Rachel Elbaum for NBC News
National: “Trump’s Children Brought Secret Service Money to the Family Business with Their Visits, Records Show” by David Fahrenthold, Joshua Partlow, and Carol Leonnig (Washington Post) for MSN
National: “Supreme Court Halts Census in Latest Twist of 2020 Count” by Mike Schneider for Associated Press News
National: “Trump Taps U.S. Marine Band for White House Event and Raises Questions About Employing the Military for Political Purposes” by Paul Sonne for Washington Post
Hawaii: “Ballot Questions Could Bolster Ethics Watchdog’s Staffing and Spending” by Chad Blair for Honolulu Civil Beat