July 27, 2016 • Written by Jim Sedor
Lobbying Alaska: “Oil Lobbyist Treated Legislator to Meal after Oil Tax Vote” by Nathaniel Herz for Alaska Dispatch News Campaign Finance “In Hacked D.N.C. Emails, a Glimpse of How Big Money Works” by Nicholas Confessore and Steve Eder for New […]
Alaska: “Oil Lobbyist Treated Legislator to Meal after Oil Tax Vote” by Nathaniel Herz for Alaska Dispatch News
“In Hacked D.N.C. Emails, a Glimpse of How Big Money Works” by Nicholas Confessore and Steve Eder for New York Times
“Report: FEC leaders, managers share blame for horrid morale” by Dave Levinthal for Center for Public Integrity
“DNC Sought to Hide Details of Clinton Funding Deal” by Kenneth Vogel and Isaac Arnsdorf for Politico
California: “Grand Jury Finds Cracks in Ethics Policies” by Joshua Stewart for San Diego Union-Tribune
Kentucky: “Bevin Questions Grant to Jane Beshear Charity” by Tom Loftus for Louisville Courier-Journal
“Clinton Highlights Lack of Women in Office” by Christina Cassidy (Associated Press) for ABC News
“A Worry if Clinton Wins: An idle ex-president in the White House” by Patrick Healy for New York Times
California: “Why a New Law Isn’t Shrinking the Overload of Ballot Initiatives Much – Yet” by Laurel Rosenhall (CALmatters) for Long Beach Press-Telegram
July 26, 2016 • Written by Jim Sedor
Campaign Finance “IRS Gives Opposite Rulings to Convention Committees” by Kenneth Doyle for Bloomberg BNA California: “Campaign Cash: A Journey Through the Cal-Access Labyrinth” by Cosmo Garvin for Capitol Weekly Connecticut: “U.S. Attorney Opens Probe of Malloy’s 2014 Campaign Fundraising” by […]
“IRS Gives Opposite Rulings to Convention Committees” by Kenneth Doyle for Bloomberg BNA
California: “Campaign Cash: A Journey Through the Cal-Access Labyrinth” by Cosmo Garvin for Capitol Weekly
Connecticut: “U.S. Attorney Opens Probe of Malloy’s 2014 Campaign Fundraising” by Keith Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas for CT Mirror
“As Pick for No. 2, Tim Kaine Sees Gifts Come Under Scrutiny” by Eric Lipton and Steve Eder for New York Times
Massachusetts: “Supreme Court’s Corruption Decision Could Affect Mass. Cases” by Shelley Murphy for Boston Globe
New York: “N.Y. Lawmakers Seek to Strengthen State Bribery Law” by Matthew Hamilton for Albany Times Union
“DNC Turmoil Confirms Warnings: Hackers Are Targeting Campaigns” by Eric Geller for Politico
Louisiana: “Former KKK Leader David Duke, Citing Trump, Announces Senate Bid” by Elise Viebeck for Washington Post
July 25, 2016 • Written by Jim Sedor
Lobbying “For Special Interests, the Real Party Is Outside the Convention” by Carrie Levine and Dave Levinthal for Center for Public Integrity California: “California Wants People to Prove They Are Not Lobbyists” by Alison Noon for KPCC Connecticut: “CT GOP […]
“For Special Interests, the Real Party Is Outside the Convention” by Carrie Levine and Dave Levinthal for Center for Public Integrity
California: “California Wants People to Prove They Are Not Lobbyists” by Alison Noon for KPCC
Connecticut: “CT GOP Delegates, This Meal Is Brought to You by …” by Mark Pazniokas for CT Mirror
Texas: “City Wins Lawsuit Despite Appearance of Loss” by Jo Clifton for Austin Monitor
Connecticut: “Wade Fires Back at Critics” by Christine Stuart for CTNewsJunkie.com
Hawaii: “School Cleared in Ethics Case” by Nathan Eagle for Honolulu Civil Beat
Maryland: “Del. Dan Morhaim, Advocate of Medical Marijuana, Draws Scrutiny for Role in Firm” by Pamela Wood and Erin Cox for Baltimore Sun
Pennsylvania: “Feds Charge Ex-Pa. Treasurer Hafer with Lying and Millionaire Donor with Fraud in Pay-to-Play Probe” by Mark Fazlollah, Craig McCoy, and Dylan Purcell for Philadelphia Inquirer
South Carolina: “Ethics Commission Narrows Governor’s Allowed Use of USC Football Tickets” by Maya Prabhu for Charleston Post & Courier
South Carolina: “Ethics Board Tells Candidates When It’s OK to Pay Family with Donations” by Seanna Adcox (Associated Press) for Aiken Standard
“Hillary Clinton Selects Tim Kaine, a Popular Senator from a Swing State, as Running Mate” by Amy Chozick, Alan Rappeport, and Jonathan Martin for New York Times
“DNC Chairwoman Will Resign in Aftermath of Committee Email Controversy” by Anne Gearan, Philip Rucker, and Abby Phillip for Washington Post
Texas: “Appeals Court Says Texas Voter-ID Law Discriminates Against Minorities” by Robert Barnes for Washington Post
Wisconsin: “Judge Issues Injunction, Allows Voters without IDs to Cast Ballots” by Patrick Marley and Jason Stein for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
July 22, 2016 • Written by Clémence Besnard
Here is our latest edition of the News You Can Use Video Digest. Have a great weekend! NYCU Video Digest was produced by 2016 interns Brittany Anderson and Clémence Besnard for State and Federal Communications.
Here is our latest edition of the News You Can Use Video Digest. Have a great weekend!
NYCU Video Digest was produced by 2016 interns Brittany Anderson and Clémence Besnard for State and Federal Communications.
July 22, 2016 • Written by Jim Sedor
National: Accused of Sexual Harassment, Roger Ailes Is Negotiating Exit from Fox New York Times – John Koblin and Jim Rutenberg | Published: 7/19/2016 The Murdoch family is moving to oust Roger Ailes, the chairperson of Fox News Channel, after multiple […]
Accused of Sexual Harassment, Roger Ailes Is Negotiating Exit from Fox
New York Times – John Koblin and Jim Rutenberg | Published: 7/19/2016
The Murdoch family is moving to oust Roger Ailes, the chairperson of Fox News Channel, after multiple women have accused him of sexual harassment. Ailes and Fox News’s parent company are in the advanced stages of discussions that would lead to his departure, said Susan Estrich, one of Ailes’s lawyers. His exit would be a humbling and startlingly sudden fall from power for a man who started Fox News from scratch 20 years ago and built it into a top-rated cable news network. Along the way, Ailes, a former Republican operative, established Fox News as the leading media platform for conservative politics.
Behind Melania Trump’s Cribbed Lines, an Ex-Ballerina Who Loved Writing
New York Times – Jason Horowitz | Published: 7/20/2016
Meredith McIver, a speechwriter for Donald Trump’s private company, took the blame for apparent plagiarism in Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention. McIver, the co-author of several books with Donald Trump, said as she and Ms. Trump were preparing her speech, Ms. Trump mentioned she admired Michelle Obama and read to McIver parts of the first lady’s 2008 speech at the Democratic convention. McIver said she had inadvertently left portions of the Obama speech in the final draft.
Donald Trump May Break the Mold, but He Fits a Pattern, Too
New York Times – Alexander Burns | Published: 7/21/2016
Donald Trump’s candidacy has upended the Republican Party, baffling and then vanquishing opponents who dismissed him as a celebrity sideshow. Even now, many prefer to treat his success as a freak occurrence without precedent in U.S. history. But if Trump will be the first figure of his kind to claim a presidential nomination, his candidacy falls within an American tradition of insurgent politics that has found expression in other moments of social and economic rupture, often attaching itself to folk heroes from the world of big business or the military.
G.O.P.’s Moneyed Class Finds Its Place in New Trump World
New York Times – Nicholas Confessore | Published: 7/21/2016
Donald Trump has attacked lobbyists, disparaged big campaign donors, and railed against the party’s establishment. But at the Republican National Convention, beyond the glare of television cameras, the power of the permanent political class seemed virtually undisturbed. In Cleveland, even some of those who had worked against Trump’s candidacy now saw opportunity. In dozens of private receptions, they inspected their party’s new Trump faction with curiosity and hope. There were spheres of influence to carve out, money to raise and money to be made, whether or not Trump ended up in the White House. There were new friends to make and old relationships to nurture.
The Man Behind Citizens United Gears Up for Hillary Clinton Attacks
USA Today – Fredreka Schouten | Published: 7/20/2016
Political operative David Bossie, as much as any single person, is responsible for the nearly unrestricted flow of money pouring into the 2016 presidential campaign. He runs the conservative advocacy group Citizens United, and his attempt to distribute his anti-Hillary Clinton movie gave rise to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 blockbuster decision, which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts to influence elections. Bossie is the new leader of the Defeat Crooked Hillary PAC, which plans to merge cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned opposition research in a push to sink the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee. At the same time, Bossie is moving closer to the inner circle of the Republican Party.
Why We Don’t Know Who’s Funding the Republican Convention
Time – Haley Sweetland Edwards and Chris Wilson | Published: 7/17/2016
The Republican National Convention in Cleveland is the first time in four decades that a major political party’s nominating convention is underwritten nearly exclusively with private cash. The near total dependence on private money is the direct result of a series of recent federal rule changes. The new rules, which passed with little fanfare in 2014, allow individual donors to give ten times more to national parties they could in 2012. They also fail to close a loophole allowing corporations, lobbying firms, super PACs, and special interest groups, which are formally prohibited from giving to the parties’ conventions, to give unlimited amounts through special, nonprofit committees, which are not bound by normal disclosure rules. As a result, the public will not find out who the major corporate funders are to either the Republican or Democratic conventions until sometime in the fall.
From the States and Municipalities:
Colorado – Denver Campaign Finance Reform Proposal Pulled from Ballot
Denver Post – Claire Cleveland | Published: 7/18/2016
A proposed ballot initiative in Denver that would reign in big campaign contributions and set up a public financing system for city elections has been withdrawn by its backers. The measure was challenged by David Kenney, a political consultant and lobbyist. The challenge alleges the initiative is so wide-ranging that it violates a single-subject rule for ordinances and says the ballot title approved by the Denver Elections Division inadequately summarizes the measure and includes words intended to sway voters.
Kentucky – Corporations Can Now Make Political Donations in Kentucky
WFPL – Ryland Barton | Published: 7/18/2016
The Kentucky Registry of Election Finance agreed to the final judgment in a lawsuit challenging the unequal treatment of unions and corporations under the state’s campaign finance law. A judge struck down the law that allowed only unions, not corporations, to give money directly to state and local political candidates, and to also support candidates through union-funded PACs. Now, both corporations and unions will be allowed to donate to PACs, and neither will be allowed to make direct contributions to candidates. The new law will affect state and local candidates, not candidates for federal office.
Missouri – Who Made the Biggest Political Donation in Missouri History? Ask After the Election
St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Kevin McDermott | Published: 7/19/2016
The super PAC SEALs for Truth gave the largest political contribution to an individual candidate in Missouri history when it donated $1.975 million to gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens, who is a former Navy SEAL. The group received the $1.975 million between July 1 and July 18, when it gave the cash to Greitens. But it does not have to publicly reveal where that money originally came from until later in the year, well after the state’s August 2 primaries are over. Missouri election officials have said they have no way to restrict money donated from federal PACs to state candidates, as long as it is disclosed publicly.
New Jersey – David Samson, Ally of Christie, Admits to Bribery Over Airline Route
New York Times – Patrick McGeehan | Published: 7/14/2016
David Samson, the embattled former chairperson of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pleaded guilty to using his clout to coerce one of the nation’s largest airlines to accommodate his desire for a regularly scheduled, non-stop flight to his South Carolina summer home. Samson, a well-connected lawyer and one-time New Jersey attorney general, pleaded guilty to one charge of bribery for accepting a benefit of more than $5,000 from United Airlines. At the same time, United – which was not criminally charged – agreed to pay a fine of $2.25 million and pledged to reform to its compliance program.
Ohio – In Cleveland’s Public Square, Rights Are Exercised. Loudly.
New York Times – Dan Barry | Published: 7/19/2016
While the Republican National Convention was being held at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, there was a parallel national conversation in a 10-acre downtown commons called Public Square, where people have colorfully debated one another since before Ohio was a state. The congregation in the square included protesters and counter-protesters, young capitalists and socialists, delegates away from home and locals without a home, a man with a pet iguana and a man with a semiautomatic rifle. “The Hyde Park of Cleveland,” said John Grabowski, a history professor at Case Western Reserve University and a Cleveland native. “[People] would come to vent. But they would also come to celebrate.”
Pennsylvania – Kathleen Kane’s Staff Gives Job Interview to Son of Key Prosecution Witness Against Her
Allentown Morning Call – Steve Esack | Published: 7/20/2016
Just three weeks before Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s criminal trial is scheduled to begin, her top aides interviewed the son of a key witness against her for a job in her office, raising questions about a conflict-of-interest and inappropriate influence. Matthew Peifer was interviewed for a position in the Child Predator Unit, which is headed by Kane’s twin, Ellen Granahan. He is the son of David Peifer, a onetime Kane confidant and a top agent in the attorney general’s office who last year agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for immunity. Kane is facing charges for allegedly leaking secret grand jury information to the media and lying when asked about it under oath.
Rhode Island – Ethics Commission Adopts Moratorium on Complaints for 90 Days before General Election
Rhode Island Public Radio – Ian Donnis | Published: 7/19/2016
The Rhode Island Ethics Commission voted to adopt a moratorium on outside ethics complaints in the 90 days before a general election. The moratorium is intended to discourage politically motivated complaints, although the panel reserves the right to launch its own investigations, said commission attorney Jason Gramitt. Voters will decide this November if they want to restore the Ethics Commission’s conflict-of-interest oversight over the General Assembly.
Tennessee – The Culture That Allowed Durham to Thrive
The Tennessean – Dave Boucher and Joel Ebert | Published: 7/17/2016
Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell says nothing could have stopped state Rep. Jeremy Durham, who used his nearly five years in elected office to methodically harass or sexually take advantage of at least 22 women. “I don’t think anything could have avoided what happened; he violated our current policy and I think he would violate any policy,” Harwell said. Many lawmakers, staffers, and lobbyists knew about his predatory misbehavior for years but did not speak up to stop him, according to the findings of an attorney general’s investigation. The culture at the Capitol emphasizes deals between lawmakers, lobbyists, and staff over alcohol, late nights, and loyalty to a fault. It is also a culture where many female lobbyists, legislative staffers, and lawmakers expect to have to fend off sexual advances by some men at the statehouse.
Utah – Prosecutors Seek to Drop All Charges Against Ex-A.G. Shurtleff; Swallow Prosecution Proceeding
Salt Lake Tribune – Jennifer Dobner | Published: 7/18/2016
Prosecutors moved to drop “pay-to-play” charges against former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, a surprise retreat more than two years after state investigators arrested him and his successor, John Swallow, citing a pattern of favors and gifts traded with a cast of questionable businesspersons. Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said in court documents that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the bribery conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell narrowed what could be charged in influence-peddling cases.
State and Federal Communications produces a weekly summary of national news, offering more than 60 articles per week focused on ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance.
July 21, 2016 • Written by Jim Sedor
Lobbying “Lobbyists Have Raised $7 Million for Hillary Clinton. For Trump? Zero” by Catherine Ho for Washington Post South Carolina: “Departing S.C. House Ethics Committee Chairman Accepts Government Affairs Consulting Job” by Maya Prabhu for Charleston Post and Courier Campaign […]
“Lobbyists Have Raised $7 Million for Hillary Clinton. For Trump? Zero” by Catherine Ho for Washington Post
South Carolina: “Departing S.C. House Ethics Committee Chairman Accepts Government Affairs Consulting Job” by Maya Prabhu for Charleston Post and Courier
“States Can Bring Political ‘Dark Money’ into the Light” by Ann Ravel for Los Angeles Times
Illinois: “Who Is Funding Group Challenging Redistricting?” by Sophia Tareen (Associated Press) for WTOP
Missouri: “Who Made the Biggest Political Donation in Missouri History? Ask After the Election” by Kevin McDermott for St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Accused of Sexual Harassment, Roger Ailes Is Negotiating Exit from Fox” by John Koblin and Jim Rutenberg for New York Times
Pennsylvania: “Kathleen Kane’s Staff Gives Job Interview to Son of Key Prosecution Witness Against Her” by Steve Esack for Allentown Morning Call
“‘Just Look Around’: A Hispanic delegate doesn’t see the party she’s rooting for” by Robert Samuels for Washington Post
“How Donald Trump Picked His Running Mate” by Robert Draper for New York Times
Ohio: “In Cleveland’s Public Square, Rights Are Exercised. Loudly.” by Dan Barry for New York Times
July 20, 2016 • Written by Jim Sedor
Lobbying “UFC’s Payday Comes at the End of an Odyssey through Statehouses” by Richard Sandomir and Ken Belson (New York Times News Service) for Las Vegas Sun New York: “De Blasio’s Nonprofits: Were they worth it?” by Samar Khurshid for […]
“UFC’s Payday Comes at the End of an Odyssey through Statehouses” by Richard Sandomir and Ken Belson (New York Times News Service) for Las Vegas Sun
New York: “De Blasio’s Nonprofits: Were they worth it?” by Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette
“In Choosing Mike Pence, Donald Trump Moves Closer to Big Donors” by Nicholas Confessore for New York Times
Colorado: “Denver Campaign Finance Reform Proposal Pulled from Ballot” by Claire Cleveland for Denver Post
Kentucky: “Corporations Can Now Make Political Donations in Kentucky” by Ryland Barton for WFPL
Rhode Island: “Ethics Commission Adopts Moratorium on Complaints for 90 Days before General Election” by Ian Donnis for Rhode Island Public Radio
“How Melania Trump’s Speech Veered Off Course and Caused an Uproar” by Maggie Haberman and Michael Barbaro for New York Times
“Inside the GOP’s Shadow Convention” by Shane Goldmacher for Politico Magazine
Kansas: “ACLU Sues Kansas Over Voting Rule for State, Local Races” by Roxana Hegeman (Associated Press) for Philadelphia Inquirer
Virginia: “Virginia High Court Considers Whether McAuliffe Erred in Restoring Felons’ Voting Rights” by Fenit Nirappil for Washington Post
July 19, 2016 • Written by Jim Sedor
Lobbying “Reluctant Lobbyists Descend on Cleveland” by Megan Wilson for The Hill Campaign Finance “Clinton Pledges Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United Ruling” by Benjamin Oreskes for Politico “Mike Pence Used Campaign Funds to Pay His Mortgage – and it […]
“Reluctant Lobbyists Descend on Cleveland” by Megan Wilson for The Hill
“Clinton Pledges Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United Ruling” by Benjamin Oreskes for Politico
“Mike Pence Used Campaign Funds to Pay His Mortgage – and it Cost Him an Election” by Rosalind Helderman, Tom Hamburger, and Alice Crites for Washington Post
“Why We Don’t Know Who’s Funding the Republican Convention” by Haley Sweetland Edwards and Chris Wilson for Time
New Jersey:”Watchdogs Cheer Disclosure of $1M Donor to Super PAC Linked to Fulop” by Terrence McDonald (Jersey Journal) for NJ.com
Oklahoma: “Oklahoma Schools May Suspend Popular Fundraiser over Political Promo” by D.E. Smoot (Muskogee Phoenix) for Times Record
Tennessee: “The Culture That Allowed Durham to Thrive” by Dave Boucher and Joel Ebert for The Tennessean
Utah: “Prosecutors Seek to Drop All Charges Against Ex-A.G. Shurtleff; Swallow Prosecution Proceeding” by Jennifer Dobner for Salt Lake Tribune
“Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All” by Jane Mayer for New Yorker
“Paul Ryan Blasted for Picture of Congressional Interns with Few Minorities” by Christopher Brennan for New York Daily News
July 18, 2016 • Written by Jim Sedor
Lobbying New York: “Jackson Lewis Lands 39-Member Wilson Elser Lobbying Group” by Christine Simmons for New York Law Journal Campaign Finance California: “Commerce Councilwoman Faces State’s Largest-Ever Penalty Against a Local Elected Official” by Adam Elmahrek for Los Angeles Times […]
New York: “Jackson Lewis Lands 39-Member Wilson Elser Lobbying Group” by Christine Simmons for New York Law Journal
California: “Commerce Councilwoman Faces State’s Largest-Ever Penalty Against a Local Elected Official” by Adam Elmahrek for Los Angeles Times
District of Columbia: “Vincent Gray 2010 Campaign Chauffeur Sentenced to a Year’s Probation” by Keith Alexander for Washington Post
Indiana: “No Criminal Charges for Monarch Beverage in Campaign Contributions Investigation” by Jill Disis and Tony Cook for Indianapolis Star
“U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield Broke House Rules, Committee Finds” by R.G. Dunlop for Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting
Florida: “Carrie Meek’s Daughter Involved in $5 Million Land Deal Through Mom’s Foundation” by Douglas Hanks for Miami Herald
New Jersey: “David Samson, Ally of Christie, Admits to Bribery Over Airline Route” by Patrick McGeehan for New York Times
Oregon: “Court Tosses Out Subpoena in Kitzhaber Investigation” by Andrew Selsky (Associated Press) for Everett Herald
“Donald Trump Officially Picks Mike Pence as His Running Mate” by Philip Rucker and Robert Costa for Washington Post
July 15, 2016 • Written by Clémence Besnard
We are excited to debut our very first weekly News You Can Use Video Digest! NYCU Video Digest was produced by 2016 interns Brittany Anderson and Clémence Besnard for State and Federal Communications.
We are excited to debut our very first weekly News You Can Use Video Digest!
NYCU Video Digest was produced by 2016 interns Brittany Anderson and Clémence Besnard for State and Federal Communications.
July 15, 2016 • Written by Meredith Morckel
Integrity Commissioner Robert Marleau suggested updates to the city’s lobbying laws after investigating the practices of Sinking Ship Entertainment. The investigation found Sinking Ship Entertainment failed to register as a lobbyist within the 15-day deadline during efforts to sell a […]
Integrity Commissioner Robert Marleau suggested updates to the city’s lobbying laws after investigating the practices of Sinking Ship Entertainment.
The investigation found Sinking Ship Entertainment failed to register as a lobbyist within the 15-day deadline during efforts to sell a playground conceptual design to the city. The company indicated it was unaware its communications with city staff counted as lobbying. Additionally, city councilors failed to advise the company about the need to register.
Marleau reluctantly gave Sinking Ship Entertainment permission to register its lobbying activity after the fact in order to achieve transparency.
July 15, 2016 • Written by Jim Sedor
National: Gay Political Power Reaching Record as U.S. Attitudes Shift Bloomberg.com – Jeff Green | Published: 7/11/2016 Opponents are planning a campaign to roll back the new rights on same-sex marriage and military service won by gay Americans this year. That […]
Gay Political Power Reaching Record as U.S. Attitudes Shift
Bloomberg.com – Jeff Green | Published: 7/11/2016
Opponents are planning a campaign to roll back the new rights on same-sex marriage and military service won by gay Americans this year. That offensive, in state Legislatures and Washington, D.C., has raised the stakes in the 2016 election for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, which is trying to leverage its unprecedented political power to elect lawmakers who would extend federal protections at work and home to gay citizens, just as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protected race, religion, and gender. It is difficult to put a specific dollar amount on LGBT money in politics. But there is no question the spending is much more visible than it was two decades ago, said Democratic National Committee Treasurer Andrew Tobias.
How Private Equity Found Power and Profit in State Capitols
New York Times – Ben Protess, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, and Rachel Abrams | Published: 7/14/2016
Since the 2008 financial crisis, private equity firms have expanded their influence, assuming a pervasive, if clandestine, role in American life, an investigation found. Sophisticated political maneuvering – including winning government contracts, shaping public policy, and deploying former public officials to press their case – is central to this growth. Yet even as private equity wields influence in states and in Washington, D. C., it faces little public awareness of its activities. Private equity firms often do not directly engage with lawmakers and regulators – the companies they control do. And because private equity’s interests are so diverse, the industry interacts with governments not only through lobbying, but also as contractors and partners on public projects.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Struggle to Be Unifying Voice for Nation
New York Times – Patrick Healy | Published: 7/9/2016
Traumatic events have at times become opportunities for presidential candidates to step up and grow in the eyes of the American public, such as when Bill Clinton went to Los Angeles in 1992 in the aftermath of the riots there, or when Barack Obama pushed for aggressive, bipartisan action from the federal government to stem the banking crisis and protect taxpayers. No moment in the 2016 presidential campaign has cried out more for a unifying candidate than the police shootings of two black men and the ensuing national uproar, followed by the sniper ambush that killed five police officers in Dallas. And no other moment has revealed more starkly how hard it is for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to become that candidate. Never have two presidential nominees been as unpopular as Trump and Clinton, and they are not fully trusted by their own parties nor showing significant crossover appeal in the polls.
Koch-Backed ‘Dark Money’ Groups Fined for Failing to Disclose Donors
Center for Public Integrity – John Dunbar | Published: 7/13/2016
The FEC fined three nonprofit groups formerly connected with the political network of Charles and David Koch a total of $233,000, a rare intervention by the agency into the world of outside spending. Each of the groups ran political advertisements to support U.S. House candidates during the 2010 election. The FEC’s investigation provides a look into the interlocking networks of political nonprofits on the right, through which vast sums of money flow each election cycle with little disclosure. Such groups are not required to report their donors and typically trade large amounts of cash during each election cycle, making it difficult to judge which dollar from which donor is used for any particular activity.
US Rep. Corrine Brown Indicted After Fraud Investigation
ABC News – Jason Dearen and Curt Anderson (Associated Press) | Published: 7/8/2016
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida and her chief of staff, Elias Simmons, were charged with 24 counts of fraud and other crimes that prosecutors said allowed them to use an education nonprofit as a “personal slush fund.” The indictment alleges Brown and Simmons used the One Door for Education-Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund to solicit $800,000 in charitable donations between 2012 and 2016. The money was used for Brown’s personal benefit, among other things, including “tens of thousands of dollars in cash deposits” sent to her personal bank accounts, according to prosecutors. Carla Wiley, former head of the Virginia-based One Door for Education, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud earlier this year and was cooperating with investigators.
From the States and Municipalities:
Alabama – Mike Hubbard Sentenced to Four Years in Prison
Tuscaloosa News – Kim Chandler (Associated Press) | Published: 7/8/2016
Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard was sentenced to four years in prison for violating the state’s ethics law. He also faces $210,000 in fines. A jury convicted him of using his office to secure consulting contracts and investments from lobbyists or those who employ them. He was also found guilty of using staff members to do work for his private clients, voting for a budget that would have benefitted a client, and lobbying Gov. Robert Bentley on behalf of a client. At trial, Hubbard’s defense team argued that many of the charges he faced fell under an exemption in the law that allows public officials to exchange things of value with those they have long-standing friendships with.
California – Lyft Agrees to $6,000 FPPC Fine for Not Reporting Lobbying Costs
Sacramento Bee – Taryn Luna | Published: 7/11/2016
The ride-hailing firm Lyft agreed to pay $6,000 in fines for repeatedly being late in disclosing its use of lobbyists to influence California officials. An investigation by Fair Political Practices Commission staff alleged Lyft failed to file in a timely manner five lobbyist employer reports. During the 2013–2014 legislative session, Lyft spent more than $271,000 on lobbying related to four transportation-regulating bills. One report was filed 530 days late, although Lyft did not conduct any lobbying during the quarter. Other reports, during which there was activity, were filed from 11 to 165 days late. “According to Lyft, the late filing was an oversight caused by Lyft’s reliance on its lobbying firms to file its reports and its lack of experience as a lobbyist employer,” the staff report said.
Louisiana – Good Idea Gone Awry? How Term Limits Impact Sessions of Louisiana Legislature
New Orleans Advocate – Mark Ballard | Published: 7/9/2016
Term limits in Louisiana, which require state representatives and senators to step down after 12 years to make way for new lawmakers, were billed by supporters as a way to create a Legislature that would be more responsive to voters and allow for thinking “outside the box” to solve persistent governmental problems. But term limits also sapped legislators of historical knowledge, hardened political positions, and undermined the relationships that are essential ingredients to actually operating the machinery of government, some lawmakers, lobbyists, and political operatives say.
Missouri – Andy Blunt Came to Washington – Was It Lobbying?
St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Chuck Raasch | Published: 7/7/2016
When it was announced last year that Andy Blunt would manage the re-election campaign of his father, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Democrats accused the younger Blunt of a conflict-of-interest. In December, Andy Blunt said that “I lobby in the state of Missouri, not the United States Congress, and there is a clear distinction.” But in April, Andy Blunt helped lead a delegation of Missouri cable television executives in meetings with members of the Missouri congressional delegation or their staffs. The younger Blount said he did not consider the meetings to be lobbying. Rather, he said, they were part of an annual “meet-and-greet” trip to Washington. The revelations rekindle questions about where Andy Blunt’s lobbying for clients ends and his advocacy for his father’s re-election campaign begins.
New York – Fight Over Emails Yields New Details on Role of Outside ‘Agents’ for de Blasio
New York Times – J. David Goodman | Published: 7/7/2016
After the rocky conclusion to his first year in office, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sought counsel at the start of 2015 from his most trusted advisers. The mayor’s office and a few outside consultants discussed internal opinion surveys and formulated strategy on some of de Blasio’s most pressing concerns. These internal discussions about public matters are now part of a court battle as lawyers for a nonprofit aligned with the mayor are fighting to keep those emails confidential, resisting subpoenas for that information by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. The legal strategy appeared to clarify what had been one of the more puzzling moments of the de Blasio era: the description of five outside consultants as “agents of the city.”
Ohio – Dallas Shooting and Open-Carry Laws Loom Over Cleveland Convention Plans
New York Times – Yamiche Alcindor | Published: 7/11/2016
The recent violence in Dallas is intensifying worries in Cleveland about visitors and protesters taking firearms downtown during the Republican National Convention, where thousands of people plan to demonstrate. Ohio’s open-carry laws mean that those who legally own guns can take them into the two-square-mile area where many of the events and protests connected to the convention will be held. Cleveland’s police chief said that after the Dallas shootings, the city would be changing its security plans but did not go into detail. Meanwhile, some are planning to take their own security forces to Cleveland.
Pennsylvania – Consulting Business Owned by Mike Fleck Fined $11,850 by State
Allentown Morning Call – Emily Opilo | Published: 7/11/2016
Hamilton Development Partners, a former Allentown business at the center of an FBI investigation in the city, was cited by the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission. The firm failed to file a quarterly expense report with the Department of State for the third quarter of 2015 as required by the state lobbying law. It owes an $11,850 fine – $50 per day for each of the 237 days that the report has been considered late. The firm has been ordered to file an expense report in the next 30 days or face “appropriate enforcement action.” Failure to report under the law is considered a misdemeanor punishable with an up to five-year ban on lobbying in Pennsylvania.
Tennessee – Jeremy Durham Had Sexual ‘Interactions’ with 22 Women, Report Says
The Tennessean – Dave Bouchard and Joel Ebert | Published: 7/13/2016
State Rep. Jeremy Durham engaged in inappropriate conduct with women that constitutes disorderly behavior and warrants expulsion, said a report from the Tennessee attorney general, but a special legislative committee is leaving up to voters to decide whether the embattled lawmaker will continue serving in the Legislature. The investigation found Durham had sexually engaged with current and former female legislative staff, interns, lobbyists, and others between 2012, when he first took office, and the 2016 legislative session. The main findings of the attorney general’s report mirror the office released in April, when it found Durham had engaged in inappropriate physical contact and potentially posed a “continuing risk to unsuspecting women.” That determination led to Durham’s office being moved out of Legislative Plaza and his access to staff limited.
Washington – Supporters of Campaign Finance Measure Submit Signatures
Yakima Herald – Rachel LaCorte (Associated Press) | Published: 7/8/2016
More than 326,000 signatures have been turned in to the Washington secretary of state’s office in support of a proposed ballot measure that would make a series of campaign finance changes. Initiative 1464 seeks to do several things, including creating a voucher system that would give voters three $50 “democracy credits” that they can use in state races every two years. It would also impose tougher disclosure requirements on political advertisements and limit the amount of money that contractors and lobbyists can give to candidates. The ballot measure also would impose a three-year waiting period before former elected officials and senior staff can lobby their previous employers and colleagues. An initiative requires at least 246,372 valid signatures of registered state voters to be certified.
Wisconsin – Ex-AG Lautenschlager Named to Lead New Ethics Commission
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Patrick Marley | Published: 7/11/2016
Former Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager was selected as chairperson of the state’s new Ethics Commission, and the job of administrator was given to a former analyst of the nonpartisan board the panel was created to replace. Lautenschlager had to pay a fine to the previous ethics agency following her arrest for drunken driving in 2004. Brian Bell accepted the offer to be the administrator of the commission. He is a budget and policy analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. He also previously worked for the Government Accountability Board as an ethics and accountability specialist.
State and Federal Communications produces a weekly summary of national news, offering more than 60 articles per week focused on ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance.
July 13, 2016 • Written by Jim Sedor
Lobbying “Lyft Agrees to $6,000 FPPC Fine for Not Reporting Lobbying Costs” by Taryn Luna for Sacramento Bee Campaign Finance Florida: “Raising Money for the Mayor, and Making Money from His Administration” by Douglas Hanks for Miami Herald New Jersey: […]
“Lyft Agrees to $6,000 FPPC Fine for Not Reporting Lobbying Costs” by Taryn Luna for Sacramento Bee
Florida: “Raising Money for the Mayor, and Making Money from His Administration” by Douglas Hanks for Miami Herald
New Jersey: “Jersey City Mayor, Councilman at Odds Over Planned Pay-to-Play Changes” by Terrence McDonald (Jersey Journal) for NJ.com
Washington: “Public Disclosure Commission Recommends Action Against Eyman” by Chris Winters for Everett Herald
Pennsylvania: “A.G. Office: Philly lobbyist misused welfare grants to pay for line dancing lessons, other expenses” by Claudia Vargas and Jeremy Roebuck for Philadelphia Inquirer
Wisconsin: “Ex-AG Lautenschlager Named to Lead New Ethics Commission” by Patrick Marley for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Gay Political Power Reaching Record as U.S. Attitudes Shift” by Jeff Green for Bloomberg.com
“Bernie Sanders Endorses Hillary Clinton” by MJ Lee, Dan Merica, and Jeff Zeleny for CNN
“Dallas Shooting and Open-Carry Laws Loom Over Cleveland Convention Plans” by Yamiche Alcindor for New York Times
Louisiana: “Good Idea Gone Awry? How Term Limits Impact Sessions of Louisiana Legislature” by Mark Ballard for New Orleans Advocate
July 12, 2016 • Written by Jim Sedor
Lobbying “In Brussels and London, Lobbyists Retool for Brexit Unknowns” by Quentin Ariès and Kalina Oroschakoff for Politico Pennsylvania: “Consulting Business Owned by Mike Fleck Fined $11,850 by State” by Emily Opilo for Allentown Morning Call Campaign Finance Colorado: “Political […]
“In Brussels and London, Lobbyists Retool for Brexit Unknowns” by Quentin Ariès and Kalina Oroschakoff for Politico
Pennsylvania: “Consulting Business Owned by Mike Fleck Fined $11,850 by State” by Emily Opilo for Allentown Morning Call
Colorado: “Political Consultant Files Legal Challenge to Stop Denver Campaign Finance Reform Proposal” by Jon Murray for Denver Post
Maine: “Top Legislators’ PACs Reap Thousands from Key Donors” by Colin Woodard for Portland Press Herald
Montana: “Review of Montana’s Political Party Committees Underway, Some Will Be Reclassified” by Troy Carter for Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Washington: “Supporters of Campaign Finance Measure Submit Signatures” by Rachel La Corte (Associated Press) for Yakima Herald
California: “Beaumont, Stunned by Years of Alleged Corruption, Has Been ‘Turned Upside Down’” by Paloma Esquivel for Los Angeles Times
New Mexico: “Former Sen. Phil Griego to Face Trial on Nine Corruption Charges” by Dan Boyd for Albuquerque Journal
Virginia: “Crime Commission Attorney Named New Director of Va. Ethics Council” by Graham Moomaw for Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Struggle to Be Unifying Voice for Nation” by Patrick Healy for New York Times