July 9, 2018 •

Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics Names New Executive Director

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust selected Jose J. Arrojo as its new executive director. Arrojo is currently a Chief Assistant State Attorney and will be the third director of the commission since it was created in 1996. […]

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust selected Jose J. Arrojo as its new executive director.

Arrojo is currently a Chief Assistant State Attorney and will be the third director of the commission since it was created in 1996.

Arrojo, will assume the post when Joseph Centorino steps down at the end of August.

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September 21, 2016 •

Appeals Court Rules Against Ballot Measure in Miami-Dade County, FL

With the court battle over for the time being, a ballot issue affecting campaign finance and ethics laws in Miami-Dade County will not appear on the ballot this November. Earlier this month, the county appealed a circuit court’s order requiring […]

Miami-Dade CountyWith the court battle over for the time being, a ballot issue affecting campaign finance and ethics laws in Miami-Dade County will not appear on the ballot this November.

Earlier this month, the county appealed a circuit court’s order requiring the measure be placed on the ballot. The 3rd District Court of Appeal reversed the lower court this week, stating the County Commission acted within its authority to block the measure after determining it was not sufficient.

The appeals court left open the possibility of a challenge of the commission’s conclusion. An Accountable Miami-Dade, however, issued a statement following the ruling vowing to continue the fight in a future election.

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September 12, 2016 •

County Court Orders Miami-Dade Proposal Placed on November Ballot

A judge has ordered a campaign finance ballot measure be placed on the ballot in November. After the County Commission rejected the proposal for containing legally insufficient language, An Accountable Miami-Dade filed a petition for a writ of mandamus last […]

Miami-Dade CountyA judge has ordered a campaign finance ballot measure be placed on the ballot in November. After the County Commission rejected the proposal for containing legally insufficient language, An Accountable Miami-Dade filed a petition for a writ of mandamus last week.

The political committee asked the court to force the County Commission, the Mayor, and the Supervisor of Elections to place the measure on the ballot. Circuit Court Judge William Thomas granted the petition, stating the group met all of the requirements to get a proposal on the ballot, including gathering nearly 130,000 signatures.

The County has appealed the ruling and a hearing has been set for next week before the Third District Court of Appeal.

If successfully passed, the measure will reduce the campaign contribution limit from $1,000 to $250 and ban vendors, their lobbyists, and immediate family members from contributing to county candidates.

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August 3, 2016 •

Miami-Dade, FL Group Seeks to Reign in Money in County Elections

A political committee called An Accountable Miami-Dade is sponsoring a proposal to change campaign finance rules for county elections. The proposal would limit contributions to candidates to $250, rather than the state-set limit of $1,000, and county vendors and lobbyists […]

Miami-Dade CountyA political committee called An Accountable Miami-Dade is sponsoring a proposal to change campaign finance rules for county elections.

The proposal would limit contributions to candidates to $250, rather than the state-set limit of $1,000, and county vendors and lobbyists would be prohibited from making contributions. A system of matching contributions with public funds would also be created.

The group delivered 125,000 signed petitions to the county clerk of courts. If enough are verified, the county commission will decide whether to adopt the measure or to place it on the ballot. The proposed changes would not take effect until the next county election cycle.

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May 19, 2016 •

Ethics Law Changes May Appear on November Ballot in Miami-Dade County

A group of current and past politicians have announced an initiative to strengthen ethics laws in Miami-Dade County. The group, named An Accountable Miami-Dade, is leading the charge to place a measure on the November ballot. The measure would strengthen […]

Miami-Dade CountyA group of current and past politicians have announced an initiative to strengthen ethics laws in Miami-Dade County.

The group, named An Accountable Miami-Dade, is leading the charge to place a measure on the November ballot. The measure would strengthen enforcement of existing campaign finance laws, create pay-to-play restrictions on large contractors, create a ban on gifts from lobbyists, and institute a $250 per-election contribution limit to mayoral and commission candidates.

An Accountable Miami-Dade is headed by Monica Russo, president of the SEUI Florida Council, and Bettina Rodriguez, a former mayor of Doral. It also includes several local officeholders and party leaders.

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October 16, 2015 •

Miami-Dade Ethics Commission Backs Miami Beach Campaign Finance Ordinance

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust gave its support for a proposed City of Miami Beach ordinance amending campaign finance rules. The ordinance, if passed, would prohibit the mayor and city commissioners, as well as candidates for those […]

Miami-Dade CountyThe Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust gave its support for a proposed City of Miami Beach ordinance amending campaign finance rules. The ordinance, if passed, would prohibit the mayor and city commissioners, as well as candidates for those offices, from soliciting contributions on behalf of PACs donating to city candidates. The change would be in addition to the prohibition on city vendors, lobbyists, and real estate developers from making contributions.

The proposed amendment, from Commissioner Jonah Wolfson, is in response to an investigation into $1.5 million raised by a PAC established by Wolfson and Mayor Philip Levine. The contributions were from local businesses and lobbyists.

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May 28, 2015 •

Miami-Dade County to Launch Online Lobbyist Registration System

The Miami-Dade Clerk of the Courts has announced a new online lobbyist registration system will launch on June 1, 2015. Current lobbyist information will be transferred to the new system and lobbyists will receive temporary log in information via email […]

Miami-Dade CountyThe Miami-Dade Clerk of the Courts has announced a new online lobbyist registration system will launch on June 1, 2015.

Current lobbyist information will be transferred to the new system and lobbyists will receive temporary log in information via email in order to create a profile.

This release only affects registration; however, plans to incorporate expenditure reporting are forthcoming.

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September 17, 2014 •

New Vendor Registration Procedures in Miami-Dade County

The Internal Services Department in Miami-Dade County has combined the separate vendor enrollment and registration processes into one online vendor registration. The online vendor registration process can be accessed here. Paper based registrations are no longer accepted. All registered vendors […]

Miami-Dade CountyThe Internal Services Department in Miami-Dade County has combined the separate vendor enrollment and registration processes into one online vendor registration. The online vendor registration process can be accessed here.

Paper based registrations are no longer accepted.

All registered vendors whose status was “Active” prior to September 15, 2014 will be able to update their existing registration profiles through this portal. An email containing the login information will be sent to each firm currently registered or enrolled. These vendors will only be required to log-in to the portal to establish an online, secure profile. Thereafter, the existing registration records will be available to them online.

Vendors still must return a notarized business entity registration application by regular mail.

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July 22, 2014 •

Miami-Dade County Lengthens its Revolving Door Restriction

The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approved an ordinance lengthening the county’s revolving door prohibition. Under current law, the revolving door restriction period is two years. Ordinance 141569 amends existing county law by prohibiting county officials and their staff members […]

Miami-Dade CountyThe Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approved an ordinance lengthening the county’s revolving door prohibition. Under current law, the revolving door restriction period is two years.

Ordinance 141569 amends existing county law by prohibiting county officials and their staff members from lobbying the county for a period of four years. The ordinance exempts certain former county officials who become lobbyists for governmental entities, nonprofit organizations, or educational institutions from the four year restriction period.

The board adopted the ordinance in a 7-5 vote in its July 15, 2014, meeting.

The next step in the legislative process is a public hearing before the Public Safety and Animal Services Committee, which is scheduled for August 27, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. The outcome of the public hearing will determine the effective date of the new legislation.

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May 30, 2014 •

Miami-Dade Ethics Commission Swears in Two New Commissioners

Former Doral mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez has been appointed as a commissioner to the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. Bermudez is one of Doral’s founders and previously served as president of the Miami-Dade County League of Cities. […]

Miami-Dade CountyFormer Doral mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez has been appointed as a commissioner to the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. Bermudez is one of Doral’s founders and previously served as president of the Miami-Dade County League of Cities.

Marcia Narine, an assistant professor of law at St. Thomas University, was also sworn in as a new commissioner.

Commissioners are appointed to four-year terms.

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May 9, 2014 •

David Beckham Registers as Miami-Dade Lobbyist

  Just over a month ago, the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust cleared David Beckham of a complaint charging he violated county ethics law by failing to register as a lobbyist. At the time, Beckham’s meetings with Miami-Dade […]

 

David Beckham lobbyist registration

Just over a month ago, the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust cleared David Beckham of a complaint charging he violated county ethics law by failing to register as a lobbyist. At the time, Beckham’s meetings with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez were characterized as “meet and greets” regarding potential interest in bringing a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami. Once the plans start to take shape, however, individuals meeting with county officials would need to register as lobbyists, according to the Commission’s report.

Now, with potential sites being discussed, Beckham and his business partner Simon Fuller have registered as county lobbyists ahead of their meeting with county commissioners. But, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners may not be the only government body to need convincing on stadium site approval. One of two potential waterfront stadium sites is under the city of Miami’s jurisdiction, and Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado has cautioned voter approval may be required.

David Beckham’s Lobbyist Registration, courtesy of the Miami Herald.

Photo of David Beckham courtesy of Paulblank on Wikimedia Commons.

 

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March 27, 2014 •

David Beckham Cleared by Miami-Dade Lobbying Inquiry

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust closed its inquiry into the lobbying activities of soccer star David Beckham, concluding he did not violate county lobbying law by failing to register as a lobbyist. In the summer of 2013, […]

David Beckham

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust closed its inquiry into the lobbying activities of soccer star David Beckham, concluding he did not violate county lobbying law by failing to register as a lobbyist. In the summer of 2013, Beckham toured sites for a potential Major League Soccer stadium with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and other county officials. Beckham and Mayor Gimenez also had dinner with the financier of Beckham’s proposed soccer venture.

The Commission cleared the site visits as a “meet and greet” function exempt from lobbyist registration rules, and other meetings with the mayor were characterized as the county lobbying Beckham to bring a soccer franchise to Miami. The Commission noted meetings with public officials do not necessarily constitute lobbying and determined Beckham was not lobbying Mayor Gimenez at their dinner meeting.

With the Major League Soccer plan gaining momentum, only individuals who are properly registered as lobbyists should be meeting with county officials to influence decisions in the matter going forward, according to the Commission’s report.

Photo of David Beckham courtesy of The Democratic Alliance on Wikimedia Commons.

 

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March 13, 2012 •

Miami-Dade to Require Ethics Training for Lobbyists

Course to Cost $100 Every Two Years

Miami-Dade flagThe Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners has passed an ordinance requiring registered lobbyists to complete ethics training. The effective date of the ordinance is March 16, 2012.

Registered lobbyists must, within 60 days of registration, submit to the clerk of the board a certificate of completion of an ethics course offered by the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. Lobbyists must also complete a refresher course every two years. The cost of the ethics course will be $100.

Additionally, the requirement is not applicable to any municipal lobbyist in the county unless the municipality has adopted an ordinance requiring ethics training and an agreement with the county authorizes the county ethics commission to provide an ethics training course.

Finally, the executive director of the Miami-Dade County Ethics Commission may waive the ethics course requirement for a particular lobbyist when it is determined that the lobbyist has taken an initial or refresher ethics course offered by a municipality satisfying the requirements pertaining to the Miami-Dade County ethics course requirements.

The Miami-Dade County Ethics Commission has noted their intent to contact all registered lobbyists in regards to this course once the course is prepared and ready to be offered.

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July 18, 2011 •

Lawmakers Tapping Into Their Social Media Resources

An Increasing Number of Lawmakers Connecting to the Public

It seems that following Obama’s Twitter Town Hall, politicians across the nation are following suit and making the effort to use social media to connect to their followers more than ever. Hopeful Republican presidential nominee Newt Gingrich, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont are three examples of such politicians.

Being one of the first politicians to utilize the new Google+, Newt Gingrich hosted his first Hangout, posting the 13 minute long video of him having a conversation with up to 10 regular Americans at a time onto YouTube. TechPresident published an article written by Nick Judd providing the video and more information here.

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