August 31, 2017 •

Thursday’s Government and Ethics News Roundup

Lobbying “How to Get Rich in Trump’s Washington” by Nicholas Confessore for New York Times Oregon: “Marijuana Lobbyists Harvest Cash from Bankers, Accountants, Lawyers and Others” by Scott Thistle for Portland Press Herald Utah: “State Lawmaker Chosen to Head Utah […]

Lobbying

How to Get Rich in Trump’s Washington” by Nicholas Confessore for New York Times

Oregon: “Marijuana Lobbyists Harvest Cash from Bankers, Accountants, Lawyers and Others” by Scott Thistle for Portland Press Herald

Utah: “State Lawmaker Chosen to Head Utah Technology Council Advocacy Group” by Lee Davidson for Salt Lake Tribune

Campaign Finance

Arizona: “Utility Regulators Consider Giving Service Territory to Campaign Donors” by Ryan Randazzo for Arizona Republic

Ethics

DOJ Is Investigating Whether Uber Broke the Law Against Foreign Bribery” by Elizabeth Dwoskin for Washington Post

Members of Congress Scoring Personal Loans from Political Supporters” by Nicholas Jahr and Ellen McCreary Ionas for Center for Public Integrity

Alaska: “New Ballot Initiative Targets Legislators’ Per Diem Pay” by James Brooks for Juneau Empire

New York: “State Worker Is Interrogated for Allegedly Letting Someone in the Building” by Rick Karlin for Albany Times Union

Procurement

Missouri: “KCI Contract Selection Delayed by Conflict of Interest Complaint against Justus” by Steve Vockrodt and Lynn Horsley for Kansas City Star

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August 30, 2017 •

Idaho Secretary of State Suggests Changes to Ethics and Campaign Finance Laws

Following suggestions from a working group of the legislature, Sec. of State Lawerence Denney presented a series of ethics and campaign finance draft bills to improve the state’s public disclosure system. The suggested changes include limiting PACs from accepting more […]

Following suggestions from a working group of the legislature, Sec. of State Lawerence Denney presented a series of ethics and campaign finance draft bills to improve the state’s public disclosure system.

The suggested changes include limiting PACs from accepting more than $1,000 from other PACs unless the contributing PAC is registered with the state, removing an exception for local election reporting, increasing the frequency of campaign finance reporting, and requiring lobbyists to report all year, rather than only while the legislature is in session. Increasing fines for reporting violations is also on the table.

With ample funding available, the Sec. of State’s office would also like to see major improvements to the online reporting system. Critics are concerned increased reporting would be too burdensome and dissuade citizens from getting involved in the political process.

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August 30, 2017 •

Alaska Ballot Initiative Proposed to Limit Gifts from Lobbyists

An Alaska ballot initiative has been proposed to limit perks received by lawmakers. The proposed Alaska Government Accountability Act would limit lawmakers and aides from accepting meals or drinks purchased by lobbyists by restricting the acceptance of food and drink […]

An Alaska ballot initiative has been proposed to limit perks received by lawmakers.

The proposed Alaska Government Accountability Act would limit lawmakers and aides from accepting meals or drinks purchased by lobbyists by restricting the acceptance of food and drink from a lobbyist to de minimis and non-alcoholic items for immediate consumption. It would also ban corporations with five percent or more non-U.S. ownership from spending money on campaigns that target individual candidates.

The initiative sponsors are aiming for the proposal to appear on the 2018 ballot and are still in the process of collecting the necessary signatures.

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August 30, 2017 •

Judge Invalidates California Law Allowing Public Financing of Local Campaigns

On August 28, a judge upheld a ban on the public financing of local campaigns, invalidating last year’s reforms put in place by Senate Bill 1107. The Sacramento Superior Court ruled in favor of plaintiffs, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and […]

On August 28, a judge upheld a ban on the public financing of local campaigns, invalidating last year’s reforms put in place by Senate Bill 1107.

The Sacramento Superior Court ruled in favor of plaintiffs, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and retired State Senator and Judge Quentin L. Kopp, invalidating SB 1107 and ruling that the matter must be sent to voters on a statewide ballot.

SB 1107 was passed in 2016 and allowed any municipality the option to create systems for publicly funded campaigns. In the absence of SB 1107, only six charter cities can offer limited public funds to match small campaign donations.

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August 30, 2017 •

Wednesday’s Government and Ethics News Roundup

Lobbying “Exclusive: Bloomberg charity scrutinized by India for anti-tobacco funding, lobbying – documents” by Aditya Kalra for Reuters Campaign Finance Michigan: “Attorney: Michigan super PACs face ‘firestorm’ of fines” by Jonathan Oosting for Detroit News Montana: “Discounted Sale of US […]

Lobbying

Exclusive: Bloomberg charity scrutinized by India for anti-tobacco funding, lobbying – documents” by Aditya Kalra for Reuters

Campaign Finance

Michigan: “Attorney: Michigan super PACs face ‘firestorm’ of fines” by Jonathan Oosting for Detroit News

Montana: “Discounted Sale of US Interior Secretary’s Motor Home Raises Questions” by Bobcaina Calvin (Associated Press) for ABC News

Ethics

California: “3 of 4 Colonies Corruption Defendants Found Not Guilty on All Charges” by Joe Nelson and Richard Deatley for San Bernardino Sun

Colorado: “Emails Raise Ethical Questions About Colorado Lawmaker. But He Says There’s Nothing to See.” by Jesse Paul for Denver Post

Idaho: “Lawmakers: Idaho ‘uniquely poised’ to stiffen campaign, lobbying disclosure requirements” by Betsy Russell for Spokane Spoesman-Review

Elections

Top Trump Organization Executive Asked Putin Aide for Help on Business Deal” by Rosalind Helderman, Carol Leonnig, and Tom Hamburger for Washington Post

Legislative Issues

North Carolina: “Court Weighs Legislature’s Stripping of Cooper’s Powers” by Emery Dalesio (Associated Press) for Ashville Citizen-Times

Redistricting

The New Front in the Gerrymandering Wars: Democracy vs. math” by Emily Bazelon for New York Times

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August 29, 2017 •

Come See us THIS Thursday, August 31, at the Agora on the campus of George Washington University

  This Thursday, August 31, State and Federal Communications is taking part in The Agora: Government Relations & Public Affairs Marketplace on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. From the event coordinator, “The Grassroots Professional Network (GPN) in […]

 
This Thursday, August 31, State and Federal Communications is taking part in The Agora: Government Relations & Public Affairs Marketplace on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

From the event coordinator, “The Grassroots Professional Network (GPN) in partnership with George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political School of Management (GSPM) and The Hill are hosting the Agora ‘The Marketplace for the Government Relations & Public Affairs’ Industry. Join hundreds of advocacy professionals for an outdoor marketplace, network with industry peers, and sample the latest technology, tools, and trends. Make sure you visit the center stage to listen to live fireside chats hosted by GPN, GSPM, and The Hill’s leadership.”

You can find Gamble Hayden and Jon Spontarelli from 3-6 p.m. at the University Yard on H Street between 20th and 21st streets, NW. Stop by and see how State and Federal Communications can help you in your government relations and public affairs activities!

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August 29, 2017 •

Tuesday’s Government and Ethics News

Lobbying “Washington Lobbying Firms Receive Subpoenas as Part of Russia Probe” by Carol Leonnig and Tom Hamburger for Washington Post Massachusetts: “In Massachusetts, Lobbyists Outnumber Lawmakers Seven-to-One” by Steve LeBlanc (Associated Press) for WWLP Campaign Finance Washington: “Is Olympia Lawyer […]

Lobbying

Washington Lobbying Firms Receive Subpoenas as Part of Russia Probe” by Carol Leonnig and Tom Hamburger for Washington Post

Massachusetts: “In Massachusetts, Lobbyists Outnumber Lawmakers Seven-to-One” by Steve LeBlanc (Associated Press) for WWLP

Campaign Finance

Washington: “Is Olympia Lawyer the Democrats’ Champion in Complaint-Filing War?” by Melissa Santos for Tacoma News Tribune

Ethics

Trump’s Business Sought Deal on a Trump Tower in Moscow While He Ran for President” by Carol Leonnig, Tom Hamburger, and Rosalind Helderman for Washington Post

Florida: “FBI Arranged Outings for Gillum, Others During NYC Trip” by Jeff Burlew for Tallahassee Democrat

Illinois: “State Lawmaker’s Charity Borrowed from Political Campaign, Inconsistently Filed Reports” by Zak Koeske (Daily Southtown) for Chicago Tribune

New York: “Son of High-Profile State Democrat Up Against Bribery Charges” by Ken Dixon for Connecticut Post

Elections

Democrats Exploit GOP Ethics Woes in Battle for the House” by Elena Schneider and Austin Wright for Politico

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August 28, 2017 •

California Assembly Speaker Faces Recall Effort; Opens Debate for Universal Healthcare

Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is currently facing a recall effort launched by single-payer healthcare activists after Rendon blocked Senate Bill 562 that would have established a single-payer healthcare system in California. Rendon represents District 63 in the California State […]

Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is currently facing a recall effort launched by single-payer healthcare activists after Rendon blocked Senate Bill 562 that would have established a single-payer healthcare system in California. Rendon represents District 63 in the California State Assembly.

On August 24, Rendon announced plans for special committee hearings this fall to develop legislation for a path forward for universal health care legislation.

Recall organizers must collect 22,963 signatures for a recall election to be held.

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August 28, 2017 •

Saskatchewan MLA Boyd, in Violation of Conflict of Interest Act, Resigns from Party Caucus Five Days Before Scheduled to Resign from Legislative Assembly

On August 28, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Bill Boyd resigned from the Saskatchewan Party Caucus, even though Boyd previously announced his resignation from the Legislative Assembly will be on Friday, September 1. Boyd resigned at the request of […]

On August 28, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Bill Boyd resigned from the Saskatchewan Party Caucus, even though Boyd previously announced his resignation from the Legislative Assembly will be on Friday, September 1.

Boyd resigned at the request of Premier Brad Wall, whose request was based on the Conflict of Interest Commissioner’s finding Boyd violated the Conflict of Interest Act when Boyd inaccurately represented himself and the Government of Saskatchewan while on business in China.

MLA Boyd, who represents the Kindersley electoral district, was last elected in 2016 and had already announced earlier this month he was retiring on September 1, giving the reason that allowing a new MLA could be part of the Saskatchewan Party’s renewal.

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August 28, 2017 •

California Recall Fight Continues

Senate Bill 117 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on August 24. The law is effective immediately upon passage and extends the recall election timeline and would consolidate the Josh Newman recall election with the June 2018 primary […]

Senate Bill 117 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on August 24.

The law is effective immediately upon passage and extends the recall election timeline and would consolidate the Josh Newman recall election with the June 2018 primary instead of a standalone special ballot this fall.

Under the law, people who signed recall petitions now have 30 days to withdraw their signatures.

Within hours of Gov. Jerry Brown signing the bill, a legal challenge was filed to block the new law claiming SB 117 violates the due process rights of Newman recall proponents. No court date has been set.

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August 28, 2017 •

California Disclose Act Gets Closer to Passage

Assembly Bill 249, also known as the “California Disclose Act,” will be heard in the Senate on August 29. The bill requires most campaign ads to display their top three funders, even if those contributions were funneled through other committees. […]

Assembly Bill 249, also known as the “California Disclose Act,” will be heard in the Senate on August 29. The bill requires most campaign ads to display their top three funders, even if those contributions were funneled through other committees.

Similar versions of AB 249 have been introduced without passage since 2012. A similar bill from 2016 failed by one vote in the Senate. Last year’s bill was opposed by the California Fair Political Practice Commission (FPPC) due to the bill’s language making enforcement difficult.

The current version of the bill underwent changes to make the proposed law more acceptable to opponents and the FPPC has remained neutral.

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August 28, 2017 •

Georgia Special Election Announced for Open House Seat

A special election will take place on November 7, 2017, to fill a vacancy in the Georgia House of Representatives. Regina Quick resigned from the House District 117 seat to become a superior court judge. If necessary, a runoff election […]

A special election will take place on November 7, 2017, to fill a vacancy in the Georgia House of Representatives.

Regina Quick resigned from the House District 117 seat to become a superior court judge. If necessary, a runoff election will take place on December 5.

District 117 includes parts of Jackson, Clarke, Barrow, and Oconee counties.

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August 28, 2017 •

Hawaii Legislature to Convene Special Legislative Session

State legislative leadership submitted a proclamation on Thursday, August 24, to call the Hawaii Legislature into special session on Monday, August 28, 2017. The proclamation was filed at the written request of two-thirds of the members of each house. Lawmakers […]

State legislative leadership submitted a proclamation on Thursday, August 24, to call the Hawaii Legislature into special session on Monday, August 28, 2017.

The proclamation was filed at the written request of two-thirds of the members of each house.

Lawmakers are expected to consider a bill drafted by committee chairs to fund the completion of the rail project on Oahu.

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August 28, 2017 •

FINRA Proposes Pay-to-Play Rules for Capital Acquisition Brokers

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has filed a proposed rule change with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to expand its brand-new pay-to-play rules to cover capital acquisition brokers (CAB). FINRA Rule 2030, which took effect August 20, restricts […]

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has filed a proposed rule change with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to expand its brand-new pay-to-play rules to cover capital acquisition brokers (CAB).

FINRA Rule 2030, which took effect August 20, restricts contributions made to an official of a government entity being provided investment advisory services or being engaged to provide investment advisory services by certain parties. The rule applies to broker-dealers, placement agents, and covered associates acting on behalf of certain regulated investment advisors or soliciting a government entity to invest in certain pooled investment vehicles. FINRA Rule 4580, which took effect the same day, mandates certain record-keeping requirements concerning related contributions.

A firm meeting the statutory definition of a CAB and electing to be governed by the FINRA rule set would be subject to FINRA’s new pay-to-play rules under the proposal. Specifically, FINRA proposes the addition of rules providing all CABs be subject to FINRA Rules 2030 and 4580. If approved, the effective date will be no later than 30 days after FINRA’s announcement of the SEC’s approval.

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