May 17, 2023 •
Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance New Hampshire: “Bill to Boost Political Finance Transparency Heads to Sununu’s Desk” by Ethan DeWitt for New Hampshire Bulletin New York: “Eric Adams’ Transition Fined Nearly $20K by Campaign Finance Board” by Katie Honan for The City Ethics California: “Developer Fined $4 Million […]
New Hampshire: “Bill to Boost Political Finance Transparency Heads to Sununu’s Desk” by Ethan DeWitt for New Hampshire Bulletin
New York: “Eric Adams’ Transition Fined Nearly $20K by Campaign Finance Board” by Katie Honan for The City
California: “Developer Fined $4 Million for Bribing Former L.A. Councilmember Jose Huizar” by Michael Finnegan (Los Angeles Times) for MSN
National: “Durham Finds Fault with F.B.I. Over Russia Inquiry” by Charlie Savage, Glenn Thrush, Adam Goldman, and Katie Benner (New York Times) for DNyuz
Illinois: “Exelon Is Paying the Legal Tab for Two Former Executives Convicted in ComEd Bribery Scheme” by Doug McKinney for WBEZ
National: “Supreme Court to Review House Oversight Lawsuit from 2017” by Michael Macagnone and Ryan Tarinelli (Roll Call) for MSN
Virginia: “How Redistricting Reform Is Launching the Virginia General Assembly into a New Era” by Graham Moomaw for Virginia Mercury
New York: “‘Lobbying Loophole’ Bill After LaSalle Fight Advances Through Senate” by Joshua Solomon for Albany Times Union
May 16, 2023 •
Missouri Legislature Adjourns Sine Die
The first regular session of the 102nd Missouri General Assembly concluded after passing only 43 policy bills, the lowest number passed by a General Assembly in more than two decades, not counting the pandemic-limited session in 2020. The speaker declared […]
The first regular session of the 102nd Missouri General Assembly concluded after passing only 43 policy bills, the lowest number passed by a General Assembly in more than two decades, not counting the pandemic-limited session in 2020. The speaker declared the session adjourned sine die as of midnight May 30, in accordance with the constitution. The Legislature could not agree on a plan to legalize sports betting or to make it more difficult for citizens to change the state constitution through initiative petitions.
May 16, 2023 •
Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance National: “Former Hawaii Executives Plead Guilty to Sending Illegal Donations to US Sen. Susan Collins” by Nick Grube for Honolulu Civil Beat Oregon: “State Election Officials Fine Democratic Party of Oregon for Cryptocurrency Donation Flap” by Lauren Dake for Oregon Public Broadcasting […]
May 15, 2023 •
Oakland Hires new Executive Director of the Public Ethics Commission
Nicolas Heidorn has been hired as the new executive director of the City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission. Heidorn previously worked as chief consultant of the California State Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments committee and as legal director of the […]
Nicolas Heidorn has been hired as the new executive director of the City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission. Heidorn previously worked as chief consultant of the California State Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments committee and as legal director of the government watchdog group California Common Cause. Currently, Heidorn operates a consulting firm that focuses on election reform policy and has spearheaded Oakland’s Democracy Dollars program. With the city’s budget problems tightening the mayor’s budget, Heidorn has been brought in to navigate the program’s delayed rollout and the commission’s bloated caseload.
May 15, 2023 •
Washington Senate Bill 5152 and House Bill 1317 Signed into Law
Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1317 and Senate Bill 5152, updating campaign and lobbying rules in response to current technologies and practices involving online activity and social media. House Bill 1317 was designed to shed light on special interest […]
Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1317 and Senate Bill 5152, updating campaign and lobbying rules in response to current technologies and practices involving online activity and social media. House Bill 1317 was designed to shed light on special interest “astroturfing” in grassroots lobbying. The new law expedites registration of sponsors of grassroots lobbying campaigns and increases the disclosures that must be made in the registration and any advertisements made by the lobbying campaign.
Senate Bill 5152 seeks to combat the advent of “synthetic media” political ads. These ads are created when, via artificial intelligence or other such programs, media is manipulated to cause a person (in this case a politician) to say or act in a way that did not happen. Senate Bill 5152 gives a target of synthetic media a course of action to force a sponsor or media platform to terminate the synthetic media campaign. The bill also gives the sponsor the ability to add a disclosure to the synthetic ad stating the ad or image is a synthetic media post. Both bills become effective July 23.
May 15, 2023 •
Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance Washington: “Before Rule Change, AG Bob Ferguson Moves $1.2M ‘Surplus’ to Campaign” by Jim Brunner for Seattle Times Elections National: “CNN Leadership Under Fire After ‘Disastrous’ Trump Town Hall” by Paul Farhi and Jeremy Barr (Washington Post) for MSN Ohio: “Ohio Lawmakers Vote […]
May 12, 2023 •
Ask the Experts – Paying lobbyists a bonus or success fee
Q: Can we pay our lobbyists a bonus or success fee? A: In most states, no. An overwhelming majority of states have banned payments to lobbyists as a result of, or based on some way upon, the lobbyist’s success in […]
Q: Can we pay our lobbyists a bonus or success fee?
A: In most states, no. An overwhelming majority of states have banned payments to lobbyists as a result of, or based on some way upon, the lobbyist’s success in achieving a specific governmental action. Thus, as a practice, it is best to pay your lobbyists a straight salary or simple monthly retainer. However, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Wyoming, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have not enacted contingency fee bans.
An important aspect of contingency fee bans to consider is their effect on staff selling to state governments. Many states require those selling to the state to register as lobbyists in some circumstances. Should registration as a lobbyist be required, they will then be subject to those same contingency fee bans, which can be problematic given most salespeople are paid commissions on successfully completed sales. Thankfully, many states have recognized this reality and have carved out an exception for bona fide commissioned salespeople, either allowing them to avoid the registration requirement or, if they do register, the ban on receiving commissions. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of the rules regarding lobbyist registration and contingency fees as applied to salespeople so you can plan accordingly.
More information about contingency fees as applied to lobbyists can be found in the Contingency Lobbying section of the Lobbying Compliance Guidebook on the State and Federal Communications website. Information about registration requirements for procurement lobbying and contingency fee information specific to salespeople can be found in the Procurement Lobbying Compliance Guidebook.
May 12, 2023 •
Meet our Expert – Rebecca South
What are your areas of expertise? With a background in federal compliance, I head the company’s federal services practice and work with our clients to fully comply with federal registration and reporting requirements as well as gift and travel laws […]
What are your areas of expertise?
With a background in federal compliance, I head the company’s federal services practice and work with our clients to fully comply with federal registration and reporting requirements as well as gift and travel laws associated with both the Legislative and Executive Branch.
How long have you been at State and Federal Communications?
I have been with the company for 14 years
How do you help our clients?
I work with our clients to help them navigate the compliance landscape at the federal level. I help establish robust processes and procedures to capture relevant activity tailored toward each clients’ needs, field a variety of questions regarding federal activity, establish best practices, manage the compilation process from start to finish and help ensure each client files a complete and accurate report with the U.S. House and Senate.
May 12, 2023 •
Ohio Special Election Scheduled August 8
Lawmakers voted to schedule a special election on August 8, with the adoption of Senate Joint Resolution 2. The special election is for a ballot issue proposing a constitutional amendment to require approval by 60% of voters to approve any […]
Lawmakers voted to schedule a special election on August 8, with the adoption of Senate Joint Resolution 2.
The special election is for a ballot issue proposing a constitutional amendment to require approval by 60% of voters to approve any constitutional amendment which would be effective immediately upon voter approval. The current requirement is for a majority vote.
The constitutional amendment also modifies procedures for an initiative petition proposing a constitutional amendment by prohibiting any additional signatures to be filed for the initiative petition, if found to be insufficient.
If a referendum petition or an initiative petition proposing a law is determined to be insufficient, ten additional days will be allowed for the filing of additional signatures.
The amendment also changes the signature requirements for an initiative petition proposing an amendment to the constitution to require from each county of the state petitions bearing the signatures of not less than five per cent of the electors of the county, while for all other initiative, supplementary, and referendum petitions the signature requirement remains unchanged, requiring petitions from one-half of the counties bearing signatures of one-half the percentage of electors in the county.
These changes would be effective January 1, 2024, if approved by voters.
May 12, 2023 •
News You Can Use Digest – May 12, 2023
National/Federal Tanked Biden FCC Pick Shows Influence of Dark Money on US Politics ABC News – Trenton Daniel (Associated Press) | Published: 5/8/2023 When Gigi Sohn was nominated to serve on the Federal Communications Commission, she found herself the target of an […]
Tanked Biden FCC Pick Shows Influence of Dark Money on US Politics
ABC News – Trenton Daniel (Associated Press) | Published: 5/8/2023
When Gigi Sohn was nominated to serve on the Federal Communications Commission, she found herself the target of an aggressive campaign funded by a conservative group that does not have to disclose its donors. The American Accountability Foundation called Sohn too partisan, anti-police, and soft on sex trafficking. The attacks landed to the point that even some Democrats abandoned her and Sohn withdrew her nomination. The battle over the nomination is the latest example of how organizations with political and financial agendas have been able to sway public opinion by deploying donations that are impossible to trace.
George Santos Pleads Not Guilty to Duping Donors, Stealing Campaign Cash to Burnish Wealthy Image
Associated Press News – Jake Offenhartz and Michael Sisak | Published: 5/10/2023
U.S. Rep. George Santos, infamous for fabricating his life story, pleaded not guilty to charges he duped donors, stole from his campaign, and lied to Congress about being a millionaire, all while cheating to collect unemployment benefits that he did not deserve. The thirteen-count indictment was a reckoning for a web of fraud and deceit that prosecutors say overlapped with his fantastical public image as a wealthy businessperson, a fictional biography that began to unravel after he won election last fall.
Jan. 6 Rioter Gets 14 Years for Police Attacks, Longest Sentence Yet in Inquiry
DNyuz – Alan Feurer and Zach Montague (New York Times) | Published: 5/6/2023
A Pennsylvania welder who attacked police officers at the Capitol with a chair and then chemical spray was sentenced to slightly more than 14 years in prison, the most severe penalty handed down so far in connection with the events of January 6, 2021. Peter Schwartz joined a growing list of people charged with assaulting the police on that day who have received stiff sentences.
Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio, 3 Others Guilty of Jan. 6 Seditious Conspiracy
MSN – Spencer Hsu, Rachel Weiner, and Tom Jackman (Washington Post) | Published: 5/4/2023
Former Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and three other members of the extremist group were found guilty of seditious conspiracy in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The result was another victory for the Justice Department in the latest of three seditious conspiracy trials held after what it called a historic act of domestic terrorism to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 presidential election.
Senate Panel Asks Crow for Full Accounting of Gifts to Thomas, Other Justices
MSN – Liz Goodwin and Marianne LeVine (Washington Post) | Published: 5/8/2023
The Senate Judiciary Committee asked billionaire Harlan Crow to provide a full accounting of the free travel and other gifts he has made to Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas or any other justice, marking an escalation of the committee’s efforts to convince the court to adopt stricter ethical standards for itself. The committee is the second Senate panel to target Crow after ProPublica reported he invited Thomas on expensive vacations, bought his mother’s house, and provided Thomas’s grandnephew with private school tuition, most of which were not disclosed by the justice.
Feinstein Returning to Washington After Health-Related Absence
MSN – Amy Wang and Liz Goodwin (Washington Post) | Published: 5/9/2023
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein will return to U.S. Capitol after a health-related absence that lasted more than two months. Her absence has stalled confirmations of some of President Biden’s judicial nominees, given that only judges with some Republican support can move to the floor without her tiebreaking vote on the committee. Her vote could also be crucial in negotiations over lifting the debt ceiling.
New White House Rules: Reporters can be kicked out if not ‘professional.’
MSN – Paul Farhi (Washington Post) | Published: 5/9/2023
The White House proposed new rules to determine who qualifies for access to its press briefing room on a regular basis and who can be thrown out for behavior officials determine is not “professional.” The rules represent the Biden White House’s attempt to establish a code of conduct to avoid the legal jeopardy the Trump administration ran into when it banished CNN reporter Jim Acosta and journalist Brian Karem from the White House complex. Courts later ruled officials violated the journalists’ due-process rights because they had acted without a set of written standards.
In Some GOP-Dominated Statehouses, Black and Trans Lawmakers Punished
MSN – Patrick Marley and Kimberly Kindy (Washington Post) | Published: 5/9/2023
In more than a dozen red states, Republican lawmakers passed bills to ban transgender health care and restrict access to abortions while ignoring calls for gun control measures. The fierce but futile opposition has often been led by a new generation of liberal lawmakers, some of them Black or transgender, who have represented their constituents by pushing the debate into places that have angered Republicans. GOP lawmakers have said Democrats are welcome to dissent but must follow rules of decorum, including acting civilly and not interrupting floor sessions. In some states, Republicans have voted to punish those lawmakers.
Under the Radar, Right-Wing Push to Tighten Voting Laws Persists
Seattle Times – Nick Corasaniti and Alexandra Berzon (New York Times) | Published: 5/8/2023
The first recent wave of legislation tightening voting laws came in 2021, when Donald. Trump’s false claims of voter fraud spurred Republican lawmakers to act over objections from Democrats. Two years later, a second wave is steadily moving ahead, but largely under the radar. Republican-led Legislatures have continued to pass restrictions on access to the ballot. Behind the efforts is a network of advocacy groups that has formed a new hub of election advocacy within the GOP, rallying state activists, and drafting model legislation.
Clarence Thomas’ Wife Ginni Was Paid Nearly $100,000 for ‘Consulting’ by a Nonprofit That Ended Up Filing an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court: Report
Yahoo News – Erin Snodgrass and Matthew Loh (Business Insider) | Published: 5/4/2023
Leonard Leo, a conservative judicial activist, helped Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, secure consulting work that yielded her nearly $100,000 while asking that her name was left off financial paperwork, according to The Washington Post. Leo told then-pollster Kellyanne Conway to bill a nonprofit he advised, Judicial Education Project, and give that money to Ginni Thomas in January 2012. That year, Leo’s nonprofit filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in a key voting rights case in which a majority that included Thomas ultimately opted to strike down a component of the Voting Rights Act.
New Twitter Rules Expose Election Offices to Spoof Accounts
Yahoo News – Ali Swenson (Associated Press) | Published: 5/6/2023
Impostor accounts on social media are among many concerns that election security experts have heading into next year’s presidential election. Experts have warned that foreign adversaries or others may try to influence the election, either through online disinformation campaigns or by hacking into election infrastructure. Election administrators have struggled to figure out the best way to respond after Twitter owner Elon Musk threw the platform’s verification service into disarray, given that Twitter has been among their most effective tools for communicating with the public.
From the States and Municipalities
Arizona – Tucson Lawmaker Who Hid Bibles Says Ethics Complaint Lacks Merit
Arizona Daily Star – Howard Fischer (Capitol News Services) | Published: 5/8/2023
Arizona Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton is asking for the dismissal of an ethics complaint filed against her. Attorneys for Hamilton said her actions to move and hide Bibles in the House lounge was a “peaceful protest regarding the separation of church and state.” The complaint accuses her of theft, saying she was controlling the property of someone else by hiding it, even if only for a short period of time.
California – How Free Trips for California Legislators Lead to Bills
MSN – Jeremia Kimelman and Alexei Koseff (CalMatters) | Published: 5/4/2023
The California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy for the past four decades has been taking legislators and other state officials on free trips to learn about policy issues – trips funded and attended by representatives of companies and interest groups with business before the state. The trips serve as an influential tool for shaping policymaking at the state Capitol, with lawmakers returning from their travels with new perspectives and ideas on energy, the environment, water, transportation, and housing.
California – Former Top City Attorney Gets 9 Months of Home Detention in DWP Corruption Case
MSN – Dakota Smith (Los Angeles Times) | Published: 5/9/2023
A former high-level lawyer in the Los Angeles city attorney’s office was sentenced to nine months of home detention for taking part in an extortion scheme tied to the Department of Water and Power’s (DWP) 2013 billing scandal. Thomas Peters also was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for his role in the corruption case. The sentence was far more lenient than the 18 months in prison sought by federal prosecutors. Peters admitted he threatened to fire one of the city’s outside lawyers unless that person paid off someone who was threatening to reveal damaging information about city lawyers’ handling of the DWP’s billing mess.
Colorado – Colorado Law Prohibits Utilities from Spending Ratepayer Money on Politics
Energy and Policy Institute – Joe Smyth | Published: 5/8/2023
A new law in Colorado prohibits investor-owned utility companies from using ratepayer money to fund trade associations, promotional advertising, certain kinds of lobbying, and other political influence activities. Currently, investor-owned utilities in Colorado charge ratepayers for most of their payments to trade associations, and only charge shareholders for a relatively small portion of the dues the trade associations determine were used for lobbying.
Florida – How Gov. Ron DeSantis Deploys State Police to Enforce Political Agenda
MSN – Beth Reinhard (Washington Post) | Published: 5/5/2023
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) on-the-ground involvement in a plan to fly migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard speaks to how Gov. Ron DeSantis has increasingly deployed FDLE outside its traditional portfolio and in support of his own political agenda, according to a Washington Post investigation. Former FDLE officials say the governor is taking a dangerous risk by politicizing a statewide police force with a $300 million budget, almost 2,000 employees, and the broad power to launch criminal investigations and make arrests.
Florida – Andrew Gillum Not Guilty of Lying to FBI, Jury Deadlocks on Other Charges
Yahoo News – Jeff Burlew (Tallahassee Democrat) | Published: 5/4/2023
Jurors found former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum not guilty of lying to the FBI about a “Hamilton” ticket and other gifts he received from undercover FBI agents in New York. They deadlocked on the most serious charges against Gillum, the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor, and his co-defendant, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, involving the misuse of campaign funds. The jury was unable to reach consensus on one count of conspiracy and 17 counts of wire fraud against both defendants. The judge declared a mistrial on the counts that ended with no verdict reached.
Florida – Miami’s Mayor Attends Pricey Heat Playoff Games and Glam Grand Prix Parties. Who Pays?
Yahoo News – Sarah Blaskey and Camellia Burris (Miami Herald) | Published: 5/5/2023
Last year, Mayor Francis Suarez attended both the Miami Heat playoffs and Formula One events but was cagey about who picked up the tab. While state ethics laws require elected officials to report any gifts over $100, and records show Suarez eventually disclosed his playoff ticket as a five-figure gift, thousands of dollars of F1-related entertainment remain unaccounted for. Mayors are allowed to accept expensive gifts from non-family members so long as those gifts are reported and do not come from prohibited donors like lobbyists or city vendors, according to Caroline Klancke, executive director of the Florida Ethics Institute.
Florida – Accused ‘Ghost’ Candidate in Osceola County Commission Race Arrested
Yahoo News – Natalia Jaramillo (Orlando Sentinel) | Published: 5/8/2023
A former Kissimmee city commissioner accused of being a “ghost” candidate in the 2022 District 4 race for Osceola County Commission is facing 14 criminal charges for campaign finance reporting violations. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement began its investigation after Jackie Espinosa, a candidate in the same race, filed a complaint, accusing Carlos Irizarry of being paid to enter the commission election, which she lost to the incumbent. Irizarry was charged with eight counts of willful certification of false or incomplete campaign treasure’s reports and six counts of deliberate failure to report campaign expenditures.
Georgia – 8 False Trump Electors Have Accepted Immunity Deals, Lawyer Says
MSN – Kyle Cheney (Politico) | Published: 5/4/2023
Eight Republican activists who falsely claimed to be legitimate presidential electors for Donald Trump have accepted immunity deals from Fani Willis, the Atlanta-area district attorney investigating Trump’s bid to subvert the 2020 election. It is the latest indication of Willis’s advancing investigation, which she recently revealed could result in charges, possibly against Trump himself and a slew of high-profile allies as soon as July.
Georgia – Kemp Signs Bill That Allows Ouster of Local Georgia Prosecutors
MSN – John Wagner and Matthew Brown (Washington Post) | Published: 5/5/2023
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation that would create a commission with the power to remove local prosecutors from office, a move Democrats in the state have decried as a power grab that usurps the will of local voters. The bill, which Democrats have vowed to challenge in court, would create an oversight panel that could recall any of the state’s elected district attorneys or solicitors general for several reasons, including “willful misconduct” or “persistent failure to perform his or her duties.”
Georgia – Watchdog Urges FEC to Probe Herschel Walker Campaign Over $535,200 Payment
Yahoo News – Jared Gans (The Hill) | Published: 5/5/2023
Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) urged the FEC to investigate former U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s campaign over a payment that Walker allegedly solicited for his company last year. CREW said Walker and his company, HR Talent, violated federal election law in accepting $535,200 a donor believed was being directed to Walker’s campaign. Dennis Washington believed all of the $600,000 he transferred following a solicitation from Walker was for campaign funding. But only $64,800 went to Walker’s campaign fundraising committee, while the rest went to HR Talent.
Illinois – Reformer Quinn Joins Discussion Over Illinois Ethics Laws
MSN – John O’Connor (Associated Press) | Published: 5/9/2023
Four political insiders were recently convicted in a wide-ranging bribery case involving Commonwealth Edison’s bribery of the once-powerful speaker of the Illinois House. While a key House Democrat confirmed discussions about a package of ethics reforms were underway, former Gov. Pat Quinn delivered a letter to legislative leaders seeking a special session to adopt more than a half-dozen reforms.
Illinois – A Former Illinois State Senator Convicted in Corruption Scheme Gets a New Job – State Lobbyist
WBEZ – Dan Mihalopoulos | Published: 5/9/2023
Eleven days after completing a prison term for corruption, former Illinois Sen. Thomas Cullerton registered as a state government lobbyist in April. Cullerton pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from a labor union and was sentenced to more than a year in prison. Now, records show Cullerton registered as a lobbyist with Strategia Consulting, a public relations and government affairs firm. On its website, Cullerton is described as the firm’s chief public affairs officer.
Minnesota – Minnesota Passes Sweeping Election Reforms
Courthouse News Service – Andy Monserud | Published: 5/5/2023
Minnesota’s governor signed a number of changes to the state’s election rules into law, including provisions for automatic voting registration and a crackdown on the spread of misinformation intended to stop people from voting. The law is the largest expansion of the state’s electorate since it adopted same-day registration in 1974. Legislation also creates new disclosure requirements for would-be election advertisers and pamphleteers, and bars “foreign influenced” corporations and nonprofits from spending money to influence elections.
Missouri – ‘It Dilutes Their Vote’: Plan to restrict MO ballot measures could face legal trouble
Yahoo News – Jonathan Shorman and Kacen Bayless (Kansas City Star) | Published: 5/8/2023
Republicans in the Missouri General Assembly are intent on approving restrictions that make it more difficult for voters to change the state constitution. But a major first-in-the-nation proposal under consideration could violate the U.S. Constitution, some legal experts and lawmakers say. While the GOP-controlled Legislature has flirted with tightening requirements on the state’s initiative petition process for years, a measure that lawmakers are weighing would give rural residents more power in statewide votes on constitutional amendments.
Montana – One Family Has Spearheaded Montana’s Unflinching Conservatism
Yahoo News – Mike Baker and Jacey Fortin (New York Times) | Published: 5/4/2023
Montana Rep. Keith Regier has emerged as the patriarch of a new family political dynasty that has injected fresh conservative intensity into debates over abortion, diversity training, and transgender rights. Regier chairs the Senate’s powerful judiciary committee, while his daughter, Amy, leads its counterpart in the House. Regier’s son, Matt, is speaker of the House. The trio of legislators, each wielding a similar brand of conservatism, were among the most powerful proponents of a set of bills that took aim at the rights of transgender people.
New York – A Jury Finds Trump Liable for Battery and Defamation in E. Jean Carroll Trial
NPR – Becky Sullivan | Published: 5/9/2023
A jury found Donald Trump liable for battery and defamation in the lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll, who says he raped her in a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s. The jurors, who deliberated for barely three hours before reaching their unanimous conclusion, did not find that Trump raped Carroll. But they agreed he “sexually abused” her and he defamed her when he refuted her story. Carroll was awarded $5 million in total damages for both claims.
New York – Top New York City Hall Aide Worked Quietly with State Super PAC
Yahoo News – Joe Anuta (Politico) | Published: 5/10/2023
An independent expenditure committee supporting a suite of moderate state Assembly candidates last year received assistance from a previously unknown source – Ingrid Lewis-Martin, New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ chief advisor. Lewis-Martin made phone calls to solicit support for the Committee for a Fair New York and helped select the candidates who would benefit from its largesse. Under state law, New York City officials are allowed to raise money for political causes – except their own candidacy – provided they do it after hours and do not explicitly trade favors.
Pennsylvania – The Super PAC Backing Jeff Brown’s Mayoral Campaign Is Asking a Judge to Toss the City Ethics Board’s Lawsuit
MSN – Sean Collins Walsh (Philadelphia Inquirer) | Published: 5/5/2023
The super PAC that supported Jeff Brown’s mayoral campaign is asking a judge to throw out the Philadelphia Board of Ethics’ lawsuit accusing it of illegally coordinating with Brown, arguing Brown’s work with the group cannot be viewed as coordination because it occurred before he launched his campaign. If the judge agrees, the case could lead to a dramatic change in Philadelphia’s political landscape by making it easier for moneyed interests to work with their preferred candidates as they plan out their campaigns.
Tennessee – House Speaker Indicates Staff, Subcommittee Spent Money in Harassment Case
Tennessee Lookout – Sam Stockard | Published: 5/9/2023
Speaker Cameron Sexton is pointing at the Office of Legislative Administration and a Tennessee House ethics subcommittee in the disbursement of $9,000 in the case of a 19-year-old intern harassed by former Rep. Scotty Campbell. Yet an anonymous member of the panel was not aware the subcommittee had the authority to spend money or hand out punishment. The conflicting responses display the vagueness of the Legislature’s Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Policy, showing how it can be manipulated to cover up wrongdoing.
Texas – Facing Expulsion Vote Over Sexual Misconduct, GOP Lawmaker Resigns in Texas
MSN – Kyle Melnick and Amy Wang (Washington Post) | Published: 5/8/2023
State Rep. Bryan Slaton resigned from his seat one day before his colleagues were slated to vote on whether to expel him from the Texas House after a committee unanimously recommended his dismissal over sexual misconduct with a 19-year-old aide. Slaton’s resignation is effective immediately. The General Investigation Committee accused Slaton in an investigative report of engaging in disorderly conduct – including harassment, serving alcohol to someone underage, and abusing his position.
Virginia – Lobbyists, Corporations Doused Environmental Bills in Virginia’s Legislative Session
Richmond Times-Dispatch – Luca Powell | Published: 5/7/2023
Despite the climate crisis, bills designed to curb pollution and emissions find fierce opposition in the growing, well-financed lobbies that have put down roots in Virginia. Money is the big differentiator between the environmental and industrial lobbies. Most of the former are nonprofits, for which it is illegal to make political donations. Trade groups, law firms, and big companies like Dominion Energy have no such restrictions.
May 11, 2023 •
Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance New York: “Top New York City Hall Aide Worked Quietly with State Super PAC” by Joe Anuta (Politico) for Yahoo News Elections National: “Under the Radar, Right-Wing Push to Tighten Voting Laws Persists” by Nick Corasaniti and Alexandra Berzon (New York Times) […]
New York: “Top New York City Hall Aide Worked Quietly with State Super PAC” by Joe Anuta (Politico) for Yahoo News
National: “Under the Radar, Right-Wing Push to Tighten Voting Laws Persists” by Nick Corasaniti and Alexandra Berzon (New York Times) for Seattle Times
California: “Former Top City Attorney Gets 9 Months of Home Detention in DWP Corruption Case” by Dakota Smith (Los Angeles Times) for MSN
National: “New White House Rules: Reporters can be kicked out if not ‘professional.'” by Paul Farhi (Washington Post) for MSN
National: “George Santos Pleads Not Guilty to Duping Donors, Stealing Campaign Cash to Burnish Wealthy Image” by Jake Offenhartz and Michael Sisak for Associated Press News
Illinois: “Reformer Quinn Joins Discussion Over Illinois Ethics Laws” by John O’Connor (Associated Press) for MSN
Tennessee: “House Speaker Indicates Staff, Subcommittee Spent Money in Harassment Case” by Sam Stockard for Tennessee Lookout
Illinois: “A Former Illinois State Senator Convicted in Corruption Scheme Gets a New Job – State Lobbyist” by Dan Mihalopoulos for WBEZ
May 10, 2023 •
Georgia Commission Gets Old Name Back
Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill changing the name of the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission back to the State Ethics Commission. The much longer commission name was the product of a major ethics overhaul in 2010. In addition […]
Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill changing the name of the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission back to the State Ethics Commission.
The much longer commission name was the product of a major ethics overhaul in 2010.
In addition to the name change, House Bill 572 also clarifies rules for late contribution reporting.
A contribution designated for a general election given close to a primary election date does not need reported within two days.
The new law will take effect on July 1.
May 10, 2023 •
Corporate Social Responsibility – More than just a line on your TO-DO List
People talk about Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR as we refer to it at State and Federal Communications. But is it a line item in your company’s business plan and budget or just something on your TO-DO list, transferred from […]
People talk about Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR as we refer to it at State and Federal Communications. But is it a line item in your company’s business plan and budget or just something on your TO-DO list, transferred from one week to the next?
In 2017, we had the opportunity to bring Joe May back from a brief hiatus to head up our CSR department. We have always been incredibly involved in our community, industry, and with our clients but it was not organized. Joe keeps track of everything we are involved in and has a boatload of examples to share in our CSR annual report.
The 2022 Annual Report is in production and will be available soon on our website—www.stateandfed.com.
We always hear a successful CSR program begins at the top…and at State and Federal Communications, which is me. As time and travel permit, you will see me with the team at Read to Me Day from the United Way of Summit and Medina; I order Girl Scout cookies from every scout who asks; and we have provided time off for these activities during the regular
day of business.
Check out the past and current reports on our website, www.stateandfed.com. You will see the staff out and about at Day of Action events; food distribution held monthly; and even working the polls on Election Day.
CSR is part of our culture. CSR is what we do to help others less fortunate. Our CSR programs are recognized by other businesses, our local county government, and definitely by the groups we support.
Start your CSR program today. It truly is a wonderful way to give back, extend a hand up to help others.
Until next month, how will you help your community in the next 31 days. Share your story with us. I am going to chair the United Way campaign in our community and will
have lots of examples of giving back and helping others.
May 10, 2023 •
Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup
Campaign Finance Florida: “Accused ‘Ghost’ Candidate in Osceola County Commission Race Arrested” by Natalia Jaramillo (Orlando Sentinel) for Yahoo News Elections Georgia: “8 False Trump Electors Have Accepted Immunity Deals, Lawyer Says” by Kyle Cheney (Politico) for MSN Ethics Arizona: “Tucson Lawmaker Who Hid Bibles […]
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