May 20, 2019 •

San Francisco Ethics Commission Propose Code Changes

San Francisco, California - Noahnmf [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

The San Francisco Ethics Commission will hold its next regular meeting on May 29. The commission will consider and possibly act on a set of proposed regulation changes to the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code. These changes include electronic filing, […]

The San Francisco Ethics Commission will hold its next regular meeting on May 29.

The commission will consider and possibly act on a set of proposed regulation changes to the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code.

These changes include electronic filing, filing of contribution disclosures no later than 14 days following the contribution, and updating filing forms.

The proposed changes are intended to provide clarity regarding code sections created by the Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance and update the regulations to match other recent changes to the code.

Changes additionally provide clarity about various provisions of the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance.

Opportunity for public comment will be provided at the meeting.

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May 20, 2019 •

Minnesota Bill Addresses Digital Political Contributions

Minnesota House Chamber - Chris Gaukel [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

On May 14, a bill was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives to prohibit political candidates from accepting certain digital currency like bitcoin unless backed by an official legal currency. House File 2884 would prohibit an individual, political committee, […]

On May 14, a bill was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives to prohibit political candidates from accepting certain digital currency like bitcoin unless backed by an official legal currency.

House File 2884 would prohibit an individual, political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit from soliciting or accepting a contribution or donation of any digital unit of exchange.

This includes but is not limited to bitcoin, that is not backed by a government-issued legal tender.

Under the bill, a person knowingly accepting any prohibited digital unit of exchange would be guilty of a felony.

The legislation also imposes a civil penalty of up to $3,000 for any individual, political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit knowingly soliciting or accepting any digital unit of exchange.

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May 20, 2019 •

Fresno District 2 Special Election

Fresno Arch - by John Walker, Fresno Bee File

The city of Fresno is holding a special election for the District 2 City Council seat on August 13. Steve Brandau stepped down from the District 2 City Council seat after winning the District 2 seat on the Fresno County […]

The city of Fresno is holding a special election for the District 2 City Council seat on August 13.

Steve Brandau stepped down from the District 2 City Council seat after winning the District 2 seat on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.

If a runoff is required, the special runoff election will be held on November 5.

The elected candidate will serve the remainder of Brandau’s term, which ends in 2020.

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May 20, 2019 •

Richmond City Council Passes Revolving Door Ordinance

Richmond City Hall - by Taber Andrew Bain

The Richmond City Council unanimously passed Ordinance No. 2019-115 prohibiting lobbying after employment. Ordinance No. 2019-115 defines “officer or employee” as members of the city council, city officers and employees, and individuals who receive monetary compensation for service on or […]

The Richmond City Council unanimously passed Ordinance No. 2019-115 prohibiting lobbying after employment.

Ordinance No. 2019-115 defines “officer or employee” as members of the city council, city officers and employees, and individuals who receive monetary compensation for service on or employment by agencies, boards, authorities, sanitary districts, commissions, committees, and task forces appointed by the city council.

Former officers and employees may not represent a client for compensation for one year following their term in office.

Matters of any nature involving any agency, department, or an office of the city government the former officer or employee served immediately prior to the termination of employment or service are prohibited.

The revolving door ordinance is effective July 1.

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May 20, 2019 •

New Jersey Dark Money Disclosure Bill Vetoed

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed legislation requiring dark money groups spending money to influence elections in New Jersey to disclose their large donors. Senate Bill 1500, carried over from last year’s session, requires disclosure of contributors giving more than $10,000 […]

Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed legislation requiring dark money groups spending money to influence elections in New Jersey to disclose their large donors.

Senate Bill 1500, carried over from last year’s session, requires disclosure of contributors giving more than $10,000 to 501(c)(4) groups engaging in political activities and lobbying.

In issuing the veto, Gov. Murphy said the bill contained loopholes and inconsistent disclosure standards.

He also expressed concern about the legislation not passing judicial scrutiny because of broad disclosure requirements beyond spending in elections for groups involved in issue campaigns.

The veto went on to recommend requiring companies receiving large scale tax credits from the state to disclose public contracts and political contributions to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

The recommendation also sought to strike a provision limiting elected officials from managing dark-money groups.

Supporters of Senate Bill 1500, which overwhelmingly passed both houses, argued the legislation leveled the playing field by requiring all groups to disclose if trying to sway elections, legislation, or policy.

The legislature can attempt an override of the governor’s veto or work towards amending the bill based on the governor’s recommendations.

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May 20, 2019 •

Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance New York: “DeBlasio Fundraising Exposed Grey Area for Ethics Board” by Ethan Gehringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette Washington: “‘Gray Money’: New Washington law to lift the cloak on PAC funders” by Joseph O’Sullivan for Seattle Times Ethics National: “Judge […]

Campaign Finance

New York: “DeBlasio Fundraising Exposed Grey Area for Ethics Board” by Ethan Gehringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette

Washington: “‘Gray Money’: New Washington law to lift the cloak on PAC funders” by Joseph O’Sullivan for Seattle Times

Ethics

National: “Judge Orders Public Release of What Michael Flynn Said in Call to Russian Ambassador” by Carol Leonnig and Rosalind Helderman (Washington Post) for MSN

National: “Deutsche Bank Staff Saw Suspicious Activity in Trump and Kushner Accounts” by David Enrich (New York Times) for MSN

National: “EPA Watchdog Suggests Agency Recover $124,000 in Pruitt’s ‘Excessive’ Travel Expenses” by Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis (Washington Post) for San Jose Mercury News

Illinois: “Contractor Convicted of Paying Off Then-Markham Mayor David Webb Jr.” by Jason Meisner for Chicago Tribune

Pennsylvania: “Former Nutter Aide Desiree Peterkin Bell Fined by Ethics Board for Spending $20,000 on Personal Expenses” by Claudia Vargas for Philadelphia Inquirer

Texas: “Businessman Involved in School Bus Bribery Scheme in Dallas Sentenced” by Nichole Manna for Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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May 17, 2019 •

New Utah Lobbying Updates Effective

Utah Capitol Building - Jkinsocal [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

House Bill 64, implementing the Local Government and Board of Education Lobbyist Disclosure and Regulation Act became effective on May 14, 2019. Additionally, House Bill 147, making changes to the existing Lobbyist Disclosure Act became effective on the same day. […]

House Bill 64, implementing the Local Government and Board of Education Lobbyist Disclosure and Regulation Act became effective on May 14, 2019.

Additionally, House Bill 147, making changes to the existing Lobbyist Disclosure Act became effective on the same day.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Office has released additional guidance on the new rules.

Guidance includes how online registration and reporting will be accomplished for local lobbyists.

The guidance also discusses the shift to annual registration for state level lobbyists.

Previously registered lobbyists choosing to renew their license in 2020 and new registrations will be required to pay a $60 fee and obtain new badges.

The new requirements also include completion of a workplace harassment and discrimination training.

Current, active lobbyists are not required to complete the new training until the license is renewed.

The lieutenant governor has asked that questions be directed to lobbyists@utah.gov or 801-538-1041.

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May 17, 2019 •

Alaska Legislature Adjourns, Governor Calls Special Session

Alaska State Capitol Buildling - Jay Galvin [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

The 31st Alaska Legislature adjourned the first regular session at the constitutional deadline on May 15. The legislature did not find resolution on some of the biggest issues including crime, the budget, and the dividend residents receive from the state’s […]

The 31st Alaska Legislature adjourned the first regular session at the constitutional deadline on May 15.

The legislature did not find resolution on some of the biggest issues including crime, the budget, and the dividend residents receive from the state’s oil-wealth fund.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy called a special session to begin on May 16.

The special session will be limited to discussing a crime reform package, an operating budget containing a full permanent fund dividend, a capital budget, funding for K-12 education, and a mental health trust budget.

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May 16, 2019 •

St. Louis, Missouri Aldermen Introduce Lobbyist, Campaign Finance Reforms

St. Louis Gateway Arch - Daniel Schwen [CC BY-SA 4.0]

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will introduce three city charter amendments on May 17 addressing ethics and campaign finance restrictions. The proposed reforms would ban lobbyists from giving gifts of more than $5 to city elected officials. The amendments […]

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will introduce three city charter amendments on May 17 addressing ethics and campaign finance restrictions.

The proposed reforms would ban lobbyists from giving gifts of more than $5 to city elected officials.

The amendments would also restrict individuals or entities seeking city contracts from donating to a candidate for a city elected office between 90 days before the city seeks bidders and 90 days after the contract has been awarded.

The package would further bar contributions to candidates for city office made with the intent to conceal the identify of such donations’ actual source.

This restriction would apply to contributions made to committees that donate to a candidate’s campaign.

If endorsed by the board, the three city charter amendments would go before voters who must approve by a three-fifths majority at the November 2020 election.

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May 16, 2019 •

Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Ethics National: “At the N.R.A., a Cash Machine Sputtering” by Danny Hakim (New York Times) for MSN National: “Scrutiny of Russia Investigation Is Said to Be a Review, Not a Criminal Inquiry” by Charlie Savage, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos […]

Ethics

National: “At the N.R.A., a Cash Machine Sputtering” by Danny Hakim (New York Times) for MSN

National: “Scrutiny of Russia Investigation Is Said to Be a Review, Not a Criminal Inquiry” by Charlie Savage, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos (New York Times) for MSN

National: “Complaints Grow That Trump Staffers Are Campaigning for Their Boss” by Anita Kumar for Politico

National: “Donald Trump Jr. Strikes Deal for ‘Limited’ Interview with Intelligence Committee” by Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Fandos (New York Times) for MSN

Florida: “Former Palm Bay Deputy Manager Dave Isnardi Arrested, Charged with Racketeering, Other Felonies” by John McCarthy for Florida Today

Georgia: “Georgia Insurance Commissioner Indicted on Fraud Charges” by Kate Brumback for AP News

Michigan: “Michigan Lawmaker Indicted on Bribery Charge Over Prevailing Wage Repeal Vote” by Jonathan Oosting for Detroit News

Missouri: “St. Louis Aldermen Push New Lobbyist Gift Limits, Campaign Donation Rules” by Mark Schlinkmann for St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Lobbying

Massachusetts: “New Rules Mean Chick-fil-A Is Now a Registered Lobbyist at City Hall – Along with Many Others” by Milton Valencia for Boston Globe

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May 15, 2019 •

Wyoming Working Towards Limiting Corporate Money Influence on State Elections

Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming

State lawmakers and the Office of the Secretary of State are working on legislation to limit the influence of corporate money on state elections. The Office of the Secretary of State proposed a slate of election code changes to the […]

State lawmakers and the Office of the Secretary of State are working on legislation to limit the influence of corporate money on state elections.

The Office of the Secretary of State proposed a slate of election code changes to the Joint Committee on Corporations, Elections, and Political Subdivisions.

Changes include a prohibition on corporations donating to political parties or political action committees in coordination to back a specific candidate in an election.

A motion was unanimously approved by members of the committee and a bill could be introduced during the 2020 budget session.

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May 15, 2019 •

Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Maryland: “Governor Signs Bill Allowing Limits on County Developer Contributions, Now Up to County Council” by Chase Cook for Capital Gazette New Jersey: “Will Murphy’s CV Deal a Death Blow to NJ’s Dark-Money Bill?” by Colleen O’Dea for […]

Campaign Finance

Maryland: “Governor Signs Bill Allowing Limits on County Developer Contributions, Now Up to County Council” by Chase Cook for Capital Gazette

New Jersey: “Will Murphy’s CV Deal a Death Blow to NJ’s Dark-Money Bill?” by Colleen O’Dea for NJ Spotlight

Pennsylvania: “15 Years After Ordinance Passed, Allegheny County Still Doesn’t Have E-filing of Campaign Finances” by Christopher Huffaker for Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Elections

National: “‘Being Governor Ain’t What It Used to Be’: How their road to the White House became an uphill climb” by Alan Greenblatt for Governing

North Carolina: “NC Elections Boss Kim Strach Is Fired and a New Director Is Named” by Will Doran for Raleigh News and Observer

Ethics

National: “Trump’s Lawyers Question Congress’ Power to Investigate Him, Battle House Over Demand for Financial Records” by Bart Jansen for USA Today

National: “How William Barr, Now Serving as a Powerful Ally for Trump, Has Championed Presidential Powers” by Tom Hamburger for Washington Post

Lobbying

Florida: “NRA Pays Lobbyist Marion Hammer Big Bucks, But You Won’t Find That Disclosed in Tallahassee” by Dan Christensen for Florida Bulldog

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May 14, 2019 •

Former Colorado Rep. Resigns as Another Recall Petition is Approved

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Colorado Rep. Tom Sullivan & Former Rep. Rochelle Galindo

The Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office approved a petition on May 13 to collect signatures to recall Rep. Tom Sullivan in House District 37. More than 10,000 signatures are needed by July 12 to force a recall […]

The Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office approved a petition on May 13 to collect signatures to recall Rep. Tom Sullivan in House District 37.

More than 10,000 signatures are needed by July 12 to force a recall election for Sullivan’s replacement.

Former Rep. Rochelle Galindo was also facing a recall election but resigned on May 12.

A Democratic vacancy committee will name Galindo’s replacement.

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May 14, 2019 •

Maryland Governor Signs Bill Allowing Limits on County Developer Contributions

Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill authorizing Anne Arundel County to change local ethics rules covering county elections to limit developer money and reduce influence on campaigns. The bill also prohibits a member of the Anne Arundel County Council from […]

Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill authorizing Anne Arundel County to change local ethics rules covering county elections to limit developer money and reduce influence on campaigns.

The bill also prohibits a member of the Anne Arundel County Council from participating in any legislative action relevant to a zoning change, amendment, or an application if the member has received or benefited from a contribution or donation.

The bill becomes effective July 1.

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