September 16, 2022 •
National/Federal A Record Number of Black Candidates for Higher Offices Aim to Reshape U.S. Politics MSN – Tim Craig (Washington Post) | Published: 9/13/2022 A record number of Black men and women are running for U.S. Senate and governor this fall, […]
A Record Number of Black Candidates for Higher Offices Aim to Reshape U.S. Politics
MSN – Tim Craig (Washington Post) | Published: 9/13/2022
A record number of Black men and women are running for U.S. Senate and governor this fall, with the potential to increase diversity in the nation’s top elected offices, which are still overwhelmingly held by White men. Since Reconstruction, voters have elected just seven Black senators and two Black governors. While many of them face tough odds, some have posted strong poll numbers and fundraising totals, waging credible campaigns that challenge long-held attitudes about whether Black candidates can be competitive in statewide races.
Durham Inquiry Appears to Wind Down as Grand Jury Expires
Yahoo News – Katie Benner (New York Times) | Published: 9/14/2022
When John Durham was assigned by the Justice Department to examine the origins of the investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, then-President Trump and his supporters expressed a belief the inquiry would prove a “deep state” conspiracy including top Obama-era officials had worked to sabotage him. Now Durham appears to be winding down his three-year inquiry without anything close to the results Trump was seeking. The grand jury that Durham has recently used to hear evidence has expired, and while he could convene another, there are currently no plans to do so.
FEC Unanimously Rejects Complaints About Zuckerberg’s 2020 Election Grants
MSN – Isaac Stanley-Becker (Washington Post) | Published: 9/8/2022
A unanimous bipartisan vote by the FEC undercut claims about Mark Zuckerberg’s role in the 2020 election that have taken hold among GOP leaders, candidates, and activists. The claims originate in the more than $400 million donated by Zuckerberg, the chief executive and founder of Meta, and his wife to a pair of nonprofits that provided grants aiding state and local governments with election administration in light of the challenges posed by the coronavirus. The funding from Zuckerberg soon became kindling for the firestorm unleashed by former President Trump and his allies as they questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
In Final Primaries, Heated GOP Fights in N.H. Include a Blow to McCarthy
MSN – Colby Itkowitz and David Weigel (Washington Post) | Published: 9/13/2022
The 2022 primaries concluded on a familiar note – with voters in Republican races choosing between far-right, election-denying candidates and more moderate rivals, and party leaders divided in contests factoring into the battle for control of Congress. New Hampshire was one of three states where voters went to the polls, marking the end of this year’s nominating process, along with Rhode Island and Delaware. The primaries allowed voters a final chance to choose party standard-bearers after months of fierce intraparty battles that highlighted divisions on both sides over policy, personality, and ideology, among other things.
Judge Dismisses Trump Lawsuit Against Hillary Clinton Over 2016 Election
MSN – Azi Paybarah (Washington Post) | Published: 9/9/2022
A federal judge dismissed Donald Trump’s lawsuit against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying there was no basis for the former president to claim Clinton and her allies harmed him with an orchestrated plan to spread false information that his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential race. U.S. District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks noted “glaring structural deficiencies in the plaintiff’s argument” and said, “such pleadings waste judicial resources and are an unacceptable form of establishing a claim for relief.”
Justice Dept. Issues 40 Subpoenas in a Week, Expanding Jan. 6 Inquiry
Seattle Times – Adam Goldman, Glenn Thrush, Alan Feuer, and Maggie Haberman (New York Times) | Published: 9/13/2022
Justice Department officials seized the phones of two top advisers to former President Trump and blanketed his aides with about 40 subpoenas in a substantial escalation of the investigation into his efforts to subvert the 2020 election. The seizure of the phones, coupled with a widening effort to obtain information from those around Trump after the 2020 election, represent some of the most aggressive steps the department has taken thus far in its criminal investigation into the actions that led to the assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
Justice Dept. Says It Would Accept Trump’s Candidate for Special Master
MSN – Devlin Barrett and Perry Stein (Washington Post) | Published: 9/12/2022
The Justice Department filed court papers signaling it would accept a former federal judge as a special master charged with reviewing papers seized by the FBI from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and club. U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon must approve Raymond Dearie’s appointment. Dearie was proposed by Trump’s lawyers amid a legal battle over whether a special master should review the documents to determine whether any should be kept from federal prosecutors investigating the potential mishandling of classified material and the possible hiding, tampering, or destruction of government records.
Migrants Flown to Martha’s Vineyard as GOP Escalates Immigration Protest
MSN – Ellen Francis (Washington Post) | Published: 9/15/2022
Dozens of migrants arrived by plane in Martha’s Vineyard, as some Republican governors escalate a campaign against President Biden’s border policies by shuttling refugees out of their states and to Democratic-led states or liberal enclaves. Their arrival in the affluent summer resort island in Massachusetts appeared to prompt confusion about where they had come from and how. The communications director for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said two flights were part of a state program to relocate undocumented immigrants.
Prosecutors Seek Details from Trump’s PAC in Expanding Jan. 6 Probe
MSN – Josh Dawsey and Isaac Arnsdorf (Washington Post) | Published: 9/8/2022
The Justice Department is seeking details about the formation and operation of Donald Trump’s post-presidential political operation in a significant expansion of the criminal investigation of the attack on the Capitol and efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. A federal grand jury sent subpoenas to a wide range of former campaign and White House staffers asking for information about the Save America PAC. Sources described the subpoenas as broad, seeking all documents and communications about opening the PAC and every dollar raised and spent.
Stock Trades Reported by Nearly a Fifth of Congress Show Possible Conflicts
News Inside Era – Kate Kelley, Adam Playford, and Alicia Parlapiano (New York Times) | Published: 9/13/2022
Ninety-seven U.S. senators or representatives who reported trades by themselves or immediate family members in stocks or other financial assets that intersected with the work of committees on which they serve, according to an analysis of trades from 2019 to 2021. The potential for conflicts in stock trading by members of Congress, and their choice so far not to impose stricter limits on themselves, has long drawn criticism, especially when particularly blatant cases emerge. Over the three-year period, more than 3,700 trades reported by lawmakers from both parties posed potential conflicts between their public responsibilities and private finances.
Trump Backers Flood Election Offices with Requests as 2022 Vote Nears
MSN – Amy Gardner and Patrick Marley (Washington Post) | Published: 9/11/2022
Supporters of former President Trump have swamped local election offices across the nation in recent weeks with a coordinated campaign of requests for 2020 voting records, in some cases paralyzing preparations for the fall election season. In nearly two dozen states and scores of counties, election officials are fielding what many describe as an unprecedented wave of public records requests in the final weeks of summer, one they say may be intended to hinder their work and weaken an already strained system.
What Makes State Legislatures Uniquely Prone to Alleged Harassment
MinnPost – Jennifer Gerson (The 19th) | Published: 9/7/2022
Statehouses, a place where the powerful and the less empowered rub shoulders as part of the policy-making process, are a place where abuse and harassment can flourish in the shadows, and consequences are slow to come if they come at all. Dealing with alleged harassment in remains a maze of bureaucratic red tape that, despite efforts to improve processes, has left people in uncomfortable power dynamics or complete inaction after alleged sexual harassment or bullying.
When a Man with a Pistol Shows Up Outside a Congresswoman’s House
MSN – Ruby Kramer (Washington Post) | Published: 9/8/2022
Threats against members of Congress have risen year after year, according to data from the Capitol Police: 9,625 in 2021, up from 3,939 in 2017. Officers logged nearly 2,000 cases in the first three months of this year alone. Among the statistics, there are thousands of stories like that of U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal. An armed man who reportedly threatened to kill Jayapal was arrested outside her Seattle home recently. The incident demonstrated to Jayapal how many gaps exist in congressional security.
From the States and Municipalities
Arkansas – Ethics Filing Against Flowers Frivolous, Senate Panel Says; Suspension Recommended for Clark
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette – Michael Wickline | Published: 9/10/2022
The Arkansas Senate Ethics Committee recommended the chamber suspend state Sen. Alan Clark for the rest of this year and strip him of seniority for the rest of this year and the next two years. The committee concluded that Clark’s charges of ethics violations against Sen. Stephanie Flowers were spurious, frivolous, and retaliatory. Clark filed a complaint against Flowers alleging she violated the Senate’s code of ethics by accepting legislative per diem payments for participating by Zoom in the Senate’s regular session meetings in 2021.
California – Anaheim Council Tightens Lobbyist Rules
MSN – Alicia Robinson (Orange County Register) | Published: 9/14/2022
Anaheim City Council members voted unanimously to support an ordinance tightening lobbyist regulations. Acting as a lobbyist but failing to register with the city, not filing disclosure reports as required, or filing inaccurate reports could result in a misdemeanor charge under the proposed rules. A second vote is required for the new rules to become law. Registered lobbyists will also have to attest under penalty of perjury their reports are true and accurate; perjury is a felony charge under state law.
California – Karen Bass Got a USC Degree for Free. It’s Now Pulling Her into a Federal Corruption Case
MSN – Matthew Brown (Los Angeles Times) | Published: 9/7/2022
A full tuition scholarship to the University of Southern California (USC) led to the indictment of former Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and the former dean of USC’s social work program, Marilyn Flynn, on bribery and fraud charges. Another scholarship recipient, U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, is the leading contender to be the next mayor of Los Angeles. Federal prosecutors have not indicated Bass is under a criminal investigation. But prosecutors have now declared that Bass’ scholarship and her dealings with USC are “critical” to their bribery case and to their broader portrayal of corruption in the university’s social work program.
California – L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Home Searched by Sheriff’s Investigators
Yahoo News – Alene Tchekmedyian (Los Angeles Times) | Published: 9/14/2022
Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators searched the house of county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl as part of a criminal investigation into a county contract awarded to a nonprofit organization. A copy of the warrant showed the search was tied to an ongoing probe into Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit run by Patti Giggans, a member of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission and a close friend to Kuehl. Both Kuehl and Giggans have clashed with Sheriff Alex Villanueva and called for his resignation.
California – Voters Push to Take Local Redistricting from Politicians
CalMatters – Sameea Kamal | Published: 9/14/2022
California’s independent redistricting commission has received generally good reviews for its new maps that voters are using to elect legislators and members of Congress in November. But voters who say they are disenfranchised want similar panels to draw their local districts. Three bills on California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk would overrule local officials and require independent redistricting commissions in Fresno, Kern, and Riverside counties. If signed into law, those panels would work on districts for the boards of supervisors in those counties, starting after the next Census in 2030.
Colorado – FBI Seizes Mike Lindell’s Phone in Probe of Colo. Voting Machine Breach
MSN – Jon Swaine and Emma Brown (Washington Post) | Published: 9/14/2022
FBI agents seized a cellphone belonging to Mike Lindell, the MyPillow founder and prominent election denier, as part of a federal investigation into an alleged breach of voting machines in Colorado, according to Lindell. Lindell said the agents questioned him about Tina Peters, the Mesa County clerk who was indicted on charges she helped an outsider copy sensitive data from the county’s elections systems. The action against Lindell, who has financed films, conferences, and other media promoting disinformation about elections, points to a widening of the federal investigation into the alleged breach in Mesa County.
Florida – ‘Make His Life a Living Hell.’ The FPL-financed plot to torpedo a Miami lawmaker
MSN – Mary Ellen Klas and Nicholas Nehamas (Miami Herald) | Published: 9/9/2022
Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) chief political operative, Jeff Pitts, used a maze of nonprofits to secretly finance an operation aimed at defeating state Sen. José Javier Rodríguez and replace him with a Republican less hostile to FPL’s interests. Rodríguez lost his bid for reelection in 2020 by 34 votes. It was part of an alleged “ghost candidate” plot in which “spoiler” candidates ran in a total of three state Senate races to help defeat Democratic candidates, who indeed lost. Two people have been criminally charged in connection with the effort to defeat Rodríguez, including a former state senator considered a staunch ally of FPL during his years in office.
Georgia – Former Atlanta Official Gets 14 Years in Corruption Case
Yahoo News – Kate Brumback (Associated Press) | Published: 9/8/2022
A former high-ranking Atlanta official was sentenced to 14 years in prison after a jury found her guilty of charges stemming from a long-running federal investigation into corruption at City Hall. In addition to the prison time, the judge ordered Mitzi Vickers to pay nearly $3 million in restitution to the city. Bickers was the first person to go to trial in the investigation into corruption during the administration of former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. She helped Reed win election and then worked as his director of human services for several years.
Georgia – Georgia’s Biggest County Can’t Find a Top Elections Official
MSN – Matthew Brown (Washington Post) | Published: 9/7/2022
For 10 months, local leaders have been unable to hire a permanent director to run the Department of Registration and Elections in Fulton County, home to Atlanta. The previous director resigned in November and left the position in April, after pressure from local lawmakers and the turmoil of the 2020 election, when county staff endured death threats, baseless conspiracy theories, high-stakes audits, and harassment from former Donald Trump and his allies. The staff has worked through the uncertainty under an interim director, but the county has been slow to implement changes mandated by a sweeping new election law.
Hawaii – Attorney For Mitsunaga’s Engineering Firm Has Been Arrested in Bribery Case
Honolulu Civil Beat – Christina Jedra | Published: 9/13/2022
Sheri Tanaka, an attorney for a prominent engineering firm whose chief executive officer is fighting federal charges, was arrested in California in connection with her client’s case and is currently in custody. Tanaka has been charged alongside Dennis Mitsunaga and associates of his firm who were accused of bribing former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro. Federal prosecutors say Mitsunaga and his accomplices directed over $45,000 to the prosecutor so he would pursue a bogus prosecution of a former employee of the firm, Laurel Mau.
Illinois – Board of Review’s Probe into Bribes for Tax Breaks Is Stymied by Employee’s ‘Inability to Recall Passcode’ to County-Issued Cellphone
Chicago Sun-Times – Mitch Dudek | Published: 9/9/2022
An employee of the Cook County Board of Review under investigation for accepting bribes to lower property taxes stymied a law firm hired to look into the matter by refusing to be interviewed and claiming he forgot the passcode to his county-issued cellphone. A cooperating witness in the case broached the idea of having property assessments lowered for an associate. A picture of the employee thumbing a stack of cash was included in an affidavit. The employee told a cooperating witness he was “just the middle guy” and the cash was intended to be split with others in his office, according to the affidavit.
Maryland – Montgomery School Leaders Defend Contract Given to Board Member’s Spouse
MSN – Nicole Asbury (Washington Post) | Published: 9/13/2022
Montgomery County’s schools superintendent defended the system’s decision to award a STEM learning contract to a company owned by a school board member’s spouse and blamed concerns over the award process on an inaccurate document on the board’s website. The Parents’ Coalition of Montgomery County raised concerns before a school board vote that the contract for MoCo KidsCo Inc. was being awarded as a no-bid contract, with no discussion by the school board, a lack of competition, and a conflict-of-interest.
Massachusetts – AG Maura Healey Ruling Derails Bid to Limit Super PAC Contributions in Massachusetts
MassLive – Matt Murphy (State House News Service) | Published: 9/9/2022
Super PACs are allowed to raise and spend unlimited sums of money to influence elections as long as they do not coordinate directly with any campaigns. The spending has come under fire from some candidates who oppose the influence money has on the process. But a bid to curtail the ability of super PACs to raise and spend huge sums in Massachusetts was nixed by state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office as “inconsistent” with constitutional rights to free speech.
Massachusetts – SJC Considers Lobbying by Federal Felons, Like Former House Speaker Sal DiMasi
MSN – Shelley Murphy (Boston Globe) | Published: 9/8/2022
Former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi began working as a lobbyist on Beacon Hill nine years after a federal jury found him guilty of fraud and extortion for taking bribes while in office. The state’s highest court heard arguments over whether DiMasi should have been forced to wait a little longer to embark on his new career, based on a state law that bars people convicted of certain state crimes from registering as lobbyists until 10 years after their convictions.
Massachusetts – State’s Public Campaign Financing Program Means Candidates Can Spend Big in November Election
MassLive – Chris Lisinski (State House News Service) | Published: 9/12/2022
Maura Healey and Kim Driscoll can drain their entire accumulated campaign money in their bid for governor and lieutenant governor, Massachusetts campaign finance officials said. At least one candidate in each of the five statewide contests this fall sought to participate in the state’s public campaign financing program, which triggered a requirement for all other contestants in those races to declare self-imposed spending caps. The largest limit in each race becomes the cap for all candidates in that field. Healey and Driscoll told the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance their self-imposed spending would be limited to a maximum of $6.9 million.
Michigan – Michigan Supreme Court Puts Abortion on the November Ballot
Yahoo News – Alice Miranda Ollstein (Politico) | Published: 9/8/2022
The Michigan Supreme Court certified a sweeping abortion rights initiative for the November ballot, giving voters a chance to decide whether the procedure remains legal or whether a nearly 100-year-old ban goes back into effect. The emergency ruling overrides a party-line tie vote by the Board of State Canvassers, which blocked the certification of the proposed constitutional amendment. The two Republicans on that panel sided with conservative groups that argued spacing and formatting errors on the text canvassers presented to voters rendered the entire effort invalid.
Mississippi – Former Gov. Phil Bryant Helped Brett Favre Secure Welfare Funding for USM Volleyball Stadium, Texts Reveal
Mississippi Today – Anna Wolfe | Published: 9/13/2022
Newly released text messages show Brett Favre, former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, and others worked together to channel at least $5 million of the state’s welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at University of Southern Mississippi, where Favre’s daughter played the sport. The texts show the then-governor even guided Favre on how to write a funding proposal so it could be accepted by the state Department of Human Services. In total, nonprofit leaders misspent at least $77 million in funds that were supposed to help the needy, forensic auditors found.
Montana – Super PAC Faces New Allegations in Montana
Montana Free Press – Alex Sakariassen | Published: 9/9/2022
An out-of-state political organization found to have violated Montana campaign finance law continues to face questions about its activity in three legislative races during the 2022 primary election, even as it pursues legal action against the commissioner of political practices. The Center for Media and Democracy filed a complaint against the Convention of States Political Fund, a Michigan-based super PAC that spent more than $126,000 on political flyers and radio ads in Montana earlier this year.
New York – Rensselaer County’s Republican Elections Commissioner Arrested by FBI
Albany Times Union – Brendan Lyons | Published: 9/13/2022
Jason Schofield, the Rensselaer County Board of Elections commissioner, was arrested by the FBI and charged with fraudulently obtaining and filing absentee ballots last year using the personal information of at least eight voters without their permission. The ballots were filled out and submitted in last year’s primary election, the general election, and sometimes both. In some instances, documentation was completed falsely claiming the ballots were mailed to the voters at their residences.
Ohio – Ex-Ohio Governor Candidate Joe Blystone Threatened with Prosecution Over Alleged Campaign-Finance Violations
MSN – Jeremy Pelzer (Cleveland Plain Dealer) | Published: 9/8/2022
Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office says it will seek to refer Joe Blystone, who ran for Ohio governor earlier this year, to prosecutors for campaign finance violations if he does not accept a deal that includes turning over all his remaining campaign money to state officials. Blystone has been under scrutiny for a number of issues, including not properly recording thousands of dollars in small donations. Last March, LaRose’s office flagged more than $100,000 in contributions to Blystone’s campaign that appear to violate the state’s limit on cash contributions or ban on corporate donations.
Ohio – Former Butler County Elected Official Indicted on Corruption Charges
Yahoo – Cincinnati Enquirer staff | Published: 9/14/2022
A grand jury indicted Madison Township Trustee Alan Daniel on seven public corruption-related charges. The case had been referred to the Ohio Ethics Commission, which made a referral to the Butler County prosecutor’s office for criminal charges. State Auditor Keith Faber noted several votes Daniel cast as a trustee that Faber said directly impacted a family member. Daniel voted on 20 road department ordinances in 2018 and 15 in 2019 “from which he should have abstained because he is the father of Road Supervisor Todd Daniel,” Faber recently wrote to Madison Township officials.
Ohio – Ohio Supreme Court: ‘Targeted picketing’ ban unconstitutional
Ohio Capital Journal – Susan Tebben | Published: 9/14/2022
The Ohio Supreme Court took issue with a ban on “targeted picketing” of public officials in a new ruling. The justices ruled an education board violated picketers’ rights by putting a stop to public protests, calling Ohio Revised Code language on organizing a protest at public officials’ homes or workplaces “a form of expressive-activity suppression that is irreconcilable with the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment.”
Pennsylvania – Clandestine Plan to Force a Vote on Pa. Legislative Gift Ban Fails, Lawmakers Shrug
Spotlight PA – Stephen Caruso | Published: 9/14/2022
Pennsylvania lawmakers can accept gifts from anyone if they disclose items more than $250 on annual interest forms. Proposals to tighten the law have died over the years with no debate until last fall, when lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed interest in a more comprehensive gift ban. Activists recently said one unidentified House member would force a vote on whether to consider the bill, defying Republican leadership. But as one of the last scheduled session days of the year ended, no one stood up, leaving advocates with nothing to do but concede.
South Carolina – SC Supreme Court Says Attorney General’s $75M Payment to Law Firms Can Be Questioned
MSN – John Monk (The State) | Published: 9/14/2022
The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that John Crangle, who writes extensively on governmental ethics issues, has the right to challenge state Attorney General Alan Wilson’s award of a $75 million legal fee to two law firms. Wilson had signed a contingency fee agreement with the firms that awarded them a percentage of a settlement concerning the disposal of dangerous plutonium in the state. Crangle and the South Carolina Public Interest Foundation contended the $75 million fee was unreasonable and unconstitutional.
South Dakota – Documents Show Gov. Kristi Noem Tried to Avoid Ethics Hearing, Seal Records
Yahoo News – Stephen Groves (Associated Press) | Published: 9/9/2022
Documents show South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem asked the state Government Accountability Board to dismiss a complaint against her without a public hearing and to seal off certain records. News reports said shortly after a state agency moved to deny her daughter, Kassidy Peters, a real estate appraiser license, Noem held a meeting with Peters and key decision-makers in her licensure. After the meeting, Peters signed an agreement that gave her another opportunity to meet the licensing requirements. The South Dakota Legislature’s audit committee approved a report that found Noem’s daughter got preferential treatment.
Wyoming – Elections Official Files Complaint Against Conservative PAC
WyoFile – Maggie Mullen | Published: 9/13/2022
Campbell County’s chief elections officer filed a complaint against Coal Country Conservatives Political Action Committee, calling on the FEC and the Wyoming secretary of state to undertake a “swift and robust investigation.” The complaint by Campbell County Clerk Susan Saunders, names both the federal PAC and a Wyoming entity of the same name. Chief among Saunders’ concerns is a potentially improper campaign finance relationship between the two organizations and a lack of disclosure on the part of both.
Wyoming – Some Wyoming Republicans Want to Limit the Secretary of State after Trump’s Pick Wins
Wyoming Public Radio – Bob Beck | Published: 9/8/2022
Wyoming’s likely next secretary of state, a Trump-endorsed Republican who has falsely called the 2020 election fraudulent, is drawing concerns from many of his fellow GOP lawmakers. Now those legislators are aiming to draft a bill to remove the secretary of state’s ability to oversee elections. State Rep. Chuck Gray is the Republican nominee. He does not have a general election opponent. Though state officials maintain Wyoming elections are secure, Gray campaigned on concerns he has about election integrity.
September 15, 2022 •
Meet Ellen Murray, Compliance Assistant II! What are your areas of expertise? I am a proactive problem-solver with strong organizational and communication skills. How long have you been with State and Federal Communications? I have been at State and Federal […]
Meet Ellen Murray, Compliance Assistant II!
What are your areas of expertise?
I am a proactive problem-solver with strong organizational and communication skills.
How long have you been with State and Federal Communications?
I have been at State and Federal Communications, Inc. for three years!
How do I help our clients?
I support the professional staff of our compliance consulting department with keen attention to detail and a high degree of accuracy.
September 15, 2022 •
Elections National: “In Final Primaries, Heated GOP Fights in N.H. Include a Blow to McCarthy” by Colby Itkowitz and David Weigel (Washington Post) for MSN Colorado: “FBI Seizes Mike Lindell’s Phone in Probe of Colo. Voting Machine Breach” by Jon […]
National: “In Final Primaries, Heated GOP Fights in N.H. Include a Blow to McCarthy” by Colby Itkowitz and David Weigel (Washington Post) for MSN
Colorado: “FBI Seizes Mike Lindell’s Phone in Probe of Colo. Voting Machine Breach” by Jon Swaine and Emma Brown (Washington Post) for MSN
New York: “Rensselaer County’s Republican Elections Commissioner Arrested by FBI” by Brendan Lyons for Albany Times Union
National: “Stock Trades Reported by Nearly a Fifth of Congress Show Possible Conflicts” by Kate Kelley, Adam Playford, and Alicia Parlapiano (New York Times) for News Inside Era
National: “Durham Inquiry Appears to Wind Down as Grand Jury Expires” by Katie Benner (New York Times) for Yahoo News
California: “L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Home Searched by Sheriff’s Investigators” by Alene Tchekmedyian (Los Angeles Times) for Yahoo News
Maryland: “Montgomery School Leaders Defend Contract Given to Board Member’s Spouse” by Nicole Asbury (Washington Post) for MSN
Ohio: “Ohio Supreme Court: ‘Targeted picketing’ ban unconstitutional” by Susan Tebben for Ohio Capital Journal
California: “FBI Corruption Probe Pushes Anaheim to Keep Emails Longer, Tighten Lobbyist Rules” by Hosam Elattar for Voice of OC
September 14, 2022 •
Campaign Finance Massachusetts: “State’s Public Campaign Financing Program Means Candidates Can Spend Big in November Election” by Chris Lisinski (State House News Service) for MassLive Wyoming: “Elections Official Files Complaint Against Conservative PAC” by Maggie Mullen for WyoFile Elections National: […]
Massachusetts: “State’s Public Campaign Financing Program Means Candidates Can Spend Big in November Election” by Chris Lisinski (State House News Service) for MassLive
Wyoming: “Elections Official Files Complaint Against Conservative PAC” by Maggie Mullen for WyoFile
National: “A Record Number of Black Candidates for Higher Offices Aim to Reshape U.S. Politics” by Tim Craig (Washington Post) for MSN
Georgia: “Georgia’s Biggest County Can’t Find a Top Elections Official” by Matthew Brown (Washington Post) for MSN
National: “Justice Dept. Says It Would Accept Trump’s Candidate for Special Master” by Devlin Barrett and Perry Stein (Washington Post) for MSN
National: “Justice Dept. Issues 40 Subpoenas in a Week, Expanding Jan. 6 Inquiry” by Adam Goldman, Glenn Thrush, Alan Feuer, and Maggie Haberman (New York Times) for Seattle Times
Arkansas: “Ethics Filing Against Flowers Frivolous, Senate Panel Says; Suspension Recommended for Clark” by Michael Wickline for Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Mississippi: “Former Gov. Phil Bryant Helped Brett Favre Secure Welfare Funding for USM Volleyball Stadium, Texts Reveal” by Anna Wolfe for Mississippi Today
Pennsylvania: “Gift Ban Does Not See House Vote, but Advocates Say ‘There’s Still Time’” by Marley Parish for Pennsylvania Capital-Star
September 13, 2022 •
Campaign Finance National: “FEC Unanimously Rejects Complaints About Zuckerberg’s 2020 Election Grants” by Isaac Stanley-Becker (Washington Post) for MSN Montana: “Super PAC Faces New Allegations in Montana” by Alex Sakariassen for Montana Free Press Ohio: “Ex-Ohio Governor Candidate Joe Blystone […]
National: “FEC Unanimously Rejects Complaints About Zuckerberg’s 2020 Election Grants” by Isaac Stanley-Becker (Washington Post) for MSN
Montana: “Super PAC Faces New Allegations in Montana” by Alex Sakariassen for Montana Free Press
Ohio: “Ex-Ohio Governor Candidate Joe Blystone Threatened with Prosecution Over Alleged Campaign-Finance Violations” by Jeremy Pelzer (Cleveland Plain Dealer) for MSN
National: “Trump Backers Flood Election Offices with Requests as 2022 Vote Nears” by Amy Gardner and Patrick Marley (Washington Post) for MSN
Wyoming: “Some Wyoming Republicans Want to Limit the Secretary of State after Trump’s Pick Wins” by Bob Beck for Wyoming Public Radio
National: “Trump’s Lawyers Suggest Seized Documents May Not Be Classified” by Devlin Barrett and Perry Stein (Washington Post) for MSN
Illinois: “Board of Review’s Probe into Bribes for Tax Breaks Is Stymied by Employee’s ‘Inability to Recall Passcode’ to County-Issued Cellphone” by Mitch Dudek for Chicago Sun-Times
South Dakota: “Documents Show Gov. Kristi Noem Tried to Avoid Ethics Hearing, Seal Records” by Stephen Groves (Associated Press) for Yahoo News
Massachusetts: “SJC Considers Lobbying by Federal Felons, Like Former House Speaker Sal DiMasi” by Shelley Murphy (Boston Globe) for MSN
September 12, 2022 •
The Missouri Office of Administration announced restrictions on public access to bid documents in order to comply with the Personal Privacy Protection Act, established by the passage of Senate Substitute for House Bill 2400. The act prohibits public agencies from […]
The Missouri Office of Administration announced restrictions on public access to bid documents in order to comply with the Personal Privacy Protection Act, established by the passage of Senate Substitute for House Bill 2400.
The act prohibits public agencies from requiring any 501(c) entity to share the identities of donors, volunteers, or supporters and closes any public agency record or list containing the identity of supporters.
The Office of Administration removed all bid and contract records from MissouriBUYS and the document portal.
New contract awards will be reviewed and redacted to ensure compliance before posting. Older records will be reviewed and redacted before being reposted.
September 12, 2022 •
The Tallahassee City Commission adopted Ordinance No. 22-O-20 and Resolution 22-R-22, amending certain lobbying provisions. Ordinance No. 22-O-20 repeals the requirement of quarterly compensation reports and requires lobbyists to register individually rather than by firm. Resolution 22-R-22 raises the registration […]
The Tallahassee City Commission adopted Ordinance No. 22-O-20 and Resolution 22-R-22, amending certain lobbying provisions.
Ordinance No. 22-O-20 repeals the requirement of quarterly compensation reports and requires lobbyists to register individually rather than by firm.
Resolution 22-R-22 raises the registration fee from $25 to $500. The changes are effective December 31.
September 12, 2022 •
Two special elections have been scheduled for November 8 to fill the vacant Philadelphia City Council seats in Districts 7 and 9. Both seats were vacated when councilors Maria Quinones Sanchez and Cherelle Parker resigned last week to run for […]
Two special elections have been scheduled for November 8 to fill the vacant Philadelphia City Council seats in Districts 7 and 9.
Both seats were vacated when councilors Maria Quinones Sanchez and Cherelle Parker resigned last week to run for mayor.
The winners of the special elections will serve the remainder of the terms set to expire at the end of 2023.
September 12, 2022 •
Campaign Finance National: “Prosecutors Seek Details from Trump’s PAC in Expanding Jan. 6 Probe” by Josh Dawsey and Isaac Arnsdorf (Washington Post) for MSN Massachusetts: “AG Maura Healey Ruling Derails Bid to Limit Super PAC Contributions in Massachusetts” by Matt […]
National: “Prosecutors Seek Details from Trump’s PAC in Expanding Jan. 6 Probe” by Josh Dawsey and Isaac Arnsdorf (Washington Post) for MSN
Massachusetts: “AG Maura Healey Ruling Derails Bid to Limit Super PAC Contributions in Massachusetts” by Matt Murphy (State House News Service) for MassLive
Michigan: “Michigan Supreme Court Puts Abortion on the November Ballot” by Alice Miranda Ollstein (Politico) for Yahoo News
National: “What Makes State Legislatures Uniquely Prone to Alleged Harassment” by Jennifer Gerson (The 19th) for MinnPost
National: “Justice Dept. Seeks to Regain Access to Classified Mar-a-Lago Documents” by Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett (Washington Post) for MSN
California: “Karen Bass Got a USC Degree for Free. It’s Now Pulling Her into a Federal Corruption Case” by Matthew Brown (Los Angeles Times) for MSN
Florida: “‘Make His Life a Living Hell.’ The FPL-financed plot to torpedo a Miami lawmaker” by Mary Ellen Klas and Nicholas Nehamas (Miami Herald) for MSN
Georgia: “Former Atlanta Official Gets 14 Years in Corruption Case” by Kate Brumback (Associated Press) for Yahoo News
September 9, 2022 •
National/Federal ‘Fat Leonard’ Goes on the Lam Weeks Before Sentencing in Navy Bribery Scandal Portland Press Herald – María Luisa Paúl (Washington Post) | Published: 9/6/2022 The Malaysian defense contractor who pleaded guilty to bribing Navy officials with sex parties, fancy […]
‘Fat Leonard’ Goes on the Lam Weeks Before Sentencing in Navy Bribery Scandal
Portland Press Herald – María Luisa Paúl (Washington Post) | Published: 9/6/2022
The Malaysian defense contractor who pleaded guilty to bribing Navy officials with sex parties, fancy dinners, and alcohol in a corruption scandal has escaped just weeks before his sentencing date. Leonard Francis, also known as “Fat Leonard,” fled while under house arrest in San Diego. A search by the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force and Naval Criminal Investigative Service is underway, officials said. “He cut off his GPS monitoring bracelet on Sunday morning,” the U.S. Marshals Service announced. “Task Force Officers went to his residence and upon arrival noticed the house was now vacant.”
FEC Approves Rule to Remove Candidate Loan Repayment Restrictions
OpenSecrets – Taylor Giorno | Published: 9/1/2022
The FEC approved an interim final rule that removes regulations that previously restricted the repayment of personal loans candidates made to their campaigns. In May, the Supreme Court ruled that existing candidate loan repayment restrictions were unconstitutional. Under the old rules, campaigns could raise money after election day to repay candidate loans up to $250,000 up to 20 days after the election.
From Border Town to ‘Border Town,’ Bused Migrants Seek New Lives in D.C. Area
MSN – Antonio Olivo (Washington Post) | Published: 9/7/2022
More than 230 buses carrying nearly 9,400 migrants, including young children, have arrived in the District of Columbia since Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began offering free passage to the city with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey following suit. Buses from Texas have also started heading to New York and Chicago. The governors are using the busloads of migrants as a political statement about what they have called lax border policies. But for many of those who have accepted the rides, any political gamesmanship has been irrelevant. The buses have turned into a welcomed opportunity for migrants to get to their preferred destinations.
House Committee Reaches Deal to get Trump Financial Records
Yahoo News – Kevin Freking (Associated Press) | Published: 9/1/2022
A U.S. House committee seeking financial records from former President Trump reached an agreement that ends litigation on the matter and requires an accounting firm to turn over some of the material. The case began in April 2019, when the House Committee on Oversight and Reform first subpoenaed records from Trump’s then-accounting firm, Mazars USA. The committee cited testimony from Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, that it said raised questions about the president’s representation of his financial affairs when it came to seeking loans and paying taxes.
In Voter Fraud, Penalties Often Depend on Who’s Voting
Yahoo News – Michael Wines (New York Times) | Published: 9/6/2022
A review by The New York Times of some 400 voting fraud charges filed nationwide since 2017 underscores what critics of fraud crackdowns have long said: actual prosecutions are rare events and often netted people who did not realize they were breaking the law. Punishment can be wildly inconsistent. Most violations draw wrist slaps, while a few high-profile prosecutions produce draconian sentences. Penalties often fall heaviest on those least able to mount a defense. Those who are poor and Black are more likely to be sent to jail.
In Washington, Agricultural Policymakers Circulate Among Farm Bureau, USDA and Industry
Investigate Midwest – Madison McVan | Published: 8/24/2022
Reporting and more than 100 pages of emails obtained by Investigate Midwest shed light on the movement of agriculture policy leaders between government, industry, and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). Terri Moore, vice president of communications for AFBF, said Dale Moore, executive vice president of the group, and Sam Kieffer, the organization’s top lobbyist, likely had communication with Joby Young during his time at as chief of staff for the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Young took over as AFBF executive vice president following a stint at a consulting firm.
Jan. 6 Committee Asks Former Speaker Newt Gingrich to Sit for Interview
MSN – Jacqueline Alemany and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post) | Published: 9/1/2022
The House select committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol issued a request to interview former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The request cited evidence showing Gingrich was in communication with senior advisers to ex-President Trump, including Jared Kushner and Jason Miller, regarding television advertisements that amplified false claims about fraud in the 2020 election. The panel also said it obtained evidence suggesting Gingrich was involved in the fake elector plot designed to encourage Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress to affect the outcome of the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021.
Judge’s Special-Master Order a Test of Trump’s Post-White House Powers
MSN – Ann Marimow and Devlin Barrett (Washington Post) | Published: 9/6/2022
Justice Department lawyers are weighing whether to challenge a federal judge’s uncommon order to appoint an independent reviewer, called a special master, to assess more than 11,000 documents seized by the FBI from Donald Trump’s Florida residence. At issue are untested legal questions about the extent to which assertions of executive privilege can be applied to a former president. Legal experts called U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision problematic because it upends the usual course of a criminal investigation and suggests there are different rules for a former president.
Material on Foreign Nation’s Nuclear Capabilities Seized at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
MSN – Devlin Barrett and Carol Leonnig (Washington Post) | Published: 9/6/2022
A document describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities, was found by FBI agents who searched former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and private club, according to people familiar with the matter, underscoring concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about classified material stashed at the Florida property. Some of the seized documents detail top-secret U.S. operations so closely guarded that many senior national security officials are kept in the dark about them.
Tory Peer Broke Lobbying Rules, Whitehall Watchdog Finds
The Guardian – Henry Dyer | Published: 9/6/2022
A Conservative hereditary peer breached lobbying rules in the United Kingdom by failing to register as a consultant lobbyist before contacting ministers on behalf of his client. The Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists announced the outcome of its investigation into the Earl of Shrewsbury, whose full name is Charles Henry John Benedict Crofton Chetwynd Chetwind-Talbot, and his company Talbot Consulting. The earl remains under investigation by the House of Lords for allegedly misusing his parliamentary position to lobby for SpectrumX.
From the States and Municipalities
Arkansas – Ex-Deputy Chief of Staff for Hutchinson Asks to Rescind Registration as a Lobbyist
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette – Michael Wickline | Published: 9/7/2022
Bill Gossage, the former deputy chief of staff for external operations for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, said he asked the secretary of state’s office to rescind his August registration as a registered lobbyist. Gossage is vice president of governmental affairs for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. State law bars an individual employed in the office of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, auditor, or commissioner of state lands from being eligible to be registered as a lobbyist until one year after the expiration of the individual’s employment in that office.
Florida – Jury Finds Seminole GOP Chair Guilty in ‘Ghost’ Candidate Case
Yahoo News – Annie Martin (Orlando Sentinel) | Published: 9/1/2022
Seminole County Republican Party Chairperson Ben Paris was found guilty of a scheme to siphon votes from a Democrat in a Florida Senate race. Prosecutors say Jestine Iannotti ran as an independent candidate but did not campaign and had no previous political experience. Iannotti illegally accepted a $1,200 cash donation from political consultant James Foglesong. Iannoitti and Foglesong falsely used the names of others as contributors in campaign finance reports to skirt Florida laws on donations.
Georgia – Election Deniers Repeatedly Visited Ga. County Office at Center of Criminal Probe, Video Shows
Portland Press Herald – Emma Brown and Jon Swaine (Washington Post) | Published: 9/6/2022
Technology consultants who sought evidence that Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat was fraudulent made multiple visits to a county elections office in rural Georgia in the weeks after an alleged post-election breach of voting equipment that is the subject of a criminal investigation. Surveillance video shows the consultants, Doug Logan and Jeffrey Lenberg, made two visits in January 2021 to the elections office in Coffee County. Lenberg made an additional five visits on his own. The two men are under investigation for separate alleged breaches of voting machines in Michigan.
Georgia – Judge Again Rejects Graham Bid to Throw Out Subpoena in Atlanta-Area Trump Probe
MSN – Kyle Cheney (Politico) | Published: 9/1/2022
A federal judge for the second time rejected U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s effort to block a grand jury subpoena issued by the Atlanta-area district attorney investigating former President Trump and his allies’ effort to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May ruled Graham’s claim to be immune from such questioning, thanks to the protections of the so-called speech or debate clause of the Constitution is not as sweeping as he claimed it to be. The ruling sends the matter back to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Illinois – Political Operative Tied to Ald. Daniel Solis Probe Pleads Guilty to Fraud
MSN – Jason Meisner (Chicago Tribune) | Published: 9/2/2022
Roberto Caldero, a political operative at the center of the investigation into former Ald. Daniel Solis, pleaded guilty to variety of fraud schemes, including an attempt to influence a massive Chicago Public Schools janitorial contact, and using the alderman’s clout to solicit campaign cash and get a park and street renamed for a donor’s relatives. There was new mention in the plea agreement of an elected official, identified only as Public Official A, whom Caldero enlisted to pressure then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel to support the awarding of the janitorial contract to a company Caldero represented.
Indiana – Contractor Avoids Prison, Ordered to Pay Sanitary District $104K
Yahoo News – Douglas Walker (Muncie Star Press) | Published: 9/6/2022
A contractor avoided a prison sentence after pleading guilty to a fraud-related count stemming from a federal investigation of corruption in Muncie city government. But Rodney Barber was ordered to pay $104,750 in restitution to the Muncie Sanitary District (MSD). He admitted paying Phil Nichols, a former Democratic Party chairperson, $5,500 in cash in exchange for winning a contract to do work for the district. Barber also acknowledged giving MSD official Tracy Barton $5,000 in cash to “illegally contribute” to then-Mayor Dennis Tyler’s re-election campaign.
Louisiana – New Orleans’ ‘Night Mayor’ Fails to Respond to State Ethics [Board] After Trying to Rule on Conflict
LocalToday – Ben Myers (New Orleans Times-Picayune) | Published: 9/6/2022
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell named Howlin’ Wolf nightclub owner Howard Kaplan as the first director of the city’s new Office of Nighttime Economy. When Cantrell was asked about potential ethical issues in hiring a nightclub owner to manage the city’s nighttime economy, she cited a pending opinion from the Louisiana Board of Ethics to argue “there is no conflict-of-interest here.” But an ethics board attorney, Mallory Guillot, now says Kaplan has not responded to “numerous” attempts to contact him with additional questions about his dual role as city official and business owner.
Massachusetts – Maura Healey to Face Trump-Backed Republican in Deep-Blue Massachusetts
MSN – Annie Linskey and David Weigel (Washington Post) | Published: 9/6/2022
Maura Healey, who made history as the country’s first openly gay state attorney general, will face former state legislator Geoff Diehl, who was endorsed by Donald Trump, in the Massachusetts governor’s race this November, a contest seen by analysts as one of the best chances for Democrats to flip control of a Republican-held seat. If she prevails in the fall, Healey would be the first woman elected governor of Massachusetts. Democratic primary voters in also picked a nominee for attorney general in a race that divided the two U.S. senators and other party leaders in the state.
Michigan – Michigan Sheriff Sought to Seize Multiple Voting Machines, Records Show
Reuters – Peter Eisler and Nathan Layne | Published: 8/30/2022
A sheriff in Barry County, Michigan, already under state investigation for alleged involvement in an illegal breach of a vote-counting machine, sought warrants in July to seize other machines to prove former President Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, documents showed. A member of the so-called constitutional sheriffs movement, which holds sheriffs have supreme law enforcement authority within their counties, exceeding that of state and federal agencies, Leaf has appeared at events around the country organized by proponents of Trump’s rigged election claims.
Nevada – Police Arrest County Official in Reporter’s Stabbing Death
Las Vegas Review-Journal – David Ferrara, Briana Erickson, and Glenn Puit | Published: 9/7/2022
A Las Vegas-area elected official was arrested as the suspect in the fatal stabbing of a veteran newspaper reporter who had written articles exposing complaints of wrongdoing at his office. Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles was taken into custody hours after investigators served a search warrant in the criminal probe of the killing of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German. Soon after German’s investigation was published, Telles failed in his re-election bid, losing the Democratic primary in June.
New Mexico – New Mexico Bars Commissioner from Office for Insurrection
MSN – Morgan Lee (Associated Press) | Published: 9/6/2022
A New Mexico judge ordered convicted Capitol rioter Couy Griffin to be removed from his county commissioner seat, ruling the Cowboys for Trump founder’s involvement in the January 6, 2021, insurrection disqualified him from holding public office. Judge Francis Matthew formally labeled the Capitol attack as an insurrection and found Griffin’s involvement fell under the so-called Disqualification Clause of the 14th Amendment, which bars anyone from holding office if they took an oath to uphold the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort” to insurrectionists.
New York – Former Trump Adviser Steve Bannon Charged with Defrauding Border Wall Donors
Yahoo News – Aaron Katersky (ABC News) | Published: 9/8/2022
Steve Bannon, a onetime political adviser to former President Trump, was charged by authorities in New York with defrauding donors to the We Build the Wall fundraising campaign for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The indictment charges Bannon and We Build the Wall itself with two counts of money laundering. There are additional felony counts of conspiracy and scheme to defraud. The state charges resemble federal charges for which Bannon received a pardon from Trump and allege Bannon and We Build the Wall defrauded 430 Manhattan-based donors out of $33,600.
New York – How a Hochul Donor Received $637M in State Payments
Albany Times Union – Chris Bragg | Published: 9/8/2022
Last December, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration received an offer to buy 26 million at-home coronavirus tests from a distributor that happened to be a major campaign donor to the governor. The price offered by Digital Gadgets founder Charlie Tebele was $13 per test, far steeper than what other companies were proposing for similar rapid antigen tests. Hochul’s administration had just approved a deal with another firm to buy 5 million tests for just five dollars each. Still, the Hochul administration quickly agreed to pay $338 million to Digital Gadgets at the higher per-test price.
New York – Panel Rejects 3 of the 10 Nominees to New York’s New Ethics Body
Albany Times Union – Chris Bragg | Published: 9/2/2022
A panel tasked with reviewing nominations to New York’s new ethics and lobbying oversight panel rejected three out of ten nominations, while confirming seven others. One of those rejected was Gary Lavine, an outspoken former commissioner on the state’s prior ethics body. the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Lavine’s rejection appears the most likely to set up a legal battle over a key aspect of the new law that established the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government.
Ohio – Akron Organizers Turn to the Ballot Box for Civilian Oversight of Police
Ohio Capital Journal – Nick Evans | Published: 9/7/2022
A proposed ballot measure in Akron establishing civilian oversight for the police department comes on the heels of the police killing of Jayland Walker, a Black man shot nearly 50 times by Akron officers after fleeing a traffic stop. The amendment to the city charter would establish a new citizen review board with oversight of the city’s existing police auditor. The proposal also expands the auditor’s office and directs city council to spell out in statute what information the auditor can demand from the department. Organizers have turned in 7,000 petition signatures. That is more than two and a half times what they need.to get it on the November ballot.
Ohio – Redistricting: One year later, Ohio a unique, flawed case
Ohio Capital Journal – Susan Tebben | Published: 9/2/2022
One year after the saga of redistricting began, Ohio is seen as a unique case study in the legal strategies and flaws that can emerge in the process. A series of meetings of the Ohio Redistricting Commission were held, where the elected officials who constituted the commission interpreted and re-interpreted a constitutional amendment more than 70 percent of voters had approved to reform the redistricting. One year, five legislative map proposals and two congressional redraws later, the state will hold a general election in November with maps that have been ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Oklahoma – Why Most Oklahoma State Legislative Races Are Uncontested
Oklahoma Watch – Keaton Ross | Published: 9/6/2022
Nearly 70 person of Oklahoma’s state legislative elections will be decided without a single vote cast in November. In 2018, nearly 75 percent of House and Senate races included candidates from at least two parties. Oklahoma now ranks among the nation’s least competitive states for legislative races. Without competitive local races, voters are more likely to become disengaged or feel alienated, studies have found. The same can happen to lawmakers who are not making their case to voters. A Georgetown University study found state legislators who run unopposed are less effective and engaged with constituents.
Oregon – Tina Kotek Wins Over Potential Rival with Embrace of Campaign Finance Changes
OPB – Dirk VanderHart | Published: 9/7/2022
Oregon gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek removed one potential obstacle in the race. In private discussions, Kotek committed to using her position to advocate for some specific campaign finance regulations if elected governor. With that commitment, and a newly added policy platform on her website, a notable competitor for left-leaning votes has now stepped down. Nathalie Paravicini, running for governor under the banners of the Oregon Progressive Party and Pacific Green Party, filed a form withdrawing her candidacy. Oregon is one of a handful of states that place no limit on how much campaigns can raise and spend.
Tennessee – Registry of Election Finance to Audit Humble for Potential Illegal Coordination with PAC-Like Group
Tennessee Lookout – Sam Stockard | Published: 9/7/2022
The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance is set to audit former state Senate candidate Gary Humble to determine whether his campaign illegally coordinated with his nonprofit organization Tennessee Stands. Registry board member Tom Lawless raised questions about Tennessee Stands, which has a 501(c)(4) federal tax status, and whether it is operating as a PAC without registering with the state. Humble is executive director of the organization, which is intertwined with his political activity.
Texas – Appeals Court Sides with Texas Ethics Commission Over Lobbying Fine Against GOP Activist Michael Quinn Sullivan
MSN – Taylor Goldenstein (Houston Chronicle) | Published: 9/1/2022
An appeals court upheld a Texas Ethics Commission fine levied against conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan. He registered as a lobbyist from 2001 to 2009 but did not in 2010 and 2011. The court found Sullivan, acting on behalf of Empower Texans in 2010 and 2011, had lobbied state lawmakers. The judges dismissed Sullivan’s arguments that the commission was unconstitutionally exercising both legislative and executive branch powers. They reversed the trial court’s judgment on the amount of the fine – $10,000 – saying Sullivan is owed a jury trial on that question.
Washington – Data Shows How Well Seattle’s Democracy Voucher Program Is Working
Seattle Times – Gene Balk | Published: 9/2/2022
Seattle’s novel “democracy voucher” program for funding local elections is attracting attention. “… It could revolutionize local elections,” said Brian McCabe of Georgetown University, the co-author of a new study on the program. The study found the democracy voucher program does appear to be living up to its name by helping to democratize political giving in Seattle by diversifying the donor pool to better reflect the city’s population. It also found the rate of participation in the program rose most significantly among Black, Hispanic, and young voters, groups that have historically been underrepresented in the campaign finance system.
Washington – Washington State Judge Rules Facebook Violated Campaign Finance Rules
MSN – Naomi Nix (Washington Post) | Published: 9/2/2022
A judge ruled Facebook owner Meta repeatedly and intentionally violated Washington’s campaign finance law and must pay penalties. King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North said Facebook, which last year renamed itself Meta, repeatedly broke the state’s law requiring technology platforms make information about political ads available for public inspection in a “timely manner.” North also denied Meta’s attempt to invalidate the state’s decades-old law. The ruling arrives as Meta faces scrutiny over how much information it discloses about the way candidates use marketing campaigns on its networks.
Wisconsin – Ginni Thomas Pressed Wisconsin Lawmakers to Overturn Biden’s 2020 Victory
MSN – Emma Brown (Washington Post) | Published: 9/1/2022
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed lawmakers to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory not only in Arizona, as previously reported, but also in a second battleground state, Wisconsin, according to emails. Ginni Thomas emailed 29 Arizona lawmakers in in November and December 2020. She urged them to set aside Biden’s popular-vote victory and “choose” their own presidential electors. The new emails show she also messaged two Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin: state Sen. Kathy Bernier, then chair of the Senate elections committee, and state Rep. Gary Tauchen.
September 8, 2022 •
Elections National: “In Voter Fraud, Penalties Often Depend on Who’s Voting” by Michael Wines (New York Times) for Yahoo News Massachusetts: “Maura Healey to Face Trump-Backed Republican in Deep-Blue Massachusetts” by Annie Linskey and David Weigel (Washington Post) for MSN […]
National: “In Voter Fraud, Penalties Often Depend on Who’s Voting” by Michael Wines (New York Times) for Yahoo News
Massachusetts: “Maura Healey to Face Trump-Backed Republican in Deep-Blue Massachusetts” by Annie Linskey and David Weigel (Washington Post) for MSN
Ohio: “Akron Organizers Turn to the Ballot Box for Civilian Oversight of Police” by Nick Evans for Ohio Capital Journal
National: “From Border Town to ‘Border Town,’ Bused Migrants Seek New Lives in D.C. Area” by Antonio Olivo (Washington Post) for MSN
National: “Material on Foreign Nation’s Nuclear Capabilities Seized at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago” by Devlin Barrett and Carol Leonnig (Washington Post) for MSN
Indiana: “Contractor Avoids Prison, Ordered to Pay Sanitary District $104K” by Douglas Walker (Muncie Star Press) for Yahoo News
Louisiana: “New Orleans’ ‘Night Mayor’ Fails to Respond to State Ethics [Board] After Trying to Rule on Conflict” by Ben Myers (New Orleans Times-Picayune) for LocalToday
Arkansas: “Ex-Deputy Chief of Staff for Hutchinson Asks to Rescind Registration as a Lobbyist” by Michael Wickline for Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
September 7, 2022 •
Virginia State Delegate Mark Keam resigned from his seat on Tuesday after representing House District 35 for over a decade. Keam will now join the Department of Commerce and the Office of National Travel and Tourism in the International Trade […]
Virginia State Delegate Mark Keam resigned from his seat on Tuesday after representing House District 35 for over a decade.
Keam will now join the Department of Commerce and the Office of National Travel and Tourism in the International Trade Administration.
Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert announced a special election will be held on January 10, 2023, just one day before the General Assembly starts its 2023 session.
September 7, 2022 •
Campaign Finance Washington: “Washington State Judge Rules Facebook Violated Campaign Finance Rules” by Naomi Nix (Washington Post) for MSN Elections Georgia: “Election Deniers Repeatedly Visited Ga. County Office at Center of Criminal Probe, Video Shows” by Emma Brown and Jon […]
Washington: “Washington State Judge Rules Facebook Violated Campaign Finance Rules” by Naomi Nix (Washington Post) for MSN
Georgia: “Election Deniers Repeatedly Visited Ga. County Office at Center of Criminal Probe, Video Shows” by Emma Brown and Jon Swaine (Washington Post) for Portland Press Herald
Oklahoma: “Why Most Oklahoma State Legislative Races Are Uncontested” by Keaton Ross for Oklahoma Watch
National: “‘Deeply Problematic’: Experts question judge’s intervention in Trump inquiry” by Charlie Savage (New York Times) for Yahoo News
National: “House Committee Reaches Deal to get Trump Financial Records” by Kevin Freking (Associated Press) for Yahoo News
New Mexico: “New Mexico Bars Commissioner from Office for Insurrection” by Morgan Lee (Associated Press) for MSN
Europe: “Tory Peer Broke Lobbying Rules, Whitehall Watchdog Finds” by Henry Dyer for The Guardian
Ohio: “Redistricting: One year later, Ohio a unique, flawed case” by Susan Tebben for Ohio Capital Journal
September 6, 2022 •
Everything I know about podcasts, I learned from Eric Nuzum’s book Make Noise. Eric is a friend I met when he worked at WKSU, once the NPR station at Kent State University. He has done a lot of podcasts and […]
Everything I know about podcasts, I learned from Eric Nuzum’s book Make Noise.
Eric is a friend I met when he worked at WKSU, once the NPR station at Kent State University. He has done a lot of podcasts and original programming for NPR and Audible. Now, he is co-founder of Magnificent Noise, a podcast and creative consulting company in New York City.
State and Federal Communications held a reception for Eric shortly after the publication of Make Noise, and before the pandemic halted all in-person events for the better part of two years. Since then, I kept saying to my team “I wanted a podcast.” It really isn’t as easy as that, but we finally have created LobbyComply Pod, which will begin September 7, 2022.
Why a podcast?
Because State and Federal Communications has things to say, and we want to be heard in the government affairs community.
Because we track thousands of legislative bills every year and many do not see the light of day and we want the government affairs community to hear the news so they can be compliant.
Because we work with corporations and trade associations who WANT to comply with the laws, and we want to be the one who is telling them what is going on in the states, municipalities, federal government, Canada, and European Union.
This will not be the Rosetta Stone of podcasts. Our programs will be three (3) minutes long. Long enough for you to sit back and relax with a cup of coffee.
We will make noise, but you will see, we will tell you things you do not know. We are not recreating Schoolhouse Rock.
The inaugural podcast is from me with an introduction for our program. If you like them, let me know…If you don’t like them, let me know. If you have a suggestion for a podcast, let me know. We are ready to send State and Federal tchotchke to those of you who communicate with us about our podcast. We aren’t paying you to do it…we just have a closet of branded items and this is part of downsizing and not having to rent storage.
In the meantime, the summer months are ending, and Labor Day has always been the start of school—back in the day when we started after Labor Day. Always a time for fresh and new beginnings…such as introducing LobbyComply Pod.
If you pick up Eric Nuzum’s book, Make Noise, send him a tweet at @ericnuzum and tell him @elizabethbartz sent you.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz, @elizabethbartz
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.