September 8, 2020 •

Special Election Set for Alabama Senate District 26

Alabama State Capitol

Alabama State Capitol Building

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has announced the special election dates for Senate District 26. This seat was previously held by Sen. David Burkette who resigned last week ahead of being arrested for violations of the state’s Fair Campaign Practices Act. […]

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has announced the special election dates for Senate District 26.

This seat was previously held by Sen. David Burkette who resigned last week ahead of being arrested for violations of the state’s Fair Campaign Practices Act.

The special primary election will be held on November 17 with a runoff on December 15, if necessary.

The general election will be held on March 2, 2021.

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September 8, 2020 •

Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance National: “Louis DeJoy’s Rise as GOP Fundraiser Was Powered by Contributions from Company Workers Who Were Later Reimbursed, Former Employees Say” by Aaron Davis, Amy Gardner, and Jon Swaine (Washington Post) for MSN National: “Network of News Sites […]

Campaign Finance

National: “Louis DeJoy’s Rise as GOP Fundraiser Was Powered by Contributions from Company Workers Who Were Later Reimbursed, Former Employees Say” by Aaron Davis, Amy Gardner, and Jon Swaine (Washington Post) for MSN

National: “Network of News Sites Must Register as a Political Committee Due to Democratic Links, Complaint Alleges” by Michelle Ye Hee Lee for Washington Post

Colorado: “‘LLCs Are Not Constituents’: Fort Collins council puts new caps on election” by Jacy Marmaduke for Fort Collins Coloradoan

Elections

Missouri: “After Two Court Losses, State Doesn’t Ask High Court to Weigh in on ‘Clean Missouri’ Question” by Jack Suntrup for St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Ethics

National: “Judge Won’t Force Disclosure of Key Parts of Mueller Interviews” by Josh Gerstein for Politico

California: “CalPERS May Force Next CIO to Unload Personal Holdings” by Bloomberg for Los Angeles Times

Illinois: “Former ComEd VP Charged with Bribery Conspiracy in Scheme to Sway House Speaker Michael Madigan” by Jason Meisner for Chicago Tribune

Lobbying

Michigan: “Pandemic Takes Bite Out of Lawmakers’ Free Food from Lobbyists” by Craig Mauger for Detroit News

Oregon: “Reporting on Timber Lobbying Prompts Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to Call for Audit of State Institute” by Tony Schick and Rob Davis for OPB

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September 3, 2020 •

Fort Collins City Council Approves New Campaign Finance Amendments

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Fort Collins City Council approved several campaign finance changes on September 1 that will take effect in time for the April 2021 city election. The amendments include limits to how much individuals can contribute to limited liability corporations and political […]

Fort Collins City Council approved several campaign finance changes on September 1 that will take effect in time for the April 2021 city election.

The amendments include limits to how much individuals can contribute to limited liability corporations and political committees to support or oppose city races.

City Council voted 5-2 on the political committee and LLC contribution changes. This included votes in opposition from Mayor Wade Troxell and council member Ken Summers. In addition, council unanimously approved several other election code changes. The changes will apply to municipal elections for council seats, the mayoral race, and city ballot measures.

Current code allows LLCs to donate up to $75 to a candidate committee for a City Council member, or $100 to a committee for a mayoral candidate, which is the same limit for an individual. Because one person can be a member of multiple LLCs, people could bypass individual donation limits. This bypass could be accomplished by donating through various LLCs. Election finance records show this has happened in previous Fort Collins elections.

The amendment will bring this requirement into alignment with the state election code. The current code requires donations from LLCs to include statements that attribute the donation to specific LLC members. The donations attributed through an LLC will then count toward individual donation limits.

The political committee amendment will place a $100 cap on donations to political committees. There is currently no limit on contributions to political committees. This occurs when two or more people who come together to accept contributions or make expenditures to support or oppose one or more candidates.

The amendments will be presented for final passage on September 15.

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September 3, 2020 •

By-Election – York Centre (Ontario) Seat in House of Commons To Be Announced on Future Date

Temporary Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Sometime before February 28, 2021, a by-election will be announced for the seat in the House of Commons representing York Centre in the province of Ontario. On September 1, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Stéphane Perrault, received official notice […]

Sometime before February 28, 2021, a by-election will be announced for the seat in the House of Commons representing York Centre in the province of Ontario.

On September 1, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Stéphane Perrault, received official notice from the Speaker of the House of Commons that the seat for York Centre (Ontario) became vacant following the resignation of Michael Levitt, who left his seat to become the CEO of the Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies.

Under the law, the by-election date must be announced between September 12, 2020, and February 28, 2021, and will signal the start of the by-election period. According to Elections Canada, the earliest date the by-election can be held is October 19, 2020.

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September 3, 2020 •

Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Georgia: “State Ethics Commission Says Atlanta Mayor Not Cooperating with Election Investigation” by Richard Belcher for WSB Montana: “Judge Upholds Montana Political Spending Disclosure Rule” by Amy Beth Hanson for Associated Press News Elections National: “1 Million Primary […]

Campaign Finance

Georgia: “State Ethics Commission Says Atlanta Mayor Not Cooperating with Election Investigation” by Richard Belcher for WSB

Montana: “Judge Upholds Montana Political Spending Disclosure Rule” by Amy Beth Hanson for Associated Press News

Elections

National: “1 Million Primary Ballots Were Mailed Late, Postal Service Watchdog Says” by Luke Broadwater (New York Times) for MSN

Missouri: “Judges Redo Voter Summary of Missouri Redistricting Measure” by Summer Ballentine for Associated Press News

Ethics

Illinois: “Former Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski Admits to Bribery and Extortion” by Dan Mihalopoulos for WBEZ

New York: “Court Shields Trump Tax Returns, Likely Until After Election” by Michael Sisak (Associated Press) for ABC News

Ohio: “Ohio House Poised to Remove Householder from Legislative Ethics Panel Following Corruption Arrest” by Andrew Tobias for Cleveland Plain Dealer

Lobbying

National: “Justice Department Zeroing in On Longtime GOP Fundraiser Elliott Broidy” by Matt Zapotosky, Carol Leonnig, and Rosalind Helderman for Washington Post

Washington: “Washington One of the Few States Without a ‘Cooling Off’ Period for Public Servants Turned Lobbyists” by Joseph O’Connell and Patrick Malone for Seattle Times

West Virginia: “Lawsuit Reveals Lobbyist Drama” by Steven Allen Adams for Wheeling News-Register

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September 2, 2020 •

Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Oregon: “Oregon Voters to Decide on Limitless Corporate Political Donations” by David Moore for Sludge Elections Virginia: “Virginia Agrees to Make Mail-In Voting Accessible to Blind Voters Who Sued” by Meagan Flynn for Washington Post Ethics National: “PPP […]

Campaign Finance

Oregon: “Oregon Voters to Decide on Limitless Corporate Political Donations” by David Moore for Sludge

Elections

Virginia: “Virginia Agrees to Make Mail-In Voting Accessible to Blind Voters Who Sued” by Meagan Flynn for Washington Post

Ethics

National: “PPP Loans Helped Out Congressional Spouses’ Workplaces” by Chris Marquette for Roll Call

National: “D.C. Circuit Panel Guts House Subpoena Power” by Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney for Politico

National: “Barr Tightens Rules on Surveillance of Political Candidates and Advisers” by Devlin Barrett for Washington Post

Alabama: “AG: Time for former Alabama speaker to go to prison” by Kim Chandler for Associated Press News

Lobbying

National: “Guilty Plea in Hawaii Woman’s Lobbying of Trump Officials” by Jennifer Sinco Kelleher for Associated Press News

Illinois: “Former SafeSpeed Executive Who Wore FBI Wire Charged with Bribery Conspiracy Involving Oak Lawn Red-Light Camera Scheme” by Jason Meisner for Chicago Tribune

Procurement

Canada: “Montreal-Based Ventilation Company Becomes Fourth Company Banned from Federal Contracts for 10 Years” by Christopher Nardi for National Post

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September 1, 2020 •

Wisconsin Lawmakers Convene and Leave Session Open

Wisconsin Capitol

Wisconsin Capitol - photo by Dori

Wisconsin lawmakers convened the special session called by Gov. Tony Evers on August 31. The session met for less than a minute and adjourned until September 3, in what is termed a skeletal session. No Senate Republicans were present for […]

Wisconsin lawmakers convened the special session called by Gov. Tony Evers on August 31.

The session met for less than a minute and adjourned until September 3, in what is termed a skeletal session.

No Senate Republicans were present for the session.

Wisconsin law does not require lawmakers to take any action during a special session.

The session is adjourned for three days to comply with the constitutional requirement that neither house may adjourn without the consent of the other for more than 3 days.

They may continue in this manner until both houses agree on a course of action or to adjourn sine die.

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September 1, 2020 •

Judge Upholds Montana Gov’s Political Spending Disclosure Rule

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock - Gage Skidmore

A federal judge on Monday upheld an executive order by Gov. Steve Bullock requiring companies to report political spending if they want to bid on large state contracts. U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell ruled the Illinois Opportunity Project does not […]

A federal judge on Monday upheld an executive order by Gov. Steve Bullock requiring companies to report political spending if they want to bid on large state contracts.

U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell ruled the Illinois Opportunity Project does not have the legal standing to challenge the governor’s 2018 order requiring reporting of contributions even to so called dark money groups.

Judge Lovell had dismissed the complaint in January due to lack of standing.

However, he gave the Illinois Opportunity Project another chance to prove the executive order would cause it to suffer an actual or imminent, as opposed to hypothetical, loss of a legally protected right.

Under Bullock’s order, companies submitting bids for contracts valued at more than $25,000 for services or $50,000 for goods must disclose two years’ worth of political spending if the spending exceeds $2,500.

The order allows Montana to bring transparency to spending by groups classified as social welfare organizations under the federal tax code.

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September 1, 2020 •

California Legislature Adjourns for the Year

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

Lawmakers ended the 2020 legislative session beleaguered by COVID-19, wildfires, a tanked economy, and a looming eviction crisis. Each chamber worked through roughly 100 bills on their final day, before adjourning after midnight. The Senate kept passing bills until shortly […]

Lawmakers ended the 2020 legislative session beleaguered by COVID-19, wildfires, a tanked economy, and a looming eviction crisis.

Each chamber worked through roughly 100 bills on their final day, before adjourning after midnight.

The Senate kept passing bills until shortly after 1 a.m.

Some of the bills lawmakers sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom include eviction relief, police reform, COVID-19 response, and a flavored tobacco ban.

The governor has until September 30 to sign or veto any of the bills.

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September 1, 2020 •

Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance California: “He Paved the Way for Big Electronic Billboards. Then $75,000 Poured in for His Reelection” by David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes for Los Angeles Times Kentucky: “Kentucky’s New Election Finance Reporting System Plagued with More Delays” […]

Campaign Finance

California: “He Paved the Way for Big Electronic Billboards. Then $75,000 Poured in for His Reelection” by David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes for Los Angeles Times

Kentucky: “Kentucky’s New Election Finance Reporting System Plagued with More Delays” by Joe Sonka for Louisville Courier-Journal

Montana: “COPP Dismisses Complaints Against Bullock, Warns of Fees for Future Faulty Claims” by Phil Drake for Great Falls Tribune

Ohio: “Ohio Elections Commission to Consider 162 Campaign Finance Complaints Related to Larry Householder’s Campaign for Speaker” by Andrew Tobias for Cleveland Plain Dealer

Ethics

National: “As Trump Appointees Flout the Hatch Act, Civil Servants Who Get Caught Get Punished” by Lisa Rein (Washington Post) for MSN

National: “Michael Flynn Case Does Not Have to Be Immediately Dismissed, Appeals Court Rules” by Ann Marimow and Spencer Hsu for Washington Post

National: “Inside Trump’s Pressure Campaign on Federal Scientists Over a Covid-19 Treatment” by Laurie McGinley, Yasmeen Abutaleb, Josh Dawsey, and Carolyn Johnson (Washington Post) for MSN

Arizona: “Charity Founded by Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb Has $18,000 in Unaccounted Spending” by Andrew Oxford for Arizona Republic

Lobbying

National: “Top Lobbying, Public Affairs Firms Join to Form Holding Company” by Megan Wilson for Bloomberg Law

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August 31, 2020 •

District Court Enjoins Missouri Ethics Commission from Enforcing 60-day Formation Deadline for PACs

Missouri Capitol Building

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri granted a preliminary injunction enjoining the Missouri Ethics Commission from enforcing the 60-day formation deadline for continuing committees and PACs, including out-of-state and federal committees. The court found the requirement […]

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri granted a preliminary injunction enjoining the Missouri Ethics Commission from enforcing the 60-day formation deadline for continuing committees and PACs, including out-of-state and federal committees.

The court found the requirement for committees to file a statement of organization no later than 60 days before an election for which the committee receives contributions to likely be unconstitutional.

In granting the injunction, the court relied upon the decision of the Eighth Circuit in Missourians for Fiscal Accountability v. Klahr, which found Missouri’s 30-day formation deadline for campaign committees unconstitutional.

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August 31, 2020 •

Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Connecticut: “Connecticut Judge: Public campaign grants can pay for child care” by Emilie Munson for Connecticut Post Indiana: “Whiting Mayor, Wife Pulled $255K from Campaign to Fuel Gambling Habit, Pay Credit Card Debt, Feds Say” by Lauren Cross […]

Campaign Finance

Connecticut: “Connecticut Judge: Public campaign grants can pay for child care” by Emilie Munson for Connecticut Post

Indiana: “Whiting Mayor, Wife Pulled $255K from Campaign to Fuel Gambling Habit, Pay Credit Card Debt, Feds Say” by Lauren Cross for Northwest Indiana Times

Ohio: “Ohio Elections Commission Fines Anti-Nuclear Bailout Campaign Group for Not Disclosing Donors” by Andrew Tobias for Cleveland Plain Dealer

Elections

National: “Election Security Officials See No Sign of Foreign Threat to Mail-In Voting” by Devlin Barrett (Washington Post) for MSN

Arkansas: “2 Measures Kicked Off State Ballot” by John Moritz for Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

California: “Biden-Linked Firm Won California Voter Outreach Contract” by Kathleen Ronayne and Chris Blood for Associated Press News

Ethics

National: “U.S Political Divide Becomes Increasingly Violent, Rattling Activists and Police” by Tim Craig for Washington Post

National: “How Trump’s Company Charged the U.S. Government More Than $900,000” by David Fahrenthold, Josh Dawsey, and Joshua Partlow (Washington Post) for Seattle Times

Ohio: “FirstEnergy, Caught Up in FBI Investigation, Used Its ‘Political Might’ to Pressure the Ohio Statehouse” by John Caniglia (Cleveland Plain Dealer) for MSN

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August 27, 2020 •

By-Election – Toronto Centre (Ontario) Seat in House of Commons To Be Announced on Future Date

Temporary Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Sometime before February 20, 2021, a federal by-election will be announced for the seat in the House of Commons representing Toronto Centre in the province of Ontario. On August 24, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Stéphane Perrault, received official […]

Sometime before February 20, 2021, a federal by-election will be announced for the seat in the House of Commons representing Toronto Centre in the province of Ontario.

On August 24, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Stéphane Perrault, received official notice from the Speaker of the House of Commons that the seat for Toronto Centre (Ontario) became vacant following the resignation of Bill Morneau.

On August 17, amid controversies dealing with his involvement with the WE Charity scandal, Morneau resigned from his seat in the House of Commons and as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s finance minister. Morneau intends to seek the position of secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to CBC.ca.

Under the law, the by-election date must be announced between September 4, 2020, and February 20, 2021, and will signal the start of the by-election period. According to Elections Canada, the earliest date the by-election can be held is October 12, 2020.

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August 27, 2020 •

North Dakota Supreme Court Removes Measure 3 from November Ballot

North Dakota State Capitol

North Dakota State Capitol - By Bobak Ha'Eri

The North Dakota Supreme Court granted a writ of injunction to keep Measure 3 off the ballot. In a unanimous ruling, the justices enjoined Secretary of State Al Jaeger from placing the initiated measure on the ballot. The measure seeks […]

The North Dakota Supreme Court granted a writ of injunction to keep Measure 3 off the ballot.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices enjoined Secretary of State Al Jaeger from placing the initiated measure on the ballot.

The measure seeks to amend the North Dakota Constitution concerning elections and legislative districting, referencing the North Dakota Century Code.

Additionally, it does not comply with the constitutional requirement to contain the full text of the measure.

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