July 2, 2020 •

Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Elections National: “Hickenlooper Rolls to Victory in Colorado Senate Primary” by James Arkin and Ally Mutnick for Politico Florida: “A Lawsuit to Kick Carlos Gimenez Off the Ballot for Congress Continues – For Now” by Alex Daugherty for Miami Herald […]

Elections

National: “Hickenlooper Rolls to Victory in Colorado Senate Primary” by James Arkin and Ally Mutnick for Politico

Florida: “A Lawsuit to Kick Carlos Gimenez Off the Ballot for Congress Continues – For Now” by Alex Daugherty for Miami Herald

Ethics

National: “A Common Thread Among Many Trump Press Staffers: They’re related to other Trump staffers” by Paul Fahri (Washington Post) for MSN

National: “A Dozen Donors Paid Nearly $480,000 in Legal Fees for Pence in Mueller Inquiry, New Filing Shows” by Michelle Ye Hee Lee (Washington Post) for MSN

National: “Human Rights Groups Turn Their Sights on Trump’s America” by Nahal Toosi for Politico

Ohio: “Federal Agents Charge Four Toledo City Council Members in Bribery Probe” by Allison Dunn and Sarah Elms for Toledo Blade

Ohio: “‘The World Will Never Break Me.’ Tamaya Dennard Pleads Guilty; Sentencing Coming Later.” by Sharon Coolidge and Kevin Grasha for Cincinnati Enquirer

Lobbying

North Carolina: “NC Legislators Notified After a Lobbyist Tests Positive for Coronavirus” by Lucille Sherman, Danielle Battaglia, and Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan for Raleigh News and Observer

Procurement

Canada: “Records Show Charity Closely Linked to Trudeau Has Received Multiple Sole-Source Contracts from Liberal Government” by Christopher Nardi for Canada.com

California: “Nuru Scandal Prompts New Rules for Public Works to Prevent Corruption” by Joshua Sabatini for San Francisco Examiner

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July 1, 2020 •

Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Elections National: “The Lincoln Project Is Trolling Trump. But Can It Sway Voters?” by Tina Nguyen and Elena Schneider for Politico National: “For Months, Trump Allies Hunted for Tapes of Biden in Ukraine. Now They’re Turning Up.” by Paul Sonne, […]

Elections

National: “The Lincoln Project Is Trolling Trump. But Can It Sway Voters?” by Tina Nguyen and Elena Schneider for Politico

National: “For Months, Trump Allies Hunted for Tapes of Biden in Ukraine. Now They’re Turning Up.” by Paul Sonne, Rosalind Helderman, Josh Dawsey, and David Stern for Washington Post

Alabama: “Alabama Asks Supreme Court to Review COVID-19 Election Ruling” by Todd Ruger for Roll Call

Ethics

National: “Reddit Closes Long-Running Forum Supporting President Trump After Years of Policy Violations” by Craig Timberg and Elizabeth Dwoskin (WashingtonPost) for MSN

National: “As Support for Mask-Wearing Grows, So Do Political Risks for Forgoing Them” by Annie Linskey and Cobly Itkowitz for MSN

California: “Huizar, Facing Felony Charge, Will No Longer Receive L.A. Council Salary, Official Says” by David Zahniser for Los Angeles Times

Georgia: “Georgia Lawmakers Pass New DeKalb Ethics Bill” by Asia Ashley for The Champion

Lobbying

Arizona: “Witness in Rep. David Cook Investigation Says Lawmaker Sent Threatening Message” by Andrew Oxford for Arizona Republic

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June 30, 2020 •

California Legislature Passes Special Election Bill

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

Lawmakers passed a bill calling a statewide special election to be consolidated and held on November 3, 2020. Senate Bill 300 requires the Office of the Secretary of State to submit various Assembly Constitutional Amendments, including lowering the voting age, […]

Lawmakers passed a bill calling a statewide special election to be consolidated and held on November 3, 2020.

Senate Bill 300 requires the Office of the Secretary of State to submit various Assembly Constitutional Amendments, including lowering the voting age, wages, elections, and state of emergency procedures, to voters for their approval at the general election if the amendments are passed by the Legislature on or before July 1, 2020.

If signed by the governor, the bill would take effect immediately as an act calling an election.

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June 30, 2020 •

Oregon Legislature Adjourns Special Session

Oregon Senate Chamber

Oregon Senate Chamber - photo by Cacophony

Oregon’s Legislative Assembly adjourned the first special session of 2020. During the session lawmakers passed a slew of bills dealing with police accountability and the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers passed 24 bills with more than 600 pieces of public testimony submitted […]

Oregon’s Legislative Assembly adjourned the first special session of 2020.

During the session lawmakers passed a slew of bills dealing with police accountability and the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawmakers passed 24 bills with more than 600 pieces of public testimony submitted and over 100 virtual testimonies during the three day special session.

At least one other special session may be called this year in order to focus on the state budget.

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June 30, 2020 •

Louisiana Lawmakers Winding Down Special Session

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana lawmakers have until final adjournment at 6 p.m. on June 30 to pass the government spending plan for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. In the special session premised in large part on COVID-19 relief, lawmakers gave […]

Louisiana lawmakers have until final adjournment at 6 p.m. on June 30 to pass the government spending plan for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.

In the special session premised in large part on COVID-19 relief, lawmakers gave final legislative approval June 29 to send $250 hazard pay checks to up to 200,000 frontline workers.

Qualifying jobs include health workers, emergency, fire and law enforcement personnel, bus drivers, garbage workers, and grocery store and convenience store workers.

Additionally, negotiations on the state budget continue into the final day of the special session.

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June 30, 2020 •

Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Canada: “Alberta Local Elections Bill Gets Mixed Reaction from Experts, Former Candidates” by Madeleine Cummings and Michelle Bellfontaine for CBC Montana: “Official Finds Montana GOP Violated Campaign Finance Laws” by Mary Beth Hanson for AP News Elections Texas: […]

Campaign Finance

Canada: “Alberta Local Elections Bill Gets Mixed Reaction from Experts, Former Candidates” by Madeleine Cummings and Michelle Bellfontaine for CBC

Montana: “Official Finds Montana GOP Violated Campaign Finance Laws” by Mary Beth Hanson for AP News

Elections

Texas: “U.S. Supreme Court Declines Texas Democrats’ Request to Allow All Texans to Vote by Mail” by Alexa Ura for Texas Tribune

Ethics

National: “Zuckerberg Once Wanted to Sanction Trump. Then Facebook Wrote Rules That Accommodated Him.” by Elizabeth Dwoskin, Craig Timberg, and Tony Romm (Washington Post) for MSN

National: “Devin Nunes Can’t Sue Twitter Over Statements by Fake Cow, Judge Rules” by Kate Irby for McClatchy DC

National: “Judge Sets July 14 Surrender Date, Immediate Home Confinement for Roger Stone” by Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein for Politico

California: “Feds Say Tower Project Shows Toll of Bribery in Huizar Case: Less affordable housing” by Emily Alpert Reyes and David Zahniser for Los Angeles Times

Mississippi: “Mississippi Lawmakers Vote to Retire State Flag Rooted in the Confederacy” by Rick Rojas for New York Times

Legislative Issues

National: “Congressional Black Caucus Seizes on Push for Racial Justice to Wield Greater Influence” by Rachel Bade, Karoun Demirjian, and Paul Kane for Washington Post

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June 29, 2020 •

Federal Election Commission Loses Quorum Again

Caroline Hunter announced that she will resign from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on July 3, 2020, leaving the agency without a quorum. Hunter was appointed in 2008 by President George W. Bush for a six-year term, but stayed on […]

Caroline Hunter announced that she will resign from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on July 3, 2020, leaving the agency without a quorum.

Hunter was appointed in 2008 by President George W. Bush for a six-year term, but stayed on for another six years due to a replacement not being appointed.

After her retirement, Hunter will be joining the philanthropic group Stand Together.

President Trump has nominated Allen Dickerson, the legal director for the conservative non-profit Institute of Free Speech, to replace Hunter.

The FEC, however, had only just regained a quorum this May after nine months of being unable to conduct business.

This delay was due to having only three of the agency’s six seats filled.

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June 29, 2020 •

Georgia General Assembly Adjourns Sine Die

Georgia Capitol

Georgia State Capitol Building

The Georgia General Assembly adjourned sine die on June 26 after a session interrupted and delayed by COVID-19. Before adjourning, the General Assembly notably passed a hate crimes bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday, […]

The Georgia General Assembly adjourned sine die on June 26 after a session interrupted and delayed by COVID-19.

Before adjourning, the General Assembly notably passed a hate crimes bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday, and a budget reduction of nearly 10%.

This $2.2 billion reduction is the largest reduction since the 2008 recession.

The does affect lobbyist reporting. The last semi-monthly report for state-level and State Transportation Board lobbyists is due on July 1.

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June 29, 2020 •

Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance National: “GOP Appointee Resigns from Federal Election Commission, Once Again Leaving It Without a Quorum” by Michelle Ye Hee Lee for Washington Post Utah: “Lobbyists and a Utah Senate Leader Create What Critics Call a ‘Fake PAC’ to […]

Campaign Finance

National: “GOP Appointee Resigns from Federal Election Commission, Once Again Leaving It Without a Quorum” by Michelle Ye Hee Lee for Washington Post

Utah: “Lobbyists and a Utah Senate Leader Create What Critics Call a ‘Fake PAC’ to Help Friends” by Lee Davidson for Salt Lake Tribune

Elections

National: “Democrats Confirm Plans for Nearly All-Virtual Convention” by Bill Barrow for AP News

Washington DC: “Milestone House Vote on DC Statehood Is Where It Likely Ends … For Now” by Chris Cioffi for Roll Call

Ethics

National: “SBA Exempted Lawmakers, Federal Officials from Ethics Rules in $660 Billion Loan Program” by Jonathan O’Connell and Aaron Gregg for Washington Post

California: “Permit Expediter Accused of Fraud to Cooperate in FBI City Hall Corruption Probe” by Michael Barber and Joseph Sabatini for San Francisco Examiner

Maryland: “Baltimore Comptroller Pratt Responds to Report Alleging She Approved Contracts for Groups on Abstention List” by Emily Opilo for Baltimore Sun

New York: “NYC Board of Elections Director Fined for Violating Ethics Law” by Brigid Bergin (WNYC) for Gothamist

Lobbying

National: “DOJ Files Charges Against Disgraced Lobbyist Jack Abramoff” by Theodoric Meyer for Politico

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June 25, 2020 •

Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance California: “After Court-Ordered Recount, Controversial San Jose Ballot Measure Falls Short” by Maggie Angst for San Jose Mercury News Missouri: “Missouri Attorney General Candidate Files Ethics Complaint Against Former Governor Greitens” by PJ Randhawa and Erin Richey for […]

Campaign Finance

California: “After Court-Ordered Recount, Controversial San Jose Ballot Measure Falls Short” by Maggie Angst for San Jose Mercury News

Missouri: “Missouri Attorney General Candidate Files Ethics Complaint Against Former Governor Greitens” by PJ Randhawa and Erin Richey for KDSK

Elections

National: “Congress Must Act Now to Help States with Vote-by-Mail in November, Experts Say” by Gopal Ratnam for Roll Call

Ethics

National: “Appeals Court Panel Orders End to Michael Flynn Case” by Charlie Savage for New York Times

National: “Justice Dept. Officials Testify on Politicization Under Barr” by Katie Benner, Nicholas Fandos, and Charlie Savage (New York Times) for MSN

Canada: “Senate Ethics Committee Recommends Rescinding Suspension of Senator Lynn” by Kristy Kirkup for The Globe and Mail

Arizona: “Scottsdale Rejects Ban on Anonymous Donations, Including GoFundMe Campaigns, to Council Members” by Lorraine Lonhi for Arizona Republic

New York: “JCOPE Commissioners Mull Filing Criminal Complaint Over Alleged Leak” by Brendan Lyons for Albany Times Union

Utah: “Utah Gave Group $400,000 to Sue the Feds on Public Lands Issues. It Never Did. What Happened?” by Brian Maffley for Salt Lake Tribune

Lobbying

National: “K Street May Mostly Skip Political Conventions This Year” by Kate Ackley for Roll Call

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June 24, 2020 •

Idaho House Calls Unofficial Session

Idaho Capitol Building - JSquish

On the morning of June 23, 15 House Republicans met in the Statehouse to discuss and air grievances over Gov. Brad Little’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers read a multi-page statement against the actions of Little, stating he had […]

On the morning of June 23, 15 House Republicans met in the Statehouse to discuss and air grievances over Gov. Brad Little’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers read a multi-page statement against the actions of Little, stating he had violated the separation of powers within the state.

However, despite calls from GOP groups and protesters, lawmakers decided not to conduct any legislative action before ending the unofficial session.

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June 24, 2020 •

Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Georgia: “Ethics Commission Fines Group That Backed Stacey Abrams $50,000” by Dale Russell for WAGA Missouri: “Missouri Politicians Get Around Contribution Limits by Using PACs” by Jordan Meier, Mawa Iqbal, and Spencer Norris for Columbia Missourian Elections National: […]

Campaign Finance

Georgia: “Ethics Commission Fines Group That Backed Stacey Abrams $50,000” by Dale Russell for WAGA

Missouri: “Missouri Politicians Get Around Contribution Limits by Using PACs” by Jordan Meier, Mawa Iqbal, and Spencer Norris for Columbia Missourian

Elections

National: “Why Obsessive K-Pop Fans Are Turning Toward Political Activism” by Joe Coscarelli (New York Times) for MSN

Ethics

National: “Amid Threats and Political Pushback, Public Health Officials Are Leaving Their Posts” by Rachel Weiner and Ariana Eungjun Cha (Washington Post) for MSN

National: “Twitter Labels Trump Video Tweet as Manipulated Media, Continuing Its Crackdown on Misinformation” by Kat Zakrzewski (Washington Post) for MSN

Arizona: “Arizona House Ethics Chair Weighs Holding Hearings into Claims Against Lawmaker” by Howard Fischer (Capitol Media Services) for Arizona Daily Star

California: “Los Angeles Councilman Arrested and Charged with Bribery” by Jeremy White for Politico

Florida: “FBI Investigating Mayor Milissa Holland, Palm Coast Ex-Officials Say” by Matt Bruce and Erica Von Braun for Daytona Beach News-Journal

Vermont: “Candidate Incomes Outpace Average Vermonter; Advocates Seek More Disclosure” by Jasper Goodman and Kit Norton for VTDigger.org

Lobbying

National: “Trade Groups Make Lobbying Push to Be Included in Small Business Loan Program” by Alex Gangitano for The Hill

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June 23, 2020 •

Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance National: “FEC to Take Public Comments on Petition to Close ‘Bloomberg Loophole’” by Karl Evers-Hillstrom for Center for Responsive Politics New Jersey: “N.J. Corruption Scheme Involving Pay-to-Play Contracts Leads to Charges Against Law Firm Partner” by Ted Sherman […]

Campaign Finance

National: “FEC to Take Public Comments on Petition to Close ‘Bloomberg Loophole’” by Karl Evers-Hillstrom for Center for Responsive Politics

New Jersey: “N.J. Corruption Scheme Involving Pay-to-Play Contracts Leads to Charges Against Law Firm Partner” by Ted Sherman (NJ Advance Media) for Newark Star Ledger

Elections

National: “Sign of the Times: The return of campaign door knockers” by Christopher Cadelago for Politico

California: “L.A. County Has Found the Cause of Its Hourslong Poll Lines. It Wasn’t the New Voting Machines.” by Kim Zetter for Politico

Ethics

National: “Treasury, SBA Cave to Demands for Bailout Transparency” by Victoria Guida for Politico

National: “Judge: Bolton can publish book despite efforts to block” by Eric Tucker for AP News

Maryland: “Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Pleads Guilty in State Court to Perjury in ‘Healthy Holly’ Scandal” by Tim Prudente for Baltimore Sun

South Carolina: “Conflict of interest? Councilman with Ties to Richland Mega Church Pushed Road Project” by Andrew Kaplan for The State

Lobbying

National: “Ex-Sens. Lott, Breaux Announce Move to Crossroads Strategies” by Kate Ackley for Roll Call

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June 22, 2020 •

New Mexico Supreme Court Issues Ruling to Ban

New Mexico Capitol

New Mexico Capitol Building - Ken Lund

In a 3-2 decision on June 16, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied a request allowing lobbyists and public into the Capitol, known as the Roundhouse, during the special legislative session beginning June 18. Chief Justice Judith Nakamura described the […]

In a 3-2 decision on June 16, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied a request allowing lobbyists and public into the Capitol, known as the Roundhouse, during the special legislative session beginning June 18.

Chief Justice Judith Nakamura described the decision as a difficult ruling to make. However, Nakamura concurred with Justices Barbara Vigil and Michael Vigil in denying the petition. 24 lawmakers submitted this proposal which would have opened the Roundhouse to lobbyists and the public for the special session.

The petition argued that prohibiting lobbyists from entering the Roundhouse violates the constitutional requirement to make all legislative sessions public.

New Mexico’s constitution provides all sessions of each house must be public. Justices challenged attorneys on both sides to define the term “public” and explain in detail what constitutes a public session.

Justice C. Shannon Bacon expressed concern about large parts of the state not having broadband. She also emphasized that thousands of people do not have access to computers, describing New Mexico as a technological desert.

The Supreme Court concluded virtual proceedings balance the need to protect the public from the public health concerns of COVID-19 with the need to ensure the legislative session remains open and transparent.

The ruling means those who wish to follow the session will watch the hearings from their computer screens. This will be current reality, rather than gathering in committee rooms and House and Senate galleries.

The public will be able to speak at the discretion of the House committee chairs via Zoom video conference call. However, the public will only be allowed to send emails, rather than joining a video conference, to address the Senate’s committee.

Beginning June 18, lawmakers will begin debating how to shore up an estimated $2 billion shortfall in projected revenues for the fiscal year 2021 budget. This shortfall is largely due to the pandemic-related government shutdown.

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