June 12, 2019 •

Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Indiana: “Are Watchdogs Over Indiana Campaign Donations Really Watching?” by Thomas Langhorne for Evansville Courier and Press New Jersey: “Gov. Phil Murphy, Lawmakers Reach Deal on Dark Money Disclosure” by Dave Levinsky for Burlington County Times Ethics National: […]

Campaign Finance

Indiana: “Are Watchdogs Over Indiana Campaign Donations Really Watching?” by Thomas Langhorne for Evansville Courier and Press

New Jersey: “Gov. Phil Murphy, Lawmakers Reach Deal on Dark Money Disclosure” by Dave Levinsky for Burlington County Times

Ethics

National: “Trump Lawyer’s Message Was a Clue for Mueller, Who Set It Aside” by Michael Schmidt and Charle Savage (New York Times) for MSN

California: “FPPC Rejects GOP Complaint About Union Donations for California Lieutenant Governor’s Furniture” by Sophia Bollag for Sacramento Bee

Texas: “Two Years After Bribery Scandal, Sreerama Welcomed Back as Harris County Vendor” by Zach Despart and Mike Morris for Houston Chronicle

Virginia: “‘A Rare Position’: Va. Gov. Ralph Northam could wind up with great power, months after almost resigning” by Gregory Schneider for Washington Post

Legislative Issues

National: “With Most States Under One Party’s Control, America Grows More Divided” by Timothy Williams for New York Times

Lobbying

National: “Bipartisan Senators Push New Bill to Improve Foreign Lobbying Disclosures” by Alex Gangitano for The Hill

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June 11, 2019 •

Bi-Partisan Bill to Amend FARA Introduced in U.S. Senate

On June 10, a bi-partisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate to amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA). The bill would provide the U.S. Attorney General greater authority to promote enforcement of the law and increase […]

On June 10, a bi-partisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate to amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA).

The bill would provide the U.S. Attorney General greater authority to promote enforcement of the law and increase disclosure requirements of agents of foreign principals.

Senate Bill 1762 requires foreign agents to disclose their clients immediately so policy makers can evaluate their positions in light of those associations.

Additionally, the bill requires the Justice Department to craft a comprehensive FARA enforcement strategy, and creates oversight mechanisms to prevent abuse of the new authorities according to the press release of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, the Republican sponsor of the bill.

The legislation would also establish a review of the Lobbying Disclosure Act exemption to determine whether and to what extent it has been abused for purposes of concealing foreign influence.

Only 15 violations of FARA have been criminally prosecuted since 1966 and “about half of those stemmed from Mr. Mueller’s investigation,” according to Grassley’s statement in his press release.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Dianne Feinstein.

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June 11, 2019 •

South Carolina Announces Special Election to fill House Vacancy

A special primary election will take place on July 30 followed by a special election on October 1 to fill a vacancy in House District 84. The seat is vacant after former Rep. Ronnie Young passed away in May. A […]

A special primary election will take place on July 30 followed by a special election on October 1 to fill a vacancy in House District 84.

The seat is vacant after former Rep. Ronnie Young passed away in May.

A special primary runoff election is scheduled for August 31.

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June 11, 2019 •

Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance California: “Democrats Say They Don’t Take Big Tobacco Money. But JUUL Had a Sponsorship at Convention” by Andrew Sheeler for Sacramento Bee Minnesota: “Rep. Ilhan Omar to Reimburse $3,500 in Misspent Campaign Funds” by Emily Kopp for Roll […]

Campaign Finance

California: “Democrats Say They Don’t Take Big Tobacco Money. But JUUL Had a Sponsorship at Convention” by Andrew Sheeler for Sacramento Bee

Minnesota: “Rep. Ilhan Omar to Reimburse $3,500 in Misspent Campaign Funds” by Emily Kopp for Roll Call

Elections

National: “Election Rules Are an Obstacle to Cybersecurity of Presidential Campaigns” by Nicole Perlroth and Matthew Rosenberg for New York Times

Ethics

National: “NRA Money Flowed to Board Members Amid Allegedly Lavish Spending by Top Officials and Vendors” by Beth Reinhard, Katie Zezima, Tom Hamburger, and Carol Leonnig (Washington Post) for MSN

National: “Chao Created Special Path for McConnell’s Favored Projects” by Tucker Doherty and Tanya Snider for Politico

Florida: “State Ethics Commission Fines Gillum, Drops Most Charges” by Mary Ellen Klas and Elizabeth Koh for Miami Herald

Lobbying

New York: “Inside the Stealth Campaign for ‘Responsible Rent Reform’” by Vivian Wang for New York Times

Oklahoma: “Stitt to End $1.5 Million in State Agency Lobbying Contracts” by Tres Savage for NonDoc

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June 10, 2019 •

Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Elections National: “Echoes of Biden’s 1987 Plagiarism Scandal Continue to Reverberate” by Neena Satija (Washington Post) for Anchorage Daily News Ethics National: “A Wealthy Iraqi Sheikh Who Urges a Hard-Line U.S. Approach to Iran Spent 26 Nights at Trump’s D.C. […]

Elections

National: “Echoes of Biden’s 1987 Plagiarism Scandal Continue to Reverberate” by Neena Satija (Washington Post) for Anchorage Daily News

Ethics

National: “A Wealthy Iraqi Sheikh Who Urges a Hard-Line U.S. Approach to Iran Spent 26 Nights at Trump’s D.C. Hotel” by Joshua Partlow, David Fahrenthold, and Taylor Luck (Washington Post) for MSN

Florida: “Florida Repeals ‘Blind Trust’ Law That Shielded Rick Scott’s Investments” by Mary Ellen Klas (Miami Herald) for Tampa Bay Times

Illinois: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot to Introduce Ethics Package Aimed at Fighting City Hall Corruption” by John Byrne for Chicago Tribune

Michigan: “Guilty Detroit Metro Airport Boss Gasps at Verdict in $5M Bribery Case” by Robert Snell for Detroit Free Press

Tennessee: “Casada to Step Down as Speaker in August, Asks Governor to Call a Special Session” by Natalie Allison and Joel Ebert for The Tennessean

Lobbying

California: “Proposal Would Tighten San Diego Lobbyist Disclosures to Avoid Unintended Consequences” by David Garrick for San Diego Union Tribune

New Hampshire: “Top N.H. Lawmaker Says No Lobbying Involved in His Union Job, But His Predecessor Was a Lobbyist” by Casey McDermott for New Hampshire Public Radio

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June 7, 2019 •

Ontario Legislature Adjourns, Moves Return Date

Legislative Assembly of Ontario building - Saforrest (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario adjourned its legislative session on June 6 and voted 64-35 to not return till October 28, a week following the federal election. Ontario is expected to be a major battleground in the upcoming election, with […]

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario adjourned its legislative session on June 6 and voted 64-35 to not return till October 28, a week following the federal election.

Ontario is expected to be a major battleground in the upcoming election, with the Conservative Party hoping to make major gains in the province.

Members of opposition parties suggest the extended break is an attempt to avoid hurting the Conservative Party’s chances to regain control.

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June 7, 2019 •

Louisiana Legislature Adjourns

The Legislature adjourned sine die on June 6. The 60-day session was overshadowed by the upcoming November gubernatorial election. However, in its final day the Legislature did pass a $30 billion budget that increased teacher pay. Gov. Jon Bel Edwards […]

The Legislature adjourned sine die on June 6.

The 60-day session was overshadowed by the upcoming November gubernatorial election.

However, in its final day the Legislature did pass a $30 billion budget that increased teacher pay.

Gov. Jon Bel Edwards is expected to sign the deal, which applies to the financial year beginning July 1.

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June 7, 2019 •

Nassau County, New York Introduces Vendor Code of Ethics and Vendor Portal

Flag of Nassau County, NY

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran introduced a new vendor code of ethics and vendor portal for doing business with the county. The code of ethics addresses issues with gifts or contingent fees; employment negotiation restrictions during and after procurements; conflicts […]

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran introduced a new vendor code of ethics and vendor portal for doing business with the county.

The code of ethics addresses issues with gifts or contingent fees; employment negotiation restrictions during and after procurements; conflicts of interests; appearance by former county employees; and non-collusion.

The code applies to all county vendors, will be incorporated into all contracts, and will require prime vendors to distribute the terms of the code to all subcontractors.

The vendor portal allows for vendor and principal registration, viewing solicitations, integrity submissions, and other future functions for procurement activities.

In the upcoming days, the Offices of the County Executive and Chief Procurement Officer will post the vendor compliance presentation and code of ethics to the county website.

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June 6, 2019 •

Connecticut Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Connecticut State Capitol

The Connecticut General Assembly adjourned sine die on June 5. During the five-month legislative session lawmakers failed to pass bills concerning the code of ethics, lobbyist transparency, and dark money disclosure and regulation. Gov. Lamont thanked the Legislature for approving […]

The Connecticut General Assembly adjourned sine die on June 5.

During the five-month legislative session lawmakers failed to pass bills concerning the code of ethics, lobbyist transparency, and dark money disclosure and regulation.

Gov. Lamont thanked the Legislature for approving legislation to accelerate the deployment of high-speed wireless technology throughout the state.

The monthly employer activity report required any month the General Assembly is in regular session is due July 10.

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June 6, 2019 •

North Carolina Ethics Commission Names Interim Director

The reconstituted State Ethics Commission has named Kathleen Edwards the interim director. Edwards, who has been a commission attorney, will take the lead role until a permanent director is chosen. The commission was merged with the State Board of Elections […]

The reconstituted State Ethics Commission has named Kathleen Edwards the interim director.

Edwards, who has been a commission attorney, will take the lead role until a permanent director is chosen.

The commission was merged with the State Board of Elections then was remade as a stand-alone entity again following the passage of House Bill 1029.

Edwards will have to hire a new staff and try to recover several positions the commission lost when it was merged.

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June 6, 2019 •

Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Connecticut: “Senate Takes Late-Night Jab at Elections Watchdog” by Mark Pazniokas for Connecticut Mirror Vermont: “Attorney General Clears Matt Dunne Over Campaign Debt Repayment” by Colin Meyn for VTDigger.org Elections National: “Meet the GOP Operatives Who Aim to […]

Campaign Finance

Connecticut: “Senate Takes Late-Night Jab at Elections Watchdog” by Mark Pazniokas for Connecticut Mirror

Vermont: “Attorney General Clears Matt Dunne Over Campaign Debt Repayment” by Colin Meyn for VTDigger.org

Elections

National: “Meet the GOP Operatives Who Aim to Smear the 2020 Democrats – but Keep Bungling It” by Manuel Roig-Franzia and Beth Reinhard (Washington Post) for MSN

North Carolina: “Federal Investigators to Examine Equipment from 2016 N.C. Election Amid Renewed Fears of Russian Hacking” by Neena Satija (Washington Post) for Laredo Morning Times

Ethics

Alabama: “At Hubbard Hearing, Alabama Supreme Court Justices Suggest Ethics Law May Be Vague” by Brian Lyman for Montgomery Advertiser

California: “Oakland Councilwoman Claims Free Warriors Tickets; Staff Error Blamed” by John Woolfolk for San Jose Mercury News

Lobbying

National: “Catholic Church Spent $10 Million on Lobbyists in Fight to Stymie Priest Sex Abuse Suits” by Corky Siemaszko for NBC News

National: “How Payday Lenders Spent $1 Million at a Trump Resort – and Cashed In” by Alice Wilder (WNYC) and Anjali Tsui for ProPublica

Missouri: “Pot Lobbyist Indicted in Federal Marijuana Conspiracy Tied to Old Hawthorne Death” by Jack Suntrup (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) for Columbia Missourian

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June 5, 2019 •

Milwaukee Announces Primary, Special Elections for Ald. District 13

The Milwaukee River crossing Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.

A special election will take place on August 13 with a primary expected July 16 to fill a vacancy in Ald. District 13. Former Rep. Terry Witkowski, 74, resigned after serving since 2003.  

A special election will take place on August 13 with a primary expected July 16 to fill a vacancy in Ald. District 13.

Former Rep. Terry Witkowski, 74, resigned after serving since 2003.

 

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June 5, 2019 •

Arkansas Gov. Calls Special Election for House District 36

Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock

A special election will take place on November 5 to fill a vacancy in House District 36. Former Rep. Charles Blake left office to become Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott’s chief of staff.

A special election will take place on November 5 to fill a vacancy in House District 36.

Former Rep. Charles Blake left office to become Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott’s chief of staff.

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June 5, 2019 •

Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission Clarifies Senate Bill 6 Changes

The Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort, Kentucky

The Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission issued ordinary and emergency administrative regulations in order to meet the requirements of Senate Bill 6. The changes to the administrative regulations involve the procedures for filing lobbyist forms and statements of financial disclosure. […]

The Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission issued ordinary and emergency administrative regulations in order to meet the requirements of Senate Bill 6.

The changes to the administrative regulations involve the procedures for filing lobbyist forms and statements of financial disclosure.

The commission established initial clarifications to help with the changes.

In the first clarification scenario, if a person filed an initial registration statement prior to July 1, 2019, then they will file the 2016 versions of the update forms during the upcoming filing period.

In the second clarification scenario, if a person files an initial registration statement after July 1, 2019, then they will file the 2019 versions of the update and termination forms during the proceeding filing periods.

There will be an open comment period from June 1, to June 30, with a public hearing on June 21.

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