July 2, 2010 •
On July 1, 2010, three retired judges and two former lawmakers were named to the state legislature’s new independent ethics commission.
The new five-member commission, which will handle ethics complaints against lawmakers, was created in response to a grassroots citizens’ initiative for legislative ethics. The panel includes a retired member of the Utah Supreme Court as well as a former lieutenant governor. The commission’s first organizational meeting has yet to be scheduled but it will be open to the public. Utah voters will have the opportunity to decide whether or not to make the new panel a permanent part of the state constitution.
July 2, 2010 •
State and Federal Communications, Inc. represented at organization’s annual meeting.
Amber Fish Linke, Esq., manager of compliance at State and Federal Communications, Inc., will speak on lobbying regulations to non-profit executives from across the country in Pittsburgh on July 15.
Her talk, Do you comply? A Guide to Federal and State Lobbying Regulations, will provide the executives an overview of lobbying laws on the federal and state levels, including grassroots lobbying. The presentation is tailored for lobbying done by non-profit organizations.
“In today’s heavily regulated environment, it is important to know and understand lobbying rules and regulations in all jurisdictions before undertaking lobbying efforts, not afterward,” Fish Linke said.
Her talk is sponsored by the host organization, the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives.
July 1, 2010 •
The Georgia SEC will be hosting a training July 7.
The Georgia State Ethics Commission will be offering training for committees other than candidate committees on Wednesday, July 7, 2010. The training session is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and be completed by 11:00 a.m. Training will take place in Suite 1514C-West Tower of the Commission’s offices located at 200 Piedmont Avenue in Atlanta. Those wishing to attend the training may RSVP online or contact Maria Cartwright for further details.
July 1, 2010 •
There will be no special election this year in West Virginia to fill the seat of the late Sen. Byrd.
West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant has announced a special election will not be held this year to fill the seat of Senator Robert Byrd, who passed away on June 28, 2010. Under West Virginia law, Governor Joe Manchin will appoint someone to serve until a replacement is elected at the next possible election. Senator Byrd’s replacement cannot be elected in the November, 2010 election, however, because the filing period for candidates has long passed. This means there will be two elections for the same Senate seat in November 2012. One will be a special election for the remaining five weeks of Byrd’s term, and the other will be for a full six-year term since Byrd was due to stand for re-election in 2012 regardless.
June 30, 2010 •
News from the Supreme Court ruling.
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed without comment a lower court ruling upholding a ban on soft-money contributions to political parties.
From The Hill – “Supreme Court affirms ban on soft money,” by Russell Berman 6-29-2010
June 30, 2010 •
State and Federal Communications, Inc. packs the macaroni at the 2010 United Way Day of Action.
When you think of macaroni, what comes to mind? Macaroni and cheese, comfort food, good times in the kitchen, childhood memories …
After serving at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, a team of State and Federal Communications employees will never look at macaroni – or hunger – in quite the same way.
Our team was privileged to serve at the Foodbank as a part of the United Way Day of Action on June 18, 2010. Day of Action serves as a catalyst to advance the common good by joining thousands of corporate volunteers with area non-profit organizations to improve opportunities for education, income, and health in their communities.
Our assignment was to assist the Foodbank by repacking bulk food items into smaller quantities for distribution to clients. We understood the concept, but after a quick tour of the Foodbank’s amazing facility, we were surprised to see 3 huge tubs (imagine the size of a small above ground pool) each filled with 800 pounds of macaroni. Forget the club store’s definition of bulk – when the Foodbank says bulk – they mean BULK.
Throughout the day, fourteen of us worked to repack almost 6,000 pounds of macaroni into smaller containers for distribution to non-profit organizations, and from them, to the people in our community needing food. By the end of the day, we worked through over 7 tubs, packed over 2,400 individual containers of pasta, and had a blast working with each other to serve our community.
All around it was a win-win situation. The Foodbank benefited from our service to move the macaroni along, and with the help of many other volunteers, set a new record for the amount of food repacked in a week – 76,825 pounds! Our company benefited from the team building fostered by volunteering together and the understanding gained about what can be – and what is being – done to feed people and fight hunger in our community.
As we finished our work, I thought of all those little pieces of macaroni, each one individually so small, and almost, insignificant. However, there is nothing insignificant or small about thousands of pounds of macaroni able to nourish individuals and families in need. And how do you get thousands of pieces of pasta – one by one. When you think your contribution is too small to make a difference, think again. If you contribute, and I contribute, and we all contribute, our impact grows exponentially and our communities, our nation, and our world are nourished.
Now, where’s that blue box? I think I need some mac and cheese, please.
June 30, 2010 •
The SEC is expected to vote on proposed rules June 30, 2010.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is poised to consider new regulations prohibiting hedge funds and private equity firms from making political contributions to public officials who award public pension fund management contracts. The SEC initially considered an outright ban on what had become known as placement agents: middlemen who solicited government pension funds on behalf of securities firms looking to tap into the $2.4 trillion public retirement fund industry.
After pushback from industry and Congress over the proposed elimination of placement agents, the SEC is instead considering rules regulating improper pay-to-play practices connected to public pension funds. One proposed rule will limit direct and indirect political contributions by investment advisers seeking pension fund contracts.
New penalties for violators for pay-to-play violators are also under consideration. For instance, advisers who make political contributions to an elected official in a position to influence the selection of the adviser would face a two year bar from providing advisory services to a fund. The SEC is expected to vote on the proposed rules June 30, 2010.
June 28, 2010 •
Welcome to our new blog!
State and Federal Communications, Inc. is your compliance information source for campaign finance, lobbying, and ethics laws. We are pleased to introduce our new blog – LobbyComply.
State and Federal Communications is always seeking new ways to serve our clients and to reach out to the larger community. Along with what we offer on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, we believe LobbyComply will give us a great opportunity to connect with all of you.
On LobbyComply, you can expect to find news and information regarding lobbying, ethics, and compliance. Feel free to leave comments and questions, or contact us by e-mail. Enjoy the blog!
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.