May 6, 2020 •

New York District Judge Orders Presidential Primary to be held in June

New York Capitol

New York Capitol Building

On May 5, United States District Court Judge Analisa Torres for the Southern District of New York ruled the New York Board of Elections must hold a presidential primary and include previously qualified candidates on the ballot, including Sen. Bernie […]

On May 5, United States District Court Judge Analisa Torres for the Southern District of New York ruled the New York Board of Elections must hold a presidential primary and include previously qualified candidates on the ballot, including Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Gov. Cuomo previously postponed the presidential primary from April 28 to June 23 due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Board of Elections later voted to cancel the presidential primary.

However, the board still scheduled a congressional special election and local primaries for June 23.

The court’s ruling found the cancellation of the presidential primary to be unconstitutional.

Additionally, the cancellation had violated candidates of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

The preliminary injunction restores all 10 presidential candidates and their respective slates of delegate candidates to the New York presidential primary ballot and requires that the primary election be held on June 23.

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May 6, 2020 •

Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance National: “Cash-Starved Candidates Trade Swanky Cocktail Hours for $5K Zoom Meetings” by Elena Schneider and Theodoric Meyer for Politico New Jersey: “Juul Donated to New Jersey Politicians Even as They Considered Vaping Restrictions” by Matt Freidman for Politico […]

Campaign Finance

National: “Cash-Starved Candidates Trade Swanky Cocktail Hours for $5K Zoom Meetings” by Elena Schneider and Theodoric Meyer for Politico

New Jersey: “Juul Donated to New Jersey Politicians Even as They Considered Vaping Restrictions” by Matt Freidman for Politico

North Carolina: “Should NC Politicians Be Banned from Paying Themselves Rent with Campaign Money?” by Will Doran for Raleigh News and Observer

Elections

National: “Both Parties Wonder: How much do conventions even matter anymore?” by Adam Nagourney and Matt Flegenheimer (New York Times) for MSN

National: “Why Biden’s Choice of Running Mate Has Momentous Implications” by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns (New York Times) for MSN

Ethics

National: “Trump Sparks Fight Over IRS Relief Payments” by Naomi Jagoda for The Hill

Mississippi: “MS Welfare Scandal Audit: Money went to cars, family, paying Brett Favre for speeches he never gave” by Luke Ramseth for Jackson Clarion-Ledger

Nevada: “Ethics Complaint ‘Credible’ Against Ex-Las Vegas Planning Official” by Shea Johnson for Las Vegas Review-Journal

South Dakota: “Ethics Board Dismisses Complaint Against Councilor After Trip to Republican Convention” by JoeSneve for Sioux Falls Argus Leader

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May 5, 2020 •

North Dakota Ethics Commission Website Is Live

North Dakota Capitol

North Dakota Capitol Building

The North Dakota Ethics Commission website is now live. The website, ethicscommission.nd.gov, includes board information, meeting minutes, and complaint forms. At a recent meeting, the five-member board also discussed reconciling perceived conflicts in constitutional and statutory language related to commission […]

The North Dakota Ethics Commission website is now live.

The website, ethicscommission.nd.gov, includes board information, meeting minutes, and complaint forms.

At a recent meeting, the five-member board also discussed reconciling perceived conflicts in constitutional and statutory language related to commission procedures; additionally, they reviewed proposed 2021 ethics legislation covering legislators and executive branch officials.

The next meeting is scheduled in an online format for May 13.

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May 5, 2020 •

Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Elections Wisconsin: “Unexpected Outcome in Wisconsin: Tens of thousands of ballots that arrived after Election Day were counted, thanks to court decisions” by Amy Gardner, Dan Simmons, and Robert Barnes (Washington Post) for MSN Ethics National: “Lawmakers Made Hundreds of […]

Elections

Wisconsin: “Unexpected Outcome in Wisconsin: Tens of thousands of ballots that arrived after Election Day were counted, thanks to court decisions” by Amy Gardner, Dan Simmons, and Robert Barnes (Washington Post) for MSN

Ethics

National: “Lawmakers Made Hundreds of Stock Transactions During Pandemic, Watchdog Finds” by Alice Miranda Ollstein for Politico

National: “Secret Service Paid Trump’s D.C. Hotel More Than $33,000 for Lodging to Guard Mnuchin in ’17” by David Fahrenthold, Joshua Partlow, Josh Dawsey, and Carol Leonnig (Washington Post) for Seattle Times

Hawaii: “Honolulu Ethics Commission OKs Gifts for First Responders” by Gordon Y.K. Pang for Honolulu Star Advertiser

Iowa: “Court Upholds Dismissal of Suit Over Iowa Governor’s Flight” by David Pitt for AP News

Legislative Issues

National: “The ‘New Normal’ Takes Shape on Capitol Hill” by Scott Wong and Mike Lillis for The Hill

Lobbying

National: “Well-Connected Trump Alumni Benefit from Coronavirus Lobbying Rush” by Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Tom Hamburger, and Anu Narayanswami (Washington Post) for MSN

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May 4, 2020 •

No Limits on Campaign Contributions in Oregon

Oregon Senate Chamber

Oregon Senate Chamber - photo by Cacophony

Oregon political candidates in legislative and statewide races can continue to accept contributions vastly exceeding the caps voters approved in 2006. Secretary of State Bev Clarno announced on Friday she would not allow the 2006 voter approved initiative. The initiative […]

Oregon political candidates in legislative and statewide races can continue to accept contributions vastly exceeding the caps voters approved in 2006.

Secretary of State Bev Clarno announced on Friday she would not allow the 2006 voter approved initiative.

The initiative placed a $1,000 limit on donations to statewide candidates and a $100 limit on contributions to legislative candidates.

Clarno’s office released a statement communicating Measure 47 from 2006 was not made operative by the Oregon Supreme Court decision.

Therefore, there is no change in current state election laws.

Clarno’s decision was based off of a verbal opinion from the Department of Justice.

Also, Multnomah County Circuit Judge Thomas Ryan ruled Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s campaign did not need to limit spending.

The ruling came after a suit filed by Wheeler’s main opponent questioning his use of contributions.

Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone had joined several campaign finance activists in a lawsuit against Wheeler’s campaign.

The lawsuit contends the mayor must repay all the donations he’s received surpassing the $500 campaign finance limit approved by Portland voters in 2018 but never enforced due to legal challenges.

After last week’s Supreme Court ruling, the city auditor’s office will begin enforcing Portland’s campaign finance measure starting today.

However, candidates won’t be retroactively punished for taking large donations.

Portland Attorney Dan Meek said he would ask the state Supreme Court to reconsider its April decision to make it clear Measure 47 should go into effect immediately.

In November, voters will decide on a proposed state constitutional amendment making it clear the state could adopt any limits allowed under the U.S. Constitution.

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May 4, 2020 •

Louisiana Lawmakers Resume Regular Session

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana lawmakers will resume their regular legislative session on May 4 to address budget issues and virus response legislation. Despite the stay-at-home order in place through May 15, many legislators are ready to return for the remainder of session. These […]

Louisiana lawmakers will resume their regular legislative session on May 4 to address budget issues and virus response legislation.

Despite the stay-at-home order in place through May 15, many legislators are ready to return for the remainder of session.

These final four weeks began March 9, and the session was postponed March 16.

Legislative leaders also anticipate a large financial gap from widespread unemployment, forcing down tax collections and oil prices.

Altogether, the next financial year, beginning July 1, is predicting between $500 million to $1 billion less in state funding.

With a session that must end June 1, many legislators are eager to use the available days to assist with economic recovery.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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May 4, 2020 •

Rhode Island General Assembly Extends Postponement

https://www.flickr.com/photos/iip-photo-archive/45393591104

Rhode Island Skyline

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly has extended the postponement of the legislative session. All House and Senate sessions are canceled for the week of May 4 to May 8. Additionally, the House Finance Committee is expected […]

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly has extended the postponement of the legislative session.

All House and Senate sessions are canceled for the week of May 4 to May 8.

Additionally, the House Finance Committee is expected to resume budget hearings the week of May 11, and the full General Assembly are scheduled to meet on Tuesday, May 12.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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May 4, 2020 •

New Hampshire General Court Suspends Legislative Activities Indefinitely

New Hampshire State House - AlexiusHoratius

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Court has suspended all legislative activities until further notice except for remote public meetings. Lawmakers previously suspended legislative activities until May 4. The State House and Legislative Office Building will be closed to […]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Court has suspended all legislative activities until further notice except for remote public meetings.

Lawmakers previously suspended legislative activities until May 4.

The State House and Legislative Office Building will be closed to legislative members, legislative staff, and visitors during the suspension.

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May 4, 2020 •

Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Idaho: “Belated Campaign Finance Report Filed by Pro-Gun Group” by Betsy Russell (Idaho Press) for Idaho Falls Post-Register Oregon: “Campaign Finance Limits Lose Twice in Oregon” by Rebecca Ellis and Jeff Mapes for Oregon Public Broadcasting Tennessee: “Media […]

Campaign Finance

Idaho: “Belated Campaign Finance Report Filed by Pro-Gun Group” by Betsy Russell (Idaho Press) for Idaho Falls Post-Register

Oregon: “Campaign Finance Limits Lose Twice in Oregon” by Rebecca Ellis and Jeff Mapes for Oregon Public Broadcasting

Tennessee: “Media Groups Sue Campaign Finance Board Over Email Vote, Contend Violation of Open Meetings Law” by Joel Ebert for The Tennessean

Ethics

National: “Should News Organizations Take Coronavirus Bailout Loans? While Some Fear a Conflict of Interest, Many Are Desperate for Cash” by Paul Fahri (Washington Post) for Greenwich Times

National: “Joe Biden Denies He Sexually Assaulted a Former Senate Aide, Calls on National Archives to Release Complaint If One Exists” by Matt Viser, Annie Linskey, and Sean Sullivan (Washington Post) for Stamford Advocate

Texas: “Texas AG Helped Donor Fight Virus Lockout” by Paul Weber and Jake Bleiberg for AP News

Lobbying

National: “Southern Company’s Lobbying Disclosures Obscure State-Level Information from Investors, Public” by Daniel Tate for Energy and Policy Institute

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May 1, 2020 •

Mississippi Legislature to Reconvene Session on May 1

Mississippi Capitol

Mississippi State Capitol - by Ken Lund

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn have announced the Legislature will reconvene the 2020 Legislative Session at 1:00 p.m. on May 1. In addition, the end-of-session report will be due 10 days after the […]

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn have announced the Legislature will reconvene the 2020 Legislative Session at 1:00 p.m. on May 1.

In addition, the end-of-session report will be due 10 days after the adjournment sine die of the regular legislative session.

The expected adjournment date was extended to June 9 when the session was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

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May 1, 2020 •

Georgia Lawmakers Propose Two Potential Dates to Reconvene Session

Georgia Capitol

Georgia State Capitol Building

Georgia General Assembly leaders have proposed two potential dates to reconvene the suspended session. The Senate has proposed a return date of May 14, while the House has proposed a June 11 return date. Given an agreement between both houses […]

Georgia General Assembly leaders have proposed two potential dates to reconvene the suspended session.

The Senate has proposed a return date of May 14, while the House has proposed a June 11 return date.

Given an agreement between both houses are needed for the return.

Upon the General Assembly’s return, the 2021 budget will be a chief concern as the fiscal year begins on July 1.

State level and Transportation Board lobbyists will continue to be required to file semi-monthly until lawmakers have officially adjourned sine die.

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May 1, 2020 •

South Carolina General Assembly Set to Reconvene on May 12

South Carolina Capitol

South Carolina Capitol Building

South Carolina House Speaker Jay Lucas and Senate President Harvey Peeler announced the General Assembly will reconvene on May 12. The leaders made the announcement in a joint letter. The General Assembly is expected to pass bills allowing them to […]

South Carolina House Speaker Jay Lucas and Senate President Harvey Peeler announced the General Assembly will reconvene on May 12.

The leaders made the announcement in a joint letter.

The General Assembly is expected to pass bills allowing them to take up a number of matters in a special session.

Additionally, the General Assembly will work to extend the time to pass a budget.

This work was set to be completed when they reconvened on April 8.

However, a public disagreement over restrictions on Santee Cooper led to a failure to come to an agreement.

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April 30, 2020 •

Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Oregon: “Portland to Begin Enforcing $500 Campaign Donation Limit Next Week, But It Won’t Apply Retroactively” by Everton Bailey Jr. for Portland Oregonian Elections New York: “New York Board of Elections Cancels Democratic Presidential Primary” by Stephanie Saul […]

Campaign Finance

Oregon: “Portland to Begin Enforcing $500 Campaign Donation Limit Next Week, But It Won’t Apply Retroactively” by Everton Bailey Jr. for Portland Oregonian

Elections

New York: “New York Board of Elections Cancels Democratic Presidential Primary” by Stephanie Saul and Nick Corasaniti for New York Times

Ethics

National: “Supreme Court Casts Some Doubt on Whether It Should Settle Trump’s Fight with Congress Over His Finances” by Robert Barnes for Washington Post

National: “Judges Worry Trump Position on McGahn Testimony Could Force Congress into Extreme Measures” by Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney for Politico

National: “Sen. Richard Burr Is Not Just a Friend to the Health Care Industry. He’s Also a Stockholder.” by Robert Faturechi and Derek Willis for ProPublica

New Mexico: “Coalition Asks for $8,000 Reimbursement from Legislator, Former Executive Director” by T.S. Last for Albuquerque Journal

Ohio: “Former ODNR Chief Cited for Ethics Violation Over Free Fishing Trip” by Mike Markey for Toledo Blade

Ohio: “Ohio’s G.O.P. Governor Splits from Trump, and Rises in Popularity” by Trip Gabriel (New York Times) for MSN

Lobbying

Idaho: “IFF Accused of Disobeying IRS Rules by Encouraging Idahoans to Disobey Governor” by Cynthia Sewell for Idaho Statesman

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April 29, 2020 •

Portland Will Start Enforcing Campaign Contribution Limits

Portland Skyline

In the wake of an Oregon Supreme Court ruling last week overturning long standing precedents declaring campaign contribution limits in Oregon elections unconstitutional, Portland will enforce a voter approved $500 per donor limit starting Monday. The court ruled that contribution […]

In the wake of an Oregon Supreme Court ruling last week overturning long standing precedents declaring campaign contribution limits in Oregon elections unconstitutional, Portland will enforce a voter approved $500 per donor limit starting Monday.

The court ruled that contribution limits do not violate free speech.

However, they asked lower courts to decide if $500 per donor limits, approved first by Multnomah County voters and then by Portland voters, are too low.

Portland city election officials say they’ll begin enforcing the contribution limits after the Oregon Court of Appeals on Tuesday overturned a Multnomah County Circuit judge’s decision declaring campaign contribution limits in city elections unconstitutional.

However, election officials will not retroactively enforce the limits. Candidates who violate the new donation limits will face fines of up to $3,000 per violation.

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