January 13, 2020 •

US Supreme Court Denies Appeal: SEC Pay-to-Play Rule Remains

U.S. Supreme Court Building

United States Supreme Court Building

On January 13, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order denying review of an appeal concerning the legality of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pay-to-play rule, allowing that rule to stand.

Previously, on June 18, 2020, a federal appellate court had affirmed a lower court’s finding that the pay-to-play rule was legal.

In New York Republican State Committee v. SEC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found the SEC’s Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rule 2030 constitutional.

The rule prohibits a placement agent from accepting compensation for soliciting government business from certain candidates and elected officials within two years of having contributed to such an official’s electoral campaign or to the transition or inaugural expenses of a successful candidate.

The New York Republican State Committee and the Tennessee Republican Party had argued the SEC did not have authority to enact the rule, the order adopting the rule was arbitrary and capricious because there was insufficient evidence it was needed, and the rule violated the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

November 9, 2020 •

NY Mayor de Blasio Announces Special Election for Council District 24

New York City Hall

New York City Hall by Beyond My Ken

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a special election to be held on February 2, 2021 for City Council District 24. The seat is vacant after Councilman Rory Lancman was appointed by Gov. Cuomo as Special Counsel for Ratepayer Protection at […]

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a special election to be held on February 2, 2021 for City Council District 24.

The seat is vacant after Councilman Rory Lancman was appointed by Gov. Cuomo as Special Counsel for Ratepayer Protection at the Department of Public Service.

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October 8, 2020 •

Mayor de Blasio Announces Special Election for City Council

New York City Hall

New York City Hall by Beyond My Ken

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a special election to be held on December 22 for City Council District 12. The seat is vacant after the expulsion of Bronx Councilman Andy King for accusations of sexual harassment, misuse […]

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a special election to be held on December 22 for City Council District 12.

The seat is vacant after the expulsion of Bronx Councilman Andy King for accusations of sexual harassment, misuse of city resources, and other ethics violations.

The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of King’s term through 2021.

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October 1, 2020 •

New York JCOPE Issues Advisory Opinion on Third Party Gifts

Albany Skyline

Albany Skyline - by Antony-22

On October 1, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) announced the final draft of Advisory Opinion 20-02, providing guidance to identify the permissibility of a gift to a third party at the direction of or on behalf of a […]

On October 1, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) announced the final draft of Advisory Opinion 20-02, providing guidance to identify the permissibility of a gift to a third party at the direction of or on behalf of a public official.

Statutes and regulations presumptively prohibit a gift to a public official from an interested source or gifts to a third party solicited by a public official or an intermediary.

Advisory Opinion 20-02 allows the presumption of impermissibility to be overcome by taking into account specific situations including: the nature or purpose of the gift; nature of the donor’s pending business with the official; and prior history of gifts to the cause or third-party organization.

JCOPE will determine whether a gift violates the law or overcomes the presumption on a case-by-case basis.

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June 2, 2020 •

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Campaign Finance Law

U.S. Supreme Court Building

United States Supreme Court Building

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case challenging a Montana disclosure law. Specifically, the law requires disclosure of spending for political ads within 60 days of an election. In August 2019, the 9th U.S Circuit […]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case challenging a Montana disclosure law.

Specifically, the law requires disclosure of spending for political ads within 60 days of an election.

In August 2019, the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Montana’s law requiring nonprofit groups running ads mentioning candidates, political parties or ballot issues in the 60 day window before an election to report any spending of $250 or more and disclose who funded their efforts.

This law is part of the state’s Disclosure Act, while the case was filed by the National Association of Gun Rights in 2016.

In their lawsuit, the group stated they were planning on sending mailers in Montana.

However, they would not report their donors or spending because it violated their constitutional rights of free speech.

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May 20, 2020 •

Federal Court Upholds Reinstated NY Presidential Primary Date

New York State Capitol

NY State Capitol - by formulanone

On May 19, The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the Southern District Court of New York’s decision to reinstate New York’s uncontested presidential primary on June 23. The presidential primary was previously canceled by the […]

On May 19, The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the Southern District Court of New York’s decision to reinstate New York’s uncontested presidential primary on June 23.

The presidential primary was previously canceled by the New York Board of Elections after Sen. Bernie Sanders announced the end of his presidential campaign.

After the ruling, commissioners for the Board of Elections stated New York would not appeal the decision of the Second Circuit.

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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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April 28, 2020 •

New York JCOPE Introduces New Lobbying Application Functionality

New York State Capitol

NY State Capitol - by formulanone

The New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics introduced a new feature on the state Lobbying Application. Their aim is to minimize the risk of duplicate profiles and improve functionality. Additionally, this feature allows creating or claiming an organization profile […]

The New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics introduced a new feature on the state Lobbying Application.

Their aim is to minimize the risk of duplicate profiles and improve functionality.

Additionally, this feature allows creating or claiming an organization profile (lobbyist, client, public corporation, or coalition).

In turn, this allows information to prepopulate a client’s semiannual report, provide more transparency, increase reliability, and reduce filing delays.

JCOPE also announced the mechanism to assign an individual as a Chief Administrative Officer and Delegated Administrator has changed.

To authorize an individual for either of these specific roles, the individual’s user identification number must be provided.

The ability to assign an individual as the CAO or the DA merely by entering their first and last name in a search field has been eliminated.

Any questions about navigating the Lobbying Application may be directed to the JCOPE Lobbying Helpdesk at (518) 474-3973 or by emailing helpdesk@jcope.ny.gov.

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April 28, 2020 •

New York Board of Elections Cancels Presidential Primary

Hand dropping ballot

Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the Board of Elections voted to cancel the presidential primary on June 23. The presidential primary was previously rescheduled from April 28 to June 23 due to the state of emergency. The decision to cancel […]

Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the Board of Elections voted to cancel the presidential primary on June 23.

The presidential primary was previously rescheduled from April 28 to June 23 due to the state of emergency.

The decision to cancel the presidential primary does not affect the congressional special election, state, and local primaries scheduled for June 23.

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