November 28, 2011 •

Connecticut Governor Sets Special Election Date

House District 24 Seat to be Filled January 10, 2012

Gov. Dannel MalloyGovernor Dannel P. Malloy has issued a writ of special election setting January 10, 2012 as the date to fill the vacant seat in Connecticut’s 24th house district.

The seat became vacant after former state representative Timothy O’Brien left the position November 15, 2011. O’Brien, who had represented the district since 2003, resigned his seat after he was elected to the position of mayor in the city of New Britain, Connecticut during the 2011 general election held on November 8.

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November 18, 2011 •

Lobbyist Fined for Not Wearing Badge

Connecticut Working Families Organization’s Executive Director to Pay $10,000 Fine

L badgeJon Green, the executive director of Connecticut Working Families has been fined $10,000 by the Connecticut Office of State Ethics for not wearing a badge while he lobbied on legislation in the 2010 election cycle.

You can find news coverage of the story here:

Working Families Official To Pay $10,000 Ethics Fine” by Jon Lender in the Hartford Courant.

WFP Director Fined For Lobbying Without Badge”  by Christine Stuart in CT News Junkie.

CT levies $10K fine against unsanctioned lobbyist” in the Hartford Business Journal.

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October 3, 2011 •

Connecticut Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board Selects Leadership

Gay and Chiusano Selected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman

CEABRetired Major General David W. Gay has been selected to serve as the chairman of the nine-member Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board. Gay was initially appointed to his position on the board by then-Governor M. Jodi Rell on October 1, 2009.

Prior to his appointment, Gay served as the Adjutant General of the Connecticut National Guard from 1992 to 1999, when he retired after forty-three years of distinguished military service. His military career began in 1953 when he served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He enlisted in the Guard in 1960 as a PFC and served in several different positions and disciplines at all levels.

Further, Charles F. Chiusano has been selected to serve as vice-chairman of the board. Chiusano was appointed in 2010 by Senate Minority Leader John McKinney after he had retired from his position as vice president of Avant Business Services Corporation. Each member’s one year term fulfilling the position is effective as of October 1, 2011.

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September 2, 2011 •

Guay to Head Connecticut Office of Governmental Accountability

Executive Administrator Named For New Connecticut Watchdog Office

Flag of ConnecticutGovernor Dannel P. Malloy is set to name David L. Guay as the head of Connecticut’s newly created Office of Governmental Accountability.

Guay was one of three finalists for the position of executive administrator recommended to the governor in July by the heads of the nine agencies comprising the new Office of Governmental Accountability, including the Office of State Ethics and the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Guay has served as the executive director of the Board of Accountancy since 1989, and has also held the position of director of election campaign finance services.

Guay’s new position calls for assisting each of the nine agencies in meeting their needs, while also promoting autonomy over the watchdog function each agency provides.

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August 19, 2011 •

We Cover New Jurisdictions

In a continuing effort to better serve the needs of its clients, State and Federal Communications, Inc. is expanding coverage of laws and regulations in more municipalities.

We now provide information on lobbying, political contributions, and procurement lobbying for:

Chandler, Arizona

Fort Collins, Colorado

New Haven, Connecticut

Stamford, Connecticut

Chesapeake, Virginia

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July 15, 2011 •

Lobbyists to be Audited by Office of State Ethics

Ten Lobbyists to be Audited in Connecticut

Thomas H. Dooley, Chairman of the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board, will be selecting at random 10 lobbyists to be audited by the Office of State Ethics during an audit selection ceremony on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

The ceremony will be a part of the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting, scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.

Lobbyists to be audited will be selected from a pool of all registered client lobbyists.

During audits of these selected client lobbyists, the Office of State Ethics will audit all associated communicator lobbyists.

A list of those selected to be audited will be made available on the website of the Office of State Ethics following the ceremony.

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July 11, 2011 •

News You Can Use Digest – July 11, 2011

Here are highlights from the latest edition of News You Can Use:

News You Can Use logo

 

 

 

 

Federal:

IRS Drops Audits of Political Donors

New Breed of ‘Super PACs,’ Other Independent Groups Could Define 2012 Campaign

From the States and Municipalities:

Alabama

Alabama Democratic Conference Files Lawsuit to Stop New Alabama Law Banning Political Fund Transfers

Arizona

Arizona Conservatives Scramble after Campaign Finance Law’s Defeat

California

Marijuana Lobbyist’s Fundraiser for DA Raises Questions

Veil Drawn on Donors to Latino Caucus-Controlled California Nonprofit

Connecticut

Agent Who Arrested Politicians Now Seeks House Seat

Georgia

Lobby Late Fees Add Up

Illinois

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Proposing New Round of Ethics Reforms

Iowa

Judge Upholds New Iowa Campaign Disclosure Rules

Massachusetts

House Leader Apologizes for Holocaust Remarks

Michigan

Justices Stop Political Gifts Taken at Work

Minnesota

Campaign Board Rejects NOM’s Efforts to Shield Donors in Marriage Battle

Pennsylvania

Lobbying Law on Hold

South Carolina

Lt. Gov. Ard Paying $48,000 Fine

Washington

Ex-Prisons Chief Eldon Vail Says He Resigned Because of an Affair with Subordinate

 

Jim SedorState and Federal Communications produces a weekly summary of national news, offering more than 80 articles per week focused on ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance.

News You Can Use is a news service provided at no charge only to clients of our online Executive Source Guides, or ALERTS™ consulting clients.

Jim Sedor is editor of News You Can Use.

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June 28, 2011 •

Connecticut Legislature Called into Special Session

Called Due to Expected State Union Rejection of Wage and Benefits Deal

Connecticut State Capitol domeGovernor Dannel P. Malloy has issued a Call of Special Session for Thursday, June 30, 2011.

Governor Malloy issued the call after ratification of a deal struck in May with union leadership for the state’s public employees came into doubt.

Ratification of the deal, essential to the balancing of the state’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, would save the positions of the up to 7,500 state workers Malloy insists may have to be laid off in order to achieve a balanced budget.

Photo of the Connecticut State Capitol dome derived from a photo by jglazer75 on Wikipedia.

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March 11, 2011 •

Hartford City Council Considering Pay-to-Play Contributions Ban

Delayed Contributions Ban Proposal Now Moves Forward

The Hartford city council is debating a proposal to ban campaign contributions from contractors who have business deals with the city. Proposed more than two years ago, the measure is now moving forward after receiving word from the city’s corporation counsel assuring the legality of such a measure.

There are still details to be determined concerning the measure, including who will be expected to enforce the measure. A vote is expected by the end of March.

Aerial photo of downtown Hartford by Sage Ross on Wikipedia.

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February 23, 2011 •

Connecticut Governor Proposes Reduction in State Agencies

An effort to save money could bring cuts.

The Connecticut State Capitol

Governor Dannel P. Malloy has proposed reducing the number of budgeted state agencies from 87 to 57 in a move intended to increase efficiency and save the state money. Included in the reduction plan is a proposal to combine the Office of State Ethics, Elections Enforcement Commission, Contracting Standards Board, Freedom of Information Commission, and Judicial Review Council into a new agency to be named the Office of Governmental Accountability.

While not detailing how these agencies would be capable of functioning as one, or where any cost savings would be seen, Malloy did question in a press release why all these agencies are presently separate, stating “…why are all of the government accountability functions…separate entities when so many of their issue areas and jurisdiction overlap? It just didn’t make sense.”

Quickly voicing their concern against this proposal was the non-profit group Common Cause, noting how each of these “watchdog” agencies presently must keep watch over the other. A statement released by Common Cause noted “If a citizen files a complaint that the Elections Enforcement Commission or the Office of State Ethics has violated the FOI Act, the watchdog agency would be both the respondent and judge. It is unlikely that the new commission would bring ethics charges against itself, and this watchdog agency would undermine the public’s confidence and become a national joke.”

Photo of the state capitol by Ragesoss on Wikipedia.

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September 21, 2010 •

Ethics News from Connecticut

The Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board will hold a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, September 23, 2010, at 1:00 p.m.

Hartford skylineThe meeting will take place at the Office of State Ethics, 18-20 Trinity Street in Hartford. The board is scheduled to discuss the feasibility of easing eligibility restrictions of members after it was recently reported an August meeting was forced to be canceled due to lack of quorum. The board is allotted nine positions; however, only six are presently occupied.

After news of the available positions and canceled meeting were reported, officials stated several Connecticut citizens had been in contact with the board about filling a vacancy. Before any new board member can be seated, the individual must first be determined to be a Connecticut voter, have not held or currently hold political office, and have not campaigned for election to political office in the three years preceding the appointment. Further, a board member is not permitted to hold office in any political committee or party, make contributions to state campaigns, be a state employee, be a lobbyist, or be in an organization wherein the purpose is to influence legislation or public agency decisions.

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August 13, 2010 •

Connecticut House Overrides Rell’s Veto

The latest news on the bill to fix the Citizens’ Election Program in Connecticut.

The Seal of the State of ConnecticutThe Connecticut House of Representatives voted to override Governor M. Jodi Rell’s veto of the bill designed to reinstate the public election financing program, which had been previously limited by a federal court decision. The state senate had already voted to override the veto.

The immediate effect of the vote is to provide gubernatorial candidate Dan Malloy with six million dollars from the Citizens’ Election Program, twice as much as he was originally scheduled to receive.

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August 3, 2010 •

Connecticut Follow-up

Connecticut governor vetoed campaign finance bill.

Governor M. Jodi Rell vetoed Senate Bill 551, a bill passed in response to the recent U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Green Party of Connecticut v. Garfield regarding the state’s Citizens’ Election Program, due to concerns over the state budget. Governor Rell had previously indicated to legislators her intent to veto any bill which increased grants to candidates participating in the program, but legislators chose to increase from $3,000,000 to $6,000,000 the grant to candidates participating in the general election for governor.

Rell criticized the decision, stating legislators “have taken a program that was intended to remove the taint of special interests and corruption from political campaigns and turned it into a welfare program for politicians.” Legislators are now considering a veto override to save the bill.

For more of the story, here is an article in the Boston Globe:

Conn. governor vetoes bill to fix campaign law,” by Susan Haigh.

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August 2, 2010 •

Connecticut General Assembly Passes Campaign Finance Bill

On July 30, 2010, during a special session, the Connecticut General Assembly passed Senate Bill 551.

SB 551 is a response to the recent U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Green Party of Connecticut v. Garfield regarding the state’s Citizens’ Election Program. If signed by Governor M. Jodi Rell, the bill would limit contributions from communicator lobbyists, members of the lobbyist’s immediate family, and political committees established or controlled by the lobbyist or lobbyist’s immediate family to $100, while also banning the bundling of contributions by the same individuals.

Further, the bill expands the list of items not considered to be a contribution, while also prohibiting the knowing solicitation of contributions by state contractors, prospective state contractors, principals of state contractors, and principals of prospective state contractors from the contractor’s employees or a subcontractor or principals of a subcontractor on behalf of exploratory or candidate committees, political committees authorized to make contributions or expenditures to or for the benefit of specified candidates, or a party committee.

Additionally, grants to participating candidates would increase to $6,000,000 for the general election campaign. However, Governor Rell has previously indicated her intent to veto any bill increasing grants to participating candidates, citing state budget concerns.

Photo by jimbowen0306 in Wikipedia.

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