January 11, 2013 •

Idaho Legislature Explores Creation of Independent Ethics Commission

Commission would be formal standing committee

Idaho Capitol RotundaThe Idaho Legislature is exploring the idea of creating an independent ethics commission. The new speaker of the house, Representative Scott Bedke, says that house lawmakers are working on the details of what such a commission would look like.

The commission would be a formal standing ethics committee, although Rep. Bedke did not specify whether a proposed commission would be completely independent of the legislature.

Idaho is among the small minority of states that do not have an ethics commission.

Photo of the Idaho Capitol Rotunda by Kencf0618 on Wikipedia.

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November 1, 2012 •

501(c)(4) Group Ordered to Disclose Contributors

Contributions funded ballot measure ads

Education Voters of IdahoAn Idaho judge ordered Education Voters of Idaho (EVI), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, to disclose the names of its contributors.

EVI contributed more than $200,000 to Parents for Education Reform, which spent the funds on television commercials in support of three school reform ballot measures, but claimed that as a 501(c)(4), it was exempt from state disclosure requirements. The judge disagreed, ruling that the disclosure requirements applied to all individuals, corporations, associations, and entities of any kind.

EVI filed its disclosure statement on October 31st, as ordered by the court, and is contemplating an appeal of the order.

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April 2, 2012 •

Today’s Government Ethics News

Here are the latest articles covering the federal government and the states:

ethicsFederal: “Lawmakers profit from positions in Congress” by Gary Martin in the San Antonio Express-News.

Federal: “Ethics committee: Sen. Vitter of Louisiana violated public trust in blocking Salazar salary” by The Associated Press in The Washington Post.

Florida: “Senate to decide punishment on Norman ethics violation” by Brittany Davis in the Miami Herald.

Idaho: “Idaho Senate approves series of new ethics rules” by Alex Morrell and Todd Dvorak (Associated Press) in the Idaho Statesman.

Mississippi: “Lawmaker appeals $346K ethics violation order” in The Clarion-Ledger.

New York:  “APNewsBreak: NY board won’t disclose hire record” by The Associated Press in The Wall Street Journal.

Ohio:  “Cleveland lawmaker requests legislative group’s financial records after recent bribery charge” by Joe Guillen in The Plain Dealer.

South Carolina: “Blame enough to go around for ethics rank” in the Orangeburg Times and Democrat.

Texas: “Two-thirds of Texas congressional delegation named in report on ethics lapses” by Gary Martin in the Houston Chronicle.

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April 2, 2012 •

Campaign Finance in Monday’s News

The Federal Election Commission, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy’s campaign finance plan, and the New York Legislature are featured. Here are today’s articles:

campaign finance newsFederal judge says Federal Election Commission went too far in shielding campaign ad donors” by The Associated Press in the Washington Post.

US Joins Countries Not Enforcing Campaign-Finance Regulations” by Samuel Rubenfeld in the Wall Street Journal.

Connecticut: “Governor’s controversial campaign finance fix rejected” by Mark Pazniokas on CTMirror.com.

New York: “Albany to begin Act II of legislative session” by Jon Campbell in the Lower Hudson Journal News. Campaign finance will be on the agenda.

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March 28, 2012 •

The Latest Redistricting News

Today we have news on redistricting issues from nine states:

gerrymanderAlaska: “Alaska Redistricting Board says it has adopted new election districts” by Matt Buxton in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.

Arizona: “Brewer signs bill to keep Arizona redistricting commission going while new maps are pending” by The Associated Press in The Republic.

Florida: “Redrawn Senate map passes House, scramble for seats begin” by Mary Ellen Klas in the Tampa Bay Times.

Florida: “Legislature ends redistricting session, new Senate map approved” by Mary Ellen Klas in The Miami Herald.

Idaho: “Redistricting will shake up Idaho Legislature” by Sean Ellis in the Capital Press.

Kansas: “Kan. House to debate congressional remap bill” by The Associated Press in the Salina Journal.

Maryland: “Group seeks referendum on new Md. congressional map” by Annie Linskey in The Baltimore Sun.

Missouri: “Missouri Supreme Court upholds House districts” by Elizabeth Crisp in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

West Virginia: “W.Va. lawmakers seek OK of congressional districts” by Eric Eyre in the Charleston Gazette.

Wisconsin: “Judges: Collaboration needed on Wis. voting maps” by The Associated Press on Madison.com.

Wisconsin: Opinion piece “Redistricting decision offers important lesson” by Christine Neumann-Ortiz in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

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January 11, 2012 •

Idaho Secretary of State Announces Lobbyist Report Electronic Filing

E-filing to Begin with February 15, 2012 Report

Flag of IdahoElectronic filing for lobbyist reports will be available beginning with the report due February 15, 2012 covering the month of January 2012.

You can read the press release from the Office of the Secretary of State here.

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January 26, 2011 •

Public Officials’ Post-Service Employment Options May Be Limited

The Idaho senate has passed two bills which would restrict public officials’ employment options after leaving office.

SB1037 would prohibit certain officials from working for a company receiving certain state contracts or grants for one year if the former official was involved in the award process.

SB1038, a “revolving door” law, would prohibit state officials or legislators from working as a lobbyist for one year after leaving office.

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