March 2, 2016 •

Happy Birthday, Ohio!

State and Federal Communications is proud to be one of the sponsors of The Ohio Society of Washington D.C.’s 2016 Ohio Birthday Celebration! The grand event will take place tonight in the Montpelier Room of the James Madison Building at […]

Ohio BirthdayState and Federal Communications is proud to be one of the sponsors of The Ohio Society of Washington D.C.’s 2016 Ohio Birthday Celebration!

The grand event will take place tonight in the Montpelier Room of the James Madison Building at the Library of Congress.

Elizabeth Bartz, the company’s President and CEO, will be in attendance.

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February 22, 2016 •

Monday News Roundup

Lobbying New Mexico: “Senators Credit KOB As They Pass Campaign Finance System Reform” by Ryan Luby for KOB Campaign Finance New Mexico: “‘Dark Money’ Disclosure Bill Dies in Final Days of Session” by Trip Jennings for New Mexico In Depth […]

LobbyingGovernment Relations News

New Mexico: “Senators Credit KOB As They Pass Campaign Finance System Reform” by Ryan Luby for KOB

Campaign Finance

New Mexico: “‘Dark Money’ Disclosure Bill Dies in Final Days of Session” by Trip Jennings for New Mexico In Depth

Washington: “State: Food industry lobby engaged in ‘egregious’ money laundering in 2013 vote” by Joel Connelly for Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Ethics

Alaska: “Former Juneau Lawmaker Fined $18K for Allegedly Helping Oil Companies While Seeking Oil Jobs” by Matt Miller for KTOO

Missouri: “Gutting of Lobbying Bill Clouds Ethics Agenda’s Future” by Kurt Erickson for St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Missouri: “Missouri Rep. Don Gosen Abruptly Resigns under Cloud of Suspicion” by Jason Hancock for Kansas City Star

New York: “Former Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak Accused of Sexually Harassing Staffers Is Fined $100G by Legislative Ethics Commission” by Kenneth Lovett for New York Daily News

Ohio: “Ginther’s Ethics Proposals Get Public Hearing” by Mike Foley for WCBE

Texas: “Reports: Indicted Crystal City mayor jailed after disrupted council meeting” by Claire Cardona for Dallas Morning News

Virginia: “Virginia Taxpayers Pick Up $2,435 Food and Beer Bill for Mystery Guests in Redskins Suite” by Graham Moomaw for Richmond Times-Dispatch

Elections

“Fall of the House of Bush: How last name and Donald Trump doomed Jeb” by Ed O’Keefe, Dan Balz and Matea Gold for the Washington Post

Sanders Supporters Like Chipotle, While Trump Fans Prefer Sonic” by Tim Higgins for Bloomberg.com

Bernie’s Army of Coders” by Darren Samuelsohn for Politico

Pope Francis Suggests Donald Trump Is ‘Not Christian’” by Jim Yardley for The New York Times

Nevada: “Hillary Clinton Beats Bernie Sanders in Nevada Caucuses” by Amy Chozick and Patrick Healy for The New York Times

South Carolina “The More Donald Trump Defies His Party, the More His Supporters Cheer” by Trip Gabriel for The New York Times

South Carolina: “Donald Trump’s South Carolina Victory Spurs New G.O.P. Jostling” by Maggie Haberman and Alan Rappeport for The New York Times

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February 16, 2016 •

Tuesday Lobbying and Campaign Finance News Update

Lobbying Florida: “Lobbying firms pull in cash as year ends” by Jim Saunders in the Tallahassee Democrat Hawaii: “Lobbying Law Proposed For Kauai” by Chad Blair in the Honolulu Civil Beat Idaho: “Bill would make university, state agency lobbyists report […]

K StreetLobbying

Florida: “Lobbying firms pull in cash as year ends” by Jim Saunders in the Tallahassee Democrat

Hawaii: “Lobbying Law Proposed For Kauai” by Chad Blair in the Honolulu Civil Beat

Idaho: “Bill would make university, state agency lobbyists report their spending” by Betsy Russell in the Spokesman Review

New Hampshire: “Political Wrangling Over ‘People’s Pledge’ in New Hampshire” by Simone Pathé in Roll Call

New Mexico: “Campaign finance fix bill triggered by KOB investigation 1 step away from clearing legislature” by Ryan Luby in KOB 4

Ethics

New Mexico: “Ethics commission proposal faces scrutiny in Senate panel” by Dan Boyd in the Albuquerque Journal

Virginia: “Senators vote to undo parts of ethics reform law” by Jim Nolan in the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Elections

“DCCC Names First 16 Candidates to ‘Red to Blue’ Program” by Simone Pathé in Roll Call

Florida: “With Safe Districts Gone, Two Florida Lawmakers Taking Their Time on 2016 Decision” by Eli Yokley in Roll Call

Ohio: “Bill would ban switching political parties in Ohio primary elections” by Robert Higgs in the Plain Dealer

Procurement

Texas: “Some contractors say new Texas disclosure law confusing” by The Associated Press in KXAN

Legislative Issues

Alaska: “Longtime Alaska Lawmaker Max Gruenberg Dies” by Nathaniel Herz in Governing

Arizona: “Arizona lawmakers seek ability to more easily overturn ballot measures” by Howard Fischer in the Daily Courier

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February 12, 2016 •

Public Hearing Scheduled to Discuss Changes to Columbus, OH Ethics Laws

Columbus City Council President Zach Klein will hold a public hearing on proposed ethics legislation on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. The proposed changes enhance transparency and accountability for lobbyists, strengthen ethics disclosure laws, and amend campaign finance reporting requirements. Public […]

Columbus City HallColumbus City Council President Zach Klein will hold a public hearing on proposed ethics legislation on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. The proposed changes enhance transparency and accountability for lobbyists, strengthen ethics disclosure laws, and amend campaign finance reporting requirements.

Public testimony will be accepted. Comments will be limited to three minutes. Those wishing to comment must fill out a speaker slip at Columbus City Hall on the day of the hearing.

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February 10, 2016 •

Cleveland City Council Raises Campaign Contribution Limits for Local Candidates

Cleveland City Council voted Monday, February 8, to increase campaign contribution limits for mayoral and council candidates. After much debate, the Finance Committee agreed on a $5,000 annual limit from individuals and a $7,500 annual limit from political action committees […]

Cleveland SkylineCleveland City Council voted Monday, February 8, to increase campaign contribution limits for mayoral and council candidates.

After much debate, the Finance Committee agreed on a $5,000 annual limit from individuals and a $7,500 annual limit from political action committees giving to mayoral candidates. Individual contributions to council candidates were capped at $1,500 annually, with PAC contributions limited to $3,000.

The ordinance passed with three council members voting against it.

Photo of the Cleveland skyline by Eric Drost in Wikimedia Commons.

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January 26, 2016 •

Cleveland City Council to Consider Raising Campaign Contribution Limits

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley wants to raise the limits on political contributions in order to offer challengers a fair fight against incumbent candidates with established war chests. Individual and PAC contributions to mayoral candidates would be capped at […]

Cleveland City HallCleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley wants to raise the limits on political contributions in order to offer challengers a fair fight against incumbent candidates with established war chests. Individual and PAC contributions to mayoral candidates would be capped at $10,000 per calendar year. The current city ordinance permits just $1,000 from individuals and $2,000 from PACs. The proposed legislation would also increase contribution limits for council candidates up to $1,500 from individuals and $3,000 from PACs.

Critics argue the proposal would allow special interests to buy influence at City Hall. Kelley, however, believes $10,000 is not enough money to make a mayor feel beholden to a donor. Considering most Ohio cities have no campaign contribution limits, Kelley suggests a higher limit is still better than no limit at all.

The legislation will be discussed at the Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday, January 27, and will likely be up for passage the same night.

Photo of Cleveland City Hall by Stu Spivack on Wikimedia Commons.

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January 7, 2016 •

Columbus Mayor Proposes New Lobbying and Campaign Finance Ordinances

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has proposed three new ordinances providing for an increase in lobbying oversight and gift disclosure, additional campaign finance disclosure, and the hiring of an inspector general. Columbus City Council is expected to hold a public hearing […]

Mayor Andy GintherColumbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has proposed three new ordinances providing for an increase in lobbying oversight and gift disclosure, additional campaign finance disclosure, and the hiring of an inspector general. Columbus City Council is expected to hold a public hearing on the proposals in the coming weeks and to vote on them by late February.

With the lobbying proposal, Ginther wants the city to establish a new lobbyist registry to track the activity of lobbyist vendors seeking contracts with the city. Additionally, lobbyists would be required to disclose expenditures made on elected officials and department directors.

Photo of Mayor Ginther by David Paul on Wikimedia Commons.

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November 3, 2015 •

Gov. Kasich Sets Special Election to Fill Boehner’s Seat

Ohio Gov. John Kasich set a special election for June 7, 2016, to fill the seat of former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. A primary will be held March 15, the same day as the state’s presidential primary. Interested individuals […]

Ohio flagOhio Gov. John Kasich set a special election for June 7, 2016, to fill the seat of former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. A primary will be held March 15, the same day as the state’s presidential primary.

Interested individuals have until Dec. 16 to file candidacy petitions with the Butler County Board of Elections.

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October 12, 2015 •

Columbus Mayoral Candidate Proposes New Ethics Plan

Columbus mayoral candidate Andrew Ginther recently proposed a plan for new ethics rules for lobbyists and elected officials. His plan would amend the definition of lobbyist and expand lobbyist reporting requirements. Elected officials would be required to report all gifts […]

Columbus OH skylineColumbus mayoral candidate Andrew Ginther recently proposed a plan for new ethics rules for lobbyists and elected officials. His plan would amend the definition of lobbyist and expand lobbyist reporting requirements. Elected officials would be required to report all gifts received as well as participate in annual ethics training. The plan would also require additional disclosure in city campaign finance filings beyond the requirements already set by state law.

Ginther, president of Columbus City Council, faces Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott in the November election; Scott also has a plan for tightening restrictions on lobbyists and proposing gift rules.

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September 25, 2015 •

United States Sixth Circuit Upholds District Court Ruling Regarding Contributions to Ohio Judicial Candidates

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ohio Supreme Court candidate Colleen O’Toole’s motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of an Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 4.4(E). This rule imposes restrictions on when a judicial campaign committee […]

Sixth Circuit and OhioThe Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ohio Supreme Court candidate Colleen O’Toole’s motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of an Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 4.4(E). This rule imposes restrictions on when a judicial campaign committee may solicit and receive campaign contributions. Judicial candidate committees for 2016 may begin soliciting and receiving contributions no earlier than 120 days before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March and may continue to accept contributions until 120 days after the general election.

O’Toole’s campaign committee claims the rule violates the First Amendment by restricting political speech and it violates the Fourteenth Amendment by treating judicial campaign committees differently than other political organizations. The committee failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of any claim.

While the contribution restrictions may not be the least restrictive means of maintaining public confidence in judicial integrity, the court found the regulation need only be narrowly tailored, not perfectly tailored. Moreover, perfect tailoring would be impossible given the intangible nature of public confidence.

The court also found it permissible to treat judicial campaign committees differently than political action committees and other political organizations because of the unique nature of judicial elections. Interests in maintaining the integrity, impartiality, and independence of the judiciary are inherently different from those implicated by other political campaigns. More simply, judicial elections may be regulated differently than political elections because the role of judges differs from that of politicians.

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September 25, 2015 •

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner Resigning in October

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner will resign and give up his seat in Congress at the end of October, according to his aides. He is currently under intense pressure from conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood as he attempts to keep […]

John_Boehner_official_portraitU.S. House Speaker John Boehner will resign and give up his seat in Congress at the end of October, according to his aides. He is currently under intense pressure from conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood as he attempts to keep the government open through the end of the year. Several members of the conservative base vowed not to vote for a bill if it did not defund the organization, and some are on a path to remove him as speaker.

Since becoming speaker in 2011, Boehner has struggled to navigate politically with a polarized Congress and its increasingly conservative Republican members. Boehner’s announcement comes just a day after he had a private audience with Pope Francis at the Capitol. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to serve as the next speaker.

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August 27, 2015 •

Cleveland Councilman Being Investigated by State Ethics Commission

City Councilman Joe Cimperman is being investigated by the Ohio Ethics Commission about his involvement in city contracts awarded to LAND Studio, a design firm where his wife works. Records indicate Cimperman has sponsored and voted in favor of ordinances […]

Joe_CimpermanCity Councilman Joe Cimperman is being investigated by the Ohio Ethics Commission about his involvement in city contracts awarded to LAND Studio, a design firm where his wife works.

Records indicate Cimperman has sponsored and voted in favor of ordinances awarding city contracts to LAND Studio, as well as sponsoring resolutions supporting applications by the firm for state grant money to buy land for the Lake Link Trail project.

Under state law, it is a fourth-degree felony if an official uses his or her authority or influence to obtain a contract in which the official, a family member, or a business associate has an interest.

Cimperman has stated he either abstained from votes related to LAND Studio or only voted on such legislation following clearance by the city law department.

Photo of Joe Cimperman courtesy of theciviccommons on Wikimedia Commons.

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August 19, 2015 •

Michelle Mills Replaced on Columbus, Ohio City Council Ballot

Elizabeth Brown, daughter of Sen. Sherrod Brown, will replace Michelle Mills on the November ballot in the race for Columbus City Council. Mills recently announced her resignation from council effective September 4, 2015. Though no reason was given for her […]

Columbus Ohio City HallElizabeth Brown, daughter of Sen. Sherrod Brown, will replace Michelle Mills on the November ballot in the race for Columbus City Council. Mills recently announced her resignation from council effective September 4, 2015.

Though no reason was given for her resignation, Mills was one of four members of council who attended the Big Ten Championship football game with lobbyist John Raphael. Raphael is part of a federal bribery investigation involving the city’s former red light camera vendor.

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August 12, 2015 •

Rep. Resigns Seat Following Campaign Finance Investigation

Ohio state Rep. Ron Gerberry is resigning from his House seat effective August 21. His resignation comes after reports he was facing charges of campaign finance law violations. Gerberry allegedly had false information on his campaign finance filings. According to […]

Ron GerberryOhio state Rep. Ron Gerberry is resigning from his House seat effective August 21.

His resignation comes after reports he was facing charges of campaign finance law violations. Gerberry allegedly had false information on his campaign finance filings. According to The Vindicator, he will plead guilty to the charge of “unlawful compensation.”

Gerberry has served in the Ohio Legislature for 27 years.

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