News You Can Use Digest – September 13, 2013 - State and Federal Communications

September 13, 2013  •  

News You Can Use Digest – September 13, 2013

News You Can Use


Firm Asks for Disclaimer Exemption for Mobile Political Advertising

Huffington Post – Paul Blumenthal | Published: 9/11/2013

A digital media firm is asking the FEC to exempt mobile ads from the traditional disclosure statements that apply to political ads. Revolution Messaging said most ads produced for the mobile platforms do not have enough pixels to reasonably include more than a dozen words required to identify who paid for the spot. The firm said disclosures would take up more than 40 percent of the available space for a mobile advertisement.

From the States and Municipalities:

Arizona – Opponents Go to Court to Stop Higher Campaign Limits

Arizona Daily Sun – Howard Fischer (Capitol News Services) | Published: 9/11/2013

A judge is considering whether to block a new Arizona law increasing limits on campaign contributions. The Citizens Clean Elections Commission contends the statute violates constitutional restrictions on changing voter-approved laws. Under the law, which takes effect on September 13, the cap on some donations would rise to $4,000.

California – Hansen Agrees to $50,000 Fine, Says He Doesn’t Want His Signatures Used in Anti-Arena Effort

Sacramento Bee – Ryan Lillis | Published: 9/9/2013

Hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and two political consultants have agreed to pay a $50,000 fine for failing to disclose a campaign contribution to a group seeking to block a new Sacramento sports arena. Hansen was accused of making an anonymous $100,000 donation in June to a signature-gathering effort to require a citywide vote on public subsidies for sports facilities.

California – Three Fined for Covert Lobbying in California

Sacramento Bee – Laurel Rosenhall | Published: 9/9/2013

Three partners in a public affairs firm will pay fines for trying to influence state government decisions without registering as lobbyists. The Fair Political Practices Commission accused the employees of California Strategies of crossing “the line which separates policy consultants from lobbyists.” The settlement with Jason Kinney, Rusty Areias, and Winston Hickox requires all three to register as lobbyists and, along with their firm, pay a combined fine of $40,500.

District of Columbia – D.C. Executive Linked to Secret 2008 aid to Hillary Clinton

Washington Post – Ann Marimow and Philip Rucker | Published: 9/12/2013

Federal prosecutors say marketing executive Troy White received $600,000 in illicit funds to do unsolicited campaign work for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential election. White pleaded guilty for failing to file tax returns reflecting the amount his company was paid. Court documents outlined an elaborate scheme and said White worked with District of Columbia businessperson Jeffrey Thompson to help Clinton during several primaries.

Florida – Execution Rescheduled to Accommodate Pam Bondi Fundraiser

Tampa Bay Times – Adam Smith | Published: 9/9/2013

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi persuaded Gov. Rick Scott to postpone an execution because it conflicted with her campaign fundraising reception. Shortly before a scheduled execution, the state attorney general typically phones the governor to inform him or her there is no legal basis for delay. After Scott had rescheduled the execution for September 10, the date of Bondi’s “hometown campaign kickoff,” her office asked that it be postponed; the new date is October 1.

Florida – Senate Prez Wants to Start Auditing Lobbying Reports

Orlando Sentinel – Aaron Deslatte | Published: 9/9/2013

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz wants the Legislature to make good on a never-enforced requirement that lobbying firms be subjected to random audits. He said he had asked the Senate’s general counsel to work with the House to determine how to kick-start the audits. Gaetz said the main holdup may be whether the Legislature has budget authority to begin the audits, or whether it would have to wait until the next fiscal year to launch them.

Indiana – Should Indiana Regulators Raise Money from Utility Trade Groups to Pay for Conference?

Indianapolis Star – John Russell | Published: 9/11/2013

The state ethics agency approved a request from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to solicit donations from utility trade groups to fund a conference of regulators from 14 states to be held in Indianapolis. Watchdogs say such a move could give utility groups a chance to curry favor with regulators, who make decisions on whether companies can raise rates or build new plants.

Missouri – Missouri House Speaker’s Side Business Raises Ethical Issues

Kansas City Star – Jason Hancock | Published: 9/6/2013

In addition to his job as a legislator and his position with a law firm, state House Speaker Tim Jones also earns money from the Missouri Freedom Alliance. Jones has offered conflicting explanations of what type of work the group does. First, he said it was legal consulting on basic legislative process. Jones later said it had nothing to do with legislative issues and instead focused on private legal matters.

New Jersey – Christie Vetoes Bill to Move General Election to October

Newark Star Ledger – Matt Friedman | Published: 9/9/2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have moved the November 5 general election to the date of the special U.S. Senate election on October 16. Christie also vetoed a bill that would let voters who go to the polls in October to also vote early for the November election, when the governor and all 120 seats in the Legislature are being contested.

New Mexico – Donald Duck, New Mexico Lobbyist

New Mexico Watchdog – Rob Nikolewski | Published: 9/12/2013

New Mexico Watchdog found “Donald Duck” on the list of registered lobbyist in the state. According disclosure reports, Donald spent $200 on dinner for “Senator Mickey Mouse” at The Bull Ring, a popular restaurant in Santa Fe.

New York – Forgive? No, a Night to Forget for Scandal-Tarred Candidates

New York Times – Michael Grynbaum | Published: 9/11/2013

Election Day was sobering for a peculiar brand of politician that emerged in the New York City election season: the scandal-tarred scoundrel seeking a second chance. The results reflected the mood of an electorate whose tolerance for the well-trod path of political repentance may have reached its limits.

Pennsylvania – Pa. Lawmakers Eye Bills to Thwart Corruption – Natasha Lindstrom | Published: 9/9/2013

More than three dozen public officials in Pennsylvania have faced corruption charges since 2007. The House State Government Committee held a recent hearing to take testimony on ways the ethics law can be strengthened in hopes of restoring public confidence in state government.

Tennessee – TN Ethics Commission Opts Not to Fine Tom Ingram

The Tennessean – Chas Sisk | Published: 9/12/2013

The Tennessee Ethics Commission voted to dismiss a complaint filed against Gov. Bill Haslam that said he failed to disclose how much he paid Tom Ingram, his former chief campaign strategist, for political advice. The commission also declined to fine Ingram on for failing to disclose a lobbying relationship with a company hoping to win permission to mine on public land.

Washington – Ethics Rules Limit Freebies

Spokane Spokesman-Review – Jim Camden | Published: 9/6/2013

With college football season just starting up, Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board clarified that state lawmakers are not permitted to accept free tickets for themselves and family members. But it is all right for a legislator to attend a game as the guest of the university president and sit in the president’s box.

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.

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