January 9, 2019 •
State Rep. Lou Lang announced his resignation from the 16th District after 32 years in the Illinois House of Representatives. Lang was formerly second-in-command to House Speaker Mike Madigan. Lang has been hired by a consulting and lobbying firm registered […]
State Rep. Lou Lang announced his resignation from the 16th District after 32 years in the Illinois House of Representatives.
Lang was formerly second-in-command to House Speaker Mike Madigan.
Lang has been hired by a consulting and lobbying firm registered with the state.
Because the state rarely contracts directly with lobbying firms, Lang’s lobbying work does not overstep the state’s revolving door provision.
June 6, 2016 •
Q. When I talk to state officials, I’m always with my registered contract lobbyists. That means I’m exempt from registering, correct? A. The kind of exemption you are referring to is commonly called an umbrella exception. In most instances, being […]
Q. When I talk to state officials, I’m always with my registered contract lobbyists. That means I’m exempt from registering, correct?
A. The kind of exemption you are referring to is commonly called an umbrella exception. In most instances, being with a registered lobbyist does not exempt an individual from having to register as a lobbyist.
California and Utah are two states with an umbrella exception, but there are limits to those exceptions. In Utah, an individual is not considered a lobbyist (and thus does not have to register) if he or she:
Interacts with a public official in that official’s capacity as a public official while accompanied by a registered lobbyist who is lobbying in relation to the subject of the interaction or while presenting at a legislative committee meeting at the same time the registered lobbyist is attending another legislative committee meeting; and
Does not make an expenditure for, or on behalf of, a public official in relation to the interaction or during the period of interaction.
California’s umbrella exception is the most well-known, but it was narrowed in March. Now, the umbrella exception will only apply if the individual:
Is an employee of a lobbyist employer;
Meets or speaks with a state official in the company of a registered lobbyist retained by the individual’s lobbyist employer; and
Participates as a subject matter expert regarding a legislative or administrative action at issue.
California’s exception was narrowed to prevent contract lobbyists from being able to utilize the exception and avoid registration and reporting requirements.
As you can see, there are very few umbrella exceptions allowing you to avoid registration. And even when a state has an umbrella exception, there are limits on who can take advantage of them. If you will be attempting to influence a state official, be sure to give us a call prior to your meeting to make sure lobbyist registration will not be required.
You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.
April 19, 2016 •
On April 18, the Association of Government Relations Professionals (AGRP) began winding down operations, according the organization’s press release. The group, formerly known as the American League of Lobbyists, had billed itself as the voice of lobbying, public policy, and […]
On April 18, the Association of Government Relations Professionals (AGRP) began winding down operations, according the organization’s press release. The group, formerly known as the American League of Lobbyists, had billed itself as the voice of lobbying, public policy, and advocacy professions. “After a long-running legal dispute over a 2008 contract, AGRP’s board believes it is no longer viable to continue operations,” the statement gave as the reason for the closing of the organization. No further details were provided.
November 17, 2015 •
Lobbying Arizona: “Lobbying Records Only Disclose Recipient for $1 Out of Every $8 Spent” by Justin Price for Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting Texas: “Travis County Has No Rules for Registering Lobbyists” by Sean Collins Walsh for Austin American-Statesman Campaign […]
Arizona: “Lobbying Records Only Disclose Recipient for $1 Out of Every $8 Spent” by Justin Price for Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting
Texas: “Travis County Has No Rules for Registering Lobbyists” by Sean Collins Walsh for Austin American-Statesman
“Clinton, Bush Lawyers Square Off in FEC Proxy War” by Isaac Arnsdorf and Theodoric Meyer for Politico
Alaska: “Group Files Federal Lawsuit Challenging Alaska Campaign Contribution Limits” by Austin Baird for KTUU
Wisconsin: “Assembly GOP Approves Rewritten Campaign Finance Laws” by Patrick Marley for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
District of Columbia: “Metro Board Chairman Cleared of Alleged Ethics Violation” by Paul Duggan for Washington Post
Illinois: “Feds Seize Computers, Files on Chicago Officials from Outgoing Inspector General” by Natasha Korecki for Politico
New York: “At Trial, Prosecutors to Detail Dean Skelos’s Favors for His Son” by William Rashbaum for New York Times
“How the Kochs Launched Joni Ernst” by Kenneth Vogel for Politico
“In Presidential Campaign, It’s Now Terrorism, Not Taxes” by Jonathan Martin for New York Times
October 15, 2015 •
Lobbying “K Street Has Tough Time Counting on Republican Congress to Pass Business Priorities” by Catherine Ho for Washington Post California: “Prop. C’s Proposed Lobbying Crackdown Irks Nonprofits” by John Wildermuth for San Francisco Chronicle New York: “JCOPE Announces Amnesty […]
“K Street Has Tough Time Counting on Republican Congress to Pass Business Priorities” by Catherine Ho for Washington Post
California: “Prop. C’s Proposed Lobbying Crackdown Irks Nonprofits” by John Wildermuth for San Francisco Chronicle
New York: “JCOPE Announces Amnesty Program for Some Lobbyists” by Casey Seiler for Albany Times Union
“The Gender Gap in Political Giving” by Jeremy Merrill for New York Times
“Voters Are Mad about Mega-Donors, and It’s Helping Trump and Sanders” by Matea Gold and Jenna Johnson for Washington Post
Montana: “Court Rejects Appeal by Group Suing over State Election Laws” by The Associated Press for Great Falls Tribune
Washington: “Attorney General’s Office Sues Union over Campaign-Finance Laws” by Joseph O’Sullivan for Seattle Times
Connecticut: “State Urges High Court to Reinstate Conviction against Former Hartford Mayor Perez” by Edmund Mahony for Hartford Courant
Virginia: “McDonnell Formally Asks Supreme Court to Take Up His Case” by Matt Zapotosky for Washington Post
“Hillary Clinton’s Debate Performance Complicates Biden’s Path” by Dan Balz for Washington Post
“Republicans Gone Wild: Q&A with Mann and Ornstein” by Francis Wilkinson for BloombergView
January 31, 2014 •
National: Bob and Maureen McDonnell Join the Club: Political spouses facing scandal Washington Post – Krissah Thompson and Richard Leiby | Published: 1/28/2014 The latest scandal on the political scene is the indictment of former Virginia Gov. […]
Washington Post – Krissah Thompson and Richard Leiby | Published: 1/28/2014
The latest scandal on the political scene is the indictment of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and his wife, charged with trading on his office to provide assistance to a local businessperson in exchange for gifts and loans. Do such charges harden the resolve of political couples, who by definition are accustomed to facing adversaries, or does it tear the relationship apart?
New York Times – Sarah Wheaton and Marc Santora | Published: 1/29/2014
U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) apologized after he physically threatened a reporter in the Capitol after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. In a video of the incident, Grimm can be heard telling Michael Scotto, a reporter for NY1, “I’ll break you in half.” Moments earlier, Grimm had walked away from an interview when Scotto began asking him questions about allegations of campaign finance violations. According to a transcript, Grimm also threatened to throw Scotto off a balcony.
National Journal – Billy House | Published: 1/21/2014
Critics say a law designed to prevent conflicts-of-interest and shed light on lawmakers who negotiate for post-Capitol Hill work while still in office has failed, worn thin by a series of administrative rulings and narrow interpretations. Because the law has yielded almost none of the public information it was designed to provide, it remains largely unknown whom lawmakers negotiate with, and whether their official duties present any conflicts with those employers.
From the States and Municipalities:
San Francisco Chronicle; Associated Press – | Published: 1/24/2014
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a Colorado law imposing disparate campaign contribution limits for major-party vs. minor-party, unaffiliated, or write-in candidates violates the U.S. Constitution. The law allows Republicans and Democrats to collect an extra $200 per donor because they sometimes have intra-party primaries. But the law allows them to spend all their money on the general election if they wish. The court said that discriminates against donors to minor-party candidates.
Connecticut – Legislators Again Look to Lobbyists for Money
Hartford Courant – Jon Lender | Published: 1/28/2014
Connecticut lawmakers are soliciting campaign donations from lobbyists before the legislative session begins, when it becomes illegal for lobbyists to contribute for the duration of the session. This year, the lawyer for the Association of Connecticut Lobbyists is advising members of the group to refuse the legislators’ appeals in one lucrative area: buying advertisements for up to $250 each in so-called ad books that are printed for lawmakers’ fundraising receptions and used as programs for each event.
Lisa Dentler, the lead assistant to Georgia ethics commission Executive Secretary Holly LaBerge, has resigned and the agency’s staff attorney remains on administrative leave. LaBerge wrote in an email to commissioners that the departure “leaves the agency in a dire situation as she has been doing the work of two positions.” LaBerge has said six employees have either quit or been fired since she took over in September 2011.
KBSU – Emilie Ritter Saunders | Published: 1/30/2014
Lobbyists in Idaho have spent more than $1 million over the last two years advocating for their clients at the Legislature. The law requires lobbyists to report the recipient of their generosity only when the value of the gift is more than $105. Even with that glimmer of disclosure, it is hard to find out which lawmaker accepted a gift above the threshold because Idaho does not have a searchable electronic database.
Louisiana – Nagin’s Trial a Coda to an Odd Political Career
Baton Rouge Advocate – Gordon Russell | Published: 1/26/2014
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is now on trial, facing charges he accepted bribes and free trips among other things from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work. The charges are the product of a City Hall corruption investigation that already has resulted in several convictions or guilty pleas by former associates of Nagin.
Massachusetts – Court to Hear Supermarket Politics Challenge
For decades, supermarkets have been a favorite place for candidates in Massachusetts to shake hands, collect signatures, and offer a quick rundown of their views on the issues of the day. But not all supermarket chains are in favor of the tradition. The state’s highest court is being asked to decide whether a supermarket’s decision to turn away a political candidate violated his constitutional rights.
Michigan – Ethics Proposal Nixed in Warren
Macomb Daily – Norb Franz | Published: 1/28/2014
The Warren City Council rejected a proposed ethics law that would prohibit fraternization, including intimate relationships, between city bosses and subordinates. The nearly year-old measure was revived in the wake of clandestine video that surfaced of Mayor James Fouts with mayoral assistant Amanda Mika, including images of the duo holding hands. The video has triggered a firestorm because the mayor granted Mika a $5,000 pay raise in December.
Billings Gazette – Mike Dennison | Published: 1/26/2014
The aggressive stance of Montana’s commissioner of political practices, Jonathan Motl, against what he sees as illegal campaign activity by so-called dark money groups and their favored candidates is raising eyebrows among supporters and critics alike, the latter of whom are calling Motl everything from a “partisan hack” to a misguided crusader on a “witch hunt.”
Las Vegas Sun – Andrew Doughmsn | Published: 1/26/2014
A few elected officials in Nevada who accepted gifts sometimes worth thousands of dollars declined to report them as required by state law. They dispute whether they legally need to file disclosers, in part because there is no explicit definition of a “gift” in state law. Secretary of State Ross Miller said there are likely numerous elected officials who are receiving reportable gifts and not listing them on disclosure forms. But “there’s no way for us to know” for sure, said Miller.
New York – Donor Secrecy Remains Big Issue
Albany Times Union – Rick Karlin | Published: 1/28/2014
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics declined to shield the financial reports of four advocacy groups that say public disclosure of their financial backers is likely to result in threats or even harm. The commission requires reports from state lobbyists, though it can withhold records of contributors to lobbying groups that show their donors would likely face danger if reported.
Pennsylvania – City Council Mulls Ban on Cash Gifts to Phila. Officials
Philadelphia Inquirer – Claudia Vargas | Published: 1/30/2014
A bill introduced in the Philadelphia City Council would ban all city employees and officials from receiving cash gifts. The proposed ordinance would also cap the total value of gifts received in a calendar year at $99. The bill is a result of discussions among various ethics officials and outside watchdog groups over how to interpret a vague section in the city code that deals with gifts.
New York Times – Manny Fernandez and Laurie Goodstein | Published: 1/29/2014
Since questions were raided about whether she had fudged some items in her biography, Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, who is running for governor, has been under attack for omitting the fact that her second husband helped pay for her Harvard Law School education and her two children mostly stayed in Texas while she was there. The controversy has prompted a debate over culturally charged questions about a woman’s balance of work, ambition, and parenthood.
State 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.
November 5, 2013 •
Here is our November – December calendar. State and Federal Communications will be attending these coming events. If you plan to attend as well, be sure to say hello! November 12-13, 2013 D.C. Lift-off Forum, Washington, D.C. November 21, 2013 […]
Here is our November – December calendar. State and Federal Communications will be attending these coming events. If you plan to attend as well, be sure to say hello!
November 12-13, 2013 D.C. Lift-off Forum, Washington, D.C.
November 21, 2013 American League of Lobbyists Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.
November 23 – November 26, 2013 SGAC Leaders Policy Conference, Turnberry, Miami Beach, Florida
December 3, 2013 Weatherhead 100, Cleveland, Ohio
December 4, 2013 Ohio Holiday Party, Washington, D.C.
December 4, 2013 NCSL Foundation Dinner, Washington, D.C.
December 4-7, 2013 NCSL Fall Forum, Washington, D.C.
December 8-11, 2013 Council on Government Ethics Laws Annual Conference, Quebec City, Quebec
November 4, 2013 •
Elizabeth Bartz, president and CEO of State and Federal Communications, is a featured speaker offering her expertise this morning at the Lobbying Certificate Program Session sponsored by the American League of Lobbyists and Lobbyists.info. Bartz is joined by co-speaker Doreen […]
Elizabeth Bartz, president and CEO of State and Federal Communications, is a featured speaker offering her expertise this morning at the Lobbying Certificate Program Session sponsored by the American League of Lobbyists and Lobbyists.info.
Bartz is joined by co-speaker Doreen Hope, Regional Manager from Washington Gas in a conference entitled State Lobbying & Navigating the Regulatory Process: Multiple Fronts, Multiple Challenges.
Here is the American League of Lobbyists’ description of the session:
For many in D.C., lobbying starts with what goes on inside the Beltway. But it doesn’t end there. No organization or corporation seeking to fulfill their entire legislative agenda can rely solely on federal lobbying. State-level lobbying, however, comes with an entirely new set of regulations and compliance landmines than federal lobbying. Did you know that “lobbying activities” has a different definition depending where you are and to correctly filing disclosure forms takes a whole new process? Plus, even if you simply want to monitor what’s going on at the state level, you’ve got to coordinate effectively with different in-house or entirely new outside government relations teams.
Now you can learn how to add this state-level focus without running yourself ragged and without running afoul of an entirely new set of regulations.
October 2, 2013 •
Take a look at our October and November calendar. Say hello at future events where State and Federal Communications will be attending and/or speaking regarding compliance issues.
October 16 WASRG Summit–Keynote Sponsor, Washington, DC
October 16-18 Public Affairs Council Fall Board Meeting, Paradise Valley, Arizona
November 4 American League of Lobbyists State Lobbying Session, Washington, D.C.
November 21 American League of Lobbyists Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.
November 23-November 26 SGAC Leaders’ Policy Conference Turnberry, Miami Beach, Florida
February 14, 2013 •
Response to the President’s State of the Union Address
The American League of Lobbyists has issued a statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday night.
Monte Ward, the organization’s president, said on their site: “Lobbyists are the professional advocates who help educate lawmakers every day about how their action (or inaction) affects the nation. Lobbyists will be critical components helping our federal lawmakers to understand the implications of their votes on the issues that they will tackle.”
The American League of Lobbyists statement provides a summary of the group’s self understanding and a reflection on the nature of the lobbying industry, with an eye to the future. You can find a pdf file of their “Recommendations for Improving the Regulation of Federal Lobbyists” at this link.
December 27, 2012 •
June 5, 2012 •
The American League of Lobbyists is approaching Congress to make ethics training mandatory for lobbyists. Also, we have campaign finance, redistricting, and social media in today’s summary.
“Lobbyists ask Congress for a mandate on ethics” by Kevin Bogardus in The Hill.
“Tammany businessman’s allegedly illegal campaign donations went to Gov. Jindal’s 2007 run” by Claire Galofaro in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Iowa: “Redistricting makes for tumultuous Iowa primary” by The Associated Press in the Quad-City Times.
New Hampshire: “Court to hear challenges to NH redistricting plan” by Holly Ramer (Associated Press) in the Boston Globe.
“Political campaigns are in a constant technology arms race” by Scott Canon in the Kansas City Star.
May 9, 2012 •
Spoke about the group’s reforms and faced difficult questions on the air.
Howard Marlowe, the president of the American League of Lobbyists was featured on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program. Marlowe discussed the LDA reforms the group is proposing.
According to C-SPAN’s post, Role of Federal Lobbyists: “Howard Marlowe talked about the role of federal lobbying, and he responded to telephone calls and electronic communications. Topics included legislation that affects the industry, and changes the industry itself is proposing that would alter law that governs those engaged in lobbying Congress and senior officials in the Executive Branch.”
The Chicago Tribune posted an article giving an account of the nature of the conversations Marlowe faced from callers on the program. Be sure to read “Lobbyists’ lobbyist draws public anger” by David Ingram.
May 7, 2012 •
Lobbying Compliance in the States
Elizabeth Bartz, President and CEO of State and Federal Communications, is speaking today in Washington, D.C. at the American League of Lobbyists State Lobbying Educational Seminar. The event is part of the group’s Lobbying Certificate Program.
According to the event details on the American League of Lobbyists website, this is the aim of the session:
“For many in D.C., lobbying starts with what goes on in the Beltway. But it doesn’t end there. No organization or corporation seeking to fulfill their entire legislative agenda can rely solely on federal lobbying. State-level lobbying, however, comes with an entirely new set of regulations and compliance landmines than federal lobbying. Did you know that ‘lobbying activities’ has a different definition depending where you are and to correctly filing disclosure forms takes a whole new process? Plus, even if you simply want to monitor what’s going on at the state level, you’ve got to coordinate effectively with different in-house or entirely new outside government relations teams.”
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.