December 16, 2010 •
The attendees enjoyed a variety of informative break-out sessions which covered a number of topics including recent developments in lobbying and campaign finance regulation.
The President and CEO of State and Federal Communication, Inc., Elizabeth Bartz, together with research manager John Cozine and staff members: Jim Sedor, Joe May, Megan Huber, Sarah Gray, and David Dobo recently attended the 2010 Council on Government Ethics Laws (COGEL) conference in Washington, D.C. from December 5 to 8, 2010.
The attendees enjoyed a variety of informative break-out sessions which covered a number of topics including recent developments in lobbying and campaign finance regulation. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission loomed large at this year’s conference. Many of the panels covered the implications of the decision as it relates to federal and state campaign finance laws. Since the decision was announced in January of this year, many states have had to amend statutes which were partially or completely overturned by the ruling. It was interesting to see how representatives of the different jurisdictions explained their state’s or city’s legislative response to Citizens United. It was also interesting to see which of the dire predictions made by the media in the wake of the decision have come true and which have failed to manifest since the ruling was announced. Experts from the legal profession as well as the Federal Election Commission were on-hand to shed light on the fall-out from what may be the most important campaign finance legal decision of the decade.
On Tuesday, the attendees from State and Federal Communications met the other Ohio-based COGEL participants for lunch at the Westin Hotel on M Street. Tony Bledsoe, Legislative Inspector General for the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee and his assistant joined the table. Also, David Freel, Executive Director of the Ohio Ethics Commission and his senior deputies took the opportunity to break bread with their fellow Buckeyes. It’s something of a State and Federal Communications tradition to bring all the folks from back home together for a good meal and good fellowship. The next All-Ohio COGEL lunch will be held in December 2011 in an As-Yet-To-Be-Determined location somewhere in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.
November 9, 2010 •
David E. Freel, Executive Director of the Ohio Ethics Commission, has announced his retirement after 17 years at the head of the agency.
During Director Freel’s tenure, the Commission issued ethics advice and guidance concerning Ohio’s Ethics Law to thousands of Ohio’s public officials and employees. Director Freel also supervised hundreds of investigations of Ethics Law violations at the local and state levels.
“I have truly enjoyed my work with so many Ethics Commission members and professional staff of high integrity over the years – they represent the finest ethical standard in public service for Ohio and its citizens,” said Executive Director Freel. “After 17 years as the Executive Director, I decided several weeks ago that it was time to hand over the reins to a new Director the Commission would choose.”
The Commission will discuss the search and selection process for a new executive director at its November meeting. Director Freel will step down at the end of the year.
You may read the Ethics Commission’s press release here.
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.