January 19, 2016 •
On January 19, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal arguing against a federal law banning political contributions to candidates from federal contractors. Last year, in Miller v. Federal Election Commission, formerly Wagner v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. District […]
On January 19, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal arguing against a federal law banning political contributions to candidates from federal contractors. Last year, in Miller v. Federal Election Commission, formerly Wagner v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the law barring contractors from contributing to candidates, parties, and candidates’ and parties’ committees.
Plaintiffs had challenged the constitutionality of 52 U.S.C. § 30119(a)(1), which prohibits any vendors with contracts with the federal government from making political contributions to federal candidates or political parties. The plaintiffs had asked the court to declare the law unconstitutional as applied to individuals who have personal services contracts with federal agencies. Because federal workers who are not contractors may make federal political contributions while contractors performing the same work may not, the suit argued the law violates both the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution and the First Amendment.
Photo of the United States Supreme Court by UpstateNYer on Wikimedia Commons.
April 4, 2011 •
Findings show most of the industry is reporting properly.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report stating that, with a small percentage of exceptions, most lobbyists comply with the federal lobbying disclosure laws.
Here is the full text of the report from the GAO.
For a good summary of the report, read Roll Call’s article “GAO: K Street Largely Complying With Disclosure Rules” by Alex Knott.
The Roll Call article noted that the annual report to Congress is required as part of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act. The scope of the results included analysis of disclosure reports for the fourth quarter 2009 and the first three quarters of 2010.
December 20, 2010 •
Employee Conflicts Also Prohibited
A panel of the Administrative Conference of the United States has made a recommendation of ethics standards for government contractors and their employees. Under the proposed rules, a contractor would be prohibited from accepting gifts from anyone who is seeking an official action from the contract work or who has some interest substantially affected by the contract.
A contractor would also have to certify, prior to commencing work on any contract, no participating employee has a conflict. If conflicts do exist, the contractor would be required to request waivers for such conflicts, or disclose any conflicts and propose a mitigation plan.
The Conference is an independent agency of the federal government serving as an advisory organization.
Update: Kathy Kyle, Communications Director with the Administrative Conference of the United States, sent us a wonderful clarification, which we quote here:
The “recommendation” that you reference in your blog is an initial draft recommendation that was considered by the Committee at its most recent meeting, on December 3, 2010. Over the course of the next several months, the Committee plans to hold one or more additional meetings wherein it will further discuss the issues related to the project and will revise the recommendation. Once the Committee has produced its final recommendation, the recommendation will then be presented to the ACUS Council and then to the full Conference meeting in plenary session, set for a vote. If approved, the final recommendation will then be published in the Federal Register.
July 7, 2010 •
A bill amending the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 has passed the House of Representatives.
H.R. 5609, which passed on a vote of 408-4, prohibits any registered lobbyist whose clients include foreign governments which are found to be sponsors of international terrorism or include other foreign nationals from making contributions and other campaign-related disbursements in elections for public office. The bill moves to the Senate.
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