June 15, 2016 •
On June 14, the West Virginia Legislature adjourned sine die after passing a budget bill. This is the second budget proposal of the special session to be sent to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s desk. The governor is expected to approve […]
On June 14, the West Virginia Legislature adjourned sine die after passing a budget bill.
This is the second budget proposal of the special session to be sent to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s desk.
The governor is expected to approve the bill, which is needed to avert a government shutdown that would result if a budget is not enacted before July 1.
June 1, 2016 •
The Alaska Legislature reached a bipartisan budget deal Tuesday, May 31. The bill was approved nine days into the special session that was called when lawmakers could not produce a budget during the 121-day regular extended session. It is unclear […]
The Alaska Legislature reached a bipartisan budget deal Tuesday, May 31.
The bill was approved nine days into the special session that was called when lawmakers could not produce a budget during the 121-day regular extended session.
It is unclear whether Gov. Bill Walker will sign the bill. Alaska faces a government shutdown if a budget is not adopted by July 1, and lawmakers were feeling the pressure to approve a budget before June 1 to stop the governor’s administration from sending 30-day layoff warnings to state employees.
October 4, 2013 •
Here are highlights from the latest edition of News You Can Use:
Washington Post – Reid Wilson | Published: 10/3/2013
The States’ Unified Network Center, a project from watchdog groups to share information on campaign finance legislation across the country, will begin as a Web presence to highlight proposed bills and standing law. It will also organize a database of nonprofit groups that spend money in state elections, in hopes of stitching together the state-by-state patchwork of campaign finance databases.
Politico – MJ Lee | Published: 10/2/2013
Wall Street’s frustration over the current fiscal impasse is shared by the larger business community, which has tried to convince lawmakers the threat of shutting down the government or failing to raise the borrowing limit should not be used as negotiating ploys. But wealthy financial services executives and their lobbyists have little leverage against tea party lawmakers, who do not care for big banks and do not rely heavily on the industry for campaign money.
Center for Public Integrity – Dave Leventhal | Published: 9/30/2013
The FEC, unlike some agencies filled with employees deemed essential, will effectively shutter under a government shutdown. All but the agency’s active commissioners, who are furlough-proof political appointees, would ultimately stay home.
From the States and Municipalities:
Los Angeles Times – Robert Zahniser | Published: 9/26/2013
Robert Katherman, a longtime Los Angeles lobbyist, said since joining city Councilperson Curren Price’s staff, he has avoided decisions affecting clients at the advocacy firm he founded and put his wife in charge of. As long as that continues, state conflict-of-interest laws permit Price to act on proposals that benefit Katherman’s wife and her firm.
San Francisco Chronicle – Christina Cassidy (Associated Press) | Published: 9/30/2013
The Georgia ethics commission voted to request that a special assistant attorney general be appointed for an independent investigation to look into the circumstances surrounding two lawsuits against the agency. Former commission Executive Secretary Stacey Kalberman and her onetime deputy, Sharon Streicker, allege they were forced out for pressing an investigation into Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2010 campaign.
Athens Banner-Herald – Ray Henry (Associated Press) | Published: 9/27/2013
A grand jury charged state Sen. Don Balfour with illegally claiming legislative expense pay. The indictment comes after a Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe into expense vouchers from his work at the General Assembly, where Balfour sought reimbursement for mileage and per diem expenses at the Capitol when lobbyist disclosure reports show he was out of state.
San Francisco Chronicle – Sarah Burnett (Associated Press) | Published: 9/27/2013
A judge overruled Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who had suspended the salaries of state legislators, and ordered the lawmakers to receive back pay with interest. Quinn suspended the paychecks this summer, saying lawmakers had failed to resolve a financial crisis worsened by the ballooning cost of state pension plans. Leaders of the Legislature challenged his authority to suspend the pay.
USA Today – Jason Noble and Jennifer Jacobs (Des Moines Register) | Published: 10/2/2013
Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson resigned after a special investigator found it likely he violated ethics rules by taking money from PACs connected to former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and then denying he had done so. The report contains the most detailed findings yet in a scandal that has swirled around Sorensen since he defected from the Bachmann campaign days before the 2012 Iowa caucuses to support Ron Paul.
Detroit Free Press – Robert Snell | Published: 9/30/2013
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick backed an investment deal that bankrolled a three-year spree of alleged corruption and helped push the city into bankruptcy. The deal cheated city retirees out of more than $84 million, led to criminal charges against six people, and compounded the impact of the money-losing Wall Street scheme, which could eventually cost Detroit more than $2.7 billion.
Minnesota – Emmer’s Internet Ad Could Prove Troublesome
Minneapolis Star Tribune – Jim Ragsdale and Jennifer Brooks | Published: 9/30/2013
A television ad featuring congressional candidate Tom Emmer vouching for a construction company may violate a federal law banning corporate contributions to candidates. Emmer appeared in an ad for Integrity Exteriors & Remodelers while noting his candidacy and standing by a banner spelling out his congressional ambitions. A YouTube posting for the ad said it had aired on a Twin Cities television station.
Columbus Republic – Emily Wagster Pettus (Associated Press) | Published: 10/1/2013
U.S. District Court Judge Sharion Aycock ruled that part of Mississippi’s campaign finance law creates an unconstitutional burden for individuals or organizations that spend at least $200 to support or oppose a ballot initiative. State Attorney Jim Hood an appeal could be difficult because federal courts have not been amenable to states’ defense of their own campaign finance laws.
Albany Times Union – Casey Seiler | Published: 9/26/2013
The New York State Board of Elections had planned to send letters in September to numerous campaign treasurers with judgments against them and the banks that held their funds, informing them the committees’ assets were frozen until their fines had been settled. But only two such letters have been sent.
North Carolina – Voter ID Targeted in North Carolina
Wall Street Journal – Devlin Barrett | Published: 9/30/2013
The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit challenging voting restrictions adopted by North Carolina, alleging they discriminate against minority voters. The suit challenges the state’s voter-identification requirement and limits on early voting. It also asks the court to require federal pre-approval for voting-law changes in the state.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Patrick Marley and Jason Stein | Published: 9/30/2013
Records show then-Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder accepted an invitation for a fishing trip offered by the lobbyist for a self-described sportsmen group just days before an affiliate of the organization won a $500,000 state grant. Gov. Scott Walker rescinded the grant after reports the group misrepresented its nonprofit status and its president had been cited for shooting a black bear without the proper license.
West Virginia – W.Va. Judge Resigns, Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy
San Francisco Chronicle – John Raby (Associated Press) | Published: 10/2/2013
A West Virginia judge pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to conceal alleged illegal drug use and election-law violations by a sheriff who was murdered earlier this year. As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop an earlier charge that Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Thornsbury misused his office on several occasions over five years to try to illegally imprison the husband of his former secretary after she ended an affair with him.
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.
October 1, 2013 •
Keep up with the latest government relations news with these articles:
“Lobbyists prepare for government shutdown” by Byron Tau in Politico.
“Lobbyists swoop in to defend investor visas” by Kevin Bogardus in The Hill.
Hamilton, Ontario: “Lobbyist registry delayed again” by Matthew Van Dongen in The Spec.
“Lobbying, Campaign Finance, and IRS Reports Keep Moving During Shutdown” by Kent Cooper in Roll Call’s Political MoneyLine Blog.
“House Members Shut Down Gov’t. Money Going Out, But Not Contributions Coming In” by Kent Cooper in Roll Call’s Political MoneyLine Blog.
“The Next Citizens United?” by Richard Hasen in Slate.
“The case for eliminating contribution limits” by Ann W. Herberger in Campaigns & Elections.
“Top U.S. political donors in 2012 among country’s richest men” by Gabriel Debenedetti in Reuters.
Alaska: “APOC: No immediate action on complaint against Stiver” by Sam Friedman in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Maryland: “Maryland’s new laws at a glance” by John Wagner in The Washington Post.
FEC: “Not ‘essential’: Shutdown would hit FEC hard” by Dave Levinthal in The Center for Public Integrity.
Georgia: “Ethics commission to ask for special investigator” by The Associated Press in the Athens Banner-Herald.
Ohio: “Son of indicted donor’s lawyer works for Mandel” by Joe Vardon in The Columbus Dispatch.
Government Tech and Social Media
“Government Social Media Feeds Will Go Dark During a Shutdown” by Joseph Marks in Nextgov.
Ohio: “Ohio lawmaker’s election reform bills include voter ID requirement, reduced early-voting times” by Jeremy Pelzer in The Plain Dealer.
Pennsylvania: “Challenge to Pennsylvania’s voter ID law not affected by Justice Dept. lawsuit against N.C.’s law” by Jan Murphy in The Patriot-News.
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