July 11, 2014 •
The Ethics Commission has voted to prevent independent committees from using material produced by candidates in committee advertisements. The amendment to the Election Campaign Control Ordinance (ECCO) will classify a committee’s otherwise independent payment as a “contribution” if the payment […]
The Ethics Commission has voted to prevent independent committees from using material produced by candidates in committee advertisements.
The amendment to the Election Campaign Control Ordinance (ECCO) will classify a committee’s otherwise independent payment as a “contribution” if the payment is for an advertisement duplicating materials found in a candidate’s advertisement or on the candidate’s website. Such payments would be subject to both contribution limits and source prohibitions.
The amendment now must be considered by City Council. Approval is not expected before September, 2014.
Photo of the San Diego skyline courtesy of Tomcio77 on Wikimedia Commons.
August 27, 2013 •
Keep up with the latest government relations news with these articles:
“Political money back on court’s agenda” by Albert R. Hunt in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Maryland: “Campaign finance: Behind scenes of elections” by Jennifer Shutt in the Daily Times.
Tennessee: “Registry will review campaign finance complaints against Gov. Haslam, Sen. Campfield” by The Associated Press in the Daily Journal.
“Judge Rules Public Interest Outweighs Former Sen. John Ensign’s Privacy Interest” by Kent Cooper in Roll Call.
“Bachmann’s Former Aide Sentenced to Community Service” by Jason Dick in Roll Call.
Florida: “Former mayors charged in Miami-Dade bribery scandal seek to delay indictments” by Jay Weaver in the Miami Herald.
Hawaii: “Hawaii governor appoints 2 to ethics commission” by The Associated Press in The State.
North Carolina: “Ethics Commission fines 2, gives 24 political appointees a pass” by John Frank in the News & Observer.
Ohio: “Ohio lawmakers ask watchdog to probe JobsOhio” by The Associated Press in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Virginia: “Web site backing McDonnell seeks funds for his legal costs” by Laura Vozzella in The Washington Post.
“Keeping ‘tabs’ on campaign emails” by Hadas Gold in Politico.
From the States
“Snowden elected to NCSL executive committee” by The Associated Press in the Sun Herald.
North Carolina: “McCrory signs regulatory overhaul plan, 32 more bills” by Rob Christensen and David Bracken in the Charlotte Observer.
Oregon: “Special session still is uncertain” by Anna Staver in the Statesman Journal.
Kentucky: “Redistricting bill signed, judges to review” in the Morehead News.
August 22, 2013 •
November 2014 Elections
On August 21, 2013, the British Columbia Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development announced the province will be making changes to the rules regarding local government elections starting in 2014. The rules apply to candidates, elector organizations, and third party advertisers in elections held for municipalities, regional districts, parks boards, the Islands Trust, and boards of education.
According to the press release, this new set of laws include requiring disclosure and registration by third-party advertisers, requiring sponsorship information be displayed on all election advertising, requiring all campaign finance disclosure statements to be filed 90 days after the election, and banning anonymous contributions. Additional changes will allow Elections BC to play a greater role in the enforcement of campaign finance rules in local elections.
The changes are based upon the recommendations of the joint Provincial and Union of BC Municipalities Local Government Elections Task Force.
In September a white paper outlining the government’s intention will be released. Public comment on the white paper will be open until October 23. Once consolidated, the rules for the November 2014 local elections will be introduced as a new campaign finance act in the spring of 2014.
Consultation with key stakeholders will begin in November to consider further legislative changes for the 2017 elections.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, states in the press release, “These changes are about enhancing transparency and accountability.”
August 20, 2013 •
Emails and Redistricting
On August 8, 2013, the Texas Ethics Commission adopted a new rule concerning political and legislative advertising related to redistricting and amended its definition of political advertising.
The new commission rule allows candidates campaigning in districts altered by redistricting to use the term re-elect “only if the candidate is the elected incumbent of an office that represented any part of the new or renumbered district prior to the redistricting”.
The definition of political advertising was amended to contrast an individual communication made by email versus “mass e-mails involving an expenditure of funds beyond the basic cost of hardware messaging software and bandwidth”. Currently the rule’s language in the definition of political advertising reads only that it “does not include communication made by email”.
The changes take effect on September 1, 2013.
May 13, 2013 •
Let’s start off the week with these lobbying, campaign finance, and ethics news articles:
“Lobbying registrations for April return to numbers not seen since 2011” by Catherine Ho in the Washington Post.
“Taxpayers footing $3 million lobbying bill for local governments” by Andrew Doughman in the Las Vegas Sun.
“Do lobbyist spending reports measure influence?” by Andrew Doughman in the Las Vegas Sun.
New York: “Lobbying group donations fall off with new NY rule” by The Associated Press in Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Tennessee: “Lobbying still thriving business in Nashville” by Tom Humphrey in the Knoxville News.
Alabama: “Legislators’ to-do list for final day includes bills on guns, campaign finance, drug testing welfare applicants” by Mike Cason in the Birmingham News.
Arizona: “Director of Arizona campaign finance agency leaving” by The Associated Press in KTAR.
Vermont: “Galbraith angers Vt. Senate colleagues” by The Associated Press in the Boston Globe.
“FEC revolving door spins ever so slowly” by Byron Tau in Politico.
New York: “N.Y. court upholds ethics commission subpoena power” by The Associated Press in the Albany Times Union.
“Shedding light on anonymous ads” editorial by Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Politico.
Form the State Legislatures
Minnesota: “Minn. lawmakers enter homestretch of 2013 session” by The Associated Press in the Brainerd Dispatch.
North Carolina: “Dome: Jam-packed action expected in legislature for Crossover Week” by Mary Cornatzer and Lynn Bonner in the News & Observer.
North Carolina: “NC House wants many closed sessions recorded” by The Associated Press in the Winston-Salem Journal.
Florida: “Florida Supreme Court hears redistricting case” by Steve Bousquet in the Miami Herald.
Government Tech and Social Media
“What’s Your City Watching on YouTube?” by Eric Jaffe in Nextgov.
May 9, 2013 •
Here are some great articles for today’s government relations news summary:
“Lobbyists Snag Top Staff Positions on Capitol Hill” by Lee Fang in The Nation.
Tennessee: “Tom Ingram faces possible fine for failing to register as lobbyist” by Tom Humphrey in the Knoxville News.
Texas: “Lobbyist transparency bill sent to Perry” by The Associated Press in the Houston Chronicle.
FEC commissioners speak: “Hard truths of campaign finance” opinion piece by Donald F. McGahn, Caroline Hunter and Matthew Petersen in Politico.
“Why Big Money Still Won in 2012” by Jonathan Backer in the Huffington Post.
Alabama: “Bill before House today repeal state limit on corporate campaign contributions; Lawmaker says it’s a ‘pretend’ cap” by Kim Chandler in the Birmingham News.
New Jersey: “Lawmakers Get Cold Feet About Campaign Finance” by Hank Kalet in NJ Spotlight.
New York: “Carlucci, other senators study plans for campaign finance reform” by Laura Incalcaterra in the Journal News.
New York: “Ex-lawmaker to be sentenced in NYC in fraud case” by The Associated Press in the Arizona Daily Star.
“House Backs Updating Rules on Political Ad Disclosures” by Becca Aaronson in the Texas Tribune.
Government Tech and Social Media
“Ohio City Deploys 2-in-1 Email and Social Media Archiving” by Sarah Rich in Government Technology.
“Most Top Contractors Increased Business With Federal Government in 2012” by Eric Katz in Government Executive.
May 8, 2013 •
New law increases disclosure in political advertising
Governor Jay Inslee has signed a bill into law increasing disclosure in political advertising. Senate Bill 5258 was passed by the Washington State Legislature and delivered to the governor on April 23.
The bill requires a series of political advertisements supporting or opposing ballot measures sponsored by the same political committee, each of which is under $1,000, to include information on the advertisement’s top five contributors once the cumulative value of the advertisements reaches $1,000. Under the current law, information on the top five contributors is only required for individual advertisements in excess of $1,000.
This law will take effect on July 28, 2013, but with the first state elections not due to take place until 2014, we will probably not see how big of an impact this new disclosure requirement will have.
April 24, 2013 •
The Follow the Money Act of 2013
Leaders of corporations, unions, and other organizations responsible for independent political advertisements may have to be identified if a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate yesterday passes.
Senate Bill 791 was introduced jointly by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). The bi-partisan bill, called The Follow the Money Act of 2013, requires entities, regardless of tax status, to identity the funders of any political activity in which the entity engages.
An organization involved in political activity not regulated under the Federal Election Campaign Act will also be subject to a separate set of Internal Revenue Service penalties, including the possible loss of its federal tax exemption.
The Federal Election Commission will be required to replace quarterly reporting with a more frequent reporting schedule and will be required to disclose the information to the general public upon receipt.
Senator Wyden’s press release can be found here.
Video courtesy of Sen. Wyden’s YouTube channel.
March 27, 2013 •
Here is our roundup of the latest articles on lobbying, ethics, and more!
“K St. winners and losers in budget votes” by Kevin Bogardus in The Hill.
“Under Contract” in The Hill.
“K Street Files: SEIU Launches Immigration Ads” by Kate Ackley in Roll Call.
Georgia: “Drama over ethics reform builds toward session’s finale” by Aaron Gould Sheinin, Chris Joyner and Kristina Torres in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Nevada: “State Senate votes for more lobbyist transparency” by Ed Vogel in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
New York: “OFA joins New York campaign finance reform fight” by Maggie Haberman in Politico.
West Virginia: “Campaign financing bill advances” by Phil Kabler in the Charleston Gazette.
Maryland: “Dixon to give talk, consider return to politics” by Jena Marbella in the Baltimore Sun.
From the State Legislatures
“Committee recommends Brooks be expelled from Legislature” by Anjeanette Damon in the Las Vegas Sun.
“Think Your Advocacy Group is Not Subject to FEC Rules? Think Again.” in Political Law Briefing via Eric Brown’s Political Activity Law Blog.
“New Transparency Grades Issued for States” by Mike Maciag in Government Technology.
Arkansas: “Arkansas gets ‘C’ in spending transparency report” in Arkansas News.
Tennessee: “Rep. Glen Casada withdraws bill on open meetings law” by The Associated Press in The Tennessean.
West Virginia: “W.Va.’s spending transparency grade falls” by Eric Eyre in the Charleston Gazette.
Florida: “Legislators ask court to shield them from having to testify over maps” by Mary Ellen Klas in the Miami Herald.
October 11, 2011 •
Sunset Advisory Commission Assessment
The Sunset Commission, a legislative body created by the Texas Legislature to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies, will seek public input during its scheduled review of the Texas Ethics Commission.
During the evaluation of the Ethics Commission’s mission and performance, submitted comments and suggestions will be accepted until the suggested date of November 21. The Sunset Commission then anticipates it will issue a report in March 2012 followed by a public hearing with testimony in April.
Based on the public input and the report, any recommendations to the legislature will be submitted at the start of its next session in January 2013.
Some of the duties the Texas Ethics Commission administers and enforces are the election code concerning political contributions, expenditures and political advertising, and lobbying registration, reports and activities.
The announcement of the review can be found here.
Photo of the Texas State Capitol by LoneStarMike on Wikipedia.
September 21, 2011 •
It was just a matter of time for the social media platform.
Politico today reports that Twitter will be offering the opportunity for political campaigns to run ads on it social network.
The article, “Twitter to launch political advertising” by Ben Smith, says Twitter has had five years of observing online behavior. Like Google with its ads, Twitter wishes to cash in on what should be a great money-maker.
As for the issue of disclosure, Smith spoke with Twitter’s government liaison Adam Sharp, who said disclosure statements probably are not legally necessary for their ads. But Twitter will offer the ability to show “paid for by” information via a mouse-over on the paid Tweet.
It will be interesting to see if any regulation springs from this new development.
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.