June 23, 2016 •
Lobbying California: “California Political Watchdog Targets ‘Shadow Lobbyists’” by Taryn Luna for Sacramento Bee Maryland: “Here Are the Top Lobbyists in Maryland for the 2016 Legislative Session” by Ovetta Wiggins for Washington Post Oregon: “Post Uber, Portland Leaders Look to […]
California: “California Political Watchdog Targets ‘Shadow Lobbyists’” by Taryn Luna for Sacramento Bee
Maryland: “Here Are the Top Lobbyists in Maryland for the 2016 Legislative Session” by Ovetta Wiggins for Washington Post
Oregon: “Post Uber, Portland Leaders Look to Strengthen Lobbying Rules” by Amelia Templeton for Oregon Public Radio
“The Next ‘Citizens United’ Is Coming” by Carrie Levine for Center for Public Integrity
District of Columbia: “Close Council Vote Rejects Campaign Contribution Reform” by Rachel Kurzius for DCist.com
Colorado: “Colorado Supreme Court to Hear Case Challenging State Ethics Commission’s Role” by Joey Bunch for Denver Post
“Will Dominant Images of Conventions Be of Unity or Protest?” by Trip Gabriel for New York Times
Florida: “Marco Rubio Will Seek Senate Reelection, Reversing Pledge Not to Run” by Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe, and Sean Sullivan for Washington Post
Florida: “Florida Lawmaker Wants to Give Away an AR-15” by Mike McPhate for New York Times
“House Democrats’ Gun-Control Sit-In Turns into Chaotic Showdown with Republicans” by David Herszenhorn and Emmarie Huetteman for New York Times
August 20, 2014 •
On August 14, Citizens United filed suit in federal court against Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler. The lawsuit is a response to Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert’s June decision classifying the group’s upcoming documentary as a reportable electioneering […]
On August 14, Citizens United filed suit in federal court against Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler. The lawsuit is a response to Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert’s June decision classifying the group’s upcoming documentary as a reportable electioneering communication.
Citizens United had hoped the documentary would be excluded from the definition of reportable electioneering communication under a general press-entity exemption. Although the Federal Election Commission applies such an exemption for Citizens United at the federal level, the secretary of state lacked the authority to import the FEC’s analysis and decision.
Citizens United is now asking the court to permanently enjoin enforcement of applicable reporting and disclosure requirements in their entirety or, in the alternative, enjoin enforcement of the requirements as applied to Citizens United. The group argues its right to engage in political speech is significantly burdened while the rights of print media and broadcast facilities are not. Moreover, the group claims the reporting and disclosure requirements discriminate based on a speaker’s identity and, therefore, violate both the U.S. and Colorado constitutions.
April 17, 2014 •
The Colorado Ethics Commission, which has long been accused of partisanship, is likely to face more criticism in light of a recent ruling. On Monday, April 14, the commission voted to dismiss a complaint against Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper […]
The Colorado Ethics Commission, which has long been accused of partisanship, is likely to face more criticism in light of a recent ruling. On Monday, April 14, the commission voted to dismiss a complaint against Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper.
Hickenlooper was accused of violating state gift law by allowing the Democratic Governors Association to pick up the tab for food and lodging expenses associated with a 2013 conference. In its reasoning, the commission claimed Hickenlooper’s policy expertise shared at the conference, and the hours he spent organizing it, exceeded what was spent on food and lodging.
William Leone, one of the commissioners who heard the complaint, argued an elected head of state “has a legitimate interest to present, discuss, debate, and hear about [the] policy initiatives . . . he chooses to advance.”
After ruling for Hickenlooper, the commission declined to revisit a decision handed down last year against Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler for a substantially similar set of facts. Gessler believes the people of Colorado have no faith in a partisan ethics commission; he was saddened, but not surprised, by Monday’s decision.
April 9, 2013 •
Keep up with the latest government relations news with these articles:
“Lobby Reports Expected To Show $750+ Million in First Quarter Lobbying” by Kent Cooper in Roll Call.
Indiana: “9-year-old lobbyist weighs in on school safety” by Maureen Hayden in the Tribune-Star News.
Kentucky: “Lawmakers treated to lavish parties in Frankfort” by The Associated Press in Kentucky New Era.
Missouri: “Loophole hides trail of lobbyists’ largesse” by Jason Hancock in the Kansas City Star.
“James Bopp Jr. among 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” news release in the Tribune-Star News.
Florida: “Lights grow dim for campaign finance, ethics bills” by The Associated Press in WPEC News.
Maryland: “Maryland lawmakers approve campaign finance reform bill” by The Associated Press in the Washington Post.
New Jersey: “Group raising money for NJ races contests political donation limits” by Herb Jackson in the Bergen Record.
New Jersey: “Contributions from government contractors to New Jersey pols dropped to $7.5 million in 2012” by Anthony Campisi in the Bergen Record.
New York: “Eye on NY Spotlight: Bill Samuels on campaign finance reform and latest Albany scandals” by Robert Harding in the Auburn Citizen.
Texas: “Austin rep proposes restrictions for leftover campaign cash” by Tim Eaton in the Austin American-Statesman.
West Virginia: “House and Senate differ on campaign financing” by Phil Kabler in the Charleston Gazette.
Colorado: “Scott Gessler’s discretionary spending not unique, investigator says” by Joey Bunch in the Denver Post.
Florida: “Lawmakers eye ‘blind trust’ in ethics reform bill” by Mary Ellen Klas in the Miami Herald.
New York: “Criticism of Cuomo Grows as the Problems in Albany Endure” by Danny Hakim in The New York Times.
New York: “Cuomo addresses ethics package” by Casey Seiler in the Albany Times Union.
Pennsylvania: “Bipartisan group of Pennsylvania state senators to introduce ethics bills” by Kate Giammarise in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Utah: “No Ethics Complaints Against Utah Legislators in Two Years” by Bob Bernick on UtahPolicy.com.
“Which Governors Are Most Vulnerable in 2014?” by Micah Cohen in the New York Times’ Five Thirty Eight blog.
Government Tech and Social Media
“Majority of Senate Standing Committees Still Aren’t Tweeting” by Joseph Marks in NextGov.
“New Tactics in Fight Against Corruption Include Crowdsourcing, Mobile Games and SMS” by Jessica McKenzie in TechPresident.
January 31, 2013 •
Here are some great articles for today’s government relations news summary:
“Lobbyist for lobbyists steps away” by Dave Levinthal in The Center for Public Integrity.
Florida: “Wilton Manors mayor takes on lobbying ban in county ethics code” by Brittany Wallman in the Sun Sentinel.
Idaho: “Dueling petitions: Signers have some fun at lobbyist’s expense” in the Idaho Statesman.
“Obama’s Flip-Flops on Money in Politics: A Brief History” by Justin Elliott (ProPublica) in the Huffington Post.
“Justice to SCOTUS: Don’t allow direct corporate campaign spending” by Alison Frankel in Thomson Reuters.
Florida: “House proposes closing slush funds, raising contribution limits” by Mary Ellen Klas in the Miami Herald.
Indiana: “Some familiar names make campaign-finance violation list” by Kevin Leininger in the News-Sentinel.
Rhode Island: “RI Rep: ban lobbyist contributions during session” by The Associated Press in NECN.
Colorado: “Gessler sues ethics commission to stop investigation of his spending” by Tim Hoover in the Denver Post.
Oklahoma: “Oklahoma Ethics Commission hires general counsel” by Michael McNutt in the Oklahoman.
South Carolina: “Disgraced Former Gov. Mark Sanford Is Ready To Make Another Move” by Alan Greenblatt on NPR.
South Dakota: “South Dakota lawmakers reject plan to record closed meetings” in the Sioux City Journal.
February 23, 2012 •
Critics Say Changes Beyond Secretary of State’s Authority
Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced on Wednesday the adoption of a recodified set of rules concerning Colorado campaign financing aimed at simplifying the state’s campaign finance process. Among the most notable changes to be made, total fines for late or incomplete campaign finance reports are now to be limited to $50 per day for up to 180 days for a maximum fine of $9,000.
Additionally, Gessler’s office will continue to utilize the $5,000 threshold at which issue committees must register and report, created by Gessler’s adoption of Campaign and Political Finance Rule 4.27, despite a state district court ruling Gessler did not have the authority to increase the threshold from the constitutionally-mandated figure of $200 after a finding by the court determining the threshold to be too burdensome.
Also, in accordance with the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision released the day prior to Gessler’s release of the recodified campaign finance rules, a 527 political group is limited to accepting up to $550 from any person every two years if the 527 group is engaging in express advocacy for a particular candidate by use of certain “magic words” such as “vote for” or “elect.”
Critics of Gessler have claimed the changes made are outside his authority and a legal challenge is expected. The rules are scheduled to temporarily take effect on March 7, 2012, with the rules being permanently effective on March 30, 2012.
November 28, 2011 •
Secretary of State Seeks Better Organization, Clarity with Proposed Changes
Secretary of State Scott Gessler has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in regards to the Colorado Secretary of State Rules Concerning Campaign and Political Finance, 8 CCR 1505-6. Gessler has proposed a recodification of the rules in their entirety in an effort to improve organization and readability, clarify existing laws and regulations, and address questions arising under Colorado campaign and political finance laws.
Among the more notable changes, the proposed rules would limit fines for late or incomplete campaign finance reports to no more than $50 a day for 180 days, maximized to $9,000. The rules would also continue to utilize the $5,000 threshold at which issue committees would need to register and report, created by Gessler’s adoption of Campaign and Political Finance Rule 4.27, despite a recent state district court ruling that Gessler did not have the authority to increase the threshold from the constitutionally-mandated figure of $200 despite a finding of the threshold to be too burdensome in the recent Colorado case of Sampson v. Buescher.
A hearing regarding these proposed changes is scheduled for December 15, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Blue Spruce Conference Room on the second floor of the Secretary of State’s Office.
November 21, 2011 •
Appeal of Ruling is Planned
The Denver District Court has ruled Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler did not have the authority to raise contribution thresholds concerning when state issue committees have to register and report their activity.
At issue was Gessler’s adoption of Campaign and Political Finance Rule 4.27, which increased from $200 to $5,000 the threshold at which an issue committee must register and report. The $200 threshold, set by the Colorado Constitution, was found to be too burdensome in the recent Colorado case of Sampson v. Buescher.
The court determined that, despite the conflict, Gessler’s alteration of the constitutionally mandated $200 threshold was an impermissible unilateral alteration of the Colorado Constitution. Gessler plans to appeal the ruling.
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.