Compliance Notes - Vol. 1, Issue 32
RECENT LOBBYING, ETHICS & CAMPAIGN FINANCE UPDATES
We read the news, cut through the noise and provide you the notes.
Welcome to Compliance Notes from Nossaman’s Government Relations & Regulation Group – a periodic digest of the headlines, statutory and regulatory changes and court cases involving campaign finance, lobbying compliance, election law and government ethics issues at the federal, state and local level.
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Campaign Finance & Lobbying Compliance
Reminder from the FEC: Georgia will hold general and special runoff elections for its two U.S. Senate seats on January 5, 2021. Participating campaigns must file additional reports in connection with these elections and should review the report notice for the general runoff or special runoff, as appropriate.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have authorized the Biden Inaugural Committee (formally “BIC 2021, Inc.”) to collect certain donations for inauguration-related events and have appointed the Committee’s key staff. Contributions from individuals up to $500,000 and corporate donations up to $1 million will be accepted. However, donations will not be accepted from registered lobbyists and foreign agents, foreign individuals and entities or “fossil fuel companies.” (Christina Wilkie, CNBC)
Georgia: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is scheduled to appear in court on December 10 for alleged ethics violations during her 2017 runoff election. The Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission has investigated the case, claiming that Bottoms received an excess of nearly $400,000 over campaign donation limits during the 2017 runoff election. (Corinne Murdock, The Tennessee Star)
Litigation About Litigation
A pro-Trump group that promised to challenge the November 3 election results and expose fraud was sued by a North Carolina money manager who donated $2.5 million to the cause. According to the lawsuit, Houston-based True the Vote Inc. promised a multi-pronged plan to “investigate, litigate, and expose suspected illegal balloting and fraud in the 2020 general election.” In support of that plan, Fred Eshelman donated $2.5 million. When True the Vote failed to provide any reports on its progress as certification deadlines approached, Eshelman said it became obvious the group wouldn’t be able to execute the plan he agreed to support. So, he asked for his money back. (Robert Burnson, Bloomberg News)
Wisconsin's partial recount boosted Democrat Joe Biden's victory by 87 votes, increasing Biden's statewide margin to 20,695 votes out of about 3 million cast. This came as President Donald Trump said he was preparing a lawsuit to overturn the results. The completion of the recount prompted the Democratic leader of the State Elections Commission to say she would begin certifying Biden's victory, clearing the way for Trump to file a lawsuit. (Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday on President Trump’s efforts to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the calculations used to allocate seats in the House. If the court rules for the Trump Administration, it would upend a longtime consensus that the government must count all residents of the United States, regardless of their immigration status. The core question in the case — who counts for purposes of congressional reapportionment — is fundamental and largely untested. (Adam Liptak, The New York Times)