Compliance Notes - Vol. 2, Issue 27
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.
Our attorneys, policy advisors and compliance consultants are available to discuss any questions or how specific issues may impact your business.
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Campaign Finance & Lobbying Compliance
Commissioner Sean Cooksey proposed a policy that would require public notice of the votes that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) takes on litigation matters, including those where the FEC declines to defend itself due to a lack of agreement among the Commissioners. (Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner)
Former Massachusetts congressional candidate Abhijit Das was indicted on federal charges for receiving excessive contributions and filing false reports with the FEC. Das is alleged to have solicited at least $125,000 in illegal campaign contributions and to have then used his campaign account to pay personal debts. (Marie Szaniszlo, Boston Herald)
Ohio: State candidates will be able to use campaign funds for childcare under newly introduced legislation. (Tyler Buchanan, Ohio Capital Journal)
Michigan: The state’s Republican Party will pay $200,000 to settle campaign finance allegations that it used its funds as part of a “secret deal” to persuade Stan Grot to drop out of the race for the party’s nomination for secretary of state. (Craig Mauger, The Detroit News)
Montana: A state judge blocked two provisions of a new campaign finance bill. The first provision affected campaign contributions to judges and the second one regulated how political committees could operate on college campuses. (Mara Silvers, Montana Free Press)
Government Ethics & Transparency
The timing of the purchase of a South Carolina grain plant by former Secretary of the Agriculture Sonny Perdue from Archer-Daniels-Midland is being questioned because the plant appeared to be sold at a steep discount. (Greg Bluestein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Texas: A federal jury convicted Dallas developer Ruel Hamilton of charges related to payments he made to two City Council members in exchange for assistance with his low-income housing development project. (Jason Trahan, WFAA)
An investigative report looked at political contributions that executives of private equity firms made to support a 2018 Massachusetts charter school ballot measure that had close connections to Governor Charlie Baker. The report raises questions about the role of the Securities Exchange Commission’s (SEC) pay-to-play rules for contributions to ballot measure committees and Super PACs linked to candidates or public officials who may influence the award of public contracts. (Matthew Cunningham-Cook, The Intercept)
California: Governor Gavin Newsom sued the Secretary of State to include his Democratic Party designation on the recall ballot after missing the narrow seven-day window in which to file paperwork to state his party preference following the acceptance of the recall petitions by the Secretary. (Kevin Yamamura, Politico)
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that California’s collection of donor information from charities soliciting contributions in the state was an unconstitutional infringement of the First Amendment’s freedom of association. (Adam Liptak, The New York Times