Compliance Notes - Vol. 2, Issue 35
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
Federal prosecutors are looking into whether lobbyist Barry Bennett was required to register as a foreign agent of Qatar while working as an unpaid adviser who reportedly launched a group called Yemen Crisis Watch. (Karl Evers-Hillstrom, The Hill)
A complaint was filed against former NFL running back Herschel Walker for allegedly spending money to support his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Georgia before he filed official paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. (Doug Richards, 11Alive)
Oregon: A Multnomah County judge upheld the county’s new $500 campaign contribution limit as constitutional. (Sam Stites, Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Tennessee: Nashville Metro Councilmember Jonathan Hall is accused of failing to include required information, including donor identification, on campaign finance reports. (Jennifer Kraus, News Channel 5)
Government Ethics & Transparency
To date, at least 16 Senate-confirmed officials in the Biden administration have received a waiver related to the White House’s ethics pledge or other conflict of interest laws. (Lachlan Markey, Axios)
Illinois: Governor Pritzker issued an “amendatory veto” to a recently passed ethics reform bill to clarify that the Executive Ethics Commission did not need advance approval for investigations, a power that was written into the bill as a “new” power. The legislature will now have a chance to approve or reject the governor’s changes. (Rachel Hinton, Chicago Sun-Times)
Pennsylvania: The State Ethics Commission determined that Pittsburgh’s Superintendent of Public Schools, Anthony Hamlet, violated ethics rules by accepting honorariums for public appearances or speeches related to his public position. The Commission also concluded that Hamlet had submitted “negligent” travel reimbursement requests and was paid for days he did not work. (Associated Press)
Ballots & Voting
Georgia: The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Georgia’s law requiring those who vote by mail to pay for their own postage is not an unconstitutional “poll tax,” but rather the payment for a service incidental to voting, such as a ride to the polls. (Carolina Bolado, Law 360)