Compliance Notes - Vol. 2, Issue 38
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
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) dismissed a complaint alleging that Twitter made an illegal in-kind campaign contribution to the Biden campaign when it restricted access to a New York Post article about Hunter Biden. (Lauren Feiner, CNBC)
Illinois: The Chicago Board of Ethics fined the owner of the Chicago Sky basketball team, Michael Alter, $5,000 for failing to register as a lobbyist. According to records, Alter sent an email to then Mayor-elect Lightfoot’s spouse, stating that he was seeking “to formally get the mayor’s support for pending legislation” and noting that he had previously discussed the issue with Lightfoot. (Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune)
Maryland: Delegate Lauren Arikan filed a complaint against the gubernatorial exploratory committee of Michael Steele alleging that the committee is engaging in activities that would require it to register with the state as a campaign committee. (Bruce DePuyt, Maryland Matters)
Michigan: Michigan Freedom Fund filed a campaign finance complaint against Governor Gretchen Whitmer alleging that she accepted excessive campaign contributions from at least ten donors, including Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. (Bruce Walker, The Center Square)
Montana: Montana Citizens for Right to Work filed a complaint in U.S. District Court claiming that the state’s Clean Campaign Act is unconstitutional because it requires political committees to provide copies of campaign mailers to candidates who are referenced in the mailers if sent within 10 days of an election. (Keith Schubert, Daily Montanan via Missoula Current)
New Jersey: The Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) is reviewing its policy of deleting from its public disclosure website documentation regarding complaints that it has dismissed. The state’s Open Public Meetings Act entitles members of the public to access information regarding such complaints, even after dismissal by the ELEC. The policy came to light and is under reconsideration after an individual whose tips have led to several ELEC complaints noticed they had disappeared from the website with no published resolution. (Matt Friedman, Politico)
Government Ethics & Transparency
The American Accountability Foundation filed a Congressional ethics complaint against Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez alleging that her attendance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala (the Met Gala) was an impermissible gift because she was hand-picked to attend the event, where tickets ranged from $35,000 to $50,000. (Dartunorro Clark, NBC News)
The Chairman of the Federal Reserve System (the Fed), Jerome Powell, has ordered a review of the central bank’s ethics rules after financial disclosures revealed that several Fed presidents had financial holdings in, or made transactions related to, companies that may have benefited from the Fed’s actions. (Thomas Franck, CNBC)