Compliance Notes - Vol. 3, Issue 31
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
After more than 16 years of service as a Commissioner on the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Vice Chair Steven Walther has retired, as of August 1, 2022. He will be succeeded by Dara Lindenbaum, who received Senate confirmation earlier this year. (FEC Press Release)
The campaign of Marcus Molinaro, candidate for the NY-19 Congressional district, allegedly failed to report transactions related to the campaign’s rental of a vehicle from a longtime supporter. If payment had not been received, then the supporter would have made an in-kind contribution to the campaign, possibly in excess of contribution limits. (Kate Lisa, Hudson Valley 360)
Florida: Vita LLC, the business originally chosen to operate the newly renovated Sunset Lounge in West Palm Beach, was disqualified from the contract because it engaged in lobbying in violation of the request for proposal’s procurement rules. (Gary Detman, CBS 12 News)
Georgia: Two organizations founded by Stacey Abrams before her 2018 candidacy for Georgia Governor should have registered as independent political committees and publicly disclosed the source of their funds, according to the Georgia Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission, which may levy on the Abrams affiliated committees the largest fine in the commission’s history. Following the vote, the finding will be referred to an administrative law judge for a formal adjudication and then ultimately back to the commission. (James Salzer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Rhode Island: The Rhode Island Board of Elections fined two state senators for improper spending and reporting by their campaigns. The board fined Senator Thomas Paolino $2,500 for failing to report a loan repayment of $10,000, among other violations, and it fined Senator Elaine Morgan $1,200 for improperly spending $2,600 for personal travel unrelated to the campaign. (Ted Nesi, WPRI)
Government Ethics & Transparency
New York: Government reform organizations have praised the fact that members of New York’s new ethics agency, the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government, are now vetted by a rotating panel of 15 law school deans. Despite that improvement, the reform organizations still take issue with the fact that, like its predecessor, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, commissioners are still selected by the very public officials that they regulate. (Karen DeWitt, WXXI News)