Compliance Notes - Vol. 3, Issue 46
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
As spending on digital advertisements skyrocketed in the 2022 election cycle, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) unveiled a proposed new regulation to force disclosure of paid advertising on leading social media and streaming platforms. The proposed rule would require digital ads to identify the entity paying for them and expand the type of digital ads subject to the regulations by including paid social media endorsements and "influencer marketing" efforts. Under current law, any political advertisement in broadcast or print media must clearly identify who paid for it, however, the same rules do not apply to digital ads. The FEC is forgoing a public comment period on the regulation and is scheduled to vote this week. (Lachlan Markay, Axios)
Kentucky: Lobbyists and their employers who work with and aim to influence Louisville Metro officials will have to register with the city under a new ordinance approved last week. Within seven days of engaging a city official, a lobbyist must file a registration statement with the Ethics Commission describing the resolutions, ordinances, or executive or legislative actions for which the lobbyist is or will be engaged in lobbying. Lobbyists who continue engaging with Metro officials over time must file spending statements with the Ethics Commission. (Billy Kobin, Louisville Courier Journal)
Government Ethics & Transparency
The public can now search for and view federal judges' financial disclosure reports detailing their assets and stock trades after the U.S. judiciary launched the online disclosure database on November 14, 2022. In May, President Biden signed a bipartisan bill into law requiring the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to create an online database and requiring judges to report any stock trades exceeding $1,000 within 45 days in addition to their annual disclosure reports. Even though judges have filed yearly financial disclosure reports for a long time, requests by the public to review the reports would take months or longer to fulfill. The new database will initially contain judges' 2021 financial disclosure reports and the periodic reports detailing stock trades. (Nate Raymond, Reuters)
New York: Manhattan federal prosecutors investigating former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's business dealings informed the court overseeing the foreign lobbying probe that their case is closing without any charges. Prosecutors were investigating whether Giuliani violated lobbying laws when he campaigned for the ouster of then-U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from Ukraine. (Aaron Katersky, ABC News)
Georgia: Early voting on a Saturday before the U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia is prohibited because it is the day after the state holiday formerly known as Robert E. Lee’s Birthday and two days after Thanksgiving. Election officials explained that a state law passed in 2016 prohibits early in-person voting on Saturdays if there is a holiday within two days beforehand. The restriction leaves five days of early in-person voting on the weekdays before the December 6 runoff election, however, county governments can allow three more early voting days beginning the day after the general election results are certified. (Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)