Compliance Notes - Vol. 3, Issue 51

Nossaman eAlert

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) elected Dara Lindenbaum as Chair and Sean J. Cooksey as Vice Chairman for 2023. Lindenbaum was nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the Senate in May 2022. Cooksey was nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate in December 2020. (FEC Press Release)

The three primary committees tasked with electing democrat lawmakers said they would set aside more than $1 million of campaign donations made by Samuel Bankman-Fried, who is accused of making illegal campaign donations worth tens of millions of dollars. The Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) all received contributions from Bankman-Fried. The DNC, DSCC and DCCC all released statements saying they would set aside the donations from Bankman-Fried and return the money after receiving legal guidance. (Seung Min Kim & Zeke Miller, AP News)

Minnesota: A new lobbying law set to take effect in January could raise potential problems for state lawmakers and regulators responsible for determining who must register as a lobbyist. The law seeks to prevent legislators from working for entities that exist primarily for lobbying or government affairs work and would also apply to legislators who work in certain roles at organizations that employ or contract with lobbyists. Depending on how the law is enforced, some lawmakers may need to choose between serving in the Legislature or continuing with their outside occupation. (Brian Bakst, MPR News)

Government Ethics & Transparency

A bipartisan group of 36 former members of the House of Representatives released an open letter demanding an investigation into lawmakers linked to the January 6th attack on the Capitol. The former lawmakers urged current House members to request that 1) the Office of Congressional Ethics thoroughly investigate members who played a role in the events and, 2) if appropriate, that the House exercise its disciplinary functions. While the letter does not name any specific lawmaker, it does cite the allegations made by the January 6th Committee that sitting lawmakers corresponded with and met with various White House officials and allies in an effort to overturn the 2020 election. (Sareen Habeshian, Axios)

Elections & Voting

Arizona: A Maricopa County Superior Court judge dismissed former Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem’s lawsuit seeking a new election, that alleged misconduct by current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Finchem claimed Hobbs engaged in misconduct by failing to recuse herself and by certifying ballot tabulating machines. Finchem also claimed Hobbs acted inappropriately when Hobbs alleged Finchem’s posts on Twitter contained misinformation, that resulted in his Twitter account’s suspension. In dismissing the lawsuit, the judge ruled that “[n]one of these alleged acts constitutes ‘misconduct’ sufficient to survive dismissal.” The judge affirmed Adrian Fontes as the winner. Fontes will take the oath of office on January 2, 2023. (Mary Jo Pitzl, azcentral)

North Carolina: The North Carolina Supreme Court struck down a voter identification law, Senate Bill 824, on the basis that it had a “racially discriminatory purpose” against Black voters. SB 824 was passed in 2018 by the Republican-controlled legislature and required voters to show one of a few specific forms of photo ID. The court found that while the law was facially neutral, the Republican majority “targeted voters who, based on race, were unlikely to vote for the majority party.” (Sareen Habeshian, Axios)

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