Compliance Notes - Vol. 4, Issue 17
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.
Our attorneys, policy advisors and compliance consultants are available to discuss any questions or how specific issues may impact your business.
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Campaign Finance & Lobbying Compliance
Colorado: A judge ruled that the political nonprofit Unite for Colorado does not have to disclose its donors and pay a $40,000 campaign finance fine stemming from the $4 million it spent on 2020 ballot initiatives. The judge found Unite for Colorado did not violate a state law requiring political nonprofits to register as issue committees and reveal their funders when their spending on a ballot initiative is their “major purpose.” (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)
New Jersey: The executive director of the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) sued Gov. Phil Murphy, challenging the constitutionality of the Elections Transparency Act, that overhauled the state’s campaign finance rules and the elections agency. The suit seeks to block sections of the law allowing Murphy to directly appoint four agency board members and the provision slashing the amount of time the commission has to investigate campaign finance violations. (Ashley Balcerzak, NorthJersey.com)
Government Ethics & Transparency
Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) invited Chief Justice John Roberts to testify on ethical standards at the Supreme Court next month. Durbin’s letter stated that the scope of Roberts’s testimony would be limited to the ethics rules governing Supreme Court justices and potential changes to those rules. (Kevin Freking and Mark Sherman, AP News)
The Supreme Court will consider whether the First Amendment protects social media users from being blocked from commenting on the personal pages that government officials use to communicate actions related to their duties. Appeals courts have set forth different tests to determine whether blocking a social media user amounts to an unconstitutional state action restricting speech in a public forum. (Tierney Sneed, CNN)
The Congressional Integrity Project sent a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics seeking a preliminary review of House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Homeland Chair Mark Green’s (R-Tenn.) conduct, alleging the members wrongfully linked fundraising efforts with official actions. The letter comes after reports stated Jordan touted at a fundraising event his efforts to probe Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, and Green discussed with donors his pursuit of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. (Stef W. Kight, Axios)
Elections & Voting
Alaska: The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional under the state constitution’s equal protection doctrine. The court explained that the Alaska Redistricting Board violated state law by using “secretive procedures” to draw two Eagle River Senate districts to benefit Republicans. (Sean Maguire, Anchorage Daily News)