Compliance Notes - Vol. 4, Issue 36

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

Hawaii: Former state representative Kaniela Ing (D-HI), who represented South Maui from 2012 to 2018 and also ran for Congress, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of missing a deadline for filing a campaign spending report, the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office said. According to the complaint filed by the Campaign Spending Commission, Ing missed a deadline to file a routine disclosure statement with the commission in August 2022 and did not pay a $500 fine. Failing to file a report is a misdemeanor under Hawaii’s campaign spending law. However, there have been few instances of such a charge. Ing was charged in February after the Campaign Spending Commission took the rare step of referring the case to prosecutors. According to a press release, the court granted Ing a one-year deferral of his plea, during which time he must not commit another crime or leave Oahu without the court’s permission, and he also must make a $100 contribution to the State General Fund. (Kim Gamel, Civil Beat)

Texas: An Austin, TX, campaign fundraising regulation that prohibited City Council candidates from seeking or accepting campaign contributions more than one year before an election was declared unconstitutional. The federal judge ruled that the blackout period violated the First Amendment because the city “failed to present sufficient evidence to show how a contribution made 366 days before an election–versus 364–presents a different threat of quid pro quo corruption.” (Jo Clifton, Austin Monitor)

Government Ethics & Transparency

For the first time since 2019, X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, announced it will allow paid political advertisements. According to the announcement, the platform will enforce policies that aim to prevent the spread of false or misleading information and will expand its safety and elections team to focus on combating the spread of manipulated media and inauthentic accounts. (Rebecca Klar, The Hill)

California: Governor Gavin Newson recently signed a bill into law that requires a person paid by a committee to post content online supporting or opposing a candidate or a ballot measure to include a disclaimer on that content stating they were paid by the committee to make the post. SB 678 will become effective on January 1, 2024. (New Release – Sept. 01, 2023 and Senate Bill No. 678)

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