Compliance Notes - Vol. 5, Issue 22

05.30.2024
Nossaman eAlert
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.

If there is a particular subject or jurisdiction you’d like to see covered, please let us know.

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Campaign Finance & Lobbying Compliance

Iowa: The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board fined U.S. House candidate Melissa Vine and her former campaign manager $500 each after an investigation found that the campaign made dozens of donations to a political action committee under other people’s names. Lou McDonald, who Vine has since fired, attempted to make more than 100 contributions using his personal credit card to the Iowa Unity Coalition ahead of its endorsement vote, the investigation found. Vine was aware McDonald was making the contributions. In a statement to the ethics board through attorneys, both Vine and McDonald denied they knew the contributions violated Iowa campaign finance law and said they believed they were purchasing “memberships” rather than making contributions. (Galen Bacharier, Des Moines Register)


Government Ethics & Transparency

Last Wednesday, May 22, 2024, House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) introduced the Presidential Ethics Reform Act to increase transparency and congressional oversight. According to a news release, the bill would require “presidents and vice presidents to disclose foreign payments, expensive gifts, loan transactions, and tax returns during the two-year period prior to time in office, during time in office, and for two years following departure from office.” In addition, “presidents and vice presidents to make disclosures for immediate family members who receive foreign payments, expensive gifts, or loans, or who use official travel for personal business.” Comer called the bill a “landmark” piece of bipartisan legislation that “delivers the transparency and accountability the American people deserve to ensure our public offices are not for sale.” (Nicholas Ballasy, JusttheNews.com)

Congressional Democrats launched another salvo against the oil industry the week of May 19, 2024, this time investigating what executives may have promised or been promised at a dinner with former President Donald Trump, where he asked them for $1 billion in campaign donations. The letters sent by Senate Budget Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to nine oil companies and industry trade associations is the latest in a slew of investigations Democrats have opened into the oil industry in recent weeks. The inquiries focus on whether the companies discussed potential industry-friendly policies Trump might adopt in a second administration in return for their financial support. The senators also asked for information on what policy-related documents industry lawyers might be ready to supply Trump with for his signature if he once again sits in the Oval Office. (Ben Lefebvre, POLITICO)

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