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

California: On Thursday, February 18, the FPPC is set to adopt a package of regulations implementing the new law imposing default contribution limits on cities and counties that don’t have local laws imposing limits. (FPPC Agenda)

California: A Palo Alto city council member was fined by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for campaign finance violations, including violations of the prohibitions against candidates using their personal bank accounts for campaign expenditures. (Gennady Sheyner, Palo Alto Weekly)

New York City:The New York City Board of Elections’ top lawyer resigned amid an ongoing misconduct probe. (Carl Campanile and Nolan Hicks, NY Post)

Washington: Tim Eyman, a proponent of multiple overlapping initiative committees in Washington State, has been fined $2.6 million and barred from controlling political committees after a court finding that he violated multiple state campaign finance laws. (Martin Bilboa, The Olympian)

Wisconsin: Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes’ campaign was fined by the State Ethics Commission for accepting a contribution that exceeded contribution limits by $1,600 from a political party committee. (Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Government Ethics & Transparency

Baltimore: Baltimore City State’s Attorney Mosby attended 24 out-of-town events over a two-year period with most trips not approved by the Board of Ethics as required, according to a new Inspector General’s report. (Brandon Ingram, WMAR) The contents of the Inspector General reports are being disputed by Mosby’s lawyers, however. (Ryan Dickstein, WMAR)

Indiana: A state representative’s bill aimed at increasing affordable housing options and limiting local government overreach raised conflicts of interest concerns because of the representative’s ownership in a home building company. (AP Report, Chicago Post Tribune)

New York: The Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Ethics (JCOPE) is resigning, and Governor Cuomo is appointing attorney Camille Joseph Varlack as a new committeeperson and chair. (Chris Bragg, Albany Times Union)

Redistricting

States will not get the key data to draw new congressional and legislative maps until September, setting up a race to draw new maps and fight over them in court before the 2022 midterms. (Michael Macagnone, Roll Call)