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

A congressional candidate who reportedly used $93,000 of remaining campaign funds from an unsuccessful 2020 election to form a nonprofit is under fire for taking $65,000 from the nonprofit and depositing it into his 2022 campaign fund. (Brian Slodysko, ABC News)

Ohio: The Ohio Elections Commission ruled that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and three Ohio legislators did not violate state campaign finance laws when ALEC provided the Ohio legislators with free software for their 2020 campaigns. Absent evidence that the legislators activated or used the software provided by ALEC, the commission decided the $3,000 worth of software was not an in-kind contribution because “they didn’t accept and use the software, and it was only provided to them.” (Bryce Buyakie, The Daily Record)

New Mexico: After a four-year break, the State Elections Director of New Mexico conducted an annual review of campaign finance disclosures by political committees, election candidates and politicians. Following the review, 10 cases were referred to the State Ethics Commission and state prosecutors for possible enforcement action. (Morgan Lee, Las Cruces Sun News)

Missouri: The Missouri Ethics Commission ordered former Columbia Mayor Brian Treece to terminate his campaign committee, finding Treece, who is now a lobbyist, likely violated state law forbidding registered lobbyists from having campaign committees. (Lucas Geisler, ABC 17 News)

Government Ethics & Transparency

The Iowa Democratic Party has filed a complaint alleging that Congresswoman Miller-Meeks did not properly disclose her salary from a state position and pension payments on her financial disclosure form. (Kyle Ocker, OttumwaCourier)

California: The San Francisco Ethics Commission released a report detailing “problematic” gifts accepted by the city and distributed to city employees from groups with which the city does business. (Lauren Hernandez, San Francisco Chronicle)

Maryland: Roy McGrath, former chief of staff for Governor Larry Hogan, was indicted on federal charges relating to misuse and embezzlement of state funds, as well as charges of mail and wire fraud. (Danielle Gaines & Hannah Gaskill, WTOP)

New York: The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) voted to open an independent investigation into how it approved a book deal by former Governor Andrew Cuomo. (Karen Dewitt, WXXI AM News)