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
The Biden administration is set to release its “Ethics Pledge,” which is reported to include new lobbying restrictions on former administration officials and a ban on special payments to senior officials from former employers. (Michael Sherer, The Washington Post)
H.R. 1, For the People Act 2021, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and includes many of the same campaign finance, lobbying and conflict of interest provisions that H.R. 1 introduced in the last Congress. (Congress.Gov)
Chicago: The Chicago Board of Ethics (“Board”) fined an Alderman $145,500 for accepting $48,500 in excessive contributions from a person doing business with the city, while the firm connected to the contributions received a $5,000 fine, the maximum allowed under the law. (Heather Cherone, WTTW) In other news, an Alderman who represented a second former Alderman in a criminal case with the Chicago Police Department is challenging the Board’s imposition of a $5,000 fine against him. (Heather Cherone, WTTW)
New York City: The New York City Campaign Finance Board settled allegations that a City Councilmember failed to report campaign contributions and expenses, agreeing to a civil penalty of approximately $10,000. (Billy Richling, BKYLNER)
Government Ethics & Transparency
Nonprofits related to Joe Biden, including some bearing his name, present potential conflict of interest issues that the new administration will have to handle. (Theodoric Meyer, Politico)
Hawaii: As the Hawaii legislature is set to open its 2021 session this week, several new ethics rules, including a ban on “gifts of aloha,” will take effect. (Blaze Lovell, Honolulu Civil Beat)
Nonprofits & PACs
A number of nonprofits, including some that do not disclose donors, have been linked to financing investigations of voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential election, as well as to supporting the January 6, 2021 rally to protest the certification of Electoral College votes. (Brian Schwartz, CNBC)
District of Columbia: The D.C. Attorney General filed an additional complaint in court against President Trump’s 2017 Inaugural Committee, alleging that the nonprofit paid a nearly $50,000 invoice to benefit the Trump Organization, a private company, in violation of the District’s nonprofit law. (John Bowden, The Hill)