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 federal district court ordered former U.S. Representative David Rivera to pay a $456,000 fine to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for violating campaign finance rules when he funneled at least $69,000 to a primary challenger of the leading contender to unseat Rivera. (Ryan Nicol, Florida Politics)
The FEC received a complaint alleging coordination based on a common vendor between Jon Ossoff’s U.S. Senate campaign and The Lincoln Project. (Houston Keene, Fox News)
Massachusetts: The Office of Campaign and Political Finance has recommended that the Legislature amend campaign finance laws to allow childcare expenses incurred by candidates to be considered legitimate campaign expenses. (Shira Schoenberg, CommonWealth Magazine) Also, a former state representative, David Nangle, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to his use of campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, such as local golf club dues and rental cars to travel to casinos. (AP News)
Washington: After agreeing not to run political ads in Washington State and paying $200,000 to settle allegations for violating campaign finance laws in 2018, Google is now alleged to have committed identical violations after running ads in 2020. (Karina Brown, Courthouse News)
Government Ethics & Transparency
The House Ethics Committee made public two investigative reports submitted by the Office of Congressional Ethics, one relating to Delegate San Nicolas (D-Guam) and the other to Representative Palazzo (R-MS). Both reports contain allegations that campaign funds were misspent in violation of the FEC’s prohibition on the use of campaign funds for personal use. (Press Release re Del. San Nicolas & Press Release re Rep. Palazzo)
New Mexico: The House Speaker is proposing a new provision that would apply the state’s Human Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender and sexual identity, to the Legislature and its staff. (Morgan Lee, Associated Press)
Pennsylvania: A former chief public defender’s law license was suspended for one year following a plea to crimes stemming from the use of his public office to encourage subordinates to engage in political activity. (Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board)
Elections & Recalls
California: A recall campaign has been launched against the newly elected Los Angeles County District Attorney, who enacted significant criminal justice reforms upon taking office. (Ben Poston, Los Angeles Times)
 Nossaman LLP represents the recall committee.