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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The Federal Election Commission (FEC) voted unanimously to recommend that Congress ban the practice of political campaigns and other federal committees using solicitations that have a pre-checked option to make the contribution a reoccurring one. (Shane Goldmacher, New York Times)
By a vote of 2-2, the FEC dismissed allegations that former-President Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign accepted an unreported, illegal in-kind contribution in the form of “hush money” paid to Stormy Daniels. (Fredreka Schouten & Caroline Kelly, CNN)
Senior Adviser to President Joe Biden, Anita Dunn, is permitted to file confidential financial disclosure reports rather than public ones due to her status as a Special Governmental Employee, a type of federal employee with more lenient ethics requirements that are traditionally reserved for temporary employees. (Lee Fang, The Intercept)
Maryland: The communications director for Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby filed a complaint with the Federal Communication Commission alleging unfair and biased news coverage. However, the filing of the complaint itself raises potential ethics concerns. (Rielle Creighton, Fox 45 News)
Massachusetts: A federal jury heard testimony in the corruption trial of Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II, including claims that the mayor extorted $600,000 in bribes from marijuana vendors seeking to do business in the city. (Christopher Gavin, Boston.com)
Michigan: Now former-Detroit City Councilmember Gabe Leland pleaded guilty to misconduct in office for agreeing to accept $15,000 in cash and free car repairs from a businessman in exchange for his vote on a controversial matter. (Christine Ferretti, The Detroit News) The Michigan House passed a bill that would require legislators to recuse themselves from voting on issues in which they have a personal interest. (Lauren Gibbons, MI Live)
Montana: The Montana Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Commissioner of Political Practices (COPP) does not have the power to subpoena for records during its investigations. (Holly Michels, The Missoulian)
Florida: Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law numerous election rules changes that advocates say will make elections secure but critics charge will give Republicans an edge in next year's midterm elections. (Wendy Rhodes and Antonio Fins, Florida Today)