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 Department of Justice (DOJ) filed federal wire fraud charges against James Kyle Bell, who ran a pro-Trump Super PAC as a so-called “scam PAC.” Bell is accused of raising $250,000 to support Trump, with virtually none of it being spent for that purpose. The DOJ says Bell pocketed the funds for himself. (Bell also ran a pro-Biden Super PAC, but no charges were filed in connection with that operation.) (Lachlan Markey, Axios)
Tennessee: Bill Ketron, the mayor of Rutherford County, TN, faces $135,000 in penalties assessed by the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance after a series of audits found 474 violations due to discrepancies in the campaign finance reports of three different committees that he controlled. (Tayla Courage, Murfreeboro Post)
The U.S. State Department’s inspector general found that former-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife violated government ethics rules by asking staffers to conduct personal errands, such as pet care and making personal restaurant reservations. (Associated Press, NBC News)
Michigan: Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office decided that a nonprofit group that provided contributions to Unlock Michigan, a ballot measure committee, did not need to disclose its donors as the underlying source of those contributions unless those funds were received for “the sole purpose” of transmitting them to Unlock Michigan. The complainant in the case has said he plans to seek reconsideration of the decision. (Chris Mauger, The Detroit News)