Category Archives: Rulemaking

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Trump Ethics Order Loosens Hiring Rules, but Tightens Post-Employment Restrictions

On January 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order that imposes an extra layer of ethics obligations on presidentially appointed members of the White House and Executive Branch. Overall, President Trump’s Executive Order takes a somewhat different approach than the “Ethics Pledge” issued by the Obama administration, expanding some restrictions and loosening others. In … Continue Reading

Election Year Tips for Employers

From now until the polls close on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, politics will be inescapably in the air – and in the workplace. Employees will be talking, and sometimes arguing, and sometimes participating in one campaign or another. Prudent employers should take note of what they may be required to do or prohibited from doing … Continue Reading

Maryland Changes Rules Again on Political Contribution Disclosure by Government Contractors; Lobbyist-Employers Also Affected

Following a major rewrite last year of its “pay-to-play” disclosure rules, Maryland has made further changes that expand the obligations of state and local government contractors to report their political contributions, and those of their subsidiaries, officers, directors, partners, and PACs. Now, in addition to reporting direct contributions to candidates, contractors will also have to disclose … Continue Reading

Naming Your PAC

The Washington Examiner recently wrote about the art of naming a PAC, pointing out that the name must “balance patriotic with practical considerations.” The Examiner talked about making sure the name is not too long if the PAC will have to include “paid for by” statements on its ads. But there are some other legal … Continue Reading

501(c)(4) Proposed Regulations—An Unsafe Harbor

On November 26, the Department of Treasury released proposed regulations billed as “more definitive rules” for when the IRS will treat certain activities by section 501(c)(4) organization as political activity. It is hard to argue that the proposal provides some clarity, but only by classifying a wide variety of activities as candidate-related and therefore not qualifying … Continue Reading

New York Ethics Watchdog Makes Additional Tweaks to Proposed Ethics Rules

New York State’s ethics and lobbying watchdog, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“JCOPE”), released revised draft amendments to its gift and honoraria rules and source of funding (“SOF”) regulations. JCOPE will seek formal public comment on all of these proposed rules. Copies of the new draft rules can be found here. In January, JCOPE began accepting … Continue Reading

NYS Regulator Hosts Roundtable on New Lobbying Disclosure Rules

The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“JCOPE”), which oversees and regulates ethics and lobbying in New York, hosted the first in a series of roundtable discussions with the regulated community on March 8 (in Albany) and March 15 (in NYC). The March roundtable discussions focused on the new Reportable Business Relationship (“RBR”) … Continue Reading

Court Rules on Donor Disclosure for Advocacy Groups; Van Hollen Case Overturned

Today a D.C. federal appeals court temporarily reinstated a Federal Election Commission rule concerning when advocacy groups and others must disclose their donors, but has directed the FEC to clarify the rule or return to the courts for more litigation. The effect of the ruling is to put in limbo a key disclosure rule less … Continue Reading

States Ramp Up Disclosure Rules for Political Spending; Federal Efforts Stall

Outside groups have become a potent political force in the 2012 election campaign. Unleashed by the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case and subsequent lower court rulings, such groups can raise unlimited sums from individuals and corporations for ads and other spending that is not “coordinated” with a candidate. The most dramatic example: … Continue Reading
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