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Essential Ethics

Essential Ethics is Nielsen Merksamer’s popular weekly newsletter focused on developments in campaign finance, lobby disclosure, and government ethics laws across the nation. View our latest and archived posts below.

May 13, 2024

Latest Developments: Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves approved HB 1664, which expands gift and campaign contribution restrictions for public utilities officials and employees from interested persons to “covered persons.” Covered persons now include persons acting at…

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April 30, 2024

Latest Developments: Recently argued before the Supreme Court, Snyder v. United States has the potential to make it harder to prosecute public officials on charges of corruption, according to an MSNBC opinion piece by a…

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April 16, 2024

Latest Developments: The U.S. Government Accountability Office issued its 2023 Lobbying Disclosure Report. The report, based on audits of a random sample of 98 quarterly LD-2 reports and 160 LD-203 reports, concluded that its findings comport with…

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April 2, 2024

Latest Developments: The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Smith v. Helzer, affirmed a lower court’s denial of an injunction to stop the implementation of parts of Alaska’s Measure 2, which…

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March 19, 2024

Latest Developments:  The Oregon Legislature approved HB. 4024, which would impose campaign contribution limits in one of the few remaining states that has no limits. The bill establishes these limits, beginning January 1, 2027, requires related…

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March 5, 2024

 Latest Developments: The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission issued an announcement that it resolved several ethics cases, which include the imposition of fines of $7,500 and $5,000 against two individuals who failed to file lobby…

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February 22, 2024

Latest Developments:  The Federal Communications Commission announced “a unanimous adoption of a Declaratory Ruling that recognizes calls made with AI-generated voices are ‘artificial’ under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).”NPR explains that the net effect…

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February 6, 2024

Latest Developments:  The Federal Election Commission adjusted for inflation the threshold for reporting campaign contributions “bundled” by federal lobbyists. The new threshold is $22,700, up from $21,800 for 2023. In Case You Missed It:  Listen…

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January 22, 2024

Latest Developments:  The Texas Ethics Commission adjusted various thresholds, including those for lobby registration, effective January 1, 2024. The new thresholds require that a person must register if the lobbyist receives compensation of more than $1,870…

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January 4, 2024

Latest Developments:  A U.S. District Court issued a preliminary injunction in Minnesota Chamber of Commerce v. Choi. The Minnesota Reformer reports that the court granted the order to block Minnesota’s recently enacted law that would have…

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