HomeEssential Ethics / APRIL 13, 2018

Essential Ethics

APRIL 13, 2018

Latest Developments:

The FPPC has released its agenda for the meeting next week.  The April 19 meeting will include pre-notice discussion of regulations to implement the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Governance Committee and a review of the Commission’s ability to review and modify a closure letter

The San Francisco Ethics Commission will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, April 18, 2018.  The agenda includes only two items: (1) to choose a new chair and (2) to discuss the proposed changes to the Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance, as amended in the recent joint meeting with the Board of Supervisors.

The Colorado Secretary of State will hold a hearing on proposed amended lobby regulations on Monday, April 16.

In case you missed it:

  • The New York Times reports that corporate giving is often used as a political tool.  A group of researchers found a connection between corporate charitable activity and politicians’ favorite charities.  The study showed “a pattern of contributions to 1,087 charities linked to 451 members of Congress.”
  • Salon reports that Arizona Republicans are seeking to protect dark money from disclosure.  The legislature passed HB 2153 which was signed by Governor Ducey on April 5, 2018.  The bill preempts municipalities from requiring disclosure by tax-exempt IRC 501 organizations.  Under the bill, local governments may not require registration, reporting, or disclosure of an organization’s IRS Form 990 Schedule B (list of donors).
  • The Brennan Center for Justice has issued a new report, Getting Foreign Funds out of America’s Elections.  The report includes recommendations to update political spending laws for the Internet, eliminate dark money by requiring disclosure, extend the ban on foreign money to domestic corporations owned by foreign interests, and reform the FEC.
  • A suit against President Trump alleging inadequate financial disclosure was tossed by a federal judge, according to Politico.  The plaintiff argued that the President failed to adequately disclose his debts in sufficient detail in a report required by the Ethics in Government Act.  The case, Lovitky v. Trump, noted that it was within the discretion of the Office of Government Ethics as to what to require and the President was not required to provide specificity.  The case was dismissed for lack of standing.