HomeEssential Ethics / August 28, 2023

Essential Ethics

August 28, 2023

Latest Developments:

  • New Colorado Regulations: The Colorado Department of State adopted amendments to its campaign finance regulations. “This included establishing reporting requirements for independent expenditures, direct ballot measure expenditures, and earmarked contributions and expenditures; (and) detailing when an organization meets the major purpose standard…”
  • New Mexico Party Contribution Limits Enjoined: The Albuquerque Journal reports that a federal judge “struck down as unconstitutional New Mexico’s limits on how much state political parties can contribute to political candidates and local political parties.” In Republican Party of New Mexico v. King, the court upheld other contribution limits citing a history of corruption, but found that party contributions are “too attenuated from the root concern of quid pro quo corruption between individuals and candidates.”
  • New Pay-to-Play Website: The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has a new web page to help navigate recent changes to state law that imposes pay-to-play restrictions on contributions to certain local candidates. The page includes a Fact Sheet, recent advice letters, and a formal opinion, as well as newly adopted amended regulations.
  • Proposed SF Gift Regulations: The San Francisco Ethics Commission voted to place a measure on the March 2024 ballot and adopted amended regulations “associated with” that measure. The regulations, among other things, revise the kinds of gifts that are exempt from the prohibition on gifts from persons doing business or seeking to do business with the city.

In Case You Missed It:

  • Former Anaheim Mayor Pleads Guilty: According to the Los Angeles Times, the disgraced former mayor of Anaheim “agreed to plead guilty to federal charges in connection with his push to sell Angel Stadium, including lying to FBI agents about not expecting to receive anything from the Angels when the transaction closed — he allegedly hoped to get a $1 million campaign contribution — and destroying an email where he provided confidential information to the team about the city’s negotiations.”
  • “Brutal” Rejection of Ethics Advocate: The Los Angeles Times reports that the City Council “torpedoed” the nomination of Jamie York, “a vocal proponent of stronger ethics laws,” to the city’s Ethics Commission. The 14-0 vote came as a shock to many, but some council members cited her past political fundraising and stance on lobby reform as reasons for the rejection. The nominee blamed the “shadow lobbying system that I have been railing against for so long.”
  • Super PACs “Gearing Up”: Open Secrets discusses how “Super PACs raise millions as concerns about illegal campaign coordination raise questions.” The article points out that many presidential “super PACs have numerous links to the candidates they are supporting,” and describes the Federal Election Commission’s “three-pronged test to identify coordination violations.”