HomeEssential Ethics / December 2, 2022

Essential Ethics

December 2, 2022

Latest Developments:

  • The Federal Election Commission adopted a final rule governing Internet Communications. ( 2011-02; [Version B.]) But Axios reports that, after proposing a “major digital ad transparency measure,” the Federal Election Commission removed the proposal from its agenda at a previous meeting and made a small, two-word change. The article explains that the small change “significantly reduces the scope of the regulation.”
  • The New York State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government announced that the new mandated ethics course that lobbyists and lobbyist employers must complete will be available January 18, 2023. “For purposes of training compliance by organizations, the Chief Administrative Officer is responsible for taking the training on behalf of the organization.”

In Case You Missed It:

  • Candidates Benefit from Cruz Decision: The Dallas Morning News reports that following the U.S. Supreme Court case in Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate, which voided a limit on repayments of candidates’ loans to their committees, “At least 18 current lawmakers and former candidates have availed themselves of the flexibility [of the] Cruz [decision]… Together, they’ve recouped $5 million they’d written off and thought they’d never see again.”
  • What if There Were No Big Donors?:  com reports that the Maine Ethics Commission fined the America Leadership Committee-Maine over $10,000 for “sending mailers and running digital advertisements without disclosing the group’s top three donors.” According to the article, “the committee stated there were ‘no top donors.’” The committee’s attorney said that the “committee was funded from a special account of small-dollar donors, all of whom gave less than the $1,000 that would have required disclosure…. [He] said the national committee will reexamine its financial disclosure practices…”
  • Epidemic of Cyber-Theft of Political FundsBusiness Insider reports on a recent theft of $186,000 from a congressmember’s political committee. The money was frozen by the bank, and thus not lost, but the article called it “a sophisticated effort.” The article calls the problem an “epidemic,” noting that “Dozens of political committees of all kinds and sizes have lost money at the hands of thieves and embezzlers…”
  • Alabama Power Struggle: The Alabama Attorney General sued the Alabama Ethics Commission in an effort to revoke an advisory opinion. Alabama Political Reporter explains that “the Ethics Commission is saying [in its opinion] that if during the course of an investigation it finds evidence that would aid the person under investigation, or possibly end the investigation and clear that person’s name, the Commission has no responsibility to disclose that information.” The Attorney General contends the opinion will “undermine any cases the Commission might refer to the AG’s office.”
  • More on Louisville Lobbyist Registration. Last week we reported on the adoption of a lobbyist registration ordinance in Louisville, Kentucky. This week, Louisville Public Media tells us “What you need to know about Louisville Metro’s new lobbying rules.” The article also explains that “The lobbying ordinance in Louisville was part of a package of reforms proposed earlier this year, after Metro Council was sued over alleged corruption and favoritism.”
  • New York Turkey Give-Away Runs A-Fowl of Ethics Rules: The Albany Times-Union reports that “new ethics rules wouldn’t permit the state to do what they usually did, where companies would donate the turkeys and the state would distribute them…” Accordingly, the state’s Democratic Party took over distribution at the last minute. A spokeswoman for the state’s Republican Party criticized the move, stating “‘That’s a state resource that you’re turning over to a political organization. At best it stinks, at worse that’s an inappropriate use of state resources…’