HomeEssential Ethics / December 9, 2022

Essential Ethics

December 9, 2022

Latest Developments:

  • The California Fair Political Practices Commission published a proposed opinion regarding a recently enacted bill (SB 1439), which prohibits local officials from taking part in a proceeding involving a license, permit, or other entitlement if certain campaign contributions were received in a specified period. The bill takes effect January 1, 2023. The opinion indicates that the restriction will not apply to contributions made prior to the effective date. The commission will consider the opinion at its next meeting on December 22, 2022.
  • The Washington State Court of Appeals upheld most of the trial court’s judgment in a case in which the appellant engaged in multiple and intentional violations of the state’s Fair Campaign Practices Act. In Washington v. Eyman, Mr. Eyman was found to have improperly reported and concealed various campaign activities. The court also upheld a $2.6 million fine, although it remanded the matter to consider whether the fine should be reduced under the excessive fines clause.
  • The South Dakota Secretary of State announced that the annual limit for cumulative gifts from lobbyist will be increased to $115.47 for calendar year 2023.

In Case You Missed It:

  • Lobbyists’ Contributions in Chicago: The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Mayor of Chicago accepted $68,000 from companies affiliated with a registered lobbyist.  Based on “the spirit” of a ban imposed by her predecessor, the mayor is giving most of it back. According to the article, “the mayor has decided to return only $44,500 of the $68,500 in contributions.”
  • FARA Arrest: According to the New York Times, “Former Representative David Rivera and a longtime associate were charged with conspiracy and failure to register as foreign agents…” The article states that the former congressman “tried to lobby members of Congress and the White House on behalf of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, a socialist.”
  • Conflict-of-InterestOaklandside reports that the Oakland Public Ethics Commission fined an Oakland City Council Member $19,000 for failing to disclose her ownership interest in a condominium adjacent to a park and then participating in a decision to spend $1 million on that park.