HomeEssential Ethics / February 17, 2023

Essential Ethics

February 17, 2023

Latest Developments:

  • The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office updated contribution limits for the period from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2024. Among other changes, the maximum that an individual or partnership may contribute to a statewide or legislative candidate was increased from $5,300 to $5,400 for the election cycle.
  • The Colorado Department of State issued a Notice of Temporary Adoption that adopts inflationary adjustments to campaign contribution limits, which are effective immediately and until the next adjustment is made in 2027. Among other changes, the maximum that a person may contribute to a legislative candidate was increased from $200 to $225 for a primary or general election cycle.  
  • The State of California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) issued a press release to announce the publication of its 2022 annual report. Among other achievements, the press release highlights the development of the Political Reform Education Program (PREP), which allows certain violators of the Political Reform Act to complete the program in lieu of paying monetary penalties, the Enforcement Division’s resolution of 1,075 cases with the approval of 161 settlements resulting in $617,548 in penalties, and the Legal Division’s issuance of 140 advice letters.

In Case You Missed It:

  • Legislator-Lobbyist Draws ComplaintCowboy State Daily reports on a Wyoming legislator who is also a Government Affairs Manager and currently registered lobbyist for a chemical company. The article discusses an ethics complaint filed against a State Representative “alleging that his status as a registered lobbyist in Wyoming, along with his occupation and source of campaign donations creates a conflict of interest for the lawmaker.” Under state law, lobbying in Wyoming “means to attempt to influence legislation.”
  • George Santos’ Campaign Spending Raises More QuestionsThe New York Times reports that within Representative George Santos’ campaign filings with the Federal Election Commission, it discovered $365,399.08 in “mysterious expenditures, which list no recipient and offer no receipts.” According to election law experts, this unexplained spending is suggestive of “a pattern of remarkable sloppiness, if not an attempt to cover up improper spending that violated campaign finance laws.” 
  • Chicago Mayor Benefits from Loophole in Pay-to-Play RulesWBEZ Chicago reports that just a few weeks after a contractor landed a lucrative deal with the Chicago Transit Authority, whose leaders were appointed by Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, the contractor made a $50,000 contribution to an independent expenditure committee that was created by a Lightfoot ally to support Lightfoot’s reelection effort. While this chain of events is not illegal, the article quotes the executive director of Reform for Illinois to point out that it can create the appearance of a “‘quid pro quo.’”