HomeEssential Ethics / February 22, 2024

Essential Ethics

February 22, 2024

Latest Developments: 

  • The Federal Communications Commission announced “a unanimous adoption of a Declaratory Ruling that recognizes calls made with AI-generated voices are ‘artificial’ under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).”NPR explains that the net effect is that the FCC ruled that robocalls generated using artificial intelligence are illegal.
  • Governor Gavin Newsom appointed the Chair of the Fair Political Practices Commission to the Sacramento Superior Court. The Carmichael Times details Chair Richard Miadich’s career.
  • The Washington Public Disclosure Commission launched a new app to report employment relationships for lobbyist firms and lobbyist employers that employ legislators or other public officials.
  • The California Assembly killed AB 83, which would have banned political spending by business entities with as little as 5% foreign ownership. The bill failed to pass out of the house by the constitutional deadline.  Cal Matters explains that the bill would have barred foreign-influenced U.S. companies from contributing to candidates or making expenditures in connection with California elections. Other states and localities, notably Minnesota and Maine, have adopted similar laws, as has been previously reported in this blog.

In Case You Missed It: 

  • Oregon Contribution Limit Deal? Oregon Public Broadcasting discloses that business and labor groups are negotiating a deal to impose campaign contribution limits in the state. The intent is to avoid a costly fight between competing initiative measures on the November ballot.
  • Should Professional Lobbying be a Crime? One West Virginia legislator thinks so. HB 5402, as introduced, would repeal existing lobby regulations, and instead make it a felony to pay someone, or receive money from another person, to influence a member of the legislature.
  • NYC Straw Donor Saga: Some donors to Mayor Eric Adams campaign say they were reimbursed for their donations, according to The City, Meanwhile, Politico reports that one person has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge, admitting that he arranged a straw donor scheme.
  • Energy Executives Indicted: According to the Associated Press, two former FirstEnergy Corp. executives were indicted for their parts in an alleged bribery scheme in Ohio.
  • Let the Good Times Roll with Campaign Cash: Louisiana public officials and candidates spent nearly $600,000 of their campaign funds in 2023 to celebrate Mardi Gras in Washington, D.C. The Louisiana Illuminator describes the issues that blur the line between permissible and personal use.