HomeEssential Ethics / February 6, 2024

Essential Ethics

February 6, 2024

Latest Developments: 

  • The Federal Election Commission adjusted for inflation the threshold for reporting campaign contributions “bundled” by federal lobbyists. The new threshold is $22,700, up from $21,800 for 2023.

In Case You Missed It: 

  • Listen to the Lobbyists: According to a report from the Topeka Capital-Journal, Kansas House Majority Leader Chris Croft reminded his colleagues to listen to lobbyists when enjoying free meals.
  • Gridlock Cuts Lobby SpendingRoll Call discloses that lobby spending by the biggest interest groups dropped by 13% in 2023 from the previous year as Congress was gripped by leadership fights and internal dissent.
  • Utility Lobbying Limits Proposed: The Sacramento Bee reports that SB 938 was introduced in the legislature to prevent energy utilities from passing on the costs of lobbying to their customers.
  • New ED: The Oregon Capital Chronicle reveals that the Oregon Government Ethics Commission named a new Executive Director, Susan Myers, who has been the Commission’s compliance and education coordinator.
  • Fines Written Off: The Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance determined that more than $2.5 million in fines are uncollectable. According to Newschannel5.com, uncollected fines have accrued for more than 30 years; the Bureau will focus on collecting fines from 2017 to the present.
  • Ethics Commission Action Follows Prosecution: The San Francisco Chronicle explains that a San Francisco businesswoman imprisoned for a year for bribing a public official in a pay-to-play scheme must now pay $750,000 to the San Francisco Ethics Commission to disgorge her profits and pay a fine.
  • 13 Years for Corruption: The Los Angeles Times reports that former Los Angeles City Council Member Jose Huizar was sentenced to 13 years in prison for taking bribes from developers.
  • Campaign Funds Use Questioned: Cleveland.com describes a local legislator’s spending over 10 years on football tickets, car repairs, and clothing, all of which have been “flagged” by auditors. Ohio law prohibits personal use of campaign funds, but no referral or other action was taken regarding the questioned spending.
  • How to Avoid a Conflict: Resign, Take the Money, and Get Reappointed: The Charlotte Observer reports that a Kannapolis, NC, City Council Member resigned in December in order to accept $3 million in federal funds and avoid a conflict of interest. He was reappointed to the City Council in January.