HomeEssential Ethics / July 15, 2022

Essential Ethics

July 15, 2022

Latest Developments:

  • The Governor of Missouri signed HB 2400, which will take effect at the end of August. Notably, the bill “prohibit[s] public agencies from disclosing or requiring the disclosure of personal information” from individuals, non-profit organizations and “current or prospective contractor[s].” Additionally, the bill also permits…limited liability compan[ies] that have been in existence for over one year…to make campaign contributions” provided they comply with state campaign disclosure requirements.
  • The California Fair Political Practices Commission, at its July 21st meeting, will address In the Matter of Andrew Do. Do, an Orange County Supervisor and director of CalOptima, allegedly “violated pay-to-play restrictions…when…[he used his] official position to influence governmental contracting decisions involving a participant who contributed to [his] campaign.” Additionally, “Do also failed to timely file behested payment reports disclosing eight payments totaling approximately $110,440.”
  • The City of Philadelphia enacted Bill No. 220049, which makes several city-level campaign finance changes. Among the notable changes, the law prohibits “a campaign… [from] making any expenditures related to a covered election through any other person or vendor.” The bill clarifies that “incidental” expenditures a vendor incurs will not count toward contribution limits.

In Case You Missed It:

  • How Close is Too Close?:  Politico covers internal executive branch concerns regarding a recent video in which President Joe Biden  gave “a straight-to-camera endorsement…[for businessman Eric] Schmidt’s “Quad Fellowship”— a new scholarship for American, Indian, Japanese and Australian graduate school students that is operated and administered by…the charity arm that Schmidt uses for a variety of initiatives in science and technology.” The endorsement highlights financial ties Schmidt has with Biden administration. Politico previously reported on the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal high-tech investments.
  • Election Law Shakeup Further Down the West Coast:  In the past, we detailed the changes to Seattle’s campaign finance laws, including its public funding provisions. Now, some 800 miles south in Oakland, local media reports on impending efforts to introduce similar changes in that city. On July 11th, the “City Council voted to place both the council term limits measure and the ‘democracy dollars’ measure on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.” According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “the measure would give every Oakland adult…$100 in vouchers to use in elections supporting a candidate in city or school board elections.” The Seattle program inspired this measure; like that program, the vouchers are available to all adult residents, regardless of voter registration status and city candidates must field a larger base of small donors before becoming eligible for the vouchers.
  • Hawaii Prosecutors Want Sharper Tools:  Following high profile corruption federal level investigations into state and local Hawaii officials, county prosecutors throughout the state suggested harsher penalties for public officials who betray public trust. Honolulu Civil Beat reports that the prosecutors’ recommendation was part of a forum this week before “The Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct, a group tasked with beefing up government standards and ethics…[whose] hours-long forum [was intended] to generate more ideas to crack down on public corruption in Hawaii.”.