HomeEssential Ethics / July 24, 2023

Essential Ethics

July 24, 2023

Latest Developments:

  • New York State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG) Delays Acting on Public Comments Regarding Training for Lobbyists: During its open meeting on July 19, 2023, COELIG’s Education Committee presented staff responses to public comments about the state’s training requirement for lobbyists. While the staff responses include proposed action plans, COELIG deferred voting on any such plans. Commissioners also discussed that COELIG is currently in the process of conducting audits of 1,000 random filers.
  • Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission Releases Newsletter Highlighting Recent Law Changes: The State of Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission released a newsletter that highlights new campaign spending laws that recently went into effect and proposed laws that will be introduced next year. Among the more notable law changes is the lower threshold that triggers the requirement to register as a noncandidate committee and the prohibition on lobbyist contributions during session and the five calendar days before and after each session.

In Case You Missed It:

  • The Federal Election Commission (FEC) Asked to Reconsider Whether It Has Authority Over Deceptive Use of Artificial Intelligence by Campaigns: The Hill reports that the FEC is considering a second request to clarify that the law against fraudulent misrepresentation applies to the use of deceptive artificial intelligence by campaigns. This second request follows the FEC’s vote, a partisan deadlock, that prevented the FEC from seeking public comments on the issue as a part of its rulemaking process. Some commissioners raised their concern that they lacked the authority to act, but a former commissioner said, “What we’re talking about is a new medium that can quickly create…misrepresentation and the FEC should interpret their existing reg and address it” as it is “not out of the scope of the commission.”
  • New York City’s Campaign Finance Board Ousted Executive Director for Lavish SpendingThe Gothamist reports that in May, contrary to a public announcement, the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s executive director was asked to resign following an internal investigation into “concerns over her professionalism, management style and what colleagues called wasteful spending…” The article points out that though the agency is known for ensuring integrity and transparency around campaign spending, the former executive director’s spending was once “flagged for fraud related to purchases…which did not appear to be for the benefit of the CFB.”
  • Rhode Island’s Termination of Redevelopment Contract Raises Question of Retaliation: The Boston Globe reports that Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee’s administration is terminating its redevelopment contract with a Philadelphia contractor after the contractor accused two state officials of inappropriate conduct, including racist and sexist comments, during a business trip to meet with the contractor’s executives. However, according to the administration, the termination is a result of changes in economic conditions and a consulting firm’s cost analysis study, which concluded that the project was not in the best interest of taxpayers.