HomeEssential Ethics / JUNE 1, 2018

Essential Ethics

JUNE 1, 2018

Latest Developments:

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission meets Friday, June 8.  A discussion of the fee schedule, effective July 1, 2018 is on the agenda.  Among the fees that are the subject of review, are registration fees for lobbyists, lobbyist employers, and PACs, and late fees.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission will hold a special meeting on Monday, June 4, 2018.  The sole matter on the Commission’s agenda is approval of governance regulations to establish two bipartisan subcommittees, a Budget and Personnel Committee and a Law and Policy Committee.  Each committee will consist of two members each, none of whom is the Chair of the Commission.  Facing a mutinous group of commissioners, the Sacramento Bee reported that Chair Remke resigned.

The Oakland Ethics Commission meets Monday, June 4, 2018, with a long but unremarkable agenda.  However, within the Director’s report are the goals for 2018-2019, which include establishing e-filing for lobbyist registrations and for reporting of behested payments.

In case you missed it:

  • NPR reports on the deadlocked efforts of the Federal Election Commission to limit foreign influence. The partisan division of the commission remains a roadblock to any solution.
  • The risks of secret corporate political spending are discussed in an article by The Hill. Following the revelations of AT&T and Novartis’ spending on Michael Cohen, The Hill notes that, “Secrecy blown up by inadvertent disclosure can aggravate the bad optics of a suspicious expenditure on politics.”
  • A cautionary tale from Rod Blagojevich (remember him?): The Washington Examiner reports on the Wall Street Journal interview in which the former Governor of Illinois philosophizes about his prison time (year 6 of 14) for what he characterizes as “practicing politics” by raising campaign contributions.  The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal in April of this year.
  • Is the Federal Election Commission powerful enough to kill Zombies? Bloomberg Government reports that the Campaign Legal Center and others are pushing the FEC to adopt rules to crack down on the perceived personal use of old “zombie” campaign funds.  The FEC has announced that it will review campaign funds for former officeholders who have been out of office for more than one term, beginning in July.