HomeEssential Ethics / October 16, 2023

Essential Ethics

October 16, 2023

Latest Developments:

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 29, which authorizes the Fair Political Practices Commission to establish and administer an education program as an alternative to an administrative proceeding for low-level violators, much like traffic school. The eligibility requirements for the political reform education program include that the person has little or no experience with the Political Reform Act and that the violation resulted in minimal or no public harm. The bill takes effect immediately.
  • The North Carolina Legislature overrode the Governor’s veto of SB 749, which revises the structure of the State Board of Elections. The measure places that Board within the Department of the Secretary of State but authorizes the Board to exercise its authority independently. Instead of five members appointed by the Governor, the Board will consist of eight members appointed by the Legislature. The bill also revises the method of appointing the Executive Director. Generally, these changes take effect on January 1, 2024, but the bill otherwise takes effect immediately.
  • The New York State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government may continue to work after the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court granted a stay of the lower court’s decision. The New York Daily News reports that the court restored the commission’s power and scheduled the appeal for February 2024, with briefs due beforehand. However, the court order enjoined the commission’s current proceedings against the plaintiff, former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

In Case You Missed It:

  • Senator Bob Menendez Accused of Violating FARAPolitico explains the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires foreign agents seeking to influence the federal government to register or face criminal sanctions, as it pertains to the new indictment of Sen. Menendez.
  • Ethics Commission Doesn’t Control its Own Records: According to WDRB.com, the Louisville Metro Ethics Commission is suing the City of Louisville because the City, not the Commission, processes Open Records requests, which has led to problems for the Commission.
  • Federal Judge Chastises Chicago for Corruption: The Chicago Sun-Times reports that when the son-in-law of a former Cook County Assessor was convicted of bribing two politicians, the Judge noted that Chicago had a “‘well-earned, well-deserved’” reputation for corruption.