HomeEssential Ethics / OCTOBER 19, 2018

Essential Ethics

OCTOBER 19, 2018

Latest Developments:

  • The Governor of North Dakota has announced a final Ethics Policy, which forbids gifts that exceed $50 in value to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or their employees, according to the Bismarck Tribune.
  • The Alaska Public Offices Commission is wavering on lobbyist involvement in campaign contributions: Alaska prohibits lobbyists from collecting or delivering campaign contributions to candidates for the legislature or Governor.  However, according to Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, informal advice from the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) permits lobbyists to inform others of upcoming fundraisers.  That advice has led lobbyists to email public officials’ fundraiser invitations to others.  APOC’s director cautions that informal advice is non-binding and won’t protect a lobbyist if a complaint is filed.  Moreover, following the press reports, APOC staff has drafted an opinion to stop the practice; the opinion will be presented to the Commission for approval in January.
  • San Francisco, CA, Ordinance No. 212-18 took effect on October 14, 2018. That ordinance requires disclosure of candidate and third party spending in elections for the city’s Retirement Board, Health Service Board, and Retiree Health Care Trust Board.  Any person who makes expenditures totaling $1,000 or more in a calendar year to support or oppose a candidate must register and file regular reports and must use an account at an office of a bank located in San Francisco.
  • The Federal Election Commission meets next Thursday, October 25.

In case you missed it:

  • CEO Political SpendingMarket Watch reports that America’s CEOs are investing in the midterm elections.  Although some CEOs avoid partisan politics, the article indicates that at least 388 of the S&P 500 CEOs have collectively contributed over $24 million to various political groups and candidates.  Market Watch created a searchable database with its findings.
  • Dark Money Struggles to Find the Light: Notwithstanding a court order to reveal their donors, according to Politicofew organizations disclosed their donors as a reporting deadline passed on October 15.  Of the 18 so-called “dark-money political groups” tracked by the Campaign Legal Center, only four filed reports disclosing their donors.
  • Never Report Today What you Can Report After the ElectionPolitico also reports on the accelerating phenomenon of Super PACs opened just after a reporting deadline that spend large amounts and don’t’ file any reports until after the election.  According to the article, “The strategy – which is legal – is proving increasingly popular among Democrats and Republicans.”  The article contains a lengthy list of Super PACs that successfully avoided pre-election disclosure.