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Essential Ethics

Essential Ethics is Nielsen Merksamer’s popular bi-weekly newsletter focused on developments in campaign finance, lobby disclosure, and government ethics laws across the nation. View our latest and archived posts below.

October 18, 2019

Latest Developments: Puerto Rico’s Department of Justice introduced its new online registration portal for lobbyists.  While the Department’s new website contains a link to the portal, The Weekly Journal reports that the Department still has some technical issues to work out. Reminder:…

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October 11, 2019

Latest Developments: The Governor of California signed several campaign and election law bills this week: SB 47 requires that a petition for an initiative, referendum, or recall include the name of the committee promoting it, along with the…

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October 4, 2019

Latest Developments: The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in Citizens Union of the City of New York v. Attorney General, struck down a New York ethics law that required that nonprofits that…

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September 27, 2019

Latest Developments: The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices announced new campaign contribution limits.  Contribution limits are increased for contributions made on or after September 21, 2019. The Governor of California signed three political law bills this week. Two bills make…

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September 20, 2019

Latest Developments: The Puerto Rico Department of Justice announced that it plans to launch its electronic executive lobbying registry this week, according to the  Weekly Journal. The former Governor of Puerto Rico issued Executive Order 2019-031 (Spanish) in July…

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September 13, 2019

Latest Developments: The Internal Revenue Service published a new proposed regulation that would, according to an accompanying news release, “incorporate relief from requirements to report contributor names and addresses on annual returns filed by certain tax-exempt organizations, previously provided in Revenue…

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September 6, 2019

Latest Developments: The Commissioner of Canada Elections announced compliance agreements with two corporations that agreed to pay fines of nearly $450,000, a fine that represents three times the amount of illegal contributions made by these corporations in…

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August 30, 2019

Latest Developments: The California Third District Court of Appeal invalidated a measure that purported to allow public financing of elections in California.  In Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. v. Newsom, the court found that Proposition 73, passed in…

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August 23, 2019

Latest Developments: The Mayor of San Diego approved Ordinance 21098, which requires a nexus between a lobbyist’s activity expenses and the city official.  Under the changes made by the ordinance, expenses must be disclosed if the lobbyist lobbied…

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August 16, 2019

Latest Developments: The North Dakota Ethics Commission has been appointed.  The Governor’s Office announced that the selection panel, which included the Governor and the majority and minority leaders of the State Senate, chose the five members for the…

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