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Essential Ethics

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

SEPTEMBER 28, 2018

Latest Developments: A State Court in Nashville has enjoined Tennessee’s Pre-Election Blackout Period: In Tennesseans for Sensible Election Laws v. Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance et al, 18-0821-III, plaintiffs sought to make contributions within 10…

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SEPTEMBER 21, 2018

Latest Developments: The Oklahoma Ethics Commission, at its meeting on Friday, September 14, unanimously adopted Ethics Rule Amendment 2019-03, which consists of revolving door provisions that prohibit elected officials and agency heads from lobbying for two years following their service. The…

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SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

Latest Developments: The Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision and upheld the California Attorney General’s requirement that nonprofit organizations that engage in political spending must disclose their donors to the state, as…

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SEPTEMBER 7, 2018

Latest Developments: The Federal Election Commission is touting a campaign safety information program established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI program, called “Protected Voices,” is intended to raise awareness among campaigns of the risk of…

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AUGUST 31, 2018

Latest Developments: Among the recollections of the late Sen. John McCain’s legislative achievements, NPR ran a segment on the Senator’s impact on Campaign Finance, including his essential role in the so-called Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002,…

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AUGUST 24, 2018

Latest Developments: The Governor of New York signed SB 4761, which bans the use of placement agents, including registered lobbyists, who seek to obtain investments by the New York State Common Retirement Fund.  The bill takes effect immediately. The…

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AUGUST 17, 2018

Latest Developments: A United States District Court Judge in Wyoming found the state’s ban on campaign robocalls to be unconstitutional.  According to Government.com, the ban on political calls was far more restrictive than the limits on commercial robocalls. …

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AUGUST 10, 2018

Latest Developments: A federal District Court Judge in Washington, D.C. issued a 113-page opinion invalidating a 38-year old Federal Election Commission regulation that required any person’s federal Independent Expenditure Report to only disclose contributors to the ad addressed by that report….

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AUGUST 3, 2018

Latest Developments: The New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) met on July 31.  The Commission highlighted its efforts to educate the public on the new lobby regulations that take effect on January 1.  The…

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JULY 27, 2018

Latest Developments: The Governor of Montana has filed suit against the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service seeking to block the revenue procedure that eliminates the reporting of the identity of contributors to politically active…

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