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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.

JUNE 15, 2018

Latest Developments: The United States Supreme Court says it’s “OK” to wear your “political” T Shirt to the Polls.  In Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, the court (in a 7 to 2 decision) struck down Minnesota’s ban on…

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JUNE 8, 2018

Latest Developments: Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order today (6/8/18) that requires anyone who seeks to do business with the state’s executive branch (contracts for goods of more than $50,000 or services of more than $25,000) disclose any expenditures…

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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…

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MAY 25, 2018

Latest Developments: The New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics met Tuesday, May 22, 2018.  Among the agenda items discussed: The Executive Director reported on three legislative proposals, including one to require lobbyist disclosure of campaign fundraising activity, one…

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MAY 18, 2018

Latest Developments: The New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics meets next Tuesday, May 22, 2018.  Among the agenda items: A staff report about three legislative proposals, including one to require lobbyist disclosure of campaign contributions and another that would permit…

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MAY 11, 2018

The California Fair Political Practices Commission meets next Thursday, May 17 to take up its regular agenda.  Among the interesting bits before the Commission: Staff has written a memo explaining that Commissioners are not entitled to minimum wage for their Commission…

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MAY 4, 2018

Latest Developments: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a three-paragraph Order on May 2, 2018, denied a petition for rehearing en banc in a case arising from a case that challenged Montana’s campaign contribution limits.  That case, Lair v….

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APRIL 27, 2018

Latest Developments: The New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics met on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.  Among the items on the agenda was the Comprehensive Lobbying Regulations.  Following two years of drafts, discussion, debate, and interested persons meetings, the commission…

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APRIL 20, 2018

Latest Developments: In Kansas, the Governor signed S.B. 394, which adds additional lobbyist registration triggers and additional exceptions to lobbyist registration requirements.  The bill also includes new gift rules and disclosure requirements. The California Fair Political Practices…

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APRIL 13, 2018

Latest Developments: The FPPC has released its agenda for the meeting next week.  The April 19 meeting will include pre-notice discussion of regulations to implement the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Governance Committee and a review of the…

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