March 28th, 2011 by Autumn
Absent intervention into campaign finance reform by the judicial branch, those hoping to put limits on what has been referred to as a”floodgate” of campaign funding made possible by last year’s Citizens United ruling have sought help from the Federal Communications Commission.
Media Access Project senior vice president and policy director Andrew Schwartzman argued last week that the FCC has long had the power to require political groups to disclose donors when running political ads. In a petition filed March 22, he calls on the agency “to amend and strengthen its rules to require on-air identification of persons paying” ’25% or more of the cost of an ad, according to the organization’s official press release.
Schwartzman said, “The FCC has repeatedly said that members of the public are entitled to know by whom they are being persuaded, and it has stressed that this is especially important in the case of political messages. This petition simply seeks to update the FCC’s rules to fulfill its Congressional mandate.”
The petition points out what it believes to be “a fundamental policy…that ‘listeners are entitled to know by whom they are being persuaded.”
This effort by the Media Access Project is the latest attempt by campaign finance reformers seeking to narrow the reach of theCitizens United decision. Several attempts have been made to urge the Supreme Court to re-define the judgement’s implications, but the Court has declined to hear these appeals.
March 16th, 2011 by Autumn
The USOC will pair up with the Congressional Olympic and Paralympic Caucus today at 1pm to host a free-throw contest in room 2226 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The contest, which was scheduled to coincide with the beginning of March Madness, will raise awareness about US Olympic Committee programs and their impact on Team USA’s success.
Joining Congressional Olympic and Paralympic Caucus founders and co-chairs Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) will be several Olympic and Paralympic champions.
Olympic gold winners Jackie Joyner-Kersee (track & field), Christian Laettner (men’s basketball), Evan Lysacek (figure skating), Shawn Johnson (women’s gymnastics), Teresa Edward (women’s basketball), and Andy Yohe live sex free web cam (sled hockey) will join the Congressmen and staffers on the court. Paralympic track and field athletes April Holmes (gold), Marlon Shirley (gold), Lex Gillette (silver) and Carlos Leon (wounded veteran) will also participate, along with fellow paralympians William “Spanky” Gibson (USOC Paralympic Military Program Athlete), and Alana Nichols, who has won gold medals in skiing and basketball.
USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said via the event’s official press release, “Olympians and Paralympians are a special type of people, committed to ideas like excellence, friendship and respect. I encourage anyone able, to come test their skills against some of America’s greatest role models.”
There has been some speculation about which Congressman will win the competition, but insiders say Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) has the competition locked up.
March 15th, 2011 by Autumn
Under new pay to play laws that go into effect today, the SEC will restrict investment advisers from directly or indirectly providing any advisory services to a state or local government entity for two years following a campaign contribution. The ban extends to “covered associates” who consist of any general partner, managing partner, or “executive officer,” or other individuals with a similar status or function; any employee who solicits government business or supervises someone who does; any PAC “controlled by” the investment adviser or one of its covered associates; all employees who solicit a government entity for the investment; and, in some cases, employees of a parent company, which could, in some cases, include employees of a parent company.
The title “executive officer” was clarified to exclude those with titles that may indicate significance, but who, in reality, do not impact policy. For the purposes of this exclusion, “executive officer” has been defined as the president and vice presidents fast bad credit payday loans
in charge of principal business units.
De minimis contributions (those of $350 or less per election per candidate if the contributor is eligible to vote for the candidate, $150 or less if outside of the contributor’s district) are exempt from the restriction.
Also included in the new law is a bundling prohibition. Investment advisers may not solicit or coordinate contributions for candidates or political parties in the states or localities in which they practice and may be looking to provide advisory services to the government. There is no outright ban on third party solicitors, but an investment adviser may not pay non-regulated persons to provide the services. Any third party solicitor must be subject to similarly stringent pay to play regulations.
The rules apply not only to registered investment advisers, but anyone who employs the private adviser exemption, and covers even indirect acts which, if done directly, would be in violation of the rule.
March 14th, 2011 by Autumn
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) became the first Republican senator to speak out in support of Planned Parenthood last week, saying in a letter to Appropriations Committee heads Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), “I believe Planned Parenthood provides vital services to those in need and disagree with [House] funding cuts” in the chambers budget bill.
Sen. Murkowski joins Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) as female Republicans speaking in favor of women’s reproductive rights, in vocal departures from their party’s popular rhetoric. Collins’ spokesperson said the senator believes defunding Title X, which funds Planned Parenthood and other groups, is “unwise,” because “the program has successfully reduced the number of unplanned pregnancies Cialis, therefore helping to reduce health care costs.”
Recently, the Expose Planned Parenthood Coalition, which is made up of 30 anti-abortion groups, has put significant pressure on House Republicans to make defunding of Title X a non-negotiable point in congressional budget talks. The coalition says it has sent 1.2 million petitions and emails in favor of withholding funding for the program for the remainder of the year.Planned Parenthood argues that it spends most of its time on activities other than abortions, including cancer screening for low income women, and providing contraception to prevent pregnancy.
Seven Republicans in the House opposed the provision to defund Title X during discussions.
March 14th, 2011 by Autumn
In the 3rd annual Congressional Hockey Challenge Thursday night, Team Lobbyists was victorious over Team Lawmakers, with a final score of 5-3.
The game, which was held at the Verizon Center, raised over $100,000 for Fort Dupont Hockey Ice Arena and Hockey Club. The Fort Dupont Hockey Club is a 501(c)3 charitable organization which provides inner city youth with the opportunity to play in an organized hockey program. According to the event’s webpage, the Congressional Hockey challenge is held to aid the Fort DuPont ice arena, which “is in dire financial condition, and is at risk of closing. All proceeds…go directly to the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club, which will share fifty percent of the proceeds with the Fort DuPont Ice Arena [to] help ensure the Arena remains on stable footing, and that the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club can continue its mission.”
Washington Capitals forward Mike Knuble dropped the first puck at the well-attended matchup of Capitol Hill and K. Street heavyweights. Forward/Right Wing Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) was Cialis the most well-known lawmaker on the ice. He was joined by Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.)—who is often touted the biggest hockey fan in Congress, and even organized a White House event held Friday to benefit youth hockey initiatives, Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.)—who joined Quigley on the South Lawn for Friday’s hockey clinic, Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Pat Meehan (D-Penn.), and several staffers.
Team lobbyists featured IBM’s Justin Beachnau, Ian Bennitt (Shipbuilders Council of America), Nick Bliss (New York Life), C2 Group’s Nelson Litterst and John Kline, Brooke Coburn (The Carlyle Group), Bob Filippone (PhRMA), Christian Gullott (Bridgestone Americas, Inc.), Jeffrey Kimbell (Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates and Magnum Entertainment Group, Inc), Melissa Lavinson (Pacific Gas and Electric Company), Nick Lewis (UPS), George Lowe (Brown Rudnick), Rick Murphy (R.B. Murphy and Associates), Sean O’Neill (Associated General Contractors of America), Mark Peterson (American Institute of CPAs), Brian Regan (PCIA-The Wireless Infrastructure Association), Kraig Syracuse (Park Strategies), Andrew Sasinowski (US Patent and Trademark Office), Seth Webb (Google), Ian Weston (Children’s National Medical Center).
March 9th, 2011 by Brittany
In identifying the issues that the organization will address, successful advocate leaders must manage both the expectations and interests of their advocates as well as the agendas of policymakers.Â As a result, they must be prepared to establish both proactive and reactive policy agendas.
- Proactive agendas are those designed to further the legislative, regulatory or other policy interests of the organization.Â They are usually comprised of specific initiatives the organization wishes to advance, such as legislation or a change to regulatory rules.Â
- Reactive agendas are developed in response to the initiatives put forth by policymakers or others.
Almost all policy agendas will have both proactive and reactive elements.Â Proactive elements are often the easiest to develop, in that organization leaders will hopefully have a good sense of the policy changes necessary to benefit their stakeholders.Â Difficulties with proactive agendas may arise when there are competing priorities or stakeholders have unrealistic expectations.
The formation of reactive agendas can prove more difficult. This is in large part because it is often difficult to know what a policymaking body is planning.Â Many organizations with well-thought-out proactive agendas find themselves scrambling to manage policy changes proposed from an external source.Â To avoid surprises and last-minute policy panic, it is essential to consider what issues your organization might need to address in a reactive manner from the outset.
Options for identifying potential reactive agenda items include:
- Informal discussions with key legislative and regulatory champions
- Ongoing review of relevant periodicals, newspapers and other publications
- Discussions with appropriate state and national associations and interest groups
- Analysis of legislative and regulatory history, including existing laws up for reauthorization and review
- Intelligence from well-situated stakeholders
For more information or to purchase the Advocacy Handbook click here.
March 3rd, 2011 by Autumn
So you’re the owner of a corporation that controls a PAC and you want to host a campaign event for one of the many potential 2012 presidential candidates — let’s just say Tim Pawlenty for giggles. Should you pay for the event with your own checkbook? Expense it to the company? Maybe use PAC funds? Here’s a quick breakdown of the rules governing campaign event financing:
If the audience is limited to the “restricted class” then the corporation may pay for the event and:
•The corporation may, during the event, endorse or otherwise expressly advocate for the candidate’s election.
•The corporation may solicit contributions on behalf of the candidate; and
•The candidate may accept contributions during the event; but
•The corporation may not facilitate the contributions by collecting them or providing envelopes or stamps.
If the audience includes other employees, then:
•The corporation must allow opposing candidates for the same office to address a similar audience in a like manner;
•The corporation must refrain from endorsing the candidate or soliciting contributions to the candidate’s campaign; and
•Though the candidate may solicit contributions, the candidate is not permitted to accept contributions during the event.
A PAC may pay for campaign events if:
•The PAC pays for the use of any corporate resources, including employee time (in most cases, payment must be in advance);
Use of Meeting Rooms – A corporation that customarily makes its meeting rooms available to clubs, civic or community organizations, or other groups at a discount or for free, may also make those rooms available to a campaign on VigRX the same terms.
•The PAC notifies the campaign of all payments made on behalf of the campaign and reports them as in-kind contributions to the campaign; and
•The payments do not exceed the PAC’s $5,000 candidate contribution limit.
An individual may pay for campaign events if:
•The individual pays for the use of any corporate resources, including employee time (in most cases, payment must be in advance);
Volunteer Safe Harbor – An individual may use corporate facilities for personal volunteer campaign activity without paying for them provided that the individual’s use does not exceed one hour per week or four hours per month and does not result in any increase to the operating costs or overhead of the corporation.
Use of Meeting Rooms – As previously discussed, a corporation that customarily makes its meeting rooms available to clubs, civic or community organizations, or other groups at a discount or for free, may also make those rooms available to a campaign on the same terms.
•The individual notifies the campaign of all payments made on behalf of the campaign; and •All payments by the individual do not exceed the individual’s $2,500 candidate contribution limit.
Residential Fundraising – If the event is held at an individual’s personal residence, then the individual may pay up to an additional $1,000 for food, drink, and invitations without having to report the costs to the campaign or applying them to the $2,500 contribution limit.
For more information on PACs and campaign finance, join the us for the intensive “PACs & Campaign Finance Lobbying Certificate Program” Monday.