SEC’s new rule on Pay to Play becomes effective September 30. (60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.)
Wiley Rein’s Election Law News July 2010 (including detailed looks at the DISCLOSE Act, SEC’s Pay-to-Play restrictions, Honest Services Fraud Statute, and more).
But the real question is: will DISCLOSE pass the Senate? Proponents of the measure suffered a setback when moderate Republican Scott Brown (Mass.) announced his opposition to the House bill, and the Maine ladies (moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins & Olympia Snowe) are still waffling.
U.S. PIRG opposed the House measure (due to the NRA exemption),but has now (grudgingly) backed final passage in the Senate. Lisa Gilbert says that “we have concluded that the greater danger is posed by an election in which voters are effectively forced to wear blindfolds as the special interests behind campaign spending are hidden from us.”
Roll Call reports on a slightly strange rash of filings by Josue Larose, apparently a one-man lobbying firm with 87 new clients. Former ALL president Paul Miller, Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies, “said the situation sounds unbelievable … ‘If you sign up 87 new clients — I don’t care if you are Patton Boggs or just one lobbyist — you are going to need a huge team.'” (Roll Call subscription required)
As listed in Lobbyists.info, Larose has one client as a sole proprietor, and as the lobbyist for American Federal Lobbying Firm, has several PACs clients. His organization’s website makes the claim that: “The American Federal Lobbying Firm is the most powerful lobbying firm of the world and has more clients than any other lobbying firm in the United States of America.”
Office of Congressional Ethics is getting investigatory again (which is their job), but this time, Capitol Hill denizens say, it’s a little different – they’re looking at donation/official actions correlations. The New York Times quotes Kenneth Gross (who is “fielding some of the document requests from ethics investigators”), “This is really a redefinition of the law … To pick eight members and say they voted on legislation and political contributions came in around this time is really going places that no regulatory authority has ever gone.”
Quote of the Week:
“Do I think these [de-registered lobbyists] went back to Arkansas and became farmers? No, they just weren’t doing it 20 percent anymore … I think the 20 percent rule needs to be clearly defined and also what the role of a lobbyist is.” – Dave Wenhold, president, American League of Lobbyists, Washington Post, 7/12/2010