LOBBYING ETHICS AND REPORTING RULES V For Federal Lobbying

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  • Slide 1
  • LOBBYING ETHICS AND REPORTING RULES V For Federal Lobbying
  • Slide 2
  • Contents 1. What constitutes lobbying activity? 2. LDA Reporting Requirements 3. Campaign Finance Rules 4. Revolving Door Rules
  • Slide 3
  • Contents 1. What constitutes lobbying activity? 2. LDA Reporting Requirements 3. Campaign Finance Rules 4. Revolving Door Rules
  • Slide 4
  • Lobbying Activity What constitutes lobbying activity? Two or more lobbying contacts Communicates with those contacts to influence decision-making on a federal issue 20% of individuals time is lobbying over a three- month period Covered employees for lobbying contacts include: Members of Congress Employees of Congress POTUS, VPOTUS Executive Office of the President SES I-V Schedule C Employees Military O-7 or above
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  • Lobbying Activity Federal issues include: Legislative proposals Rules Regulations Nominations Executive Orders Programs Policies Contracts Grants Loans Permits Licenses Covered activity includes both: Direct contact with covered officials AND planning, research, background work, coordination with or for lobbying activities
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  • Lobbying Activity Gift Rules General Principles Never offer anything of value to government official connected with performance in official role Bribery, rewards, gratuities are illegal. Officials may not solicit gifts. Lobbyists are independently liable for violations.
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  • Lobbying Activity Gift Rules - Political Appointees Includes full-time non-career appointees, non-career SES and Schedule C employees Prohibited from accepting gifts from any registered lobbyists (independent of activity related to agency), includes: Lobbying firms Firms employing in-house lobbyists Non-lobbyist employees of registered lobbyists or organizations DOES NOT include organizations that retain outside lobbyists or lobbying firms, but do not file their own LDA registration
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  • Lobbying Activity Gift Rules - Political Appointees (cont.) Exceptions: Modest food/refreshments other than as part of meal Items of little intrinsic value, solely for presentation Gifts based on personal relationship Gifts to POTUS or VPOTUS
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  • Lobbying Activity Gift Rules - Other Executive Branch Employees NO GIFTS unless an exception applies Prohibited sources include any persons who Seek official action by employees agency Conducts or seeks business with agency Conducts activities regulated by agency Hold interests substantially affected by performance of employees official duties
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  • Lobbying Activity Gift Rules - Other Executive Branch Employees (cont.) Exceptions: Gifts of $20 or less per source per occasion, no more than $50 per year total per individual Modest food and refreshments other than as part of a meal Gifts based on personal relationship Speaking engagements Widely attended gathering Employee must first obtain agency determination that attendance is in interests of agency Diversity of views represented, or range of persons interested in specific matter are present Free attendance for employee is allowable if >100 people expected and market value is
  • Lobbying Activity Congress Gift Rules: Non-Travel Gifts (cont.) Covered Exceptions (cont.) Constituent Events (Senate Only) Free attendance in home state, only if: Cost of meal 4 constituents attend Speaking role relevant to official position No lobbyists attend Personal Hospitality Meal/lodging for non-business purpose In residence owned by host Cannot discuss pending legislation Hospitality cannot be provided by individual lobbyist Items of little intrinsic value, must be
  • Lobbying Activity Congress Gift Rules: Non-Travel Gifts (cont.) Covered Exceptions (cont.) Government Expenses Paid for by federal, state, or local government Secured by government under a government contract Training Free, and in the interest of House or Senate Food/refreshments permitted if an integral part of training Senate: >24 staff and participation of >1 Senate office No private subsidies of official activity Others: Bona fide awards and prizes Gifts based on spouse or outside activities Honorary degrees Widely available benefits Home state products Political campaign contributions ANY EXEMPTED GIFT OVER $250 MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE BY ETHICS COMMITTEE (H OR S)
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  • Lobbying Activity Congress Gift Rules: Non-Travel Gifts (cont.) Covered Exceptions (cont.) Government Expenses Paid for by federal, state, or local government Secured by government under a government contract Training Free, and in the interest of House or Senate Food/refreshments permitted if an integral part of training Senate: >24 staff and participation of >1 Senate office No private subsidies of official activity Others: Bona fide awards and prizes Gifts based on spouse or outside activities Honorary degrees Widely available benefits Home state products Political campaign contributions ANY EXEMPTED GIFT OVER $250 MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE BY ETHICS COMMITTEE (H OR S)
  • Slide 18
  • Contents 1. What constitutes lobbying activity? 2. LDA Reporting Requirements 3. Campaign Finance Rules 4. Revolving Door Rules
  • Slide 19
  • LDA Reporting Requirements Everything is electronic. See the House Clerk website for further details. For LDA Reporting Requirements, it is a crime to knowingly and willfully: Falsify, conceal or cover up a material fact via trick/scheme/device Make any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation, OR Make or use any false writing or documents knowing it to contain the above. See 15 of the LDA for specific instructions for entities required to report lobbying expenditures under 6033(b)(8) or 162(e) of the IRC
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  • LDA Reporting Requirements Registration Requirements Firms file separate registration for each client Not for $200 to federal candidates, leadership PACs, parties Payments made to events honoring covered officials Payments to entities in recognition of covered officials Contributions to entities controlled by covered or designated officials Contributions to conferences, retreats, meetings held by covered officials or on their behalf Certification that the firm (and each lobbyist) has read and is familiar with Congressional gift and travel rules, AND has not provided, requested, or directed a gift (incl. travel) to a Member or staff with knowledge that the gift would violate those rules.
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  • LDA Reporting Requirements Termination Reports Lobbyist Termination If a registrant reasonably expects an individual to meet definition of lobbyist in next quarterly period, lobbyist should remain active If not, then registrant can remove that lobbyist using line 23 of Form LD-2 Client Termination Registrant may terminate registration for a particular client when it is no longer employed/retained AND anticipates no further lobbying activities on clients behalf Companies employing in-house counsel may terminate registration when in-house lobbying has ceased and is not expected to resume Form LD-2, check the Termination Report box and supply: Date of termination Lobbying income/expenses in the period up to and including that date
  • Slide 25
  • Contents 1. What constitutes lobbying activity? 2. LDA Reporting Requirements 3. Campaign Finance Rules 4. Revolving Door Rules
  • Slide 26
  • Campaign Finance Rules Generic Rules to Follow Work with private campaign staff, not public officials legislative (or executive branch) employees Schedule fundraising (and give support) without regard to the legislative calendar, or personal legislative requests. Invite a broad audience to any event, and avoid any special access to the Member on policy or legislative matters. 501c(3) Non-Profits CANNOT CONTRIBUTE
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  • Campaign Finance Rules 2012 Contribution Limits Total Biennial Limit - $117,000 Overall $46,200 to candidates $70,800 to all PACs and party committees $46,200 to local PACs and party committees Specific Yearly Limits $2500 per election to each candidate $30,800 per year to national parties $10,000 per year to state, district, and local party committees $5000 per year to any other PAC
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  • Campaign Finance Rules Groups without Contribution Limits Super PACs Required to register and report with FEC Only authorized to make independent expenditures not authorized by candidate Can solicit unlimited contributions from individuals, political committees, corporations, and unions May not make direct monetary or in-kind contributions to federal candidates or committees 527 Groups
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  • Campaign Finance Rules Corporate Contribution Rules Corporations cannot: Make direct contributions to federal candidates and/or committees Facilitate donations by employees Reimburse employees for contributions Direct employees to participate in fundraising Punish employees for declining to participate in fundraising
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  • Campaign Finance Rules Corporate Contribution Rules (cont.) Any resources used for political fundraising/activity must be paid for in advance, including employee time, membership lists, office space, catering Citizens United v. FEC Corporations and unions may make unlimited independent expenditures on television and radio advertising affecti