Compliance Notes – Vol. 3, Issue 39 –

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Campaign Finance & Lobbying Compliance

A Democratic super PAC, Priorities USA, is launching a
multi-million dollar campaign to fight voter suppression in seven
battleground states. The PAC will spend $5 million on digital
advertisements that seek to directly reach minority voters to help
them navigate complicated election laws in Arizona, Pennsylvania,
Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada. The ads aim to ensure voters can
cast their ballot by directing them to websites and hotlines that
help locate polling locations, to remind people of the materials
they must have with them and to educate voters on their specific
rights at the voting booth. To help protect voting rights and
defend against policies that Priorities USA says unfairly target
Black and brown voters, the PAC will also spend $10 million on
existing litigation in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada,
Michigan and New Hampshire. (
Adam Edelman, NBC News
)

Former President Trump’s allies created a new super PAC
called MAGA Inc., which is expected to be the primary vehicle for
funneling money into crucial midterm races. If Trump decides to run
for a second presidential term in 2024, it could become a part of
his campaign finance infrastructure. While the Democrats are
out-raising Republicans ahead of the November 8 midterm elections,
Trump is one of the Republicans seeing huge small-donor fundraising
success even though he is not a 2022 candidate. As this new super
PAC comes weeks before the midterms, Trump is expected to spend
heavily to bolster his endorsed candidates. (
Sareen Habeshian, Axios
)

TikTok recently announced it is banning campaign fundraising on
its platform, limiting access to monetization features and
requiring “mandatory verification” for U.S. political
accounts. While the app already bars political advertising, TikTok
will also ban campaign fundraising by prohibiting videos soliciting
donations and videos from political parties directing people to
their website’s donation page. Political accounts will be
ineligible for the “Creator Fund,” a monetary fund that
users can receive for posting content to TikTok. Additionally,
political accounts will not have access to gifting, tipping and
e-commerce. The announcement of these new policies comes a month
after researchers found that TikTok accounts have been used to
spread misinformation ahead of elections in Europe, Asia and South
America. (
Gina Martinez, CBS News
)

Colorado: There will be new contribution limits
to candidates for school district director and modified reporting
requirements for public officials as Colorado’s Secretary of
State’s Office adopted permanent rule revisions implementing
House Bills 22-1060 and 22-1156. During any regular biennial or
special school election, small donor committees are limited to
contributing $25,000. For persons other than small donor
committees, the contribution limit is $2,500. The rules also
changed the post-election reporting deadline from 30 days to 35
days and clarified that candidates seeking reelection who already
have a personal disclosure statement on file with the Secretary of
State do not need to re-file it. The new rules become permanently
effective 20 days after publication in the Colorado Register. (
News Release: State of Colorado, Department of State
)

Government Ethics & Transparency

Illinois: State Senator Emil Jones III pleaded
not guilty to felony counts stemming from an alleged bribery scheme
involving a red light camera company that automatically issues
traffic tickets. According to prosecutors, Jones accepted a $5,000
bribe from SafeSpeed LLC, which operates “automated traffic
enforcement systems,” in exchange for excluding from traffic
studies the Chicago suburbs where SafeSpeed does much of its
business. Jones is the latest politician charged in the
long-running public corruption investigation focusing on
officials’ ties to companies that secured contracts to run
red-light cameras in dozens of Chicago suburbs that generated
millions of dollars in fines from motorists annually. Jones, who
has served in the Senate since 2009 and is running unopposed for
reelection from the 14th District, has his next court appearance
scheduled for four days before the general election. (
Peter Hancock, Capitol News Illinois
)

South Dakota: After finding Governor Kristi
Noem intervened with a state agency to influence her daughter’s
application for a real estate appraiser license, the state’s
Government Accountability Board will not publicly disclose the
“appropriate action” it took. The three judges on the
board, which was created to provide a check on any misconduct by
state officials, unanimously found there was evidence that Governor
Noem engaged in a conflict of interest and malfeasance. However,
the question of whether to discipline the governor will stay
“confidential” as the case remains closed since Governor
Noem did not contest the board’s findings. (
Stephen Groves, AP News
)

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