April 2, 2013 political law links


OCE TENSION. Story here. “Congress founded the OCE in 2008, establishing an outside ethics review organization, good government activists say, because of a lack of confidence in the standing House ethics panel.”

DISAPPEARING LOBBYISTS. Roll Call. “Edward Newberry, a partner in Patton Boggs’ public policy and lobbying division, had an enviable book of business in 2011, based on his federal disclosure reports. The next year, Newberry vanished — at least from the public records used to track K Street. He hasn’t appeared on any client reports filed under the Lobbying Disclosure Act since then.”

ALLEGED LATE REPORT. Sunlight. “Until the Menendez scandal erupted, Melgen’s lawyers had claimed he never hired a lobbyist. Only after the story gained traction did Arnold & Porter review its books and decide it needed to file the mandatory reports.”

FURLOUGHS AND ETHICS. The Post. “Federal employees who want to make up for the loss of income due to furloughs should bear in mind that restrictions on outside employment will continue to apply to them while on unpaid time off, the government’s central ethics agency has said.”

CA: LOBBYING FIGURES. Here. “Last year special interests reported spending $277.5 million on such advocacy, according to the Secretary of State’s office.”

NY: ONO HYDROFRACKING ISSUE. Story here. “The Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York says Ono’s group is violating state lobbying laws because it has not registered as a lobbyist, and urges the state ethics commission to launch an investigation.”

PA: VENDOR GIFT ISSUE. Story here. “The state ethics law requiring public officials to annually disclose gifts above a monetary threshold has been on the books for three decades, but the recent state grand jury report on corruption at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission cites examples where two long-time powerbrokers in Harrisburg allegedly ignored the law.”


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