Cal., Miss., Mont., Penn., and more news in today’s political law links

RESOLVING ETHICS ISSUES.  NPR.  “President-elect Donald Trump and his lawyer at a Wednesday press conference described the steps the real estate mogul would take separate from his business empire while in office.”

TILLERSON AND LOBBYING REPORTS.  DC.  “But Tillerson didn’t say Exxon never lobbied on sanctions, and those lobbying disclosure forms don’t say what position the company took on specific issues.”

RUDE AWAKENING FOR AREA RESIDENT.  EBT.  “‘“This is the first time in my life I’ve ever mailed out fliers to anybody asking people to take a position on a ballot measure,’ Colman said. ‘My thought was, “This is a free country. If I want to do that, I’m a free citizen. I can do that.”‘

CA:  REGULATORS READ THE PAPER.  LAT.  “A state agency that enforces campaign finance laws has launched an investigation in response to a Times report on political donations connected to the developer of a Harbor Gateway apartment project.”

IL:  NEWEST LOBBYIST.   CST.  “Former state Rep. Ron Sandack — who abruptly resigned last year amid an extortion scam involving “inappropriate online conversations” — is Springfield’s newest lobbyist.”

MS:  NEW RULES.  WT.  “The Mississippi House voted 102-13 Wednesday to pass a bill that would set rules about how candidates statewide can spend campaign contributions. The measure seeks to ban spending on personal use and prohibit candidates from taking large sums of money when they close campaign committees.”

MO:  NO GIFTS PLEASE.  WT.  “Missouri’s new Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley says he won’t accept gifts from lobbyists.”

MO:  BILL TO FLOOR.  STL.  “Despite some criticism and proposed changes, a bill aimed at stopping lobbyists from handing out free meals, baseball tickets and other gifts to legislators that is a priority of Gov. Eric Greitens and House Speaker Todd Richardson continued its push toward passage Tuesday, clearing a House committee with just three dissenting votes.”

MT:  REFORM ROLL BACK.  Missoulian.  “A Kalispell legislator proposed Wednesday that the state should roll back some campaign finance reporting requirements, two years after the Montana Legislature narrowly passed a disclosure law hailed by open government advocates as one of the nation’s strongest.”

MT:  TRAILER ISSUE.  MN.  “While on loan to the association that summer, FWP’s trailer and the furbearer displays inside appeared at three separate events alongside material opposing a trapping ban ballot initiative carried by York’s organization. York argued that the trailer’s presence gave the impression FWP stood against the initiative, which ultimately failed to gain enough signatures to make the ballot.”

PA:  LEHIGH COUNTY REFORM.  MC.  “By a 9-0 vote, commissioners made a series of amendments to the 2015 law. It already barred vendors on most no-bid contracts from donating more than $250 to elected county officials or political hopefuls. Donors who violated the law could see their contracts revoked and be charged a fine.”


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