Andrew Garrahan represents and counsels clients at the intersection of law and politics. He guides them through both regulatory compliance issues and government investigations on matters including state and federal campaign finance, ethics, lobbying, and corruption.
Mr. Garrahan’s prior career in political fundraising gives him a unique perspective on the challenges faced by his clients, which include corporations, candidates, government officials, political and nonprofit organizations, and private individuals.
Mr. Garrahan is a member of the Virginia and District of Columbia bars.
The Ferrari carrying former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell appears to have made a U-turn this week on its way to the federal penitentiary. Covington released today a Client Alert on the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. United States, a decision which vacated Governor McDonnell’s conviction and redraws the lines for corruption prosecutions. The Court held a public … Continue Reading
On Friday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its ninth annual report on compliance with the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), covering from mid-2014 through mid-2015. As in the past, the report is based on random audits of lobbyists’ filings and analysis of enforcement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. We … Continue Reading
New Jersey is well-known for having strict, comprehensive, and complex pay-to-play laws. Two new changes to an annual pay-to-play filing required of some government contractors will only enhance that reputation. State law requires a company that receives $50,000 annually through government contracts in New Jersey to file a report by March 30 of the following … Continue Reading
California is already home to some of the most complicated and searching political regulations in the country, especially in its efforts to expose “dark money” and other undisclosed political spending. A newly-amended lobbying regulation and proposed campaign finance law will enhance that reputation. The practical effect of each is to invite deeper scrutiny of not … Continue Reading
As Super PACs and campaigns continue to edge closer to the legal line between “independence” and “coordination,” it has become common to hear calls for the FEC to take a stricter role in enforcing the law. Yet as recently reported by BNA, the FEC has not found a single violation of its coordination rules in … Continue Reading
Earlier this week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed key aspects of a bill that would have imposed new restrictions on the ability of national and federal political party committees to raise money from Wall Street and financial executives. The bill, as we have previously discussed, sought to apply the state’s notoriously stringent pay-to-play rules … Continue Reading
The New Year brings with it new laws governing campaign finance, lobbying, and ethics. Below we highlight some of the major state and federal laws that took effect on or around January 1. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but highlights some of the most significant changes that are new for 2015. … Continue Reading
If you skipped to the final pages of the omnibus spending bill unveiled last night to see how it ends, you would find a rather dramatic change in campaign finance law related to party committee contribution limits. Page 1599 (of 1603) of the spending package contains amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) that … Continue Reading
Amid the thrill of victory and agony of defeat this Election Day, Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment that will have a major impact on those involved in the political and legislative process there. While enacting legislation and regulations may bring some additional clarity to the issues, the amendment is effective immediately and brings the … Continue Reading
New Jersey, already home to some of the most complex and restrictive pay-to-play laws in the nation, is considering an aggressive new expansion of those laws. A bill under consideration that recently passed through a senate committee would prohibit certain individuals and entities involved in managing state employee retirement funds from making contributions to national, … Continue Reading
Those active in Virginia politics should note that portions of Virginia’s new ethics law take effect tomorrow, July 1, 2014, including the new $250 annual limit on “tangible” gifts from lobbyists and government contractors. Governor Terry McAuliffe has said that this is not the end of ethics reform in Virginia. Earlier this month, he used … Continue Reading
New guidance from the Florida Bureau of Election Records will be useful to federal PACs and other non-Florida political entities that want to participate in Florida politics but were wary of the state’s registration and reporting requirements. Under the new guidance, available on page 34 of the Florida Political Committee Handbook: Out-of-state and federal entities … Continue Reading
In the past week, the Association of Government Relations Professionals (formerly the American League of Lobbyists) announced its endorsement of tougher disclosure requirements for lobbyists, and Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced the Close the Revolving Door Act of 2014, which would permanently ban former Members of Congress from becoming lobbyists. This … Continue Reading
Last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its 2013 report on compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (LDA), summarizing the audits of 104 lobbyist reports and information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. We see several trends in this year’s report. First, registrants are reporting more difficulties complying … Continue Reading
The Virginia General Assembly passed new ethics legislation on Wednesday to little fanfare. Legislators voted unanimously to adopt the new law with Governor Terry McAuliffe’s technical amendments. We previously blogged about the law’s major provisions. The law supplements the much stricter executive order limiting gifts to the executive branch, signed by Governor McAuliffe in January. … Continue Reading
In his controlling opinion yesterday in McCutcheon v. FEC, Chief Justice John Roberts struck down the federal aggregate campaign contribution limits. These limits capped the total amount one individual could give to candidates, party committees, and PACs in a two-year election cycle. The purpose of the limits was to prevent donors from circumventing the per-candidate … Continue Reading
Celebrities often use their star power to shine a light on otherwise overlooked issues. Soccer star David Beckham has inadvertently used his celebrity status to highlight a trap for the famous and non-famous alike — local lobbying regulations. Last Wednesday, The Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust cleared “Becks” of violating the county’s lobbying … Continue Reading
As we predicted in January, the Virginia General Assembly has passed an ethics reform law and sent it to Governor Terry McAuliffe who can sign it into law, veto it, or propose amendments and return it to the General Assembly for further action. If signed into law, it will supplement the executive order limiting gifts … Continue Reading
At the federal level, it is generally illegal for an outside group like a Super PAC or a 501(c)(4) organization to coordinate its independent expenditures with the candidate it supports. The same is true in many states. As we recently reported in our 2013 FEC Year in Review, however, the FEC did not act on … Continue Reading
Virginia has often been referred to as the “Wild West” of politics because of its limited campaign finance and ethics laws. The Commonwealth’s ethics laws are undergoing major changes, however, with more to come during the legislative session. On January 11, in his second act as Governor, Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Order Number 2, which … Continue Reading