State Pay-to-Play

Connecticut’s campaign finance regulator, the State Elections Enforcement Commission (“SEEC”) recently released an important advisory opinion that made clear that a state contractor that is otherwise barred from giving to a state political party under Connecticut’s pay-to-play law can give to the party’s federal account, a point SEEC staff had previously addressed.  However, the

Last spring, we reported that the New Jersey Attorney General charged seven executives and shareholders of Birdsall Services Group, an engineering firm, with participating in a massive pay-to-play scheme.  The scheme allegedly involved a multi-year attempt by company executives and major shareholders to evade state level pay-to-play restrictions by making and then reimbursing political contributions

The Daily Herald reported that last Tuesday suburban Chicago DuPage County repealed previously adopted county-specific pay-to-play rules.  In 2010, DuPage County enacted a county ordinance prohibiting any “officer,” including county board members, from soliciting or accepting campaign contributions in excess of $1,000 from any person or entity seeking an official action or doing business with

Rhode Island — currently a “disclosure only” pay-to-play state — is considering adding a political contributions ban to its pay-to-play repertoire.  In February, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin proposed legislation to prohibit state vendors, their ten-percent owners, their executive officers, and the spouses and minor children of those officers and owners from

Recently, we noted a pay-to-play scandal in Pennsylvania that resulted in multiple arrests.  This week, New Jersey’s Attorney General charged seven executives or shareholders of Birdsall Services Group, an engineering firm.  The alleged Birdsall scheme illustrates the ease with which pay-to-play violations and campaign finance violations can mix.

Pay-to-play laws typically restrict or prohibit public

We can learn two important lessons from the recent Pennsylvania Turnpike pay to play scandal.  The first of these lessons is straightforward, but important:  beware of providing benefits to public officials who can influence contracting or regulatory decisions impacting your company.  The second—and less intuitive—lesson, which has been lost amidst the furor over the scandal,

As part of a continuing trend of New Jersey municipalities adopting local pay-to-play laws, Jersey City, NJ, has enacted an ordinance that “restricts city vendors that win no-bid contracts from donating more than $200 to the campaigns of school-board candidates and to some state Senate and Assembly candidates.”  According to NJ.com, the ordinance also

Pay-to-play laws, which now exist at the federal, state, and local levels, generally restrict or require disclosure of political contributions by firms seeking to do business with the government.  Hedge funds, private equity funds, and asset management firms are particularly sensitive to such restrictions because of their reliance on investments from state and local government