Tag Archives: California

California Legislature Passes “California DISCLOSE Act,” a Complex but Clarifying Update to the State’s Political Advertising Disclosure Rules

Over the weekend, the California legislature passed AB249, the California DISCLOSE Act, a controversial set of campaign finance disclosure rules that have been years in the making.  The law now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval.  The law’s proponents have argued that it is necessary in order to provide voters with complete information about the sponsors … Continue Reading

California AG Becerra Hints at Crackdown on Nonprofit Political Activity

Nonprofits that are active in California politics, already facing one of the most complex regulatory environments in the country, now have another thing to worry about: the state’s Attorney General.  In remarks Wednesday, Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced his intent to pursue nonprofit organizations that he believes “abuse” their nonprofit status for political purposes.  With the … Continue Reading

California Regulation, Proposed Statute Add to State’s Reputation for Complex, Detailed Disclosure

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

California Approves Strict Rules on Super PAC Coordination

California has existing regulations that define when expenditures by outside groups, including super PACs, are coordinated with candidates and become illegal contributions to those campaigns.  These rules create a presumption of coordination under certain circumstances.  Yesterday, the Fair Political Practices Commission (“FPPC”) approved revisions to its rules on independent expenditures and coordination that expand the … Continue Reading

California Penalizes Campaign, Committee for Coordination Violation

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

New Campaign Finance, Lobbying, and Ethics Laws Take Effect

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

Record-Setting Enforcement by California’s Campaign Finance Regulator

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is more aggressive than ever and is employing new tactics.  The FPPC’s recently-released end-of-year report detailing enforcement activities in 2013 highlights some interesting statistics that should be on the radar of every company doing business in California. Prosecutions of both “serious campaign cases” and lobbying violations were both “at … Continue Reading

Fine Levied Against California Super PAC a Possible Signal of Things to Come

Earlier this year we predicted that battles over the definition of “coordination” and Super PAC “independence” would play a significant role in the development of campaign finance law in the coming years.   In keeping with that forecast, last week, the California Fair Political Practices Commission for the first time fined a Super PAC for allegedly … Continue Reading

California’s Proposition 32 Defeated

Some politically-active corporations are breathing a sigh of relief following last night’s defeat of California’s Proposition 32.  Although the media focused on the ballot initiative’s proposal to bar unions from using payroll deductions to collect PAC contributions, the initiative would have also had three equally far-reaching effects for corporations.  First, it would have prohibited corporations … Continue Reading

Nonprofit to Disclose Donors in California

According to press reports, the legal fight between the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and Americans for Responsible Leadership (ARL), an Arizona-based 501(c)(4), appears to have drawn to a close.  ARL apparently has dropped its bid to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  And instead of producing documents to the FPPC for an audit, … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Orders Arizona Nonprofit to Undergo Audit

At the close of last week, we were tracking the California Fair Political Practices Commission’s (FPPC) efforts to conduct an audit of Americans for Responsible Leadership (ARL) to determine whether the Arizona-based 501(c)(4) needed to disclose its donors under California law.  A state trial court had ordered ARL to submit documents and ARL had taken an … Continue Reading

California Targets Nonprofit Donor Disclosure

In California, the Fair Political Practice Commission (“FPPC”) is facing off against an Arizona nonprofit, Americans for Responsible Leadership (“ARL”), in a dispute that is quickly making its way through the state court system.  The case may ultimately have important implications for donors who give to certain nonprofits that in turn fund political activities.  Since … Continue Reading

Ballot Initiative Could Put An End To Federal Corporate PAC Giving In California

California voters will face 11 statewide ballot initiatives when they visit the polls in less than three weeks.  One, Proposition 32, has garnered significant media attention because it would bar unions from using payroll deduction to collect PAC contributions.  Its effects on corporate PACs — which could be just as far-reaching — have been largely ignored.  Although … Continue Reading
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