Companies doing business with state and local governments or operating in regulated industries are subject to a dizzying array of “pay-to-play” rules.  These rules effectively prohibit company executives and employees (and in some cases, their family members) from making certain personal political contributions.  Even inadvertent violations can be dangerous:  a single political contribution can, for

The Wagner case, decided today by the D.C. Circuit, is important because of its analysis of the constitutionality of federal campaign contribution restrictions and, by extension, of pay-to-play laws generally. Covington has been monitoring this case since the district court decision in 2012, to the argument before the D.C. Circuit in 2013, and the decision

Super PACs in the Empire State and in the Big Apple are about to become more “super.”  Today, a New York federal court finally (albeit begrudgingly) struck down a state law that effectively capped contributions to state Super PACs at no more than $150,000.  Prior to today’s ruling, New York had been one of a

Earlier this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo empaneled a so-called “Moreland Commission,” under New York’s Moreland Act, to investigate public corruption.  The Moreland Commission, also known as the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, is led by several state prosecutors.  It recently issued its preliminary report.  That report reflects that the Moreland Commission is

During the 2012 election cycle, we cautioned that campaign finance problems can haunt candidates long after the election is over.  Case in point:  As the New York Daily News reports, the New York City Campaign Finance Board recently voted to impose $72,402 in penalties for violations of 15 different campaign finance restrictions, including

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today that he has adopted regulations requiring non-profits engaging in certain electioneering activity in New York, including 501(c)(4) organizations, to disclose their donors.  We previously wrote on the proposed rules, which after a series of public hearings, have been slightly modified and adopted by the Attorney General.  The

The Associated Press reports that New York State is poised to loosen lobbying disclosure requirements and tighten gift restrictions.  The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which has broad jurisdiction over New York state ethics and lobbying laws, has proposed new rules governing both lobbying disclosure requirements and ethical restrictions on gifts.