Campaign finance, lobbying and government ethics laws at both the federal and state levels continue to present corporations, trade associations and others with a minefield of regulations and rules designed to protect the integrity of the political process. Our national political compliance practice provides a single point of contact to support and maximize our clients’ participation in the US political process. While remaining free of ethical violations that may carry with them fines or even criminal penalties, we advise corporations, trade associations, federal and state Political Action Committees (PACs), nonprofits, candidates, advocacy organizations and individuals on compliance with federal, state and local ethics, lobbying and campaign finance laws. In addition, we prepare and file Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports and state campaign finance reports and counsel clients on registration and reporting requirements for state and federal lobbyists of for-profit and nonprofit entities.
Conflict-of-interest and ethics laws restrict the types of relationships and contact persons may have with public officials and the forms of gifts that may be given to those officials. To encourage participation while remaining mindful of these restrictions:
- We regularly counsel public and private sector clients across the country regarding proposed activities that implicate local, state and federal ethics issues
- We represent clients before regulators seeking pre-activity advice to proactively prevent ethics violations
With the passage of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 federal lobbyists and those that employ lobbyists face a complex web of regulations that require disclosure of monies spent on lobbying. Similar regulations may exist at the state and local levels as well.
The failure to properly register and report in the proper jurisdiction can lead to steep civil penalties and even criminal liability. In the face of these regulations:
Campaign Finance and Election Laws
- We assist both for-profit and nonprofit organizations in their efforts to comply with various federal, state and local lobbying registration and reporting requirements
- We provide our clients with materials and the reporting systems that enable them to fully comply with these regulations
- We advise nonprofit organizations that must comply with strict IRS lobbying guidelines
Political contributions are actively regulated by the FEC and its analogous state and local commissions. Strict compliance is necessary to avoid both civil and criminal penalties. To help our clients comply:
- We provide timely advice on establishing and operating political action committees including filing the necessary FEC reports and state campaign finance reports
- We help clients navigate through the complex restrictions on political activity in the workplace including fundraising and contributions
- We advise corporations on their own political communications and using their facilities for political operations
- We also guide our clients through interactions with candidates for office and their campaigns