This bill has been amended

Bill S5009-2013

Prohibits certain lobbyists and political consultants from being affiliated with each other, or engaging in the other's profession

Prohibits certain lobbyists from engaging in political consulting for state public officials or candidates for state office, and prohibits political consultants or anyone they are affiliated with from lobbying state officers; requires election financial disclosure statements to include a listing of all political consulting services provided to a campaign.

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  • May 6, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5009

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the legislative law, in relation to prohibiting lobbyists from engaging in political consulting of candidates for and holders of state office and prohibiting certain political consultants from engaging in lobbying; and to amend the election law, in relation to requiring the reporting of the provision of political consulting services

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this bill is to reform the state's ethics laws to place a fire wall between the activities of political consultants who help to elect state government officials and registered lobbyists, who lobby state government officials to obtain or thwart a specified state governmental policy. Political consultants are those who are paid to manage and operate political campaigns for public officials and candidates, raise funds to elect such officials, and provide media services or advice for such campaigns. However, such political consulting does not mean the provision of legal work related to securing a place on the ballot, conduct of an election, or other election law issues. Registered lobbyists are those who lobby state elected officials for enactment or rejection of legislation, regulatory changes, budget items, procurement of services, or other changes in governmental policy.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends Legislative Law section 1-c to add a definition for the term "political consulting". Such term means the provision, for compensation, to any state public official, candidate or potential candidate for any elective office, advice or services to such candidate or government official to help get such official elected to such office. Such advice or services can include, but is not limited to campaign management, fundraising activities, and public relations or media services, but it does not include any legal work related to litigation or advice related to the conduct of an election or the election law.

Section 2: Amends Legislative Law section 1-m to ban State registered lobbyists from providing political consulting services as defined under section 1 of this bill to any state public official, candidate or potential candidate. This provision further provides that those who engage in political consulting shall not lobby or be associated with any organization that is a registered lobbyist.

Section 3: Adds to Election Law section 14-100 a definition for those who engage in political consulting for the purpose of reporting campaign receipts and expenditures.

Section 4: Amends Election Law section 14-102 to require that political committees must disclose those persons and organizations that provide political consulting services and the fair market value of such services.

Section 5: Amends Election Law section 14-104 to require that political campaigns must disclose those persons and organizations that

provide political consulting services and the fair market value of such services.

Section 6: This act shall take effect 30 days after it shall have become law.

JUSTIFICATION:

Recently, many significant reforms to New York State's ethics laws have been enacted as it relates to conflicts of interest and disclosure issues faced by elected and appointed government officials and the relationships and business interests that may be shared between government officials, both elected and non-elected, and those who lobby such officials. Unfortunately, this same scrutiny has not focused on the relationships and potential conflicts of interests that may be faced by the political consultant who helps to elect or finance the election of a state government official and then is paid to lobby the same state government official.

This situation can lead to a blurring of functions and roles of the political consultant/lobbyist who is instrumental in electing such state government official and then expects a certain enhanced sympathy and sensitivity from the same official to advance the interests of the lobbyists' client or client list. From the governmental official's vantage point, it may be difficult to decline to advance the goals of the lobbyist/political consultant, knowing that as a new election cycle begins, such official must rely heavily on this same individual or lobbying/political consultant firm to execute the state governmental official's election campaign, coordinate fundraising efforts, or to arrange media campaigns. provided however, that political consulting does not include legal work related to securing a place on the ballot, ballot security efforts, petition activities, or election law court appearances should the election results be close.

In reviewing the websites and advertisements of political consultant/lobbyist individuals, firms or associations, it is clear that there is a purposeful blending of what should be the separate functions of performing election or fundraising activities for government officials, the ease of access to government officials who are also the clients of these same political consultants, and the dual listing of those state government officials and lobbying interest that the political consultant/lobbyist firm represents. The activities of political consultants who directly help or manage state government official's election campaigns should clearly be segregated from those individuals or lobbyists who seek legislation, budget items, regulatory changes, or the procurement of government services, contracts or goods. However, this bill does allow lobbyists to perform legal work that is directly related to election law since this is a very specialized trade.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

30 days after it shall have become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5009 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 6, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. VALESKY, KLEIN, SAVINO, CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to amend the legislative law, in relation to prohibiting lobby- ists from engaging in political consulting of candidates for and hold- ers of state office and prohibiting certain political consultants from engaging in lobbying; and to amend the election law, in relation to requiring the reporting of the provision of political consulting services THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 1-c of the legislative law is amended by adding a new subdivision (x) to read as follows: (X) THE TERM "POLITICAL CONSULTING" SHALL MEAN AND INCLUDE THE PROVISION, FOR COMPENSATION, TO ANY STATE PUBLIC OFFICIAL, CANDIDATE OR PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATE FOR AN ELECTED STATE OFFICE OF ADVICE, SERVICES OR ASSISTANCE IN SECURING SUCH PUBLIC OFFICE INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT, FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES, PUBLIC RELATIONS OR MEDIA SERVICES, BUT MAY EXCLUDE BONA FIDE LEGAL WORK DIRECTLY RELATED TO LITI- GATION OR LEGAL ADVICE WITH REGARD TO SECURING A PLACE ON THE BALLOT, THE PETITIONING PROCESS, THE CONDUCT OF AN ELECTION OR WHICH INVOLVES THE ELECTION LAW. S 2. Section 1-m of the legislative law, as added by chapter 14 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows: S 1-m. Prohibition of gifts AND POLITICAL CONSULTING. (A) No individ- ual or entity required to be listed on a statement of registration pursuant to this article shall offer or give a gift to any public offi- cial as defined within this article, unless under the circumstances it is not reasonable to infer that the gift was intended to influence such public official. No individual or entity required to be listed on a statement of registration pursuant to this article shall offer or give a
gift to the spouse or unemancipated child of any public official as defined within this article under circumstances where it is reasonable to infer that the gift was intended to influence such public official. No spouse or unemancipated child of an individual required to be listed on a statement of registration pursuant to this article shall offer or give a gift to a public official under circumstances where it is reason- able to infer that the gift was intended to influence such public offi- cial. This section shall not apply to gifts to officers, members or directors of boards, commissions, councils, public authorities or public benefit corporations who receive no compensation or are compensated on a per diem basis, unless the person listed on the statement of registra- tion appears or has matters pending before the board, commission or council on which the recipient sits. (B) NO PERSON OR ORGANIZATION THAT IS ENGAGED IN LOBBYING OR LOBBYING ACTIVITIES SHALL ENGAGE IN POLITICAL CONSULTING FOR ANY STATE PUBLIC OFFICIAL, CANDIDATE OR PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATE FOR AN ELECTED STATE OFFICE; PROVIDED, HOWEVER THAT A PERSON OR ORGANIZATION THAT IS ENGAGED SOLELY IN THE LOBBYING OF OR LOBBYING ACTIVITIES RELATED TO MUNICIPAL AGENCIES, LOCAL LEGISLATIVE BODIES AND MUNICIPAL PUBLIC OFFICERS, AND DOES NOT ENGAGE IN THE LOBBYING OF OR LOBBYING ACTIVITIES RELATED TO STATE AGENCIES AND STATE PUBLIC OFFICIALS, MAY ENGAGE IN SUCH POLITICAL CONSULTING FOR MUNICIPAL PUBLIC OFFICIALS. (C) NO PERSON OR ORGANIZATION THAT IS ENGAGED IN POLITICAL CONSULTING FOR ANY STATE PUBLIC OFFICIAL, CANDIDATE OR PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATE FOR AN ELECTED STATE OFFICE SHALL BE EMPLOYED BY, BE AFFILIATED WITH OR BE UNDER COMMON OWNERSHIP WITH ANY PERSON OR ORGANIZATION ENGAGED IN LOBBY- ING OR LOBBYING ACTIVITIES, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY SUBDIVI- SION (B) OF THIS SECTION. S 3. Section 14-100 of the election law is amended by adding a new subdivision 12 to read as follows: 12. "POLITICAL CONSULTING" MEANS AND INCLUDES THE PROVISION FOR COMPENSATION, TO ANY POLITICAL COMMITTEE OR CANDIDATE OF ADVICE, SERVICES OR ASSISTANCE IN SECURING STATE PUBLIC OFFICE INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT, FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES, PUBLIC RELATIONS OR MEDIA SERVICES, BUT MAY EXCLUDE LEGAL WORK DIRECTLY RELATED TO LITIGATION OR LEGAL ADVICE WITH REGARD TO SECURING A PLACE ON THE BALLOT, THE PETITIONING PROCESS, THE CONDUCT OF AN ELECTION OR WHICH INVOLVES THIS CHAPTER. S 4. Subdivision 1 of section 14-102 of the election law, as amended by chapter 8 of the laws of 1978 and as redesignated by chapter 9 of the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows: 1. The treasurer of every political committee which, or any officer, member or agent of any such committee who, in connection with any election, receives or expends any money or other valuable thing or incurs any liability to pay money or its equivalent shall file state- ments sworn, or subscribed and bearing a form notice that false state- ments made therein are punishable as a class A misdemeanor pursuant to section 210.45 of the penal law, at the times prescribed by this article setting forth all the receipts, contributions to and the expenditures by and liabilities of the committee, and of its officers, members and agents in its behalf. Such statements shall include the dollar amount of any receipt, contribution or transfer, or the fair market value of any receipt, contribution or transfer, which is other than of money, the name and address of the transferor, contributor or person from whom received, and if the transferor, contributor or person is a political committee; the name of and the political unit represented by the commit-
tee, the date of its receipt, the dollar amount of every expenditure, the name and address of the person to whom it was made or the name of and the political unit represented by the committee to which it was made and the date thereof, and shall state clearly the purpose of such expenditure. FURTHERMORE, SUCH STATEMENTS SHALL INCLUDE A LIST OF ALL PERSONS AND ORGANIZATIONS WHICH PROVIDED POLITICAL CONSULTING SERVICES, AND THE FAIR MARKET VALUE OF AND THE ACTUAL AMOUNT PAID TO EACH SUCH PERSON AND ORGANIZATION FOR THE PROVISION OF POLITICAL CONSULTING SERVICES. Any statement reporting a loan shall have attached to it a copy of the evidence of indebtedness. Expenditures in sums under fifty dollars need not be specifically accounted for by separate items in said statements, and receipts and contributions aggregating not more than ninety-nine dollars, from any one contributor need not be specifically accounted for by separate items in said statements, provided however, that such expenditures, receipts and contributions shall be subject to the other provisions of section 14-118 of this article. S 5. Subdivision 1 of section 14-104 of the election law, as amended by chapter 430 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows: 1. Any candidate for election to public office, or for nomination for public office at a contested primary election or convention, or for election to a party position at a primary election, shall file state- ments sworn, or subscribed and bearing a form notice that false state- ments made therein are punishable as a class A misdemeanor pursuant to section 210.45 of the penal law, at the times prescribed by this article setting forth the particulars specified by section 14-102 of this arti- cle, as to all moneys or other valuable things, paid, given, expended or promised by him OR HER to aid his OR HER own nomination or election, or to promote the success or defeat of a political party, or to aid or influence the nomination or election or the defeat of any other candi- date to be voted for at the election or primary election or at a conven- tion, including contributions to political committees, officers, members or agents thereof, and transfers, receipts and contributions to him to be used for any of the purposes above specified, or in lieu thereof, any such candidate may file such a sworn statement at the first filing peri- od, on a form prescribed by the state board of elections that such candidate has made no such expenditures and does not intend to make any such expenditures, except through a political committee authorized by such candidate pursuant to this article. FURTHERMORE, SUCH STATEMENTS SHALL INCLUDE A LIST OF ALL PERSONS AND ORGANIZATIONS WHICH PROVIDED POLITICAL CONSULTING SERVICES, AND THE FAIR MARKET VALUE OF AND THE ACTUAL AMOUNT PAID TO EACH SUCH PERSON AND ORGANIZATION FOR THE PROVISION OF POLITICAL CONSULTING SERVICES. A committee authorized by such a candidate may fulfill all of the filing requirements of this act on behalf of such candidate. S 6. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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