Political law compliance is increasingly important to businesses, organizations and executives. The challenges are real with mandates and restrictions throughout the country on interactions with government and politicians.
Government regulators are increasingly asserting their enforcement authority. Mistakes made while making campaign contributions, interacting with government, and lobbying are costly and may result in criminal penalties, civil fines, loss of governmental contracts and serious reputational harm to a company’s brand.
Politicom Law has developed an innovative political law practice in establishing and maintaining multi-state and multi-jurisdictional campaign, gift and lobby compliance programs.
Campaign Finance. A variety of restrictions and limitations are imposed on those who contribute to political campaigns. The rules vary greatly throughout the country. It is important to know the rules of the road and have experienced counsel capable of navigating challenges throughout the political spectrum.
Gift and Ethics. Public sector opportunities are presenting important growth opportunities for companies, but public sector work presents a number of challenges for sales teams because entertaining public officials and employees may be restricted or in some instances, prohibited. Politicom Law works closely with some of the country’s largest government contractors to develop effective compliance programs to manage their governmental ethics challenges.
Lobby Compliance and Disclosure. Federal, state and local governments impose extensive registration and disclosure requirements on entities and persons who attempt to influence public officials and employees on governmental action. Lobby reporting requirements often extend far beyond payments to outside (contract) lobbyists and consultants. Internal company employees may be considered “lobbyists.”
Politicom Law’s streamlined and innovative lobby compliance approach empowers busy professionals to efficiently manage their compliance obligations throughout the U.S. with a simple click.
Governmental ethics laws often restrict the nature and amount of gifts (including meals, entertainment and travel), sponsorships, employment offers and other benefits that businesses, organizations and private individuals may provide to public officials and employees. Each of these activities may be restricted or prohibited where public officials and employees are involved, with different rules applying to the donor based upon contracting or lobby status in the jurisdiction. Prospective advice and training are essential for any organization that regularly interacts with government officials, as penalties for noncompliance are often harsh.
Politicom Law attorneys routinely advise businesses, organizations and individuals who interact with public officials and employees on the laws governing such interactions. Examples include questions regarding whether a public official can be invited to an event, whether public officials have a disqualifying conflict of interest, whether a charitable donation requested by a public official may be made, what activities an employee who is contemplating or recently left public service can legitimately participate in and whether any of these interactions must be disclosed, either by the recipient or by the donor.
Recent court decisions, as well as pending legislation, present an ever-changing legal landscape for corporations, organizations and individuals, nationwide. Strict compliance with these shifting rules is a must to avoid severe civil and criminal penalties in a realm where even an allegation of impropriety can harm a business entity, organization or individual.
Politicom Law attorneys advise corporations, organizations and their political action committees (PACs) on the complex legal and technical requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act and state (including California’s Political Reform Act) and local campaign laws, nationwide, including the creation and ongoing administration of a PAC. In connection with this counsel, we provide comprehensive treasurer and bookkeeping services, as well as the preparation and filing of federal, state and local required campaign disclosure reports, nationwide.
In recent years, federal, state and local regulators, nationwide, have brought an increasing number of political law cases and investigations against government officials, corporations, nonprofit advocacy organizations, and their officers. When faced with an enforcement investigation or action, the need for sophisticated expertise and experience in the myriad details of campaign finance, lobbying, “pay-to-play,” and ethics laws and enforcement proceedings is immediate.
Politicom Law has considerable experience representing clients with political activity enforcement matters before the Federal Election Commission and state and local ethics commissions nationwide, including the California Fair Political Practices Commission. As counsel, we will respond to ethics agency complaints, inquiries, or requests from information. When necessary, we will negotiate a settlement agreement with government entities. Where criminal exposure is at issue, Politicom Law attorneys team with experienced criminal law counsel.
Full-scale audits of political contributions and lobbying activities by federal, state and local ethics agencies are increasingly common.
Politicom law attorneys have expertise in responding to campaign finance and lobby audits by federal, state and local ethics agencies, including federal lobby activity audits conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Further, our attorneys are available to conduct internal audits and investigations related to political activities, including lobby activities and political donations, where warranted.
Politicom Law specializes in providing compliance legal counsel to proponents and opponents of state and local initiatives and referenda. In California, our attorneys have advised some of the most high profile and expensive ballot measure campaigns in state history.
Our compliance services include organizational and tax issues unique to ballot measure campaigns, compliance with campaign finance disclosure requirements, disclaimer and advertising laws impacting initiatives and referenda, Federal Communications Commission rules and regulations impacting ballot measure campaigns and observing and potentially contesting the final vote.
As counsel, our attorneys prepare and file all required campaign disclosure statements for a campaign, as well overseeing post-election audits of the campaign.
Politicom Law organizes and administers tax-exempt organizations, including charitable and governmental organizations, social benefit organizations, trade associations, etc. We also represent such organizations before the Internal Revenue Service, the California Franchise Tax Board and the California Attorney General.
Politicom Law advises firms and individual placement agents regarding California registration and reporting requirements governing the marketing and sales of securities and other investments to the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS). Our attorneys provide counsel regarding the placement agent rules and prepare and file disclosure reports for those subject to these provisions. Further, our attorneys advise clients on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).