January 16, 2014 - ET

Government Affairs Compliance Tune-Up

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The laws regulating politics and lobbying have changed dramatically in recent years.  The Supreme Court in Citizens United vastly altered the rules for political fundraising and spending, and gave rise to a new type of organization known as a Super PAC.  Government contractors face a growing and complex array of pay-to-play laws that restrict political contributions by their officers and other principals, and treat sales activity as lobbying.  Restrictions on gifts to public officials and employees are ever-changing, affecting many such traditional activities as site visits and invitations to government officials to attend conferences and charitable events.

This webinar will provide an overview of this changing landscape, helping you take stock of your government relations efforts and systems for compliance.

Topics will include:

  • Forming and operating a PAC or Super PAC: Would your organization benefit from establishing a PAC? If you have a PAC, are you making effective use of tools for expanding participation? Are your procedures for approving contributions and handling PAC funds putting your organization at risk? Can you use your PAC to give to state candidates? Are Super PACs the new normal?

  • Lobbying Compliance: Are your procedures for monitoring and reporting lobbying expenses sufficient to withstand a government audit? Are you in compliance with the growing number of state laws that regulate “procurement” and “goodwill” lobbying? Do you have the right controls in place on your outside lobbyists?

  • Gifts to Public Officials and Employees: What are the rules for inviting elected officials to tour your facilities, to be your guest at a charitable fundraiser, or to speak at a conference your organization is sponsoring? What kinds of appearances and events can be combined with political fundraising?

  • Pay-to-Play: What are pay-to-play laws and what risks do they present to companies seeking or doing business with state and local governments?

  • Legislating Transparency: How will new state laws affect donor disclosure and recordkeeping by 501(c)(4) organizations? How might IRS proposed rules affect political activity by 501(c) organizations? Will the SEC require public companies to disclose their political spending?

  • Trends in Enforcement: How are data analytics being used to uncover alleged relationships between political contributions and lobbying? How is data mining being used to catch unregistered lobbyists? What policies and procedures can help companies avoid drawing attention from these high-tech enforcement tools?

Ronald M. Jacobs, Esq., Co-chair, Political Law Practice, Venable LLP
Lawrence H. Norton, Esq., Co-chair, Political Law Practice, Venable LLP
Alexandra Megaris, Esq., Associate, Venable LLP