Summit County Executive Russ Pry is such a good friend that I will even endure a little bit of his good-natured ribbing as he congratulates State and Federal Communications.
July 23 primary set for Assembly District 52
Governor Jerry Brown has called a special election for Assembly District 52 to fill a vacancy following the resignation of Assembly Member Norma Torres.
The primary will be held July 23, 2013. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, a special general election will be held on September 24, 2013.
Torres vacated the Assembly seat following her successful election to Senate District 32 on May 14, 2013. Assembly District 52 covers parts of San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.
New York County Supreme Court to hear case involving CBS’ show Brooklyn D.A.
First there was Arthur Branch. Then came Jack McCoy. Now it’s Charles Hynes’ turn to star as a New York City district attorney on the small screen. Only Hynes is not an actor or a character, he is an actual district attorney who is in the middle of a fierce campaign to keep his job. And his main opponent for the Democratic nomination is crying foul.
Abe George is suing Hynes, his committee, and CBS in New York over what he calls illegal campaign contributions. CBS is producing and has aired the first episode in a six-part reality series titled Brooklyn D.A. This reality series will follow Hynes and the rest of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as they do their job for the cameras.
George is not pleased with the free publicity Hynes will be receiving since they are in a heated campaign to garner the Democratic nomination for the position. He believes the air time should be considered a campaign contribution, and with the series’ value over the $5,000 limit, he believes it is an illegal contribution.
Hynes has been the district attorney in the county since 1989, and George believes he is willing to do anything to stay in power. “[He] has been the Brooklyn district attorney since 1989 and has operated under a mounting public perception that he will do anything, including misusing his broad prosecutorial powers, to achieve political gain for himself.”
CBS disagrees with George’s assertion and refuses to stop airing the show.
Sonya McNair, spokeswoman for CBS News, said, “We are surprised that this candidate would not know about the First Amendment. This is obviously a publicity push by a politician.”
For what it’s worth, Hynes believes this show will guarantee a victory for his campaign. He said, “If they couldn’t take me out then, boy, you’ll never be able to take me out now.”
The next episode of Brooklyn D.A. airs Tuesday, May 28, at 10:00 p.m. on CBS.
Photo of Charles Hynes courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York on Wikipedia.
Candidates can no longer accept unlimited contributions from individuals
Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill Monday further extending the state’s contribution limits to other elected offices. Senate Bill 5748 now sets contribution limits on candidates running for a seat on a public hospital district board of commissioners in a district with a population over 150,000.
No person, other than a bona fide political party or a caucus political committee, will be allowed to contribute more than $900 per election for those candidates. Each primary, general, and special election are considered a separate election for purposes of the contribution limits, so a person would be allowed to contribute $900 during the primary and another $900 during the general election.
Senator Pam Roach was the bill’s main sponsor and she said, “This is a victory for citizens who reside in public hospital districts…Recent commission races have seen large contributions from single sources that have over powered the campaigns. All elected positions in state, county, and local government have campaign finance limitations except for public hospital commissioners. There is no reason that candidates for public hospital district board of commissioners should not live under the same rules as other elected officials. This bill corrects that problem.”
The bill will take effect on July 28, 2013.
Photo of Gov. Jay Inslee courtesy of Thomas Sørenes on Wikipedia.
Passes major campaign finance changes on final day
The Alabama Legislature adjourned just before midnight on Monday, May 20, 2013, but not before passing major changes to the state’s Fair Campaign Practices Act.
The most significant change is the elimination of limits on corporate contributions to candidates and political action committees. Under the new law, corporations will be permitted to contribute in the same manner as individuals, who are not subject to any contribution limits, with the exception of retaining the state’s pay-to-play prohibition on contributions to the Public Service Commission by utilities the commission regulates. The bill also makes 527 organizations subject to the ban on PAC-to-PAC transfers and adds enforcement and penalty provisions.
The Secretary of State’s Office will release information regarding the effective date of these provisions since the law must first receive Department of Justice preclearance before it becomes enforceable.
State and Federal Communications Comptroller Jeff Roberts talks about meeting Danny Werfel, the interim director of the Internal Revenue Service.
They say it is good to know people in high places.
In 2009 my twin brother Ted and I decided to make a trip to Washington, DC and to take our dad, who had never visited the city before. Ted and I have visited numerous times and so we got busy making up a list of our favorite places to visit and things that Dad really should see. Dad mentioned to some church friends all of us have known for many years that he was taking this trip with us. They offered to connect us with their son-in-law, an employee of the Office of Management and Budget, who might be able to take us on a tour of the White House.
It turns out that particular day the White House had already arranged for public tours of the grounds, so we could not tour the mansion itself. Our friends’ son-in-law graciously agreed to escort us around the grounds. At the appointed time the three of us, along with former State and Federal Communications, Inc. temporary employee Andrew Houk, who was completing a Master’s Degree at George Washington University at the time, met at the corner of 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and began our tour. Our guide’s credentials enabled us to not wait in the extremely long line of people.
Our guide proved to be not only knowledgeable, but friendly, down-to-earth, and an all around great guy. In our conversation I found him very bright, engaging, articulate, ambitious, and hard working. He was awaiting Senate confirmation to the position of Comptroller of the Office of Management and Budget. In short, I was very impressed.
Earlier this year he was named the point person at OMB to coordinate the agency spending cuts that are part of the federal sequestration. Not an enviable position. Today I read that he was appointed by President Obama to be the interim director of the Internal Revenue Service. Perhaps a less enviable position.
I have every confidence that Danny Werfel will do an outstanding job in his new role, and I plan to do some more name dropping as I engage in the many lively political debates that seem to go hand-in-hand with our business. And… I will triple check next year’s federal income tax return!
Ethics reforms fail to pass
Lawmakers have ended the 2013 legislative session. Although both chambers are scheduled to convene on May 22, 2013, for a technical session, the House marked the conclusion with the traditional and celebratory paper toss on Friday, May 17, 2013.
Several bills aimed at reinstating or expanding the ethics reforms of Senate Bill 844 failed to pass. The major 2010 ethics reforms in Senate Bill 844 were found to be unconstitutional by the Missouri Supreme Court because they were joined to a procurement bill.
Photo of the Missouri State Capitol by RebelAt on Wikipedia.