Express Advocacy – Political Law News Summary

BNA Money & Politics Reports ($) published an article on information released at the Council on Government Ethics Laws’ (“GOGEL”) annual conference regarding compliance with federal lobbying disclosure requirements after the enactment of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.   According to the article, approximately 1,700 registered lobbyists were referred to the U.S. Justice Department for enforcement for failing to file Form LD-203, the semi-annual report disclosing a lobbyist’s political contributions and funds given to other organizations for events honoring covered officials. 

The St. Petersburg Times reports that the Florida Elections Commission dismissed a complaint filed against a local Florida candidate for failure to include a disclaimer on a internet ad.  The candidate claimed that the hyper-link ad did not have enough space to include a disclaimer.  This will be an issue to watch as many state legislatures, including Florida’s legislature, are expected to examine this issue.

The New York Times reports that U.S. Supreme Court Justices appeared skeptical of the honest services fraud statute during oral arguments on the issue.  The statute has been used by prosecutors in public corruption cases.  The questioning by the Justices, however, indicates that many believe the statute fails to provide adequate notice because it is too broad and vague.  The Court has accepted three cases on the issue. 

Roll Call ($) also published an article on the Supreme Court cases and their potential impact on pending cases in the Abramoff matter.

Here is National Journal’s Under the Influence Blog’s take on the honest services fraud cases.

The Associated Press reports on the latest developments concerning Congressional attempts to legislate how college football selects its national champion.

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