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Corporate Political Activities Deskbook (2019 Edition)

Author(s): Kenneth A. Gross, Ki P. Hong, Shayla K. Parker
Practice Area: Corporate political activity, Lobbying (Political activity law), Political activity law, Regulation and compliance (Political activity law)
Date: Jul 2019 i Other versions can be found in the Related Items tab.
ISBN: 9781402433702
PLI Item #: 267799

Corporate Political Activities Deskbook provides a thorough grounding in the current state of the law on federal and state campaign finance, pay-to-play, lobbying, and gift compliance. It serves as a practical manual for in-house attorneys who advise corporations about involvement in the political process.

After describing the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Citizens United—that began the expansion of permitted corporate speech in the political realmand McCutcheon v. FEC—that expanded the exemption further, the book examines thoroughly the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) requirements, federal lobbying and gift rules, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and practice and appearances before the FEC. The Deskbook includes an overview of state lobbying, gift, placement agent rules and pay-to-play rules as well as the federal pay-to-play rules (MSRB Rule G-37, SEC Rule 206(4)-5 and FINRA's proposed pay-to-play rule).

Appendices include model documents, such as sample PAC bylaws, a PAC contribution card, a resolution for establishing a PAC, as well as a summary chart of the corporate, PAC and individual contribution limits in each of the 50 states.

Corporate Political Activities Deskbook provides practical examples of best practices and “dos and don’ts.” In many cases, the suggestions go beyond the black letter requirements to incorporate advice that can help corporations utilize the available avenues of interacting with the government while avoiding negative press, and public as well as legal regulatory attention.

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Kenneth A. Gross advises clients on matters relating to the regulation of political activity. A nationally renowned authority on campaign law compliance, gift and gratuity rules, lobby registration provisions, and securities laws regulating political activity and municipal securities transactions, Mr. Gross counsels numerous Fortune 500 corporations and political candidates at the state and federal level. As former associate general counsel of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Mr. Gross headed the general counsel’s Enforcement Division and supervised the legal staff charged with the review of the FEC’s Audit Division.

Presently, his clients include commercial and investment banks, insurance companies, energy companies, pharmaceuticals, accounting firms, real estate firms, media companies and trade associations. He advises elected officials as well as candidates facing various federal and state races. Mr. Gross also counsels senior-level political appointees facing Senate confirmation in matters related to compliance with government ethics laws.

Mr. Gross is well-known for his experience regarding the Ethics in Government Act, the Lobbying Disclosure Act, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, and the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate ethics rules. He also has worked extensively with federal and state lobby registration laws, in particular compliance with the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act and the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Additionally, he advises corporations on internal ethics guidelines and conducts internal investigations. Mr. Gross advises many corporations on their responses to shareholder proposals regarding disclosure of political and lobbying expenditures.

Beginning with the underwriting scandals on political contributions in the late 1980s and 1990s that led to MSRB Rules G-37/G-38 regulating the activities of broker-dealers, Mr. Gross has been at the forefront in advising clients on compliance with pay-to-play rules. Such rules have broadened over the years to restrict activity by investment advisers (SEC Rule 206(4)-5) and swap dealers (CFTC Rule 23.451).

Mr. Gross repeatedly has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and The Best Lawyers in America. Washingtonian Magazine repeatedly has recognized him as a top lawyer in the field of ethics and election law. In addition, he was recognized as a leading Washington, D.C. attorney by Washington Post Magazine and was named Best Lawyers’ 2017 Washington, D.C. Government Relations Practice Lawyer of the Year. Roll Call named Mr. Gross among the outstanding lawyers when it last identified “Who’s Who Among the Congressional Ethics Bar.” He has been listed in multiple editions of Who’s Who in America. Mr. Gross received a 2013 ILO Client Choice Award, awarded by the International Law Office in recognition of individual partners who excel across the full spectrum of client service. In addition, in 2006, Mr. Gross was the recipient of the Council on Governmental Ethics Law (COGEL) Award, the highest award given by COGEL in recognition of service to the ethics community.

Mr. Gross is widely known as a speaker on ethics in government and election law. A frequent featured guest on CNN, Fox News, NPR Radio and other media outlets, Mr. Gross was CNN’s on-air election law analyst during the 2000 Florida election dispute and made daily appearances in covering the election. He advised NBC’s television show “The West Wing” on election law issues that arose in the show’s scripts.

In addition, he is the co-author of the Ethics Handbook for Enter­taining and Lobbying Public Officials. His published articles on campaign finance have appeared in the Stanford Law and Policy Review and the Yale Law & Policy Review (“The Enforcement of Campaign Finance Rules: A System in Search of Reform”); Federal Bar Journal; Corporate Political Activities (published by Business Laws, Inc.); Money, Elections and Democracy; and several other publications. He also is the author of supplements to a treatise titled “Federal Regulation of Campaign Finance and Political Activity.” He served as a commentator for the “Under the Influence” Experts Forum published by The National Journal. Mr. Gross has co-authored summaries of the STOCK Act for the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.

Mr. Gross co-chairs the Practising Law Institute’s annual seminar on “Corporate Political Activities.” He is an adviser to the American Law Institute’s Members Consultative Group on the Principles of Government Ethics. He chaired the Election Law Committee for the Federal Bar Association. Mr. Gross also served as an appointee of former Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan (D-NY) on the New York Judicial Screening Committee, where he participated in the recommendation of New York federal judges and U.S. attorneys.

An active participant in various nonprofit organizations, Mr. Gross is a member of the executive committee and counsel to the Ameri­can Council of Young Political Leaders. Mr. Gross is a co-founder of No Labels, a nonprofit focused on developing bipartisan approaches toward solving our nation’s problems. He also is a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Lawyers Committee and a board member of the Public Affairs Council.

Mr. Gross has served on the faculty of George Washington Univer­sity and also at New York University. He often lectures at George­town University Law Center, Fordham University School of Law and American University.

Ki P. Hong is the head of Skadden’s Political Law Group. He advises major corporations on the unique political law issues they face when engaging in government affairs or government procurement activity. These include federal and state campaign finance, lobbying, gift, ethics and conflict-of-interest laws.

Mr. Hong also advises clients on pay-to-play laws that impose special restrictions on the political activity of companies that have or seek government contracts, as well as their covered employees. He advises clients on establishing and maintaining comprehensive systems to ensure compliance with those laws. In addition, he represents clients at the enforcement stage.

Mr. Hong’s clients include companies from a wide range of different industries. He represents three of the "Big Four" accounting firms and leaders in other industries, such as technology, energy, media, insurance and communications. He also represents nine of the top 10 U.S. banks and nearly all of Wall Street.

Mr. Hong is well-regarded for his experience with state and federal pay-to-play laws. Such laws include MSRB Rules G-37/G-38, including amendments to Rule G-37 that apply to municipal advisors. He also advises clients on implementing Dodd-Frank’s definition and regulation of municipal advisors. He has extensive experience in SEC Rule 206(4)-5 for investment advisors and drafted model policies and procedures to address this Rule that have become the industry standard. Mr. Hong also advises clients on the pay-to-play provisions within CFTC Rule 23.451 covering swap dealers.

He also has extensive experience advising clients on election, lobbying and government ethics laws. Mr. Hong routinely represents clients before federal enforcement agencies such as the Federal Election Commission, and he works with the House and Senate Ethics Committees, the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Office of Government Ethics. He also works frequently with various state ethics commissions around the country. He advises clients on state laws that require government contractors and investment advisers to register as lobbyists.

Mr. Hong regularly counsels major corporations on inquiries and proxy proposals issued by shareholder groups regarding transparency in corporate political spending and lobbying activities.

Mr. Hong served on the steering committee of the Council on Government Ethics Laws (COGEL), an association of the federal and state government agencies that implement and enforce campaign finance and ethics laws throughout the United States and Canada. Mr. Hong is the first attorney in private practice to be elected to the steering committee in COGEL’s history.

Mr. Hong co-authored the Ethics Handbook for Entertaining and Lobbying Public Officials, which was first published in 1994 and continues to be updated for subscribers. He co-authored several chapters of the Practicing Law Institute’s publication “Corporate Political Activities” for every edition of the publication since 1993. He also co-authors the Institute’s “Corporate Political Activities Deskbook.”

He is a regular speaker at conferences, such as those organized by the Practising Law Institute, the Investment Adviser Association and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. He also is a main speaker at an all-day seminar that he organizes every year, having completed the 24th annual seminar with more than 220 attendees in May 2019. Mr. Hong is ranked in Band 1 for political law in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and has been named in The Best Lawyers in America. Washingtonian Magazine also has repeatedly recognized him as a top lawyer in the field of ethics and election law.

Shayla Parker advises clients on lobby, campaign finance, gifts and entertainment issues at the federal, state and local levels. She is well-versed in the Foreign Agents Registration Act. She also works with investment advisers to navigate the placement agent and securities law issues relevant to the public pension business.

Ms. Parker regularly assists with internal audits regarding campaign finance (i.e., PAC) and lobbying compliance. She also advises clients on political tax matters relevant to Section 501c organizations.

She analyzes pending legislation covering lobbying, campaign finance, pay-to-play, and gifts and entertainment at the federal, state and local levels. Ms. Parker has assisted with preparation of the annual "Lobbying Update on Legislation and Litigation, United States and Canada" for the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL), an organization of public agencies that implements campaign finance, ethics and lobby laws in the United States and Canada. Ms. Parker also is co-author of the Practising Law Institute’s "Corporate Political Activities Deskbook." She is a member of Women in Government Relations, a professional society.