Our Political Law group provides bipartisan expertise to clients engaged in political activity at all levels of government. Our team has extensive experience advising on compliance matters, including campaign finance, lobbying and government ethics laws; election laws; the tax implications of political activity; and the reputational risks associated with political activity.
The Political Law group serves a broad client base, including corporations, trade groups, nonprofits, political organizations and public as well as private individuals. Our goal is to maximize the scope and effectiveness of our clients' political activities by ensuring they are fully compliant with federal, state and local law. Here are some of the ways we help our political law clients:
Our Political Law group has the experience, expertise, knowledge and judgment to help ensure that our clients are fully compliant with all applicable laws and rules in today's era of heightened scrutiny of political activity.
In an opinion released on August 3rd, US District Court Judge Beryl Howell greatly expanded the FEC donor disclosure reporting requirements for independent groups – like Section 501(4) and 501(c)(6) organizations – that sponsor independent expenditures and other candidate advocacy communications. The court delayed the implementation of its ruling for 45 days to give the FEC time to draft interim rules.
Nonprofit organizations are often overly cautious in speaking out about their causes and interacting with candidates in election years for fear of violating a complex set of laws and rules. You can and should participate in the election-year conversation. Here’s how.
On July 16, 2018, the IRS announced that it has eliminated the requirement for most nonprofit organizations to provide confidential donor information to the IRS on Schedule B to their annual IRS Form 990. Although limited in scope and with no impact on public transparency, the change has significant political ramifications and has ignited a firestorm of support and condemnation across the political spectrum. This includes a partisan Senate Finance Committee vote and delay in the Senate confirmation vote on the new IRS Commissioner.
DC Partner Jim Kahl and Nancy Bukar, Sodexo Vice President of Government Affairs & Assistant General Counsel, co-presented to The Association of Corporate Counsel (National Capital Region) in a webcast last Tuesday on “Election Year Corporate Political Activity: Understanding the Legal Risks and Strategic Opportunities.”
A recent article in Associations Now features DC-based political Law partners Jim Kahl and Jeff Altman. “Whether you see an opportunity to advance your agenda or a need to defend members’ interests, it’s wise to reexamine your government relations strategy right now,” says Kahl. “What we know now is that a Republican majority means organizations need to be ready to respond to bills immediately,” says Altman. “With the new Congress, legislation will be passed very quickly.”
2017 is not yet fifty days old and there have already been several significant developments in the political law arena, and many more are likely to follow. Lobbyists and others that interact with the federal government have to contend with new ethics rules. New federal political contribution limits have been approved by the Federal Election Commission.
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Whiteford Political Law Notes -- Whiteford, Taylor & Preston’s quarterly political law newsletter. Our objective is to provide our clients and friends with concise analysis of developments in the fast-changing field of federal and state campaign finance, lobbying, tax, and government ethics laws and rules. We will also provide practical tips for making strategic use of the laws and rules in this area to advance your organization’s political, advocacy and policy goals.
Another election year is upon us, and once again federal and state candidates are on track to raise and spend unprecedented sums for their election efforts. That means corporations, trade associations, 501(c)(4) advocacy organizations, their political action committees (“PACs”), leaders, members and donors will be inundated with political contribution requests. They may also be asked to help candidates and political parties in other ways, such as hosting fundraisers or providing in-kind contributions of goods or services.
On January 13, WTP hosted a webinar on "Federal Lobbying & Ethics Rules in 2017: Is Your Organization Ready?"
We are pleased to announce the inaugural issue of Whiteford Political Law Notes -- Whiteford, Taylor & Preston’s quarterly political law newsletter. Our objective is to provide our clients and friends with concise analysis of developments in the fast-changing field of federal and state campaign finance, lobbying, tax, and government ethics laws and rules.