Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 4:31 PM

Webinar: Political Contributions, Lobbying, and Gifts to Public Officials - A New Year’s Compliance Tune-Up

When: Thursday, February 17, 2011
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (EST)
Presentation and Q&A

Cost:There is no charge to attend, but space is limited.

Click here to register.

NOTE: Registrants will receive an email containing all log-in information prior to the program.

Event Description:

The start of a new year and a new election cycle is the ideal time to assess the risks to your organization and key executives as a result of PAC activity and other political contributions, lobbying, and gifts to public officials.

If you have not taken stock of your compliance efforts in a while, then there’s no time to spare. The political law landscape has been literally transformed in recent years. To name just a few legal developments that may impact your organization:

New federal laws and Obama executive orders have tightened rules on gifts to public officials and expanded disclosure obligations. Lobbying disclosure reports are subject to random audit, and a violation of federal lobbying and gift rules can lead to criminal prosecution.

  • States and localities across the country have tightened their lobbying and gift laws, which can limit your ability to invite public officials to tour a new plant or attend a charity event, or restrict your lobbyists’ ability to hold fundraisers for candidates.
  • Over 20 states and hundreds of localities have adopted “pay-to-play” laws, which can cause companies to lose their public contracts if they or their employees make prohibited political contributions. New federal pay-to-play rules also limit contributions by investment advisers who work for public pension funds.
  • Last year the Supreme Court vastly expanded the right of corporations and non-profits to participate in elections. But certain restrictions and public disclosure obligations present a range of risks. Understanding these new rights and risks is critical to politically active organizations.

Why should you attend this webinar?

This webinar will focus on steps your organization can take now to minimize the risks presented by political activity, including the following:

  • How can personal fundraising and other volunteer political activity pose risks to your organization, and what should you do about it?
  • What types of internal controls can reduce the compliance risks for PACs?
  • What are the best practices for collecting information and monitoring compliance with federal lobbying laws so that you are prepared in the event of a random audit by the Comptroller General?
  • How can an organization protect its bids and contracts from disqualification under widely varying state and local pay-to-play laws?
  • How often should a company conduct a legal compliance audit and what should be covered?
  • What training should be provided regarding political activity, lobbying, and gifts, and who needs to receive such training?
  • What new tools are available to companies and non-profits in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court ruling, and how can they be used in a way that avoids legal risks and adverse publicity?
About the Speakers:

Larry Norton and Jim Kahl head Womble Carlyle's Political Law Practice. They represent corporations, trade associations, non-profit organizations, and others in connection with campaign finance, lobbying, and gift laws. Prior to joining Womble Carlyle, Larry and Jim served as General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel, respectively, of the Federal Election Commission from 2001-2007.

They co-author a blog on political law issues called Political GPS. Larry and Jim filed a brief in the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.

Questions about this Webinar?

Please contact Katie Tedrow at or (202) 857-4502.

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