FPPC Hearing Summary, January 21, 2016

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FPPC Chair touts new rules to require more disclosure on lobbying

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) today approved sweeping new rules to shed light and provide more disclosure on a wide range of lobbying activities. In a unanimous, 5-0 vote, the bi-partisan, non-partisan Commission approved a regulation requiring more disclosure under a catch-all category known as “other payments to influence”. It is a category of lobbying which has not only seen a significant increase in use, but also in the amount of money spent in the previously undisclosed category.

 “There are two main goals behind the regulation, to increase transparency and promote compliance,” said FPPC Chair Jodi Remke. “As for transparency, the public is entitled to know who is trying to influence public officials and how they are doing it. As for compliance, lobbying is largely a self-regulated industry and requiring more detailed reporting is the most effective tool to promote compliance and facilitate enforcement against improper activity.”

In essence, the regulation will require lobbyist-employers to now provide a more itemized breakdown under “other payments to influence”, providing the public more information on items such as money spent on advertising, or public affairs, or the hiring of consultants.

“I’m extremely pleased my fellow Commissioners voted to adopt this rule. We agree the people of California deserve to see this vital information and the added disclosure will help strengthen our electoral process.”

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Below is a brief summary of the actions of the Fair Political Practices Commission during its monthly hearing. The meeting agenda can be found on our website at www.fppc.ca.gov.

Roll: Chair Remke and Commissioners Audero, Wasserman and Wynne in attendance. Commissioner Casher was present by teleconference.

Item 2: Minutes from December Commission Hearing. Approved 5-0.

Item 3: In the Matter of Marcella Faye Gallagher. Approved 4-0. Commissioner Audero abstained.

Item 29: In the Matter of Dave Cogdill, Jr. for Modesto City Council District 6 - 2011 and James Cogdill. Approved 4-0. Commissioner Casher abstained.

Item 30: In the Matter of Steve Ngo for College Board 2012 and Steve Ngo. Approved 4-0. Commissioner Casher abstained.

Items 4 – 28, 31 - 48: Consent Calendar. Approved 5-0.

Item 49: Memo to Commission re ALJ – Okonkwo. Accepted as submitted.

Item 50: Amend Regulation 18616: Lobbying - Disclosure of Other Payments to Influence.Approved 5-0.

Item 51: Executive Staff Reports. Accepted as submitted.