Seminar  Seminar

Corporate Political Activities 2014: Complying With Campaign Finance, Lobbying and Ethics Laws

Why you should attend

Lobbying, campaign finance and ethics rules in Washington – and in every state – are changing, and new court cases are affecting lobbyists, corporations, associations, and unions. Compliance with federal, state and local laws is more complex than ever. Congressional ethics rules, the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), pay-to-play laws, as well as increasing pressure on corporations to disclose to shareholders their contributions and lobby expenditures, place additional responsibilities on companies and their executives and directors. To stay above reproach, be sure to attend this acclaimed program. High-level officials from the Federal Election Commission, the Department of Justice, Congressional ethics committees, and state ethics agencies, as well as corporate compliance officers and expert private practitioners, will explain how to navigate the laws that regulate political, lobbying and gift activities.

What you will learn

  • Recent cases affecting political activities, including McCutcheon v. FEC
  • The rules for corporate, union, association and non-connected federal and state PACs
  • Federal and state lobbying rules, including recent changes
  • Elements of an effective corporate compliance program
  • Federal and state pay-to-play laws
  • Federal and state gift rules, including the Obama administration’s Executive Order and policies, with a focus on practical application
  • FEC hot topics: issue advocacy, 527 organizations, Super PACs, and campaigning on the Internet
  • FEC and key state ethics agency rulemakings and litigation
  • Recent civil and criminal enforcement cases, policies and sentencing guidelines
  • Shareholder political participation issues
  • 501(c)4s: IRS proposals on nonprofits

Who should attend

Attorneys and others representing PACs, lobbyists, corporations, trade and membership associations, unions and other political interest groups.

Special Features

  • Networking Luncheon with Keynote Speakers Porter J. Goss, Chairman of the Board, and David Skaggs, Co-Chairman of the Board, Office of Congressional Ethics, United States House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
  • One hour of ethics CLE credit
  • Register and receive complimentary access to a preparatory One-Hour Audio Briefing on the Basics of the Federal Election Campaign Act, which will be presented by Co-Chairs Jan Witold Baran, Kenneth A. Gross and Chip Nielsen, and will be held the week prior to the program, on September 4, 2014

PLI Group Discounts

Groups of 4-14 from the same organization, all registering at the same time, for a PLI program scheduled for presentation at the same site, are entitled to receive a group discount. For further discount information, please contact or call (800) 260-4PLI.


All cancellations received 3 business days prior to the program will be refunded 100%. If you do not cancel within the allotted time period, payment is due in full. You may substitute another individual to attend the program at any time.

Day One: 8:45 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Morning Session: 8:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

8:45 Welcome and Overview

  • Program overview
  • Resource materials

Chip Nielsen


9:00 FECA and Political Committees

  • Comprehensive discussion of PACs and PAC fundraising
  • PAC contributions and expenditures – restrictions and prohibitions
  • Separate segregated funds vs. Super PACs vs. Nonconnected PACs
  • Trade associations and membership organizations and PACs
  • Solicitation rules
  • Affiliation rules
  • Partnerships

Jan Witold Baran

10:30 Networking Break

10:45 Political Activities by Corporations

  • What you can do without a PAC
  • Trade associations and membership organizations and their political giving
  • Issue advocacy versus political expenditures
  • Fundraising at the office
  • Bundling rules
  • Meet and greets vs. political events
  • Citizens United regulations

Kenneth A. Gross

11:45 Update from the Federal Election Commission

  • Hot topics
  • Recent changes
  • Best practices

Hon. Lee E. Goodman, Chair, Federal Election Commission
Hon. Ann M. Ravel, Vice Chair, Federal Election Commission

12:15 Keynote Speaker Luncheon

Porter J. Goss, Chairman of the Board, Office of Congressional Ethics, United States House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
David Skaggs, Co-Chairman of the Board, Office of Congressional Ethics, United States House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

Afternoon Session: 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

1:30 Foreign Nationals, Federal Pay-to-Play Laws, and 501(c)4s

  • Prohibitions on foreign nationals and foreign companies
  • Federal pay-to-play laws
  • 501(c)4s: recent developments

Caleb P. Burns, Rebecca H. Gordon, Ki P. Hong


2:30 Federal Lobbying Disclosure Laws

  • Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA)
  • Lobby disclosure
  • Foreign Agents Registration Act
  • Registration and reporting forms under the Lobbying Disclosure Act

Kenneth A. Gross, Dana K. McCallum

3:30 Networking Break

3:45 Federal Ethics Rules

  • Gift rules and latest developments
  • Political and congressional travel rules
  • Executive Branch gift rules and Obama Executive Order

Jan Witold Baran, John C. Sassaman, Jr.


4:45 Shareholder Resolutions for Corporate Political Activity and Lobby Expenditures

  • Transparency of political contributions
  • Transparency of lobbying payments and payments to trade associations
  • Resolution opposition statements
  • SEC rulemaking petition and no-action letters

Kenneth A. Gross, Wesley D. Bizzell, Dan Bross

5:30 Adjourn

Day Two: 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Morning Session: 9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.


9:00 Criminal and Civil Enforcement of Election and Ethics Laws

  • Cases most likely to be prosecuted as criminal
  • Drawing the line between civil and criminal
  • Scienter requirements
  • U.S. sentencing guidelines
  • HLOGA enforcement

Jan Witold Baran, Omar S. Ashmawy, Keith Morgan, Richard C. Pilger, Gary Winuk

10:30 Networking Break


10:45 Corporate Compliance and Ethics Programs Panel

  • Elements of a corporate compliance program
  • Dealing with government/political affairs personnel
  • Monitoring legal developments
  • Use of outside counsel and vendors
  • Best practices on compliance

Chip Nielsen (Moderator); Michael W. Clancy, Angela D’Amato, Joanne Lendway McMahon

12:15 Lunch

Afternoon Session: 1:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.


1:30 State Campaign Finance Laws

  • Role of state and local laws relating to campaign finance
  • Using state and federal PACs nationally
  • View from state regulators
  • Fifty-state approach to compliance

Chip Nielsen, Grant S. Degginger, Jared DeMarinis, Amy Loprest

2:30 Networking Break

2:45 State Pay-to-Play Laws and Government Contracts

  • State, local and pension pay-to-play laws
  • Political contributions by state contractors
  • Expanding coverage to personal and family member contributions
  • Enforcement: penalties and business bans

Carol Carson, Ki P. Hong, Jason D. Kaune, Amy Loprest, Joanne Lendway McMahon

3:45 State Lobbying, Ethics and Gift Laws

  • Lobby registration and disclosure
  • Procurement and grassroots lobbying
  • State and local gift and gratuities
  • Other government ethics and conflict of interest laws

Carol Carson, Jason D. Kaune, Gary Winuk

4:45 Adjourn

Jan Witold Baran ~ Wiley Rein LLP
Kenneth A. Gross ~ Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Chip Nielsen ~ Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni LLP
Omar S. Ashmawy ~ Staff Director and Chief Counsel, Office of Congressional Ethics
Wesley D. Bizzell ~ Assistant General Counsel, Altria Client Services Inc.
Dan Bross ~ Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship, Microsoft Corporation
Caleb P. Burns ~ Wiley Rein LLP
Carol Carson ~ Executive Director, Connecticut Office of State Ethics
Michael W. Clancy ~ Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Oracle USA, Inc.
Angela D'Amato ~ Deputy General Counsel, Comcast Corporation
Grant S. Degginger ~ Lane Powell PC
Jared DeMarinis ~ Director-Division of Candidacy and Campaign Finance, Maryland State Board of Elections
Lee E. Goodman ~ Chair, Federal Election Commission
Rebecca H. Gordon ~ Perkins Coie LLP
Porter J. Goss ~ Chairman of the Board, Office of Congressional Ethics
Ki P. Hong ~ Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Jason D. Kaune ~ Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni LLP
Amy Loprest ~ Executive Director, New York Campaign Finance Board
Dana K. McCallum ~ Superintendent, Office of Public Records, Secretary of the Senate, U.S. Senate
Joanne Lendway McMahon ~ Leader - Governmental Compliance, GE Corporate, Corporate Legal, General Electric Company
Keith Morgan ~ Deputy Chief, Civil Division, U.S. Attorney's Office
Richard C. Pilger ~ Director, Elections Crimes Branch, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Ann M. Ravel ~ Vice Chair, Federal Election Commission
John C. Sassaman, Jr. ~ Chief Counsel and Staff Director, Senate Ethics Committee
David Skaggs ~ Co-Chairman of the Board, Office of Congressional Ethics
Gary S. Winuk ~ Chief, Enforcement Division, Fair Political Practices Commission
Program Attorney(s)
Laura R. Shields ~ Director of Programs, Practising Law Institute

Washington, D.C. Seminar Location and Hotel Accommodations

The Ritz Carlton Washington DC, 1150 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.Phone: (202) 835-0500.

PLI seminars qualify for credit in all states that require mandatory continuing legal education for attorneys. Please be sure to check with your state.

Please check the Credit Information box to the right of each product description for credit information specific to your state.

Special Note: In New York, newly admitted attorneys may receive CLE credit only for attendance at "transitional" programs during their first two years of admission to the Bar. Non-traditional course formats such as on-demand web programs or recorded items, are not acceptable for CLE credit. Experienced attorneys may choose to attend and receive CLE credit for either a transitional course or for one geared to experienced attorneys.  All product types, including on-demand web programs and recorded items, are approved for experienced attorneys.

Please Note: The State Bar of Arizona does not approve or accredit CLE activities for the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirement. PLI programs may qualify for credit based on the requirements outlined in the MCLE Regulations and Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. Rule 45.

If you have already received credit for attending some or the entire program, please be aware that state administrators do not permit you to accrue additional credit for repeat viewing even if an additional credit certificate is subsequently issued.

Credit will be granted only to the individual on record as the purchaser unless alternative arrangements (prearranged groupcast) are made in advance.

Print Share Email