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JCOPE CampFin Complaint

JCOPE CampFin Complaint

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Published by JimmyVielkind

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Published by: JimmyVielkind on Oct 30, 2012
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12/04/2012

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BEFORE
THE NEW
YORK STATE JOINT COMMISSION
ON
PUBLIC
ETHICS
MICHAEL
J.
REST,
Complainant,
v.
"FRIENDS
OF
DEMOCRACY" COMMITTEE,
THE
"PROTECT
OUR
DEMOCRACY
POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE"
AND
THE
"FAIR
ELECTIONS FOR NY"
COMMITTEE
Respondents.
IN
THE
MATTER
OF AN
INVESTIGATION INTO
THE
"FRIENDS
OF
DEMOCRACY" COMMITTEE,
THE
"PROTECT
OUR
DEMOCRACY
.
POLITICAL
ACTION
COMMITTEE"
AND THE
"FAIR ELECTIONS
FOR
NY"
COMMITTEE'S
"
FAILURE
TO
REGISTER
AS A
LOBBYIST
AND
FAILURE
TO
REPORT
LOBBYING
EXPENSES CONCERNING CAMPIGN
FINANCE
LEGISLATION
 
INTRODUCTION
The
(Complainant) hereby
files
this complaint requesting
an
investigation
and
enforcement action concerning illegal lobbying
in
violation-of
New
York
State's
LobbyingAct by the
"Friends
of Democracy."
committee,
the "Protect our Democracy Political ActionCommittee" and the
"Fair
Elections for NY" committee. Complainant respectfully urges
the New
York State
Joint
Commission
on
Public Ethics (the"Commission")
to
commence
an
investigation of the
""Friends
of Democracy"
committee,
the "Protect our DemocracyPolitical Action Committee" and the
"Fair
Elections for NY" committee's failure to register
and
report lobbying activities
and
expenditures
for
2011-2012.in
violation
of
Article
1-A
of
the Legislative Law
entitled
the Lobby Act. Beginning at least as early as the beginning of2012 and continuing to date, there is reason to believe the "Friends of Democracy"
committee,
the
"Protect
our
Democracy Political Action
Committee" and the
"Fair
Elections
for
NY"
committee have been
illegally
lobbying
in New
York concerning legislation
affecting
Campaign Finance Reform.
FACTS GIVING RISETOTHIS COMPLAINT
According to
published
news
accounts,
""Friends
of
Democracy"
committee,
the
"Protect
our
Democracy
Political
Action
Committee" and the"FairElections for NY"committee
are engaging in
activity
intended
to
influence
the passage of
legislation.
The
stated claim
of
such entities
is to
influence
members
of the legislature to
pass
certain
legislation
introduced
in the
'2011-2012 Legislation pertaining
to Campaign Finance(including
but not
limited
to
S7036B
/
A9885D)
and to
influence
the passage and
"intended
 
introduction" of such other related legislation. "Friends of Democracy" committee, the"Protect our Democracy Political Action Committee" and the "Fair Elections
for
NY"
committee
have
stated such intent and have taken
action,
towards
such
intent in which in
excessof$5,000inreportable expenses have been incurred. Such intentandactionispartially evidenced by filings on record with the NYS Board of Elections in
whi'ch
expenses
have
been
reported
for
such actions
as
retaining
government
relations counsel
and
legal
counsel. Further evidencing
the
extensive unreported reportable expenses incurred
by
thesethree lobbying entitiescan befoundby areviewoftheir websites which include extensivedetailing of their lobbying activities and calls to action, (see;w\vw.fairelectionsny.org;www.protectourdemocracy.com;www,fri
endsofdemocracypac.org)
Furthermore, a review of the
filings
of record with Joint Commission on Public
Ethics
reveal that "Friends of Democracy" committee, the "Protect our Democracy PoliticalAction Committee" and the
"Fair
Elections for NY" committee have not registered,
filed
ordisclosed to and with Joint Commission on Public Ethics,Thereare
sufficient
factsin therecordtocommenceaninvestigationby the
Commission
of
"Friends
of
Democracy"
committee, the
"Protect
our
Democracy PoliticalAction Committee" and the
"Fair
Elections for NY" committee's failure to register andreport lobbying activity
in
2012
in
violation
of
§l-e
and
§l-h
of the
Lobby
Act.
JURISDICTIONOF THE
COMMISSION
The
Commission
is authorized by
subdivision
12 and 13 of § 94 of the
ExecutiveLaw to commence inquiries
into
possible
violations
of Article 1-A of the Legislative
Law.
Pursuant to
Executive
Law §94(13), the
Commission
is
authorized
to
conduct
any

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