Running for office? Organizing a ballot initiative? Managing a campaign? Crafting a petition? Worried about a fair election process? The pitfalls are large and many. Political parties, the media and community watchdogs are ready to pounce at the hint of a mistake – making it more important than ever to have experience by your side.
Don’t try to navigate the election processes without skillful and accomplished assistance. Harris Beach attorneys have decades of deep experience representing candidates and municipalities at federal, state and local levels, and stand prepared to steer you past the landmines.
With offices around the state of New York, as well as in Washington, D.C., New Jersey and Connecticut, Harris Beach attorneys have deep knowledge of different federal and state election laws, as well as those in the state’s various counties, cities, villages, municipalities, school districts and special districts.
Election Law Services:
- Ballot Access Issues
- Designating petitions
- Independent nominating petitions
- Election Planning and Support
- Notice of Election
- Ballot preparation/inspection
- Voting machine preparation/inspection/audits
- Absentee ballot issues
- Ballot Canvass/Recanvass issues
Politics is a high-stakes arena where massive amounts of money flow, and our election process is facing historic public attention. Office holders, those seeking office and those who support them must navigate land mines and avoid running afoul of complex campaign finance rules and regulations or risk hefty fines, contentious litigation, public allegations and, ultimately, campaign collapse. Compliance with campaign finance laws is crucial to political success – Harris Beach can help strategically avoid trouble before you start a political process.
Our attorneys have deep experience dealing with the Federal Election Commission, New York State Board of Elections and the New York City Campaign Finance Board, as well as County Boards of Elections throughout New York state. We’ve skillfully advised on the application of each’s stringent rules and regulations pertaining to our clients’ political activities.
Our attorneys possess decades of experience working with public officials, governments, candidates, committees, political parties, business entities and tax-exempt organizations on campaign finance issues. They understand the nuances of politics and help with the formation of Political Action Committees, effective fundraising strategies, filing appropriate campaign finance forms and more. They will maximize the benefit of campaign contributions while ensuring compliance.
Campaign Finance Services:
- Serving the following committees:
- Candidate committees
- Party committees
- Political Action Committees (PACs)
- Separate Segregated Funds (SSFs)
- Independent Expenditure Committees (Super PACs)
- Organization and Registration
- Reporting – Periodic and Election Cycle
- Winding Down
- Contribution/Receipt Limits
- Audits and Investigations
It is critical to understand the rules governing lobbying regulation and compliance. Even what constitutes lobbying can be complex – you may not have “lobbyist” in your title, but the actions you take might constitute lobbying under the letter of the law.
Those who engage in lobbying activities at the state or local levels are subject to compliance with a detailed set of lobbying laws and registration requirements, including the filing of bi-monthly reports and semi-annual filings with the New York State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (CELG), formerly known as the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), the New York City Clerk, and various county governments. Understanding how these governmental entities interpret and enforce rules is the first step to protecting your organization as it navigates the halls of government.
Due to complexities and gray areas in the law, businesses and organizations operating in New York frequently encounter questions regarding what may or may not constitute lobbying, as well as the registration and reporting requirements that follow.
Top-tier in-house lobbyists from a variety of companies, associations and nonprofits rely on Harris Beach’s Lobbying Compliance team and its decades of experience. Whether it be the creation of Political Action Committees, a government audit or questions about the New York lobbyist’ gift ban, Harris Beach is the go-to organization for some of the state’s largest lobbying organizations.
Our Lobbying Compliance team also routinely advises clients across industries in the review and improvement of policies and procedures related to lobbying and government ethics. With a keen understanding of the complexities and quirks of the laws in New York, we can answer your difficult questions, prepare and file disclosure reports, and train your employees to cultivate increased awareness and mitigate risk.
Our knowledgeable attorneys and filing clerks advise and assist you in complying with state and municipal lobbying laws. We are attorneys who do not lobby — our sole focus is helping to ensure you are protected and in compliance.
Lobbying Compliance Services:
- Registering organizations and employees as lobbyists
- Preparing and filing required disclosure reports with the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government, the New York City Clerk, Nassau and Suffolk County
- Monitoring and reporting on the ever-changing laws and regulations relating to lobbying and government ethics
- In-person or webinar trainings for in-house lobbyists, senior executive teams, and/or boards of directors regarding state and municipal lobbying and ethics laws
- Quick reference guides, detailed memoranda, and best practices concerning compliance with state and municipal lobbying and ethics laws
- Preparation and defense of audits and investigations