During this morning’s JCOPE meeting the state ethics board released a draft report on disclosure rules requiring lobbyists and lobbying groups to disclose individual donors who give more than $5000. The regulations would also require them to release the information retroactively.

They have until January 15th, 2013 to fill out the disclosure report, which is the same time candidates have to provide a 6 month fundraising update.

There are several stipulations in the disclosure laws too. For example, if a husband and wife donate less than $5000 individually but more than $5000 collectively than they need to be disclosed.

It also allows the commission to provide waivers to donors who might be threatened if they were to be disclosed. Here is the language:

The Commission may grant an exemption to disclose all Single Sources of Contributions to a Client Filer, if (i) the Client Filer has exempt status under I.R.C. §501(c)(4); and (ii) the Client Filer shows that its primary activities involve areas of public concern that create a substantial likelihood that disclosure of its Single Source(s) will cause harm, threats, harassment or reprisals to the Single Source(s) or individuals or property affiliated with the Single Source(s). Factors the Commission will consider when determining whether this showing has been made include,but are not limited to, the factors identified in 938.4(a)(i)-(v).

The key words in the passage is whether a donor can prove their is a “substantial likelihood” that releasing their identity will lead to harm, threats or harassment. Though, I think that gives JCOPE a lot of flexibility to grant waivers.

JCOPE has been expected to release these guidelines ever since the new ethics panel was announced back in December of last year. One month ago they outlined guidelines but didn’t set a date for release of the specific details.

H/T Jon Campbell
2012 07 30 Draft Source Funding Regulations for Web