New York Law Journal: PR Firms Challenge Reporting Requirement (In the News)

Joel Stashenko

A group of public relations firms that represent politicians have filed a federal suit challenging an expansion of what constitutes lobbying as defined by the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE).

The plaintiffs contend that by recently adopting rules requiring public relations firms to disclose outreach activities to news editorial boards as “lobbying,” JCOPE is unlawfully violating their First Amendment rights to speak to the media on matters of public interest.

“The result is that such firms, their clients and members of the press are deterred, chilled and silenced” in violation of their constitutional rights, the group claim in the suit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of New York, The November Group v. New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

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The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.