Albany Times Union: JCOPE will spend up to $300K to defend its new reporting requirement (In the News)

Rick Karlin

The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics is poised to spend up to $300,000 a year for its legal defense of a regulatory change that requires public relations professionals to document their outreach to editorial boards and report it to the state.

After JCOPE’s advisory opinion on the topic was issued in January, a number of public relations firms banded together to file suit in federal court. They contend the reporting requirement violates their First Amendment rights of free speech.

The state ethics watchdog panel has countered that trying to shape public opinion and being paid for it constitutes lobbying and should be subject to the same sort of disclosure requirements as more conventional forms of lobbying.

Read more…

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