On December 11, 2007, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct issued an advisory memorandum construing the provision of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA), limiting House Members’ and Senators’ ability to "participate" in an event during the actual days of a national Presidential nominating convention that is "directly paid for by" a registered lobbyist or an entity that employs or retains such a registered lobbyist, that honors the House Member, except in the House Member’s capacity as a candidate for President or Vice President.
Then, on February 4, 2008, the Senate Select Committee on Ethics issued its own guidance on a very similar HLOGA provision applying to Senators’ participation in such events, except to the extent the Senator is honored as his or her party’s Presidential or Vice Presidential nominee (as opposed to being a candidate, which is the House formulation).
The House and Senate guidance documents differ in several respects, complicating planning for those who would want to sponsor such an event under these new rules. The Campaign Finance and Political Law
Group has prepared a client advisory which outlines and compares the differences between the House and Senate Committees' guidance documents.