Campaign Finance and Political Law

If you participate in politics and election campaigns, you may find yourself in
regulators’ crosshairs. Without experienced legal counsel, you could face
investigations, criminal and civil penalties, and public scandal.

Kelley Drye’s campaign finance and political law team helps clients navigate the laws governing political participation, including federal and state campaigning finance, lobby disclosure requirements, and government ethics laws. We work with corporations, individuals, trade associations, labor organizations, political committees, and tax-exempt entities across the country.

Build Influence—Not Headlines—with Airtight Political Law Compliance Programs

By ensuring that our clients are in compliance with federal, state, and local political laws, we make sure they can boost their candidate without becoming a scandal sideshow. Our attorneys help clients develop practical and strategic advocacy, compliance programs, and defensive measures to reduce vulnerabilities and avoid problems.

Our compliance programs train employees on the relevant laws, reinforce the right behaviors, and clarify when to ask for guidance. We ensure that the money spent on prevention and training gets to the root of an organization’s challenges and sets the stage for a productive—and less risky—relationship with government and the political process.

When issues arise, we bring decades of experience in criminal, administrative, and legislative investigations and enforcement proceedings involving white-collar crime, campaign finance, and public integrity investigations.

Our political law work encompasses:

Lobbying and Advocacy

What is lobbying?” Who is a lobbyist?” Simple answers to those questions don’t exist because federal and state laws define terms differently. Activities that can be pursued freely in one state, without formal registration, can trigger investigations, penalties, and sanctions in another. Our attorneys offer a holistic view that clarifies these laws, allowing your employees to do their work while avoiding potential violations.

Financing Campaigns

Organizations that actively fund political campaigns and activities trust Kelley Drye to ensure that their contributions are appropriately registered and reported and that they comply with each state’s limitations and prohibitions. These clients often need guidance on a range of questions involving the amounts, timing, and forms of contribution, as well as the best approach to organizing political fundraising events.

Ensuring Ethical Practices

Every time your employees interact with government officials, they run the risk of crossing the gray area between courtesy and transgression. A gift, a lunch, a conversation about future plans: these often-innocuous activities can be cast in a negative light by prosecutors. We’ll help clarify the laws and build lucid guidelines to make sure our clients’ activities stay within recognized ethical boundaries.

Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)

Dating back to 1938, when it was enacted to control Nazi propaganda, FARA has seen a resurgence in relevancy in recent years. Failure to comply can result in serious criminal prosecution. We help organizations and individuals determine whether their activities require registration, resolve FARA compliance issues, and defend them in government enforcement matters.

Hiring Former Officials

If you hire talent directly out of local, state or federal government, you could face potential civil and criminal penalties if these employees fail to comply with a myriad of post-employment laws. We provide insights into these laws, analyze the parameters of permissible activity and help you effectively leverage these employees’ unique skills and relationships in a lawful way.

Pursuing Government Contracts

Regulation of public-private contracts is extraordinarily stringent. Beyond federal laws, each state has its rules, creating multiple risks of losing a major contract due to a missed technical requirement. In addition, simply pursuing these contracts is considered lobbying” in many cases. Clients look to us to maximize their opportunities for lucrative contracts while minimizing potential missteps.

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