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California State Capitol. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

California’s Lobbyist Prohibitions

It unlawful for a lobbyist or lobbying firm to make gifts to one person for more than $10 a month

By Chris Micheli, January 12, 2022 6:37 am

California’s Political Reform Act contains detailed laws related to lobbyists in Chapter 6. Article 2 of Chapter 6 deals with Prohibitions and contains Government Code Sections 86201 – 86206. Section 86201 defines a “gift” to mean a gift made directly or indirectly to any state candidate, elected state officer, or legislative official, or to an agency official of any agency required to be listed on the registration statement of the lobbying firm or the lobbyist employer of the lobbyist.

Section 86203 makes it unlawful for a lobbyist, or lobbying firm, to make gifts to one person aggregating more than $10 in a calendar month, or to act as an agent or intermediary in the making of any gift, or to arrange for the making of any gift by any other person.

Section 86204 makes it unlawful for any person knowingly to receive any gift which is made unlawful by Section 86203.

Section 86205 prohibits a lobbyist or a lobbying firm from any of the following six things:

  • Do anything with the purpose of placing any elected state officer, legislative official, agency official, or state candidate under personal obligation to the lobbyist, the lobbying firm, or the lobbyist’s or the firm’s employer.
  • Deceive or attempt to deceive any elected state officer, legislative official, agency official, or state candidate with regard to any material fact pertinent to any pending or proposed legislative or administrative action.
  • Cause or influence the introduction of any bill or amendment thereto for the purpose of thereafter being employed to secure its passage or defeat.
  • Attempt to create a fictitious appearance of public favor or disfavor of any proposed legislative or administrative action or to cause any communication to be sent to any elected state officer, legislative official, agency official, or state candidate in the name of any fictitious person or in the name of any real person, except with the consent of such real person.
  • Represent falsely, either directly or indirectly, that the lobbyist or the lobbying firm can control the official action of any elected state officer, legislative official, or agency official.
  • Accept or agree to accept any payment in any way contingent upon the defeat, enactment, or outcome of any proposed legislative or administrative action.

Section 86206 provides that nothing prohibits the payment of fees for contractual services provided to an investment manager by a placement agent who is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority with a specified exception.

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3 thoughts on “California’s Lobbyist Prohibitions

    1. Good question, Tomorrow. I assume “enforcement” would be up to the California attorney general. But that doesn’t seem to be happening much at all in this one-party state. So, lobbyists and legislators are on the “honor system”, I guess. “Raise your left hand, put your right hand over your wallet, or vice versa, and repeat after me…I solemnly swear to uphold the Constitution of California…..” Why don’t we ever hear about the Third House from this guy?

  1. Should apply to ‘Behest payments’, and Act Blue financing candidates while financing organizations that incite violence.

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