After several decades of publishing a coursebook for an annual multi-day CLE program on corporate political activities, Practising Law Institute has produced a deskbook on the same subject. Let’s face it, a course handbook is going to have some redundant discussion about new (and old) cases and regulations. The Corporate Political Activities Deskbook has avoided that problem by having four authors from the same firm write the whole book. The authors, Kenneth A. Gross, Ki P. Hong, Lawrence M. Noble, and Patricia M. Zweibel, are members of the Political Law Group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Fittingly for a book on corporate political activities, the book begins with a discussion of Citizens United. The balanced and restrained tone of the book is set in this first section when the authors set out six things the Citizens United decision did not change.
This is not a treatise describing the doctrinal development of a particular rule. No, it is a how-to manual – much of it “how to stay out of trouble.” It is well-organized with short sections that get right to the point. In fact, I don’t remember seeing a section longer than three pages, and most are less than a page.
You will better understand the scope of the book by looking at the straightforward table of contents:
Chapter 1: Campaign Finance Under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA)
Chapter 2: Political Action Committees
Chapter 3: Executive Fundraising
Chapter 4: State Laws, Rules and Policies Impacting Corporate Government Relations
Chapter 5: Pay-to-Play Rules
Chapter 6: Federal Lobbying and Gift Laws
Chapter 7: The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)
Chapter 8: The Federal Election Commission: Processes and Enforcement
All chapters (except Chapter 7) have appendices with regulations, forms, and – best of all – sample documents for creating and running a corporate PAC.
I think you will be pleased with the Deskbook if you have corporate clients engaged in political activities. It will be especially useful if you don’t keep up with the field of campaign finance and need a quick answer for a client.
The Deskbook is priced at $275 for the one-volume, loose-leaf hardcover. The order page also links to a Kindle version for a little less.
Thanks to PLI for sending a copy of this valuable resource for a review.