The Pedalshift Project 246: Exploring the Avenue of the Giants by Brompton

Hey, I’m on the road! And I got the great privilege to explore the Avenue of the Giants in Northern California’s redwood country by Brompton. Listen as I take you along for the ride!


The Pedalshift Project 246: Exploring the Avenue of the Giants by Brompton

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 246: Exploring the Avenue of the Giants by Brompton (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109

Exploring the Avenue of the Giants by Brompton
















As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this summer’s upcoming bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart, RIP
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni
David Weil
Matthew Sponseller
Chad Reno
Spartan Dale
Carolyn Ferguson
Peggy Littlefield
Lauren Allansmith

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields has a new album available NOW, AND Jason has a new solo album coming this year, AND his first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 246: Exploring the Avenue of the Giants by Brompton appeared first on Pedalshift.

The Pedalshift Project 245: Caleb and Marilyn Living by Bike

A chat with Caleb Werntz, a filmmaker who has overcome homelessness by learning to live on a bicycle for eight years of epic tours alongside a calico cat named Marilyn. We talk challenges, COVID and Marilyn’s origin story.


The Pedalshift Project 245: Caleb and Marilyn Living by Bike

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 245: Caleb and Marilyn Living by Bike (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109

The Interview: Caleb and Marilyn Living by Bike

Caleb Werntz is a filmmaker who has overcome homelessness by learning to live on a bicycle. He’s joined on his epic tours by a calico cat named Marilyn, who have collectively ridden over 6,000 miles in the last eight years.
 
They are preparing for another major tour this summer where Marilyn will take the captain’s chair and Caleb will create video and book content to inspire others to pursue their dreams.
 
The Pedalshift Project 245: Caleb and Marilyn Living by Bike
 
What’s your earliest memories being on a bike?
 
How did you get started with long distance travel by bike?
 
How did you and Marilyn end up together?
 
How do you secure her on the bike when you’re rolling?
 
Last time I ran into a guy traveling with a cat by bike, he let the cat roam pretty freely in camp… same for you?
 
What’s the reaction like on the road? Anyone negative about it? How do you handle that?
 
What was the biggest challenge for you traveling during COVID? What are you looking forward to most as we round the corner out of it?
 
What’s next for you?

As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this spring’s DC to Cincinnatti bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart, RIP
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni
David Weil
Matthew Sponseller
Chad Reno
Spartan Dale
Carolyn Ferguson
Peggy Littlefield

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields has a new album available NOW, AND Jason has a new solo album coming this year, AND his first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 245: Caleb and Marilyn Living by Bike appeared first on Pedalshift.

Ballot Measures

On this episode, we cover a very specific type of lobbying that doesn’t necessarily seem like lobbying in the first place. Ballot measures can range from local bonds to state constitutional amendments, and everything in between. What can nonprofits do to support or oppose them, and how do they comply with state and federal law?  

 

Our attorneys for this episode 

  • Tim Mooney 
  • Natalie Ossenfort 
  • Quyen Tu 

 

What are Ballot Measures? 

  • Called different things in different states and localities 
    • Bond 
    • Constitutional Amendments 
    • Referenda 
    • Ballot questions / initiatives  
    • Propositions 
    • Any policy matter put to a vote of the general public 
  •  
  • There are no federal ballot measures, but federal law has one major thing to say about measures for 501(c)(3)s 
  • State and sometimes local laws cover campaign finance and reporting requirements 

 

Can nonprofits take a stance? 

  • No. End of episode. (just kidding!) 
  • Most can. All 501(c)s that aren’t charities or foundations can (generally) do an unlimited amount of ballot measure advocacy, but must follow state and local laws for reporting their work 
  • Public charities can take a stance, but ballot measures are lobbying (which is why this episode is in the lobbying series!). From there, they also have to follow state and local laws for reporting their work 
  • Private foundations cannot take a stance on ballot measures (again…lobbying) without being hit with a big excise tax 

 

Wait, lobbying? Tell me more. 

  • Boil it down? Voters are a giant legislative body 
  • Direct lobbying, not grassroots – and that’s good because charities can do more direct lobbying 
  • Doesn’t violate the prohibition on electioneering to support or oppose measures because they are not related to candidates 
  • Be careful to make sure your org’s advocacy isn’t seen as/tied to a candidate’s position on the ballot measures 
  • Clock starts ticking when petitions go out to qualify for the ballot or (probably) when you’re lobbying legislative bodies when they are determining whether to refer an item to the voters 
  • Count all prep work, staff time, communications costs, etc. 
  • You non-c3s? Tax law doesn’t restrict lobbying, and this counts toward primary purpose activity… so load up on your GOTV and voter reg work on ballot measures and (strategy time!) it can offset candidate work you do. 

 

State laws… 

Every state is different, starting with the fact some states don’t have ballot measures at all. Even states without statewide ballot measures like NY have local bond measures though. 

Any state or locality with ballot measures has some kind of registration and reporting laws 

We have state law resources for your state! Examples: 

Texas 

Corporations (including nonprofits) can support or oppose ballot measures in Texas. 

  • Texas Election Code defines a political committee as two or more persons acting in concert with a principal purpose of accepting political contributions or making political expenditures. Since the definition of “persons” includes nonprofit corporations and expenditures and contributions include those made in connection with a measure, it is possible for nonprofits to trigger PAC registration and reporting in Texas even if they don’t do any candidate-related work. 
  • TRANSLATION: if a group of nonprofits comes together to raise funds for the support or opposition of a measure, they may need to register and report as a PAC. 
  • It is also possible that if a nonprofit acts on its own to impact a ballot measure, it could trigger direct campaign expenditure (aka independent expenditure) reporting even if it doesn’t coordinate its work with other organizations or individuals. DCE reporting, as it’s sometimes referred to, kicks in when more than $100 is spent to support or oppose a measure. 
  • Of course, there are other scenarios as well that might not require state-level reporting in the ballot measure context in Texas (e.g. nonprofit contributions to a ballot measure only PAC), so feel free to reach out to our TX team if you have any questions about when and what you have to report when you engage in ballot measure advocacy. 

Oregon 

  • Trivia: Oregon is one of the first states to adopt ballot measures… started them in 1902 (just behind SD and UT) 
  • Five forms: state statutes (legislature or citizen referred), constitutional amendments (legislature or citizen referred), and veto referenda. 
  • If your nonprofit’s purpose is to support/oppose a ballot measures you have to register as a political committee 
  • No contribution limits (those are unconstitutional per SCOTUS)  
  • Real time online reporting (ORESTAR!!!!) 
  • 3 reporting periods 
  • Contributions over $100 – the name/address of the donor disclosed 

California 

  • These rules are about transparency and tracking money in CA elections. 
  • Most important: if you engage in certain fundraising activities or spending, you could become a ballot measure committee and not even know it. That means your nonprofit would have filing and reporting obligations. 
  • There just isn’t enough time to do justice to the CA BM rules on this show so if you’re interested in a whole show, please shoot us an email 
  • Ballot measures are treated as campaign activity 
  • Rules are designed so that when people or organizations accept or spend money for ballot measures, it gets reported by someone. 
  • When there is advocacy for a ballot measure, there will be a main ballot measure committee. Must report contributions of $100+, whether financial or in-kind, and expenditures. This usually works best as a separate entity from a 501(c)(3). 
  • Even if you are not the main ballot measure committee, there are ways NPs could trigger reporting with the FPPC 
  • receiving or spending money on ballot measure advocacy 
  • receive $2k+ in calendar year earmarked for ballot measures, you become a recipient committee. Recipient committees have to report their donors. 
  • Another way to become a recipient committee is to spend at least $50k in non-earmarked donated funds. At these higher levels of spending it gets more detailed so please check out our resources.  
  • Major Donor Committee: give $10k+ in calendar year to a recipient committee (staff time counts) but does not receive $ earmarked for ballot measures 
  • Independent Expenditure Committee: spends $1k+ in a calendar year on communications that expressly advocates for/against ballot measures and not made in coordination with a ballot measure committee 
  • Non reportable activities: 
  • 10% or less of staff time 
  • Paid staff time counts as an expenditure, or if it’s coordinated with a ballot measure committee, a contribution. If you have staff spending more than 10% of their time in any calendar month on ballot measures, you need to consider that expenditure towards these thresholds. 
  • Newsletter 
  • Member communications 
  • Contracted services to the ballot measure committee 
  • Certain limited fundraising expenses 
  • Raising money for the ballot measure committee where the contributions go directly to the ballot measure committee (funds do not pass through the org)  
  • You can ask people to donate to the main ballot measure committee and only your fundraising costs would count as a contribution toward these thresholds, some fundraising costs are even exempt from reporting. 

Final thoughts? 

  • Often critically important advocacy 
  • Private foundations! You can and should support this work, even though you cannot directly advocate or fund it. How? 
    • general support grants 
    • specific project grants for non-lobbying portions of the work 
    • educate the public about the ballot measure process 
    • communications that qualify as nonpartisan analysis 
    • communications that are neutral urging voters to study the issue 

 

Resources 

 

The Pedalshift Project 244: Preventing Theft on Your Bike Tour

Avoid catastrophe and think about preventing theft before your next bike tour. On this episode some thoughts and tips on keeping your bike and gear safe.


Pedalshift Project 244: preventing Theft on Your Bike Tour

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 244: Preventing Theft on Your Bike Tour (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109

Preventing Theft on Your Bike Tour

Hat tip to listener Dimitri for the show idea… email me with episode ideas… 
Check out my prior episode on locks (Pedalshift 066)
This is also on my mind as I get ready to roll on the microcamper adventure. Look for a full review of how that works out in early July.
 

Things to think about

Bike theft 
– in camp
– at a hotel or other roofed public accommodation
– from your vehicle
 
Gear theft
– in camp
– at stops when it’s unattended
 

Bike theft – all about locks

I tend not to tour in spots that have high security needs, so the locks I use in DC don’t tend to come with me. Still, I like to have the peace of mind to lock up outside grocery stores and other spots when I’m leaving my bike outside.
 
Some people are good with just cable locks on tour… I used to be ok with them, but I think they’re SO easily defeatable with simple tools that I prefer something more secure.
 
No lock is foolproof… all can be defeated. The trick is to find the right risk management.
 
New folding lock styles are interesting. I used to like my Inbike folding lock as a touring lock option. Only downside is TSA sees it as a multitool every time so you should pull it out of your carry on separately or risk the (often lengthy) wait. I found it to be a little difficult to use at times and don’t reach for this often anymore.
 
Back in ep 066 I spoke about testing the cinch Ottolock. I think this is a good upgrade from a cable lock, but no substitue for a good U lock. On tour though, I think it’s a great compromise considering I’m rarely away from my bike long.
 
Speaking of… know where you’re going to be! San Francisco and Portland are notorious for bike theft so I bring a u-lock and frankly double lock. Or bring the Brompton and bring it inside.
 
In camp – I do lock habitually, but it’s probably not always necessary.
In roofed lodging – first choice always is to bring it in the room. If the hotel doesn’t let you or it’s impossible, ask for secure storage (inside if possible). And lock the thing tight as a drum.
What about on or in a vehicle? Huge target if you are going to be away from the vehicle and something I’m extra aware of with this trip. Thule makes a leash that has a hockey puck on one end that you can loop around your rack or your bike and close the puck end inside the trunk. Certainly defeatable but not quickly since it has two steel strands in it. 
 
I won’t be leaving my Brompton unattended ever, but for overnights when we’re in the vehicle with the privacy shades up I’m locking it to itself folded, leashing it to the trunk AND covering it with a tarp. If I sleep through that, they deserve the bike. This is not a challenge.

Gear theft

Only thing I ever got stolen was frankly my own fault… I left a battery charging unattended at Sunset Bay SP in Oregon and it walked. 
Not saying you can’t do that (it’s usually safe because lots of people charge stuff in bathrooms) but sooner or later someone’s going to walk with your power bank
Beyond that… I’ve grown comfortable with leaving my loaded bike locked but the bags hanging on it at grocery stores, cafes, etc.
Don’t underestimate the degree to which people think they’re being watched
I carry all important things on me always (wallet, phone, usually computer if I have it… which is way less often these days)
Cable lock for bags? Sure. I don’t but it’s not an awful idea.
Again, know your location
Camp? Hotels?
I always bring gear in with me. All of it. 
Always needed? No.

As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this spring’s DC to Cincinnatti bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart, RIP
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni
David Weil
Matthew Sponseller
Chad Reno
Spartan Dale
Carolyn Ferguson
Peggy Littlefield

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields has a new album available NOW, AND Jason has a new solo album coming this year, AND his first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 244: Preventing Theft on Your Bike Tour appeared first on Pedalshift.

The Pedalshift Project 243: Exploring Assateague by Bike

Exploring Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague, VA by Brompton. I spent a few summers as a kid in this area, and even though it’s grown up from a sleepy hidden gem into a more robust tourist destination, that comes with better bike infrastructure too. Can we bike all the way to the beach?


Exploring Assateague by Bike

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 243: Exploring Assateague by Bike (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109

Exploring Assateague and Chincoteague, VA by Brompton








As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this spring’s DC to Cincinnatti bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart, RIP
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni
David Weil
Matthew Sponseller
Chad Reno
Spartan Dale
Carolyn Ferguson
Peggy Littlefield

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields has a new album available NOW, AND Jason has a new solo album coming this year, AND his first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 243: Exploring Assateague by Bike appeared first on Pedalshift.

Federal Lobbying Disclosure

On this episode, we have issued ourselves a challenge… to make a relatively dry topic interesting for our listeners… What is that topic, you ask? The Federal Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA)! We’ll talk about what it is, why you may NOT need to worry about it (unless you do), strategies for compliance, and how it all fits into earlier episodes in our lobbying series, at least for you 501(c)(3)s.      Our Lawyers  Tim Mooney  Natalie Ossenfort  Leslie Barnes     Quick Preamble   Lobbyists are not all mustache twirling villains you read about!   They’re civil rights groups trying to fight back against attempts to restrict voting for partisan gain  They’re environmental groups trying to improve water quality  They’re women’s and LGTQ health groups fighting for access to healthcare  So remember that anytime there are proposed changes in the laws for lobbying disclosure – the selling point is often the mustache twirling oil corporations and financial institutions… but these laws impact progressive champions too.     Overview of the FLDA  The FLDA requires individuals and organizations that lobby various federal officials, to register and report their lobbying activities once they meet designated thresholds.   Important thing 1: this is a totally different law than the tax code  Important thing 2: most nonprofits don’t trigger the thresholds  Important thing 3: this generally only covers direct lobbying of federal officials, so no state lobbying and no grassroots lobbying of any kind goes into the analysis. If you don’t directly lobby members of the federal government, keep listening and enjoy our witty banter, but don’t worry about having to register and report under this law.     Registration thresholds  An employee will make more than one lobbying contact on behalf of the organization;  An employee will spend more than 20% of their time on lobbying over any calendar three-month period; and  The organization will spend more than $14,000 on lobbying in a calendar quarter.  All three of these criteria must be met before the organization is required to register. For example, if an organization has an employee who makes multiple lobbying contacts and spends more than 20% of her time on lobbying between January and March, but the organization only spends $10,000 over that same period, the organization will not need to register.     Lobbying contacts – what counts toward that 20% and $14k?  Drafting/amending/writing/introducing any federal law (email, calls, meeting, tweets, etc)  Preparation for direct lobbying contacts such as strategizing on legislation that you are engaging on or monitoring legislation that you are activley engaging on.   But just routine monitoring of legislation w/o a plan to engage does not count toward to 20%  Nominations before the US Senate  Same thing for federal regulations (but let’s put a pin in that for you 501(c)(3)s!)   Administration of federal programs (awards, contracts, grants, loans, permits, etc.) (same pin for (c)(3)s!)    What counts as a lobbying expenditure?  In-house employee compensation spent on direct lobbying of federal covered officials  Portion of organization overhead attributed to federal lobbying  Payments to outside lobbying firms for federal lobbying   Part of membership dues that goes to federal lobbying    What doesn’t count for anyone?  Grassroots lobbying* (pin in this)  Testimony before Congress that is in the public record  Comments on regulations that’s part of ordinary notice and comment procedures       What about that pin for (c)(3)s?  You’ll notice for you 501(h) electors that the definitions of lobbying don’t really match… under the FLDA there’s registration and reporting requirements for advocacy before executive branch and military officials that don’t count under the IRS rules.  Special rule! If you’re a 501(h) elector you can use the 501(h) rules you know and love… that means you don’t have to count military or executive branch contacts unless they’d otherwise count under 501(h). And that’s a pretty high bar… remember it counts only if the executive branch official is “participating in the formulation” of a bill. So no regs count and really only super-high ranking officials are part of the discussion… POTUS when signing/vetoing, cabinet level officials who are writing bills that impact their portfolio. That’s about it.  If you opt to use the (h) election for the FDLA, then you also have to report your state and local lobbying and grassroots lobbying.     I’m a 501(c)(4)… can we use that exception too?   NO. You have to use the broader definitions under the FLDA! This means counting your lobbying contacts with executive, administrative and military branch officials.     Lobbying Activities – are we hitting that 20%/14k threshold?  The $14,000 threshold is organization-wide  The 20% threshold is for each individual. But only direct lobbying counts toward the 20%  What counts? Lobbying plus prep time/work for lobbying  That’s a pretty high bar… 1 in 5 working hours in a calendar quarter have to be lobbying in order to need to register/report  once you register, you report every quarter until you no longer work at the organization (delisting is a bit of a thing)  Strategy: if it’s an unusual time for federal lobbying outreach and you don’t foresee hitting the thresholds in the future, consider spreading the load out amongst staff. If this is a one-time effort, you won’t have to file quarterly with zeros in the fields until the end of time!     How do we register and report?  All electronic! LD-1 to register within 45 days of first hitting the thresholds  LD-2 and LD-203 for quarterly and semi-annual reports.   The quarterly reports are all about those lobbying contact details  Semi-annual reports – registered lobbyists are required to disclose a lot about which candidates they individually donate to.   We won’t go too much into this – the House and Senate LDA sites have reasonably decent instructions.   Trivia: you report your lobbying to the nearest $10k – so it’s not a super precise report!     Anything else we need to know?  The threshold dollar amount is increased every 4 years… we just had the latest increase in January so don’t look for a new one until 2025.  Some portions of HR1/S1 include lowering the thresholds but it’s not clear if this will pass as is. Stay tuned.     Resources  https://lobbyingdisclosure.house.gov  https://bolderadvocacy.org/2021/04/16/federal-lobbying-disclosure-act-registration-threshold-increased/  https://bolderadvocacy.org/resource/understanding-the-lobbying-disclosure-act-2/  https://bolderadvocacy.org/resource/lobbying-disclosure-act-thresholds/ 

Best of Pedalshift 139: Dealing with Loose Dogs on Tour

What’s the most controversial subject in bike touring? No not bike helmets… no, not earbuds… it’s how to deal with loose dogs on bike tour! On this episode, I give my two cents on how to deal with an angry canine that interrupts your pedaling.

Originally podcast October 18, 2018.

Best of Pedalshift 139: Dealing with Loose Dogs on Tour

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The Pedalshift Project 242: Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience

We are live baby live for the first live show of 2021… an update on the LACROSSE! plus summer touring and ask me anything!


The Pedalshift Project 242: Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience

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“Pedalshift was filmed before a live studio audience”

As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this spring’s DC to Cincinnatti bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart, RIP
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni
David Weil
Matthew Sponseller
Chad Reno
Spartan Dale
Carolyn Ferguson

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields has a new album available NOW, AND Jason has a new solo album coming this year, AND his first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

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State Registration Rules

On this episode, we’ll discuss how state law may impact your nonprofit’s efforts to impact public policy and lobby for legislation. In past episodes, we’ve focused largely on the tax code: how it permits lobbying for nonprofits and how nonprofits can measure their lobbying limits. But today, we will examine how state-level sunshine laws may require you (or your nonprofit) to register and report as a lobbyist or to report your ballot measure advocacy activities.  

Our Attorneys:

Natalie 

Quyen 

Leslie 

Registering as a lobbyist

How these laws work in practice

  • TX
  • CA
  • Other states

Ballot Initiatives Sometimes Have to Register Like PACs 

Resources 

 All our state law resources are found here on this page:  https://bolderadvocacy.org/subject/state-law-resources/ 

 CA Ballot Measures 

California Campaign Finance and Ballot Measure Guide  

Ballot Measure Activities Exempt from California Disclosure Laws 

Supporting or Opposing Ballot Measures in California: What Do You Need to Disclose? 

 From the Fair Political Practices Commission: 

Campaign Disclosure Manual 3: Information for Ballot Measure Committees 

 CA Lobbying Disclosures 

Shaping the Future: A Compliance Guide for Nonprofits Influencing Public Policy in California 

California Lobbying Disclosure Thresholds When an Organization Needs to File 

California City, County, School and Special District Local Lobbying Ordinances 

 From the Fair Political Practices Commission: 

Lobbying Disclosure Manual: Information for Lobbyists, Lobbyist Employers, & Lobbying Firms 

 TX 

Texas Advocacy Toolkit  

Texas Campaign Finance and Ballot Measure Guide