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Home > Laws and Rules > 2005 Changes

2005 Changes to Laws and Rules Administered by the Commission

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Statute Changes

21A § 1012(2)B The term "contribution" does not include:

5. The payment by a party's state, district, county or municipal committee of the costs of preparation, display, or mailing or other distribution of a party candidate listing;

6. Documents, in printed or electronic form, including party platforms, single copies of issue papers, information pertaining to the requirements of this Title, lists of registered voters identification information, created or maintained by a political party for the general purpose of party building and provided to a candidate who is a member of that party;

8-A. Costs paid for by a party committee in connection with a campaign event at which 3 or more candidates are present;

21A § 1012(3)B The term "expenditure" does not include:

7. The payment by a party's state, district, county or municipal committee of the costs of preparation, display or mailing or other distribution of a party candidate listing;

8. Documents, in printed or electronic form, including party platforms, single copies of issue papers, information pertaining to the requirements of the Title lists of registered voters and voter identification information;

10-A. Costs paid for by a party committee in connection with a campaign event at which 3 or more candidates are present;

21A § 1012(5) Party candidate listing: "Party candidate listing" means any communication that meets the following criteria.

A. The communication lists the names of at least 3 candidates for election to public office.

B. The communication is distributed through public advertising such as broadcast stations, cable television, newspapers and similar media, and through direct mail, telephone, electronic mail, publicly accessible sites on the Internet or personal delivery.

C. The treatment of all candidates in the communication is substantially similar.

D. The content of the communication is limited to:

  1. The identification of each candidate, with which pictures may be used;
  2. The offices sought;
  3. The offices currently held by the candidates;
  4. The party affiliation of the candidates and a brief statement about the party or the candidates' positions, philosophy, goals, accomplishments or biographies;
  5. Encouragement to vote for the candidates identified; and
  6. Information about voting, such as voting hours and locations.

If the communications contains language outside the categories of this paragraph, it does not qualify a party candidate listing.

Commission note: under the amended law, if a party committee pays for a campaign event at which more than 3 of the party’s candidates attend, it is not considered a contribution to the candidates. In addition, if a party committee shares voter identification information with a candidate, the party committee has not made a contribution to the candidate.

The amended law attempts to better define the slate card exception by introducing a new term: "party candidate listing." As long as 3 or more candidates are listed, party committees may pay for a variety of communications to promote their candidates without triggering matching funds to the candidates' opponents. Please note that these exceptions apply only to party committees, and not to PACs.

21A § 1014(2-A) Communication: If a communication that names or depicts a clearly identified candidate is disseminated during the 21 days before an election through the media described in subsection 1, the communication must state the name and address of the person who made or financed the communication and a statement that the communication was or was not authorized by the candidate.

21A § 1014(3-B) Newspapers: A newspaper may not publish a communication described in subsection 1 or 2 without including the disclosure required by this section. For purposes of this subsection, "newspaper" includes any printed material intended for general circulation or to be read by the general public. When necessary, a newspaper may seek the advice of the commission regarding whether or not the communication required the disclosure.

21A § 1014(5) Automated phone calls: Automated telephone calls that name a clearly identified candidate must clearly state the name of the person who made or financed the expenditure for the communication, except for automated telephone calls paid for by the candidate that use the candidate's voice in the telephone call.

Commission note: under the amended law, any mailing or advertising that clearly identifies a candidate and is distributed to voters in the last 21 days before an election must identify the persons that paid for the communication and whether it was authorized by the candidate. Communications distributed more than 21 days before an election must also contain the "paid for" information if the communication expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate. Newspapers may not publish the communication without the disclosure. Automated telephone calls are covered by the requirement, unless they are paid for by the candidate and use the candidate's voice.

21A § 1017-A(4-C) Electronic filing: Beginning January 1, 2006, state party committees shall file each report required by this section through an electronic filing system developed by the commission. The commission may make an exception to this electronic filing requirement if a party committee lacks the access to the technology or the technological ability to file reports electronically. The request for an exception must be submitted by March 1st of the election year. The commission shall grant all reasonable requests for exceptions.

21A § 1018-B Recounts of elections:

1. Reporting. Candidates who are involved in a recount of an election shall file a report 90 days after the election containing itemized accounts of cash, goods and services received for the recount and payments made by the candidate for the recount. The reports must be made on forms prepared and sent by the commission. Persons donating services to the candidate are required to provide the candidate with an estimate of the value of the services donated. Political action committees and party committees making expenditures for a candidate’s recount shall identify on their regularly filed reports that the expenditures were made for the purposes of a recount.

2. Limitations. Candidates may receive donations without limitation for purposes of a recount from party committees and caucus campaign committees and from attorneys, consultants and their firms that are donating their services without reimbursement. Candidates may not spend revenues received under chapter 14 for recount expenditures.

21A § 1053(1) Identification of committee: The names and mailing addresses of the committee, its treasurer, its principal officers and the identity of any candidates, Legislators or other individuals who are the primary fundraisers and decision makers for the committee;

Every change in information required by this section must be included in an amended registration form submitted to the commission within 10 days of the date of the change. The committee must file an updated registration form every 2 years between January 1st and March 1st of an election year.

Commission note: to improve the disclosure made by PACs, the PAC registration form will ask the PAC to identify all Legislators and other individuals who are the primary fundraisers and decision-makers for the PAC. Because some of the PAC registration forms filed with the Commission are quite old, PACs will be required to re-register with the Commission every two years at the beginning of an election year so that more current information is on file.

21A § 1055 Publication or distribution of statements: 3rd paragraph

A newspaper may not publish a communication described in this section without including the disclosure required by this section. For purposes of this paragraph, "newspaper" includes any printed material intended for general circulation or to be read by the general public. When necessary, a newspaper may seek the advice of the commission regarding whether or not the communication requires the disclosure.

21A § 1059(5) Electronic Filing: Beginning January 1, 2006, committees shall file each report required by this section through an electronic filing system developed by the commission. The commission may make an exception to this electronic filing requirement if a committee submits a written request that states that the committee lacks the access to the technology or the technological ability to file reports electronically. The request for an exception must be submitted no later than March 1, 2006 or within 30 days of the registration of the committee whichever is later. The commission shall grant all reasonable requests for exceptions.

Commission note: in 2006, PACs and state party committees will be required to file campaign finance reports electronically on the Commission's Web site, unless the committees submit a written request for a waiver because they lack access to the technology or the technological ability. Many PACs already use the electronic filing system voluntarily, and the Commission is working with its technology vendor to improve the e-filing system. The Commission will offer training sessions in 2006.

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Rule-Making

On February 17, 2005, the Ethics Commission commenced a rule-making process by adopting rule amendments for public comment. It received comments at a public hearing on March 24 and accepted written comments through April 4. On April 8, it adopted routine technical rule amendments which became effective on May 9, and provisionally adopted major substantive rule amendments.

Invitation to Comment on Proposed Amendments (2/23/05)

Invitation to Comment on Amendment on Last Minute-Expenditures (3/10/05)

Written Comments

Routine Technical Amendments Adopted 4/8/05

Basis Statement for Routine Technical Amendments

Major Substantive Amendments Provisionally Adopted 4/8/05

Basis Statement for Major Substantive Amendments

Major Substantive Amendments Finally Adopted 7/13/05

 

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