Campaign Finance Requirements

12-27-3.   Statement of organization and candidate campaign committee required--Exception-- Violation as misdemeanor.

A political committee shall file a statement of organization with the secretary of state not later than fifteen days after the date upon which the committee made contributions, received contributions, or paid expenses in excess of five hundred dollars unless such activity falls within thirty days of any statewide election in which case the statement of organization shall be filed within forty-eight hours. Any candidate for public office shall organize a candidate campaign committee not later than fifteen days after becoming a candidate and shall file a statement of organization with the secretary of state. A political committee that regularly files a campaign finance disclosure statement with the Federal Election Commission is not required to file a statement of organization. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

12-27-4.   Incorporation of political committee permitted--Treasurer remains personally responsible.

A political committee may incorporate and not be subject to the provisions of § 12-27- 18 if the political committee incorporates for liability purposes only. Notwithstanding the corporate status of the political committee, the treasurer of an incorporated political committee remains personally responsible for carrying out the treasurer's duties under this chapter.

12-27-18.   Contributions and independent expenditures by organizations prohibited-- Exception--Contributions and independent expenditures for ballot questions permitted--Violation as misdemeanor.

 No organization may make a contribution to a candidate committee, political action committee, or political party or make an independent expenditure expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate. An organization may make a contribution to a ballot question committee organized solely for the purpose of influencing an election on a ballot question and independent expenditures regarding the placement of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of a ballot question.The prohibitions of this section do not apply to independent expenditures expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate by a qualified nonprofit corporation from its treasury funds. An organization may create a political action committee. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

 

12-27-11.   Name and address of contributor required--Donation of contributions from unknown sources to charitable organization--Violation as misdemeanor.

No person, organization, candidate, political committee, or political party may give or accept a contribution unless the name and residence address of the contributor is made known to the person receiving the contribution. Any contribution, money, or other thing of value received by a candidate, political committee, or political party from an unknown source shall be donated to a nonprofit charitable organization. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

12-27-12.   Disguised contributions prohibited--Misdemeanor.

No person may make a contribution in the name of another person, make a contribution disguised as a gift, make a contribution in a fictitious name, make a contribution on behalf of another person, or knowingly permit another to use his or her name to make a contribution. No candidate may accept a contribution disguised as a gift. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

12-27-15.   Printed political communications to contain certain language--Exceptions-- Violation as misdemeanor. nb -Does not apply to petition forms.

Any printed material or communication made, purchased, paid for, or authorized by a candidate, political committee, or political party which expressly advocates for or against a candidate, public office holder, ballot question, or political party shall prominently display or clearly speak the statement: "Paid for by (Name of candidate, political committee, or political party)." This section does not apply to buttons, balloons, pins, pens, matchbooks, clothing, or similar small items upon which the inclusion of the statement would be impracticable. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

12-27-17.   Statements to be filed regarding payments for communications identifying candidate or office holder but not advocating election or defeat--Contents--Exceptions.

one thousand dollars or more for a communication that clearly identifies a candidate or public office holder, but does not expressly advocate the election or defeat of the candidate or public office holder, and that is disseminated, broadcast, or otherwise published within sixty days of an election, shall file a statement with the secretary of state disclosing the name, street address, city, and state of such person, political committee, political party, or organization. The statement shall also include the name of the candidate or public office holder mentioned in the communication, the amount spent on the communication, and a description of the content of the communication. The statement shall be received and filed within forty-eight hours of the time that the communication is disseminated, broadcast, or otherwise published.

     For the purposes of this section, the term, communication, does not include:

             (1)      Any news articles, editorial endorsements, opinion or commentary writings, or letter to the editor printed in a newspaper, magazine, flyer, pamphlet, or other periodical not owned or controlled by a candidate, political committee, or political party;

             (2)      Any editorial endorsements or opinions aired by a broadcast facility not owned or controlled by a candidate, political committee, or political party;

             (3)      Any communication by a person made in the regular course and scope of the person's business or ministry or any communication made by a membership organization solely to members of the organization and the members' families; and

             (4)     Any communication that refers to any candidate only as part of the popular name of a bill or statute.

12-27-19.   Qualifications of and statements by organization making contribution to ballot question committee--Violation as misdemeanor.

Any organization that makes a contribution to a ballot question committee pursuant to § 12-27-18 (which states an organization may make a contribution to a ballot question committee organized solely for the purpose of influencing an election on a ballot question and independent expenditures regarding the placement of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of a ballot question) shall:

             (1)      Be filed as a domestic or foreign entity in good standing with the Office of the Secretary of State of this state, or

             (2)      If the organization is not filed as a domestic or foreign entity in good standing with the Office of the Secretary of State of this state, the organization shall include with any contribution to a ballot question committee a statement providing the following information:

             (a)      The name of the organization;

             (b)      The name of the state or country under whose law the organization is incorporated or organized; and

             (c)      The street address of the organization's principal office; or

             (3)      However, if subdivisions 1 and 2 do not apply to the organization (informal clubs-organizations), then the organization shall include with any contribution to a ballot question committee a statement providing the following information:

             (a)      The name of the organization;

             (b)      The street address of the organization's principal office; and

             (c)      The names and street addresses of any owners, directors, or officers of the organization including the name and street address of the person authorizing the contribution.

     Further, if any contribution from an organization to a ballot question committee exceeds ten thousand dollars in the aggregate, and the organization is comprised of twenty or fewer members or shareholders, the contribution shall include a statement with the name and address of each shareholder or member who owns ten percent or more of the organization. The ballot question committee shall disclose all information provided in the statement in the applicable campaign financial disclosure statement or supplemental statement.

     If any of the information required by this section is not delivered to the treasurer of the ballot question committee, the treasurer shall return the contribution. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

12-27-20.   Expenditure of public funds to influence election outcome prohibited.

 The state, an agency of the state, and the governing body of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state may not expend or permit the expenditure of public funds for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of any candidate, or for the petitioning of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question. This section may not be construed to limit the freedom of speech of any officer or employee of the state or such political subdivisions in his or her personal capacity. This section does not prohibit the state, its agencies, or the governing body of any political subdivision of the state from presenting factual information solely for the purpose of educating the voters on a ballot question.

12-27-21.   Acceptance of contributions from public entities prohibited--Misdemeanor.

No candidate, political committee, or political party may accept any contribution from any state, state agency, political subdivision of the state, foreign government, Indian tribe, federal agency, or the federal government. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

12-27-22.   Persons and entities required to file campaign finance disclosure statements--Time for filing--Violation as misdemeanor.

A campaign financial disclosure statement shall be filed with the secretary of state by every:

             (1)      Candidate or candidate campaign committee for any statewide or legislative office;

             (2)      Political action committee;

             (3)      Political party; and

             (4)      Ballot question committee.

     The statement shall be signed by the treasurer of the political committee or political party. The statement shall be received by the secretary of state and filed by 5:00 p.m. each February first and shall cover the contributions and expenditures for the preceding

calendar year. However, no statement is required to be filed by a candidate campaign committee for legislative or county office on February first following a year in which there is not an election. A statement shall also be received by the secretary of state and filed by 5:00 p.m. on the second Friday prior to each primary and general election complete through the fifteenth day prior to that election. No county, local, or auxiliary committee of any political party qualified to participate in a primary or general election is required to file a campaign financial disclosure statement prior to a statewide primary election. No candidate without opposition in a primary election is required to file a campaign financial disclosure statement prior to a primary election. Any statement filed pursuant to this section shall be consecutive and shall cover contributions and expenditures since the last statement filed. A political committee that regularly files a campaign finance disclosure statement with the Federal Election Commission is not required to file a campaign finance disclosure statement. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

12-27-23.   Time for statewide ballot question committee to file campaign finance disclosure statement--Violation as misdemeanor.

 A campaign finance disclosure statement shall be received by the secretary of state and filed by any statewide ballot question committee by 5:00 p.m. on the fifth day of July during the year in which the ballot question is to be voted on complete through the month of June. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

12-27-24.   Contents of campaign finance disclosure statement.  

A campaign finance disclosure statement shall include the following information:

             (1)      Political committee or political party name, street address, postal address, city, state, zip code, daytime and evening telephone number, and e-mail address;

             (2)      Type of campaign statement (pre-primary, pre-general, mid-year, year-end, amendment, supplement, or termination);

             (3)      If a ballot question committee, the ballot question number and whether the committee is for or against the measure;

             (4)      The balance of cash and cash equivalents on hand at the beginning of the reporting period;

             (5)      The total amount of all contributions received during the reporting period;

             (6)      The total amount of all in-kind contributions received during the reporting period;

             (7)      The total of refunds, rebates, interest, or other income not previously identified during the reporting period;

             (8)      The total of contributions, loans, and other receipts during the reporting period;

             (9)      The total value of loans made to any person, political committee, or political party during the reporting period;

             (10)      The total of expenditures made during the reporting period;

             (11)      The total amount of all expenditures incurred but not yet paid. An expenditure incurred but not yet paid shall be reported on each report filed after the date of receipt of goods or services until payment is made to the vendor. A payment shall be listed as an expenditure when the payment is made;

             (12)      The statement shall state the cash balance on hand as of the close of the reporting period;

             (13)      The total amount of contributions of one hundred dollars or less in the aggregate from one source received during the reporting period;

             (14)      The name, residence address, city, and state of each person contributing a contribution of more than one hundred dollars in the aggregate during the reporting period and the amount of the contribution. Any contribution from any political committee or political party shall be itemized. Any contribution from a federal political committee or political committee organized outside this state shall also include the name and internet website address of the filing office where campaign finance disclosure statements are regularly filed for the committee. If all of the information required is not on file, the political committee or political party may not deposit the contribution;

             (15)      The statement shall contain the same information for in-kind contributions as for monetary contributions, and shall also include a description of the in-kind contribution;

             (16)      Upon the request of the treasurer, a person making an in-kind contribution shall provide all necessary information to the treasurer, including the value of the contribution;

             (17)      Any monetary or in-kind contribution made by the reporting political committee or political party to any political committee, political party, or nonprofit charitable organization shall be itemized;

             (18)      A categorical description and the amount of the refunds, rebates, interest, sale of property, or other receipts not previously identified during the reporting period;

             (19)      A categorical description and the amount of funds or donations by any organization to its political committee for establishing and administering the political committee and for any solicitation costs of the political committee;

             (20)      The total balance of loans owed by the political committee or political party;

             (21)      The balance of loans owed by the political committee or political party, itemized by lender's name, street address, city, and state, including the terms, interest rate, and repayment schedule of each loan;

             (22)      The total balance of loans owed to the political committee or political party;

             (23)      The amount of each loan made during the reporting period. The name, street address, city,

and state of the recipient of the loan;

             (24)      The balance of each loan owed to the political committee or political party, itemized by name, street address, city, and state;

             (25)      The expenditures made during the reporting period shall be categorized. Disbursements to consultants, advertising agencies, credit card companies, and similar firms shall be itemized into expense categories. Any contribution made by the reporting political committee or political party that is not in exchange for any item of value or service shall be itemized;

             (26)      The expenditures incurred but not yet paid during the reporting period and to whom the expenditure is owed;

             (27)      The amount of each independent expenditure, as defined in this chapter, made during the reporting period, the name of the candidate, public office holder, or ballot question related to the expenditure and a description of the expenditure;

             (28)      The information contained in any statement provided under § 12-27-19; and

             (29)      The statement shall include a certification that the contents of the statement is true and correct signed by the treasurer of the political committee or political party.

 

12-27-27.   Conditions requiring filing of amended statement--Time for filing--Violation as misdemeanor--Civil penalty.

Any candidate, treasurer, or other person filing a statement pursuant to this chapter, shall file an amended statement within three days of discovering any omission, inaccuracy, or other change necessary to make the statement accurate. A person responsible for filing a statement pursuant to this chapter, who willfully fails to report a material change or correction, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A person responsible for filing a statement pursuant to this chapter, who willfully fails to file an amendment pursuant to this section is subject to the civil penalty in § 12-27-30 beginning on the first day following the third day after the candidate, treasurer, or other person is notified of the omission, inaccuracy, or other change necessary to make the statement accurate.

12-27-33.   Sale and certain uses of information in statements prohibited--Misdemeanor.

 No information copied, or otherwise obtained, from any statement, or copy, reproduction, or publication thereof, filed with the secretary of state, county auditor, or other person in charge of conducting the election under this chapter may be sold or utilized by any person for any commercial purpose or for the purpose of soliciting contributions. Any violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

12-27-34.   Intentionally false or misleading statements prohibited--Felony.

Any person who intentionally makes any false, fraudulent, or misleading statement or entry in any statement of organization, campaign finance disclosure statement, other statement, or amendment filed pursuant to this chapter is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

12-27-35. Investigation and prosecution of violations by attorney general--Civil actions.

The attorney general shall investigate violations of the provisions of this chapter relating to a legislative office, statewide office, or statewide ballot question and prosecute any violation thereof. In lieu of bringing a criminal action, the attorney general may elect to file a civil action. In a civil action, in addition to other relief, the court may impose a civil penalty in the amount provided by statute, or if not provided, in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars for each violation. Any civil penalty recovered shall be paid to the state general fund. A civil action brought by the attorney general shall be commenced in Hughes County, in the county where the person resides, or in the county where the organization, political party, or political committee has its principal office.

12-27-36.   Access to records by attorney general--Violation as misdemeanor.

The attorney general may, for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter, inspect or examine any political committee or political party records required to be maintained by this chapter. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person having charge, control, or possession of political committee or political party records to neglect or refuse the attorney general reasonable access to any records required to be maintained by this chapter which are necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

12-27-37.   Confidentiality of records.

 The attorney general shall keep each record inspected or examined confidential except when the records are used to enforce provisions of this chapter associated with a criminal or civil action.

12-27-38.   Candidate may not be certified or to forfeit office for felony violation.

If any candidate is proved in a contest of an election or is proved to have violated any provision of this chapter punishable by a felony, the candidate may not be certified for election or the candidate shall forfeit his or her office. The office shall be declared vacant and shall be filled in the manner provided by law for filling vacancies occasioned by death or resignation. 

12-27-39.   Application of campaign finance requirements.

The provisions of this chapter apply to each statewide office, legislative office, statewide ballot question, county offices and ballot questions in counties with population greater than five thousand according to the most recent Federal census, and school district offices and ballot questions in school districts with more than two thousand average daily membership. Any school district election covered by this chapter shall conform to the contribution limits applicable to legislative offices. This chapter does not apply to the unified judicial system, nor does this chapter apply to any township, municipal, or special purpose district offices or ballot questions. However, the governing body of any county, township, municipality, school district, or special purpose district not otherwise covered by this chapter may adopt an ordinance or resolution to make the provisions of this chapter, with or without amendments, applicable to county, township, municipal, school district, or special purpose district elections.  

12-27-40.   Investigation and prosecution of violations by state's attorney--Civil actions.

The state's attorney shall investigate any violation of the provisions of this chapter relating to elections for county and school district office or ballot questions, and prosecute any violation thereof. In lieu of bringing a criminal action, the state's attorney may elect to file a civil action for any violation of this chapter. In a civil action, in addition to other relief, the court may impose a civil penalty in the amount provided by statute, or if not provided, in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollar for each violation. Any civil penalty recovered shall be paid to the county general fund if the violation arose out of a county office or ballot question or the school district general fund if the violation arose out of a school district office or ballot question. A civil enforcement action for a violation of the chapter concerning a school district office or ballot question may, with the consent of the state's attorney, be brought by the school district's attorney. A civil action brought under this section shall be commenced in the county where filings under the chapter are required, in the county where the person resides or in the county where the organization, political party, or political committee has its principal office.

12-27-41.   Filing by facsimile or e-mail.

Any statement required to be filed under this chapter may be filed by facsimile device or electronic mail in accordance with the methods approved by the secretary of state. To be timely filed, any statement received by facsimile device or electronic mail shall be legible and readable when received by the means it was delivered. The original shall be filed with the secretary of state within one week following the date the facsimile or electronic mail transmission was received.

12-27-43.   Action for civil penalty for certain violations.

The attorney general may bring an action for a civil penalty against any person, political committee, political party, or organization that violates § 12-27-16 or 12-27-17, in addition to any other penalties provided by law. The civil penalty may not exceed two thousand dollars for each violation.