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Introduced Version Senate Bill 592 History

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sb592 intr
Senate Bill No. 592

(By Senator Oliverio)

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[Introduced March 18, 2005; referred to the Committee

on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to repeal §3-8-5c of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §3-8-1, §3-8-2, §3-8-3, §3-8-4, §3-8-5, §3-8-5a, §3-8-5f, §3-8-8, §3-8-9 and §3-8-12 of said code; and to amend and reenact §3-9-15 of said code, all relating to the regulation and control of political campaign contributions, receipts and expenditures.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §3-8-5c of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that §3-8-1, §3-8-2, §3-8-3, §3-8-4, §3-8-5, §3-8-5a, §3-8-5f, §3-8-8, §3-8-9 and §3-8-12 of said code be amended and reenacted; and that §3-9-15 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. REGULATION AND CONTROL OF ELECTIONS.
§3-8-1. Provisions to regulate and control elections.
(a) Political campaign contributions, receipts and expenditures of money, advertising, influence and control of employees, and other economic, political and social control factors incident to primary, special and general elections shall be regulated and controlled by the provisions of this article and other applicable provisions of this chapter.
b) Unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, for the purposes of this article:
(1) The term "candidate" means an individual who has filed a
certificate of announcement pursuant to the provisions of section seven, article five of this chapter or a municipal charter; has filed declaration of candidacy pursuant to the provisions of section twenty-three, article five; has been named to fill a vacancy on a ballot; or has declared a write-in candidacy or otherwise publicly declared his or her intention to seek nomination or election to a state, district, county or municipal office or party office to be filled at any primary, general or special election.
(2) The term "candidate's committee" means a political committee established with the approval of or in cooperation with one precandidate or candidate to explore the possibilities of seeking a particular office and/or to advocate his or her nomination or election to an office in one election cycle. If a candidate directs or influences the activities of more than one committee, those committees shall be considered one committee for the purpose of contribution limits.
(3) The term "contribution" means a gift subscription, assessment, payment for services, dues, advance, donation, pledge, contract, agreement, forbearance or promise of money or other tangible thing of value, whether or not conditional or legally enforceable, or a transfer of money or other tangible thing of value to a person, made for the purpose of influencing the nomination, election or defeat of a candidate. An offer or tender of a contribution is not a contribution if expressly and unconditionally rejected or returned. A contribution does not include volunteer personal services provided without compensation.
(4) The term "executive or administrative personnel" means individuals employed by a corporation who are paid on a salary rather than hourly basis and who have policy-making, managerial, professional or supervisory responsibilities.
(5) The term "families" means spouses and unemancipated children.
(6) The term "financial agent" means an individual designated to act on behalf of a precandidate, candidate or candidate's committee to conduct the financial transactions of the precandidate, candidate or candidate's committee.
(7) The term "financial transactions" includes all contributions or loans received and all repayments of loans or expenditures made to promote the candidacy of any person by any candidate or any organization advocating or opposing the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate to be voted on. (8) The term "fund-raising event" means an event such as a dinner, reception, testimonial, cocktail party, auction or similar affair through which contributions are solicited or received by such means as the purchase of a ticket, payment of an attendance fee or by the purchase of goods or services.
(9) The term "independent expenditure" means an expenditure made by a person other than a candidate or candidate's committee for a communication which expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate but which is made independently of a candidate's campaign and which has not been made with the cooperation or consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate or any of his or her agents or authorized committees. An expenditure which does not meet the criteria for independence established in this subdivision is considered a contribution.
(10) The term "membership organization" means a group that grants bona fide rights and privileges, such as the right to vote, to elect officers or directors, and the ability to hold office, to its members, and which uses a majority of its membership dues for purposes other than political purposes. This term shall not include organizations that grant membership upon receiving a contribution.
(11) The term "person" means an individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation, and any other organization or group of persons.
(12) The term "political committee" means an association of
persons, an organization of any kind, or any two or more persons acting together, wholly or in part, to receive or expend money or other thing of value for political purposes. This definition includes, but is not limited to, political party executive committees, other committees operating in conjunction with a political party or using a political party name, political action committees and any other organizations, whether temporarily or permanently established, using any portion of their funds for political purposes. This definition shall not include family members or members of a partnership acting together to make joint or individual contributions to a candidate or political committee.
(13) The term "political purposes" means advocating or opposing the nomination, election or defeat of one or more candidates, determining the advisability of becoming a candidate under the precandidacy financing provisions, supporting the retirement of the debt of a candidate or participating in activities of an established political party or an organization which has declared itself a political party, or supporting the administration or activities of a political committee.
(14) The term "precandidate" means, for the purpose of this rule, an individual who has filed a precandidacy statement pursuant to the provisions of section five-e, of this article but has not yet filed a certificate of announcement or declaration of candidacy.
(15) The term "treasurer" means an individual designated to act on behalf of a political committee to conduct the financial transactions of the committee.
§3-8-2. Accounts for receipts and expenditures in elections; requirements for reporting independent expenditures.
(a) Except candidates for party committeemen and committeewomen, in primary and other elections and federal committees required to file under the provisions 2 U.S.C. §434, all candidates for nomination or election and all persons or organizations of any kind advocating or opposing a nomination, election or defeat of any candidate shall keep records of receipts and expenditures which are made for political purposes. All of the receipts and expenditures are subject to regulation by the provisions of this article. Verified financial statements of the records and expenditures shall be made and filed as public records by all candidates and by their financial agents, representatives or any person acting for and on behalf of any candidate and by the treasurers of all political party committees.
(b) In addition to any other reporting required by the provisions of this chapter, any independent expenditure in the amount of one thousand dollars or more for any statewide, legislative or multicounty judicial candidate or in the amount of five hundred dollars or more for any county office, single-county judicial candidate, committee supporting or opposing a candidate on the ballot in more than one county, any municipal candidate on a municipal election ballot, which is made after the eleventh day but more than twelve hours before the day of any election shall be reported, on a form prescribed by the secretary of state, within twenty-four hours after the expenditure is made or debt is incurred for a communication, to the secretary of state by hand-delivery, facsimile or other means to assure receipt by the secretary of state within the 24-hour period.
(c) For purposes of this section, "independent expenditure" means an expenditure made by a person other than a candidate or committee for a communication which expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate but which is made independently of a candidate's campaign and which has not been made with the cooperation or consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate or any of his or her agents or authorized committees. An expenditure which does not meet the criteria for independence established in this subsection is considered a contribution.
(d) Any independent expenditure must include a clear and conspicuous public notice which identifies the name of the person who paid for the expenditure and states that the communication is not authorized by the candidate or his or her committee.
§3-8-3. Committee treasurers; required to receive and disburse funds.
Every political party committee shall appoint and retain a treasurer to receive, keep and disburse all sums of money which may be collected or received by such committee, or by any of its members, for election expenses, and, unless such treasurer is first appointed and thereafter retained, it shall be unlawful for any such committee or any of its members to collect, receive or disburse money for any such purposes. All moneys collected or received by any such committee, or by any of its members, for election expenses, shall be paid over to, and pass through the hands of, the treasurer, and shall be disbursed by him or her, and it shall be unlawful for any such committee, or any of its members, to disburse any money for election expenses unless such money shall be paid to, and disbursed by, the treasurer. The same person may be designated to act as treasurer for two or more political party committees.
§3-8-4. Treasurers and financial agents; written designation requirements; "person" and "financial agent" defined.

(a) No person shall act as the treasurer of any political committee, or as financial agent for any candidate for nomination or election to any office to be filled by the voters of the entire state, or candidates for nomination or election for any office, encompassing an election district larger than a county, or candidates for nomination for legislative office, or any person or organization advocating or opposing the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate, encompassing an election district larger than a county, unless a written statement designating him or her as the treasurer or financial agent is filed with the Secretary of State at least twenty-eight days before the election at which he or she is to act and must be received before midnight, eastern standard time, of that day or if mailed, shall be postmarked before that hour: within five days of being appointed: Provided, That a change of treasurer may be made at any time by filing a written statement with the Secretary of State.
(b) No person shall act as treasurer of any committee or as financial agent for any candidate to be nominated or elected by the voters of a county or a district therein, except legislative candidates, or as the treasurer or financial agent for a candidate for the nomination or election to any other office, unless a written statement designating him or her as the treasurer or financial agent is filed with the clerk of the county commission at least twenty-eight days before the election at which he or she is to act and must be received before midnight, eastern standard time, of that day or if mailed, shall be postmarked before that hour: within five days of being appointed: Provided, That a change of treasurer may be made at any time by filing a written statement with the clerk of the county commission.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, a filing designating a treasurer or financial agent for a state or county political executive committee may be made anytime before the committee either accepts or spends funds on behalf of the committee. Once a designation is made by a state or county political executive committee, no additional designations are required under this section until a successor treasurer or financial agent is designated. A state or county political executive committee may terminate a designation made pursuant to this section by making a written request to terminate the designation and by stating in the request that the committee has no funds remaining in the committee's account. This written request shall be made with either the Secretary of State or the clerk of the county commission as provided by subsections (a) and (b) of this section.
(d) As used in this article:
The term "person" means an individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation, and any other organization or group of persons; and
The term "financial agent" means any person acting for and by himself or herself, or any two or more natural persons acting together or cooperating in a financial way to aid or take part in the nomination or election of any candidate for public office, or to aid or promote the success or defeat of any political party or principle at any election, or any proposition submitted to a vote at a public election.
§3-8-5. Detailed accounts and verified financial statements required.

(a) Every candidate, financial agent, person and association of persons, organization of any kind, including every corporation, directly or indirectly, supporting a political committee established pursuant to paragraph (C), subdivision (1), subsection (b), section eight of this article or engaging in other activities permitted by this section and also including the treasurer or equivalent officer of the association or organization, advocating or opposing the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate, and the treasurer of every political party committee shall keep detailed accounts of every sum of money or other thing of value received by him or her, including all loans of money or things of value, and of all expenditures and disbursements made, liabilities incurred, by the candidate, financial agent, person, association or organization or committee, for political purposes, or by any of the officers or members of the committee, or any person acting under its authority or on its behalf.
(b) Every person or association of persons required to keep detailed accounts under this section shall file with the officers hereinafter prescribed a detailed itemized sworn statement, according to the following provisions and times:
(1) On the last Saturday in March or within six days thereafter, and annually whenever the total of all financial transactions relating to an election exceed five hundred dollars a statement which shall include all financial transactions which have taken place by the date of that statement, subsequent to any previous statement filed within the previous five years under this section;
(2) Not less than ten nor more than seventeen days preceding each primary or other election, a statement which shall include all financial transactions which have taken place by the date of the statement, subsequent to the previous statement, if any;
(3) Not less than twenty-five nor more than thirty-one days after each primary or other election, a statement which shall include all financial transactions which have taken place by the date of the statement, subsequent to the previous statement; and
(4) On the first Saturday in September or within six days thereafter, preceding the general election day whenever the total of all financial transactions relating to an election exceed five hundred dollars or whenever any loans are outstanding, a statement which shall include all financial transactions which have taken place by the date of the statement, subsequent to the previous statement.
(c) Every person who shall announce as a write-in candidate for any elective office and his or her financial agent or election organization of any kind shall comply with all of the requirements of this section after public announcement of the person's candidacy has been made.
(d) For purposes of this section, the term "financial transactions" includes all contributions or loans received and all repayments of loans or expenditures made to promote the candidacy of any person by any candidate or any organization advocating or opposing the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate to be voted on. In addition to any other reporting required by the provisions of this chapter, any independent expenditure in the amount of one thousand dollars or more for any statewide, legislative or multicounty judicial candidate or in the amount of five hundred dollars or more for any county office, single-county judicial candidate, committee supporting or opposing a candidate on the ballot in more than one county, any municipal candidate on a municipal election ballot, which is made after the eleventh day but more than twelve hours before the day of any election shall be reported, on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State, within twenty-four hours after the expenditure is made or debt is incurred for a communication, to the Secretary of State by hand-delivery, facsimile or other means to assure receipt by the Secretary of State within the twenty-four hour period.
§3-8-5a. Information required in financial statement.
(a) Each financial statement required by the provisions of this article shall contain only the following information:
(1) The first name, middle initial, if any, and last name, residence and mailing address and telephone number of each candidate, financial agent, treasurer or person, and the full name, address and telephone number of each association, organization or committee filing a financial statement.
(2) The balance of cash and any other sum of money on hand at the beginning and the end of the period covered by the financial statement.
(3) The first name, middle initial, if any, and the last name in the case of an individual, and the full name of each firm, association or committee, and the amount of such contribution of such individual, firm, association or committee, and, if the aggregate of the sum or sums contributed by any one such individual, firm, association or committee exceeds two hundred fifty dollars, there shall also be reported the residence and mailing address and, in the case of an individual, the major business affiliation and occupation. A contribution totaling more than fifty dollars of currency of the United States or currency of any foreign country by any one contributor is prohibited and a violation of this provision is subject to section five-d of this article. The report on which contributions required by this subdivision shall not distinguish between contributions made by individuals and contributions made by firms, associations or committees.
(4) The total amount of contributions received during the period covered by the financial statement.
(5) The first name, middle initial, if any, and the last name, residence and mailing address of any individual or the full name and mailing address of each lending institution making a loan or of the spouse cosigning a loan, as appropriate, the amount of any loan received, the date and terms of the loan, including the interest and repayment schedule, and a copy of the loan agreement.
(6) The first name, middle initial, if any, and the last name, residence and mailing address of any individual or the full name and mailing address of each firm, association or committee having previously made or cosigned a loan for which payment is made or a balance is outstanding at the end of the period, together with the amount of repayment on the loan made during the period and the balance at the end of the period.
(7) The total outstanding balance of all loans at the end of the period.
(8) The first name, middle initial, if any, and the last name, residence and mailing address of any individual, or the full name and mailing address of each firm, association or committee to whom each expenditure was made or liability incurred, together with the amount and purpose of each expenditure or liability incurred and the date of each transaction.
(9) The total expenditure for the nomination, election or defeat of a candidate or any person or organization advocating or opposing the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate, or the passage or defeat of any issue, thing or item to be voted upon, in whose behalf an expenditure was made or a contribution was given for the primary or other election.
(10) The total amount of expenditures made during the period covered by the financial statement.
(b) Any unexpended balance at the time of making the financial statements herein provided for shall be properly accounted for in that financial statement and shall appear as a balance in the next following financial statement.
(c) Each financial statement required by this section shall contain a separate section setting forth the following information for each fund-raising event held during the period covered by the financial statement:
(1) The type of event, date held, and address and name, if any, of the place where the event was held.
(2) All of the information required by subdivision (3), subsection (a) of this section.
(3) The total of all moneys received at the fund-raising event.
(4) The expenditures incident to the fund-raising event.
(5) The net receipts of the fund-raising event.
(d) When any lump sum payment is made to any advertising agency or other disbursing person who does not file a report of detailed accounts and verified financial statements as required in this section, such lump sum expenditures shall be accounted for in the same manner as provided for herein.
(e) Any contribution or expenditure made by or on behalf of a candidate for public office, to any other candidate, or committee for a candidate for any public office in the same election shall be accounted for in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(f) No person, firm, association or committee may make any contribution except from their own funds, unless such person, firm, association or committee discloses in writing to the person required to report under this section the first name, middle initial, if any, and the last name in the case of an individual, or the full name in case of a firm, association or committee, residence and mailing address and the major business affiliation and occupation of the person, firm, association or committee which furnished the funds to such contributor. All such disclosures shall be included in the statement required by this section.
(g) Any firm, association, committee or fund permitted by section eight of this article to be a political committee shall disclose on the financial statement its corporate or other affiliation.
(h) No contribution may be made, directly or indirectly, in a fictitious name, anonymously or by one person through an agent, relative or other person so as to conceal the identity of the source of the contribution or in any other manner so as to effect concealment of the contributor's identity.
(i) No person, firm, association or committee may accept any contribution for the purpose of influencing the nomination, election or defeat of a candidate or for the passage or defeat of any issue or thing to be voted upon unless the identity of the donor and the amount of the contribution is known and reported.
(j) When any candidate, organization, committee or person receives any anonymous contribution which cannot be returned because the donor cannot be identified, that contribution shall be donated to the General Revenue Fund of the state. Any anonymous contribution shall be recorded as such on the candidate's financial statement, but may not be expended for election expenses. At the time of filing, the financial statement shall include a statement of distribution of anonymous contributions, which total amount shall equal the total of all anonymous contributions received during the period.
(k) Any membership organization which raises funds for political purposes by payroll deduction assessing them as part of its membership dues or as a separate assessment may report the amount raised as follows:
(1) If the portion of dues or assessments designated for political purposes equals twenty-five dollars or less per member over the course of a calendar year, the total amount raised for political purposes through membership dues or assessments during the period is reported by showing the amount required to be paid by each member and the number of members.
(2) If the total payroll deduction for political purposes of each participating member equals twenty-five dollars or less over the course of a calendar or fiscal year, as specified by the organization, the organization shall report the total amount received for political purposes through such payroll deductions during the reporting period, and to the maximum extent possible, the amount of each yearly payroll deduction contribution level and the number of members contributing at each such specified level. The membership organization shall maintain records of the name and yearly payroll deduction amounts of each participating member.
(3) If any member contributes to the membership organization through individual voluntary contributions by means other than payroll deduction, membership dues, or assessments as provided in this subsection, the reporting requirements of subdivision (3), subsection (a) of this section shall apply. Funds raised for political purposes must be segregated from the funds for other purposes and listed in its report.
(l) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Political purposes" means advocating or opposing the nomination, election or defeat of one or more candidates, supporting the retirement of the debt of a candidate or activities of an established political party or an organization which has declared itself a political party, supporting the administration or activities of a political committee or advocating or opposing the passage of a ballot issue.
(2) "Membership organization" means a group that grants bona fide rights and privileges, such as the right to vote, to elect officers or directors, and the ability to hold office, to its members, and which uses a majority of its membership dues for purposes other than political purposes. This term shall not include organizations that grant membership upon receiving a contribution.
(3) "Fund-raising event" means an event such as a dinner, reception, testimonial, cocktail party, auction or similar affair through which contributions are solicited or received by such means as the purchase of a ticket, payment of an attendance fee or by the purchase of goods or services.
(m) (l) Notwithstanding the provisions of section five of this article or of the provisions of this section to the contrary, an alternative reporting procedure may be followed by a political party executive committee or a political action committee representing a political party in filing financial reports for fund-raising events if the total profit does not exceed five thousand dollars per year. A political party executive committee or a political action committee representing a political party may report gross receipts for the sale of food, beverages, services, novelty items, raffle tickets or memorabilia, except that any receipt of more than fifty dollars from an individual or organization shall be reported as a contribution. A political party executive committee or a political action committee representing a political party using this alternative method of reporting shall report: (i) The name of the committee; (ii) the type of fund-raising activity undertaken; (iii) the location where the activity occurred; (iv) the date of the fund raiser; (v) the name of any individual who contributed more than fifty dollars worth of items to be sold; (vi) the name and amount received from any person or organization purchasing more than fifty dollars worth of food, beverages, services, novelty items, raffle tickets or memorabilia; (vii) the gross receipts of the fund raiser; and (viii) the date, amount, purpose and name and address of each person or organization from whom items with a fair market value of more than fifty dollars were purchased for resale.
§3-8-5f. Loans to candidates, organizations or persons for election purposes.
(a) No candidate, financial agent, person or association of persons or organization advocating or opposing the nomination or election of any candidate or the passage or defeat of any issue or item to be voted upon may receive any money or any other thing of value as a loan toward election expenses except from the candidate, his or her spouse or a lending institution. All loans shall be evidenced by a written agreement executed by the lender, whether the candidate, his or her spouse, or the lending institution. Such agreement shall state the date and amount of the loan, the terms, including interest and repayment schedule, and a description of the collateral, if any, and the full names and addresses of all parties to the agreement. A copy of the agreement shall be filed with the financial statement next required after the loan is executed.
(b) Loans may only be made in the regular course of business by a lending institution which is a state bank, a federally chartered depository institution (including a national bank) or a depository institution whose deposits are insured by the federal deposit insurance corporation or the national credit union administration. Such loans shall be subject to the following requirements:
(1) Endorsements or guarantees of such loans may be made by the candidate or his or her spouse;
(2) Endorsements or guarantees of such loans by parties other than the candidate or his or her spouse may be made only to the extent of the contribution limits established in this article; and
(3) No other form of security shall be furnished in connection with such loans by any party other than the candidate or his or her spouse.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit a candidate or his or her spouse from lending money to the candidate or to the candidate's political committee: Provided, That the spouse of a candidate may not borrow money from a third party other than a lending institution authorized to make loans under this section for the purposes of lending money to the candidate or the candidate's political committee.
§3-8-8. Corporation contributions forbidden; exceptions; penalties; promulgation of rules; additional powers of State Election Commission.

(a) No officer of any corporation, or agent or person on behalf of such corporation, whether incorporated under the laws of this or any other state, or foreign country, shall pay, give or lend, or authorize to be paid, given or lent, any money or other thing of value belonging to such corporation, to any candidate, financial agent or political committee or other person, for the payment of any primary or other election expenses whatever. No person shall solicit or receive such payment, contribution or other thing from any corporation, officer or agent thereof, or other person acting on behalf of such corporation.
(b) (1) The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to prohibit:
(A) Direct communications, other than by newspapers of general circulation, radio, television or billboard advertising likely to reach the general public, by a corporation to its stockholders and executive or administrative personnel and their families on any subject;
(B) Nonpartisan registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns by a corporation aimed at its stockholders and executives or administrative personnel and their families; and or a separate segregated fund established by such corporation, to make two written solicitations for contributions during the calendar year from any stockholder, executive or administrative personnel, or employee of a corporation or the families of such persons. A solicitation under this subparagraph may be made only by mail addressed to stockholders, executive or administrative personnel, or employees at their residence;
(C) A membership organization, cooperative, corporation without capital stock, or a separate segregated fund established by a membership organization, cooperative, or corporation without capital stock, from soliciting contributions to such a fund from members of such organization, cooperative, or corporation without capital stock;
(D) A trade association or a separate segregated fund established by a trade association from soliciting contributions from the stockholders and executive or administrative personnel of the member corporations of such trade association and the families of such stockholders or personnel to the extent that such solicitation of such stockholders and personnel, and their families, has been separately and specifically approved by the member corporation involved;
(C) (E) The establishment, administration, and solicitation of contributions to a separate segregated fund to be utilized for political purposes by any corporate officer, agent or any person on behalf of a corporation. Any such fund shall be deemed to be a political committee for the purpose of this article and subject to all reporting requirements thereof.
(2) It shall be unlawful:
(A) For such a fund to make a contribution or expenditure by utilizing money or anything of value secured by physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisal or the threat of force, job discrimination or financial reprisal, or as a condition of employment, or by moneys obtained in any commercial transaction;
(B) For any person soliciting a stockholder, executive or administrative personnel and members of their family for a contribution to such fund to fail to inform such person of the political purposes of such fund at the time of such solicitation;
(C) For any person soliciting any other person for a contribution to such a fund to fail to inform such other person at the time of such solicitation of his or her right to refuse to so contribute without any reprisal;
(D) For a corporation, or a separate segregated fund established by a corporation to solicit contributions to such a fund from any person other than its stockholders and their families and its executive or administrative personnel and their families or to contribute any corporate funds, except as provided by subdivision (1), subsection (b) of this section;
(E) For a corporation, or a separate segregated fund established by a corporation to receive contributions to such a fund from any person other than its stockholders and their immediate families and its executive or administrative personnel and their immediate families;
(F) For a corporation to engage in job discrimination or to discriminate in job promotion or transfer because of an employee's failure to make a contribution to such fund;
(G) For such a separated segregated fund directly or indirectly to make any contribution in excess of the value of one thousand dollars in connection with any campaign for nomination or election to or on behalf of any elective office in the state or any of its subdivisions, or in connection with or on behalf of any committee or other organization or person engaged in furthering, advancing or advocating the nomination or election of any candidate for any such office; and
(H) For a corporation to pay, give or lend, or authorize to be paid, given or lent, any moneys or other things of value belonging to such corporation to such fund for any purpose. This provision shall not be deemed to prohibit such a fund from using the property, real or personal, facilities, and equipment of a corporation solely to establish, administer, and solicit contributions to the fund, subject to the rules and regulations of the State Election Commission as provided in subsection (d) of this section: Provided, That such corporation shall also permit any group of employees thereof represented by a bona fide political action committee to use the real property of such corporation solely to establish, administer and solicit contributions to the fund of such political action committee, subject to the rules and regulations of the State Elections Commission as provided in subsection (d) of this section. No such property, real or personal, facilities, equipment, materials or services of a corporation shall be utilized for the purpose of influencing any voter or voters to vote for a particular candidate, or in any particular manner, or upon any particular side of any question to be decided at any election, or to influence the result of any such election.
(I) Public utility companies and railroad companies may not form funds or political action committees in support of political candidates or parties, and may not use corporate property, real or personal, facilities, equipment, materials or services of said utility to establish, administer or solicit contributions to such fund or political action committee.
(3) For the purposes of this section, the term "executive or administrative personnel" means individuals employed by a corporation who are paid on a salary rather than hourly basis and who have policy making, managerial, professional or supervisory responsibilities.
(c) Any person or corporation violating any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars. No corporation shall reimburse any person the amount of any such fine imposed pursuant to this section.
(d) The State Election Commission shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this section, which rules and regulations, insofar as practicable, shall be the same as the rules and regulations promulgated by the Federal Election Commission to carry out those provisions of 2 USC Sec. 441b which are similar or identical to those provisions contained in this section in order that the provisions of this section and the regulations promulgated thereunder and the similar provisions of 2 USC Sec. 441b and the regulations promulgated thereunder may be uniformly administered and applied to corporations subject to the cited section of the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1976 and to this section. The State Election Commission shall promulgate such rules and regulations not later than sixty days after the effective date of this subsection and in doing so shall be governed by the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(e) In addition to its powers and duties as set forth in article one-a of this chapter, the State Election Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
1. To investigate, upon complaint or on its own initiative, any alleged violations or irregularities of this article.
2. To administer oaths and affirmations, issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses, issue subpoenas duces tecum to compel the production of books, papers, records and all other evidence necessary to any investigation.
3. To involve the aid of any circuit court in the execution of its subpoena power.
4. To report any alleged violations of this article to the appropriate prosecuting attorney having jurisdiction, which prosecuting attorney shall present to the grand jury such alleged violations, together with all evidence relating thereto, no later than the next term of court after receiving the report.
It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to provide such legal and investigative assistance to the State Election Commission as it may request and require.
Any investigation either upon complaint or initiative, shall be conducted in an executive session of the State Election Commission and shall remain undisclosed except upon an indictment by a grand jury.
Any person who shall disclose the fact of any complaint, investigation or report or any part thereof, or any proceedings thereon, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars, nor more than five thousand dollars, and shall be imprisoned in the county jail not less than six months nor more than one year.
§3-8-9. Lawful and unlawful election expenses; public opinion polls and limiting their purposes; limitation upon expenses; use of advertising agencies and reporting requirements; delegation of expenditures.

(a) No candidate, financial agent or treasurer of a political party committee shall pay, give or lend, either directly or indirectly, any money or other thing of value for any election expenses, except for the following purposes:
(1) For rent, maintenance, office equipment and other furnishing of offices to be used as political headquarters and for the payment of necessary clerks, stenographers, typists, janitors and messengers actually employed therein;
(2) In the case of a candidate who does not maintain a headquarters, for reasonable office expenses, including, but not limited to, filing cabinets and other office equipment and furnishings, computers, computer hardware and software, scanners, typewriters, calculators, audio visual equipment, the rental of the use of the same, or for the payment for the shared use of same with the candidate's business and for the payment of necessary clerks, stenographers and typists, actually employed;
(3) For printing and distributing books, pamphlets, circulars and other printed matter and radio and television broadcasting and painting, printing and posting signs, banners and other advertisements, including contributions to charitable, educational or cultural events, for the promotion of the candidate, the candidate's name or an issue on the ballot;
(4) For renting and decorating halls for public meetings and political conventions, for advertising public meetings, and for the payment of traveling expenses of speakers and musicians at such meetings;
(5) For the necessary traveling and hotel expenses of candidates, political agents and committees, and for stationery, postage, telegrams, telephone, express, freight and public messenger service;
(6) For preparing, circulating and filing petitions for nomination of candidates;
(7) For examining the lists of registered voters, securing copies thereof, investigating the right to vote of the persons listed therein and conducting proceedings to prevent unlawful registration or voting;
(8) For conveying voters to and from the polls;
(9) For securing publication in newspapers and by radio and television broadcasting of documents, articles, speeches, arguments and any information relating to any political issue, candidate or question or proposition submitted to a vote;
(10) For conducting public opinion poll or polls. For the purpose of this section, the phrase "conducting of public opinion poll or polls" shall mean and be limited to the gathering, collection, collation and evaluation of information reflecting public opinion, needs and preferences as to any candidate, group of candidates, party, issue or issues. No such poll shall be deceptively designed or intentionally conducted in a manner calculated to advocate the election or defeat of any candidate or group of candidates or calculated to influence any person or persons so polled to vote for or against any candidate, group of candidates, proposition or other matter to be voted on by the public at any election: Provided, That nothing herein shall prevent the use of the results of any such poll or polls to further, promote or enhance the election of any candidate or group of candidates or the approval or defeat of any proposition or other matter to be voted on by the public at any election;
(11) For legitimate advertising agency services, including commissions, in connection with any campaign activity for which payment is authorized by subdivisions (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (9) and (10) of this subsection;
(12) For the purchase of memorials, flowers or citations by political party executive committees or political action committees representing a political party;
(13) For the purchase of nominal noncash expressions of appreciation following the close of the polls of an election or within thirty days thereafter;
(14) For the payment of dues or subscriptions to any national, state or local committee of any political party; and
(15) For contributions to a county party executive committee, state party executive committee or a state party legislative caucus political committee.
(b) Every liability incurred and payment made shall be at a rate and for a total amount which is proper and reasonable and fairly commensurate with the services rendered.
(c) Every advertising agency subject to the provisions of this article shall file, in the manner and form required by section five-a of this article, the financial statements required by section five of this article at the times required therein and include therein, in itemized detail, all receipts from and expenditures made on behalf of a candidate, financial agent or treasurer of a political party committee.
(d) Any candidate may designate a financial agent by a writing duly subscribed by him or her which shall be in such form and filed in accordance with the provisions of section four of this article.
§3-8-12. Additional acts forbidden; circulation of written matter; newspaper advertising; solicitation of contributions; intimidation and coercion of employees; promise of employment or other benefits; limitations on contributions; public contractors; penalty.

(a) No person may publish, issue or circulate, or cause to be published, issued or circulated, any anonymous letter, circular, placard, radio or television advertisement or other publication expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate.
(b) No owner, publisher, editor or employee of a newspaper or other periodical may insert, either in its advertising or reading columns, any matter, paid for or to be paid for, which tends to influence the voting at any election, unless directly designating it as a paid advertisement and stating the name of the person authorizing its publication and the candidate in whose behalf it is published.
(c) No person may, in any room or building occupied for the discharge of official duties by any officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state, solicit orally or by written communication delivered within the room or building, or in any other manner, any contribution of money or other thing of value for any party or political purpose, from any postmaster or any other officer or employee of the federal government, or officer or employee of the state, or a political subdivision of the state. No officer, agent, clerk or employee of the federal government, or of this state, or any political subdivision of the state, who may have charge or control of any building, office or room, occupied for any official purpose, may knowingly permit any person to enter any building, office or room, occupied for any official purpose, for the purpose of soliciting or receiving any political assessments from, or delivering or giving written solicitations for, or any notice of, any political assessments to, any officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state.
(d) Except as provided in section eight of this article, no person entering into any contract with the state or its subdivisions, or any department or agency of the state, either for rendition of personal services or furnishing any material, supplies or equipment or selling any land or building to the state, or its subdivisions, or any department or agency of the state, if payment for the performance of the contract or payment for the material, supplies, equipment, land or building is to be made, in whole or in part, from public funds may, during the period of negotiation for or performance under the contract or furnishing of materials, supplies, equipment, land or buildings, directly or indirectly, make any contribution to any political party, committee or candidate for public office or to any person for political purposes or use; nor may any person or firm solicit any contributions for any purpose during any period.
(e) No person may, directly or indirectly, promise any employment, position, work, compensation or other benefit provided for, or made possible, in whole or in part, by Act of the Legislature, to any person as consideration, favor or reward for any political activity for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in any election.
(f) No person may, directly or indirectly, make any contribution in excess of the value of one thousand dollars in connection with any campaign for nomination or election to or on behalf of any statewide office, or in excess of the value of one thousand dollars, in connection with any other campaign for nomination or election to or on behalf of any other elective office in the state or any of its subdivisions, or in connection with or on behalf of any committee or other organization or person engaged in furthering, advancing or advocating the nomination or election of any candidate for any of the offices.
(g)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of this section to the contrary, the aggregate contributions made to a state party executive committee or state party legislative caucus committee are to be permitted only pursuant to the limitations imposed by the provisions of this subsection.
(2) No person may, directly or indirectly, make contributions to a state party executive committee or state party legislative caucus committee which, in the aggregate, exceed the value of one thousand dollars in any calendar year.
(h) The limitations on contributions contained in this section do not apply to transfers between and among a state party executive committee or a state party's legislative caucus political committee from national committees of the same political party: Provided, That transfers permitted by this subsection may not exceed fifty thousand dollars in the aggregate in any calendar year to any state party executive committee or state party legislative caucus political committee: Provided, however, That the moneys transferred may only be used for voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities of the state committees.
(i) No person may solicit any contribution, other than contributions to a campaign for or against a county or local government ballot issue, from any nonelective salaried employee of the state government or of any of its subdivisions: Provided, That in no event shall any person acting in a supervisory role solicit a person who is a subordinate employee for any contribution. No person may coerce or intimidate any nonelective salaried employee into making a contribution. No person may coerce or intimidate any nonsalaried employee of the State Government or any of its subdivisions into engaging in any form of political activity. The provisions of this subsection may not be construed to prevent any employee from making a contribution or from engaging in political activity voluntarily without coercion, intimidation or solicitation.
(j) No person may solicit a contribution from any other person without informing the other person at the time of the solicitation of the amount of any commission, remuneration or other compensation that the solicitor or any other person will receive or expect to receive as a direct result of the contribution being successfully collected. Nothing in this subsection may be construed to apply to solicitations of contributions made by any person serving as an unpaid volunteer.
(k) No person may place any letter, circular, flyer, advertisement, election paraphernalia, solicitation material or other printed or published item tending to influence voting at any election in a roadside receptacle unless it is: (1) Approved for placement into a roadside receptacle by the business or entity owning the receptacle; and (2) contains a written acknowledgment of the approval. This subdivision does not apply to any printed material contained in a newspaper or periodical published or distributed by the owner of the receptacle. The term "roadside receptacle" means any container placed by a newspaper or periodical business or entity to facilitate home or personal delivery of a designated newspaper or periodical to its customers.
(l) Any independent expenditure must include a clear and conspicuous public notice which identifies the name of the person who paid for the expenditure and states that the communication is not authorized by the candidate or his or her committe.
(l) (m) Any person violating any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or confined in a regional or county jail for not more than one year or, in the discretion of the court, be subject to both fine and confinement.
(m) (n) The provisions of subsection (i) of this section, permitting contributions to a campaign for or against a county or local government ballot issue, shall become operable on and after the first day of January, two thousand five.
ARTICLE 9. OFFENSE AND PENALTIES.
§3-9-15. Unlawful acts by employers; penalties.
Except as provided in section eight, article eight of this chapter, any employer or agent of any employer or corporation, who prints or authorizes to be printed upon any pay envelope or who distributes directly or indirectly, or gives directly to any employee any statement intended or calculated to influence the political action of his or her employees for any candidate for public office, or posts or exhibits in the establishment, any posters, placards, or handbills, or delivers verbally any message to any such employees, containing any threat, notice or information that if any such candidate is elected or defeated, work in the establishment will cease, in whole or in part, or other threats expressed or implied, intended to influence the political opinions or votes of his or her employees, shall be guilty of corrupt practices and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than twenty thousand dollars or be imprisoned in jail not more than one year, or both.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to regulate and control political campaign contributions, receipts and expenditures.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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