Campaign and political finance - contributions to issue committees - campaign activity by noncitizens - restrictions on independent expenditure committees - expanded disclaimer requirements for independent expenditures - written affirmation where certain money transfers are earmarked for particular campaign purposes - disclosure by issue committees and small-scale issue committees - appropriation. The act prohibits an issue committee or small-scale issue committee from knowingly accepting contributions from:
- Any natural person who is not a citizen of the United States;
- A foreign government; or
- Any foreign corporation that does not have the authority to transact business in this state.
Under the act, a natural person who is not a citizen of the United States, a foreign government, or a foreign corporation is prohibited from establishing, registering, or maintaining a political committee, small donor committee, political party, issue committee, or small-scale issue committee, or making an electioneering communication or regular biennial school electioneering communication.
If, within the 6 months before becoming a candidate for public office, a person actively solicits funds for an independent expenditure committee with the intent of benefitting his or her future candidacy, any expenditure made by that independent expenditure committee in that candidate's race is presumed to be controlled by or coordinated with that candidate and deemed to constitute both a contribution by the maker of the expenditures and an expenditure by the candidate committee.
The act extends existing restrictions barring a foreign corporation from expending money on an independent expenditure to include a natural person who is not a citizen of the United States or a foreign government. The act also prohibits an independent expenditure committee from knowingly accepting a donation from any natural person who is not a citizen of the United States, any foreign government, or any foreign corporation.
The act expands existing requirements requiring a disclaimer to include communication placed on a website, streaming media service, or an online forum for a fee, or that is otherwise distributed. Existing requirements pertaining to the nature of the disclaimer are expanded to include online video or audio communications.
Any corporation, labor organization, or independent expenditure committee (covered organization) that contributes, donates, or transfers $10,000 or more to any person during any one calendar year earmarked for the purpose of making an independent expenditure or electioneering communication must provide to the recipient of the contribution, donation, or transfer a written affirmation.
Any covered organization that transfers $10,000 or more to any person, earmarked for the purpose of that person making a contribution, donation, or transfer to pay for an independent expenditure or electioneering communication, during any one calendar year, must provide to the recipient of the transfer a written affirmation.
Particular disclosure requirements are made applicable to a covered organization that is not a for-profit organization.
The act prohibits any person from accepting a contribution, donation, or transfer from a covered organization unless the covered organization provides a written affirmation. The act describes the required contents of the affirmation.
The act repeals and reenacts existing statutory provisions addressing small-scale issue committees and, in particular, specifies requirements governing when such committees are required to disclose and file reports of their contributions or expenditures.
Under existing law, an issue committee making an expenditure in excess of $1,000 on a communication is required to disclose in the communication the name of the issue committee making the expenditure. The act expands these requirements so they apply to a candidate committee, political committee, small donor committee, political organization, political party, or other person, as well as an issue committee, making or spending more than $1,000 per calendar year on a communication. The act also extends these requirements to communication placed on a website, streaming media service, or online forum for a fee. Instead of requiring that the communication disclose certain information, the act requires that the responsible person include in the communication a disclaimer statement. The act specifies the contents of the disclaimer statement.
For the 2019-20 state fiscal year, the act appropriates $42,650 to the department of state from the department of state cash fund for use by the information technology division.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)