Section 2 of the bill 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 bill, 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.
Section 3 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 bill 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 bill 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 bill prohibits any person from accepting a contribution, donation, or transfer from a covered organization unless the covered organization provides a written affirmation. The bill describes the required contents of the affirmation.
Section 4 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. Section 5 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 bill 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 bill requires that the responsible person include in the communication a disclaimer statement. The bill specifies the contents of the disclaimer statement.
Section 6 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 the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)