Campaign finance requirements for Connecticut ballot measures

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Campaign finance requirements for Connecticut ballot measures are promulgated by the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC). The SEEC is responsible for all administrative and reporting functions in Connecticut campaign finance law.

The SEEC has an electronic disclosure database that keeps track of campaign finance activity in the State of Connecticut.

If anyone feels a person or committee violated Connecticut campaign finance law, the first step is to file a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. The SEEC investigates all complaints[1]. If someone is found guilty of violating campaign finance law, the SEEC seeks action through a civil in most cases[2]. The SEEC refers any compliant involving criminal law violations or any other matter they deem appropriate to the Attorney General for prosecution[3][4].

General requirements

Referendum committee

A committee that is formed to support or oppose a ballot question along with the intention to terminate at the end of the election is considered to be a Referendum Committee[5].

Political committee

A committee designated to support or oppose a referendum along with planning to continue operations after the election is considered to be a Political Committee. A political committee is defined under law as business entities, labor unions, trade or professional associations, and groups of at least two or more individuals. A separate committee must be formed for each ballot question they intend to oppose or support[6].

Statement of Organization

A Statement of Organization is required before any Political or Referendum Committee plans receive or expend funds or other resources to influence the outcome of a ballot question[7]. Corporations, labor unions, and other trade organizations that plan to influence the passage or defeat of a ballot question must register if they plan to expend $1,000 or more from its treasury[8].

Campaign finance requirements

Anonymous contributions

Connecticut allows campaigns to accept anonymous contributions up to $15. Any anonymous contributions over $15 must be forwarded to the Connecticut State Treasurer[9].

Cash contribution limit

Connecticut allows campaign contributions up to $100 to be made with cash. Any contribution over $100 must be made via personal check or credit card[10].

Contribution limits

Corporations, labor unions, and other entities are limited to contributing the maximum amount to referendum committees. The limits are set by the most recent census in which it is ten cents per resident. For the 2000 Census, corporations are limited to contributing $340,556.50 based on the figures of 2000 census for statewide campaigns. Local campaigns differ via population[11]. There are no contributions limits to contributions made to continuing political committees in support or opposition of a referendum[12][13][14]. State and local party committees can expend funds to promote the passage or defeat of a ballot question with no limit.

Corporate/union contributions

Corporations and labor unions can donate to organizations in support or opposition of a ballot measure[12]. Connecticut law bans all corporations from donating to candidates, candidate committees, and political action committees in support or opposition to a candidate[15].

Contributions between referendum committees

Connecticut strictly prohibits donations made from one referendum committee to another[16].

Out of State contributions

Referendum committees are not allowed to accept contributions from out of state special interest organizations. This also applies to national party and federal office committtes[17][18].

Reporting requirements and reports

Under Connecticut law, all groups that are registered to influence the passage or defeat of a ballot question must file campaign finance reports. The reports are done on a quarterly, pre-election, and post-election basis. Quarterly reports are due on January 10, April 10, July 10, and October 10. The pre-election report is due seven days before an election[19]. For post-election reporting, the report is due 45 days after a special election. All other post-election reports are due on January 10 for campaigns involved in the general election[20].

Campaign advertising restrictions

Under Connecticut law, any group in support or opposition of a ballot question must have a disclaimer on any advertisement. It must begin with "Paid for by" followed with the name of the chief officer of a business entity, trade organization, or party committee sponsoring the ad. If a referendum or political committee sponsored the ad, the treasurer's name must be noted in the disclaimer. All ad disclaimers must end with the sponsor's address[21]. The disclaimer requirement applies to all print advertisements including letters, brochures, circulars, websites, emails, billboards, transit advertisements, newspaper advertisements, and campaign signsreater than 32 square feet in surface area[21].

Terminating a committee

A referendum committee that plans to terminate after the election must do so within 90 days if they plan to not pursue another ballot question in a successive election[22]. Committees can terminate with a operating deficit. Surplus funds can be donated to a ongoing political committee, a state party committee, a charitable organization (listed as 501(c)3 under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code), to donors on a pro-rated basis, to the state's general revenue fund, or to the Connecticut Citizen's Election Fund[23][22].

External links

References

  1. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-7(b))
  2. 'Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-7(b)(2))
  3. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-7(b)(7)(9)(10))
  4. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law" Connecticut Campaign Finance Law(Referenced Statute 9-7(b)(7))
  5. Connecticut SEEC "Guide to Financing a Referendum"(See Page 1 under "Referendum Committee")
  6. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-601(3))
  7. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-602(a))
  8. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-620(d))
  9. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-606(b))
  10. "Connecticut General Assembly" Connecticut Campaign Finance Law(Referenced Statute 9-622(9))
  11. Connecticut SEEC "Guide to Financing a Referendum"(See Page 45 under "Contribution Limits Chart")
  12. 12.0 12.1 Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-613(c))
  13. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-614(a))
  14. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-620(c))
  15. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-613)
  16. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-620(a))
  17. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-602(a))
  18. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-620(b))
  19. "Connecticut General Assembly" Connecticut Campaign Finance Law(Referenced Statute 9-608(a)&(d))
  20. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-608(a)(2)&(e))
  21. 21.0 21.1 Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-621(c)))
  22. 22.0 22.1 Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-608,(e)(1)(C))
  23. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 9-751)