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Campaign finance requirements for Missouri ballot measures

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Campaign finance requirements for Missouri ballot measures are promulgated by the Missouri Ethics Commission. The Missouri Ethics Commission is responsible for enforcing all campaign finance laws in the State of Missouri.

If someone feels that a person or committee violated campaign finance laws, the first step is to the file a complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Once a complaint is received, an investigator for the commission fully reviews and investigates the complaint. Once the investigation is complete, the results are sent to the Ethics Commission during a probable cause hearing[1]. Four members of the Commission must approve a complaint before allowing further inquirty[2]

If the Commission feels there is probable cause of civil law violations, legal action is taken without going through a court of law[3]. If there is probable cause of criminal law violations, then the case is referred to the Missouri Attorney General. Once referred to the Attorney General, the Office of Prosecution Services is responsible for all prosecution of criminal law violations[4].

General requirements

Continuing Committee

Under Missouri law, a group in support or opposition of a ballot measure is considered to be a continuing committee. The law defines continuing committee as a group that can participate in any ballot issue at any date or time. The committee remains in existence beyond any one election or ballot issue. Also, a continuing committee is formed, controlled, and directed by a person as long it's not a candidate for public office[5].

Campaign Committee

Any group that's in support or opposition of a ballot measure directed towards the Missouri Plan is called a Campaign Committee[6].

Statement of Organization

To register, the initiative committee files a Statement of Committee Organization. The forms may be obtained from the Missouri Ethics Commission or from any local election authority[7]. The treasurer acting on behalf of a committee shall file a statement of organization with the appropriate officer within 20 days after the person or committee is actively involved. However, the 20 day deadline cannot be later than the deadline for the committee’s first disclosure report[8].

The $5,000 in 48 hours rule

Any group that receives a campaign contribution of $5,000 or more must report the contribution within 48 hours to the Missouri Secretary of State[9].

Campaign finance requirements


Ballotpedia's Missouri campaign finance guide

Contribution limits

There are no limits on contributions to referendum campaigns in Missouri. Missouri is one of six states in the nation that have no limits on campaign contributions to candidates[10].

Filing reports

A committee discloses its campaign finances on campaign disclosure reporting statements. These reporting statements consist of a cover sheet, and a series of schedules that itemize the committee’s receipts, expenditures and debts, a Summary Page, and a special purpose schedule that details fund raisers held by the committee.

The committee may file a Statement of Limited Activity in Lieu of Disclosure for any reporting period listed above in which the contributions or expenditures do not exceed $500 for the reporting period. Any contribution or expenditure not reported because this statement of limited activity is filed, shall be included in the next full disclosure report filed by the committee.

$100 cash limit

Missouri law prohibits groups in support or opposition of a ballot measure from accepting campaign contributions of more than $100 made with cash[11].

Depository requirement

All funds received must be deposited in the committee’s official depository[12].

Out of State contributions

A group in support or opposition of a ballot measure cannot accept money from unregistered out-of-state special interest groups. All out-of-state groups must file a Statement of Organization before donating to ballot measure committees[13].

Reporting requirements and reports

Missouri structures its campaign finance reporting on a quarterly, pre-election, post-election structure.

Quarterly Disclosure

Each campaign committee must file quarterly reports. The first quarter covers activity from October 1 of the preceding year to December 31st. The second quarter covers all activity from January 1 to March 31. The third quarter covers all activity from April 1 to June 30, while the fourth quarter covers all activity from July 1 to September 30th[14]. The first quarter report is due on January 15, the second quarter report is due on April 15, the third quarter report is due on July 15, and the fourth quarter report is due on October 15th[15].

Pre-Election report

The pre-election report covers all campaign finance activity from October 1 to twelve days before the election. This report is due eight days before the election[16].

Post-Election Report

The post-election report covers all activity from eleven days before the election to twenty-five days after the election. The report is due thirty days after the election[17].

Campaign advertising restrictions

Under Missouri law, all print advertisements must have a "Paid for by" disclaimer that includes the committee or person that sponsored the advertisement. This must be posted in a clear and conspicuous manner. This requirement applies for any newspaper advertisement, handbill, sample ballot, circular, and bumper sticker[18].

Missouri requires all groups in support or opposition of ballot measure to follow federal laws for disclosure of broadcast advertisements[19]. This means groups must end their ads with "We approve this message" which is consistent under the stand by your ad clause in the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act[20].

Terminating a committee

A group that intends to terminate must file a termination statement with the Missouri Ethics Commission within 10 days of terminating. The statement must include how remaining surplus funds will be disbursed or how a deficit will be paid off. Also, the statement must have the contact information of the person responsible for handling the accounts during the course of the campaign[21].

External links

See also

References

  1. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 105-961 (1) Missouri Statutes)
  2. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 130-054(4) Missouri Statutes)
  3. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 105-961 (3) Missouri Statutes)
  4. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 105-961 (2) Missouri Statutes)
  5. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 130.011(10) Missouri Revised Statutes)
  6. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 130.011(8) Missouri Revised Statutes)
  7. "Missouri General Assembly" Missouri Election Law(Referenced Statute 130.026 1,2 Missouri Revised Statutes)
  8. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 130.021 (5) Missouri Revised Statutes)
  9. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 130.044 1)
  10. National Conference of State Legislatures, "Contribution Limits: An Overview," January 20, 2010
  11. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Section 130.031 (1) Missouri Revised Statutes)
  12. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 130.021 4. (1) Missouri Revised Statutes)
  13. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Section 130.031 (7) Missouri Revised Statutes)
  14. Missouri Ethics Commission, "2010 Campaign Finance Calendar"
  15. Missouri Ethics Commission, "2010 Campaign Finance Calendar"(Referenced Statute 130.046 1-(3))
  16. Missouri General Assembly" "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 130.046 1-(1))
  17. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 130.046 1-(2))
  18. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Section 130.031 (8) Missouri Revised Statutes)
  19. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Section 130.031 (9) Missouri Revised Statutes)
  20. Government Printing Office, "Text of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Law"(Referenced Statute Section 311, (d)(1)-(a) and (b))
  21. Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Election Law"(Referenced Statute 130.021 (8) Missouri Revised Statutes)