Difference between revisions of "Campaign finance requirements for Maine ballot measures"

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(Campaign finance requirements)
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===Advertising===
 
===Advertising===
If a person, committee or organization spends more than $500 on advertising through broadcasting stations, cable television systems, newspapers, magazines, campaign signs or other outdoor advertising facilities, publicly accessible sites on the Internet, direct mails or other similar types of general public political advertising or through flyers, handbills, bumper stickers and other nonperiodical publications, for or against an initiative or referendum that is on the ballot, the advertisement must clearly and conspicuously state the name and address of the person who made or financed the communications.<ref>[[Maine Legislative Document 1299 (2013)]]</ref>
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If a person, committee or organization spends more than $500 on advertising through broadcasting stations, cable television systems, newspapers, magazines, campaign signs or other outdoor advertising facilities, publicly accessible sites on the Internet, direct mails or other similar types of general public political advertising or through flyers, handbills, bumper stickers and other nonperiodical publications, for or against an initiative or referendum that is on the ballot, the advertisement must clearly and conspicuously state the name and address of the person who made or financed the communications.<ref name=1299>[[Maine Legislative Document 1299 (2013)]]</ref>
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===Failure to report===
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Any committee that does not comply with reporting and recording requirements can be fined up to $2,500, based on the whether the offense was intentional, whether they were produced through an error by someone outside the committee, whether concealment of the violation was intended and the amount of experience possessed by the committee's volunteers and staff.<ref name=1299/>
  
 
==Reporting requirements and reports==
 
==Reporting requirements and reports==

Revision as of 22:24, 26 January 2014

Campaign finance requirements for Maine ballot measures are promulgated by the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. The Commission is responsible for enforcement of all of the state's campaign finance laws. The Commission has a database that discloses all campaign finance records by groups who support or oppose ballot measures.

If anyone feels a person or committee violated Maine campaign finance laws, the first step is to file a complaint with the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. The Commission fully investigates all complaints to determine probable cause. If probable cause of a law violation is found, the complaint is referred to the Attorney General for further prosecution[1].

General requirements

24 hour rule

Any ballot measure group that has a expenditure of over $1,000 or any single contribution of $5,000 or more must be reported to the Commission within 24 hours of making the expenditure. This is required in the final thirteen days before the election[2].

Ballot Question Committee

In Maine, groups who are aimed at the passage or defeat of a ballot measure are considered to be Ballot Question Committees. Ballot measure groups are treated differently from PAC's in Maine on campaign finance reporting[3] [4].

Statement of Organization

All Ballot Question Committees must register a Statement of Organization with the Commission if they plan to make over $5,000 in expenditures during the campaign. The statement done must be turned in no later than seven days of reaching the $5,000 threshold[5].

Persons are considered committees

Any person that donates $5,000 or more to a ballot measure group in a election is considered to be ballot measure committee. The contributor must register as a committee with the Secretary of State within seven days of reaching the $5,000 threshold[6]. The law went into effect in 2007.

Campaign finance requirements

Campaign contribution limits

There are no limits on campaign contributions to a ballot measure group. Any individual, corporation, labor union, political action committee (PAC's), state party, local party committee can donate unlimited sums of money to any group registered in support or opposition of a ballot measure[7]. However, the State of Maine requires any contributor who gives over $5,000 to register as a political committee.

Mandatory electronic reporting

In Maine, all ballot measure groups are required to file campaign finance reports electronically[8].

Mandatory reporting of paid staff

All activities of paid campaign staff have to be disclosed in campaign finance reports. Maine campaign finance laws require paid staff time to be reported as a normal expenditure[9]. This is required when filing Schedule B of a Maine campaign finance report. The staff member must be listed as the payee of the expenditure[10].

Advertising

If a person, committee or organization spends more than $500 on advertising through broadcasting stations, cable television systems, newspapers, magazines, campaign signs or other outdoor advertising facilities, publicly accessible sites on the Internet, direct mails or other similar types of general public political advertising or through flyers, handbills, bumper stickers and other nonperiodical publications, for or against an initiative or referendum that is on the ballot, the advertisement must clearly and conspicuously state the name and address of the person who made or financed the communications.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name cannot be a simple integer. Use a descriptive title

Failure to report

Any committee that does not comply with reporting and recording requirements can be fined up to $2,500, based on the whether the offense was intentional, whether they were produced through an error by someone outside the committee, whether concealment of the violation was intended and the amount of experience possessed by the committee's volunteers and staff.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name cannot be a simple integer. Use a descriptive title

Reporting requirements and reports

All campaign finance reporting in Maine is done on a quarterly basis in addition to pre and post election reports. Campaigns must file pre and post-election reports eleven days before and forty-two days after the election[11].

April Quarterly

The April quarterly report is the first campaign finance report for Ballot Question Committees. The report covers all fund-raising and campaign expenditure activity from January 6, 2009 to March 31, 2009. The deadline for the report is on April 10, 2009[11].

July Quarterly

The July quarterly report is the second campaign finance report for Ballot Question Committees. The report covers all fund-raising and campaign expenditure activity from April 1, 2009 to July 5, 2009. The deadline for the report is on April 10, 2009[11].

October Quarterly

The October quarterly report is the third campaign finance report for Ballot Question Committees. The report covers all fund-raising and campaign expenditure activity from July 6, 2009 to September 30, 2009. The deadline for the report is on October 13, 2009[11].

January Quarterly

The January quarterly report is the fourth and final campaign finance for Ballot Question Committees. The report covers all fund-raising and campaign expenditure activity from October 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009. The deadline for the report is on January 19, 2010[11].

11 day Pre-Election

The 11 day pre-election report covers all fund-raising and campaign expenditure activity from October 1, 2009 to October 20, 2009. The report is due on October 23, 2009[11].

42 day Post-Election

The 42 day pre-election report covers all fund-raising and campaign expenditure activity from October 21, 2009 to December 8, 2009. The report is due on December 15, 2009[11].

Campaign advertising restrictions

In Maine, any advertisement that comes from a Ballot Question Committee must have clear disclosure. The committee must clearly state that the advertisement was authorized by the group and state the name and address of the person who made or financed the advertisement. This goes for television, radio, internet, and most print advertising[12].

Terminating a committee

When a ballot question committee decides to no longer accept contributions or make any expenditures, a group must file a termination report with the Commission. The report covers all financial activity from the end date of the previous reporting period through the date of termination. The committee must dispose of any surplus funds and report any outstanding loans, debts or obligations[13]. In Maine, there are no restrictions on how surplus funds can be disbursed at the time of terminating a committee.

See also

External links

References

  1. Maine Legislature "Maine Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 21A-§1003, (4) Maine Revised Statutes)
  2. Maine Legislature "Maine Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 21A, §1059 (2E))
  3. Maine Legislature "Maine Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 21-A, §1056-B Maine Revised Statutes)
  4. Maine Legislature "Maine Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 21-A, 21A § 1052 (5A-4). Maine Revised Statutes)
  5. Maine Legislature "Maine Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 21-A, §1053 Maine Revised Statutes)
  6. Maine Legislature "Maine Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 21-A, §1056-B)
  7. "State of Maine" Maine Campaign Finance Law(See Contribution Limits)
  8. "Maine Legislature" Maine Campaign Finance Law(Referenced Statute 21A, §1059 (2E))
  9. Maine Legislature "Maine Campaign Finance Law"(See Paid Staff Time Designation)
  10. Maine Legislature "Maine Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 21A § 1060 (4)(7))
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Maine Legislature "2009 Campaign Finance reporting schedule"
  12. Maine Legislature "Maine Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 21A, §1014(1) Maine Revised Statutes)
  13. Maine Legislature "Maine Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 21A, §1061) Maine Revised Statutes)