CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND BOOKKEEPING MANUAL

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CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND BOOKKEEPING MANUAL April 2004 Wisconsin State Elections Board 17 West Main Street, Suite 310 P.O Box 2973 Madison, WI 53701-2973 Phone: Fax: E-mail: Website: 608-266-8005 608-267-0500 seb@seb.state.wi.us http://elections.state.wi.us INTRODUCTION Wisconsin campaign finance law requires candidates for public office to register their intent to run for office, to disclose their campaign receipts and disbursements, and to abide by certain contribution limits and prohibitions To help candidates and their treasurers comply with the law, the State Elections Board has prepared this campaign finance manual This manual contains instructions for completing the registration statement and campaign finance reports, summarizes the major provisions of the law, and describes a bookkeeping system for campaign committees The bookkeeping system presents a simple method to record and save the financial information necessary for completing the campaign finance reports It is not required Any system that a treasurer uses to keep good records of receipts and disbursements can form the basis for completing campaign finance reports Wisconsin was one of the first states to establish a comprehensive campaign finance reporting law The passage of this law in 1974 put Wisconsin at the forefront of open government The law recognizes that our democratic system of government can be maintained only if voters are informed Registration and financial reports are required of all candidates for state, county, city, town, village and school district offices and are available for public inspection Candidates for local offices can direct questions about campaign finance law or reporting requirements to their local filing officers Candidates for state offices can direct questions to the Campaign Audit staff of the State Elections Board at 608-266-8005 DISCLAIMER: This manual is meant as a guide for keeping records and reporting campaign finance activity It does not cover every aspect of campaign finance law Please refer to Chapter 11 of the Wisconsin State Statutes for campaign finance law specifics You can view and print this chapter from the State Elections Board website at http://elections.state.wi.us i CONTENTS Page I REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS Who is Required to Register Completing a Registration Statement Amending a Registration Statement Penalty for Not Filing a Registration Statement II EXEMPTION FROM FILING CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS Eligibility Financial Records During Exemption Revoking Exemption III CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS Types of Reports Information Required Short Form Special Report of Late Contributions Computer Generated Campaign Finance Reports IV MAJOR PROVISIONS OF WISCONSIN CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW Contribution Limits Definition of Campaign Period for the Purpose of Calculating Contribution Limits Individual Contribution Limits Committee Contribution Limits Cumulative Committee Contribution Limits Exclusions from Contribution Limits In-Kind Contributions Prohibited Contributions Returned Contributions Contributions Transferred through Conduits Loan Guarantees Joint Fundraisers V ATTRIBUTION STATEMENTS ON POLITICAL LITERATURE (DISCLAIMERS) Disclaimers Formats for Disclaimers ii 12 VI TERMINATION OF REGISTRATION AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS 13 Disposal of Residual Funds VII RECOMMENDED BOOKKEEPING SYSTEM 14 SAMPLES OF COMPLETED FORMS Campaign Registration Statement (EB-1) Special Report of Late Contribution (EB-3) Campaign Finance Report (EB-2) 24 26 28 QUICK REFERENCE TOPICS & ADDENDUMS Non-Candidate Committees Filing Fees Independent Expenditures Reconciling Records Duplicate Reports Filing Fee Worksheet Permissible & Impermissible Expenditures – Party Committees 51 Quick Reference Topics In-Kind Contributions Prohibited Contributions Contributor Information Date of Contributions Reconciling Report Issues Record Retention Filing Computer Generated Reports Cash Balance Reconciliation Worksheet Permissible & Impermissible Expenditures – Candidate Committees Contribution Limits Local Office Contribution Limits State Office Election and Campaign Finance Report Dates 56 iii 63 65 66 I REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS Who is Required to Register Under Wisconsin campaign finance law, a candidate for election to public office must register with the appropriate filing officer A candidate for state office: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Justice of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals Judge, Circuit Court Judge, State Senator, Representative to the Assembly, District Attorney; must register with the State Elections Board in Madison as soon as the individual decides to become a candidate Candidates for any local elective office in a county, city, town, village, or school district, must register with the clerk of the county, city, town, village, or school district as soon as the individual decides to become a candidate A candidate must file a campaign registration statement (EB-1) at the point he/she forms the intent to become a candidate and before circulating nomination papers, receiving contributions or spending money on the campaign Registration statements can be obtained from any filing officer or from the State Elections Board website (http://elections.state.wi.us) The minimum amount of money needed to open an account can be deposited at a financial institution and a post office box can be rented before registration These receipts and expenses must be reported on the first campaign finance report After filing the registration statement, a candidate may begin receiving and disbursing campaign funds The campaign’s financial activities must be reported to the filing officer on campaign finance reports (EB-2), unless the committee has claimed an exemption from filing finance reports These reports will disclose information on the receipts, expenditures, incurred obligations and loans of the campaign Completing a Registration Statement Seven items of information are required on a campaign registration statement (EB-1) When any of this information changes, an amendment to the registration statement must be filed with the filing officer within ten days of the change The box at the top of the registration statement is checked to indicate an amendment to a previously filed campaign registration statement (An example of a completed registration statement is shown on pages 24-25) Item Candidate and Candidate Committee Information This section must be completed by all candidates and candidate committees It contains the information identifying the candidate and committee, party affiliation (if any), office sought (including branch and district number), date of the primary and date of the election Political action committees, political party committees, recall committees and political groups (referendum) not complete this section There are two types of candidate campaign committees: personal campaign committee and support committee A personal campaign committee is organized by the candidate to promote the candidate’s declared candidacy for a specific office A support committee is one organized on behalf of the possible candidacy of a person, with that person’s consent A candidate with a personal campaign committee cannot authorize a support committee A person who authorizes a support committee must adopt the support committee as his or her personal campaign committee when the person becomes a candidate Note: You must register as a personal campaign committee to appear on the ballot Item Political Committee Information (Non Candidates Only) This section must be completed by political committees other than candidate committees The political committee must provide the name, address and telephone number of the committee, along with the name of the sponsoring organization, if any, and any acronym used by the committee The type of committee is indicated by checking the applicable boxes (A – G) Candidate committees not fill in this section Item Campaign Treasurer The treasurer for the candidate or political committee must be listed in Item The candidate can serve as the campaign treasurer It is important that the treasurer’s name, complete address and telephone numbers be provided on the registration statement and be kept current All notices and forms for campaign finance reports will be sent to this person at the address given in this section Failure to keep this information current may result in the committee being penalized for failure to file necessary reports Item Principal Officers of the Committee and Other Custodians of Books and Accounts If the committee has officers besides the treasurer, they should be listed in Item A nonpartisan candidate for county or municipal office, or an independent candidate, may authorize certain committee members or officers to fill a vacancy in nomination due to the candidate’s death These individuals should be indicated in Item with an asterisk (*) Item Depository Information All registrants must have a single campaign depository account in which all contributions are deposited and from which all disbursements are made Candidates claiming exemption from filing finance reports may use a personal checking account, i.e., they may commingle campaign money with personal funds A separate account must be opened if the candidate (committee) exceeds the exemption limits All account information must be provided on the EB-1 whether the account is a personal or separate campaign account If the registrant maintains additional accounts for investment purposes, including savings account, certificates of deposit, money market, or a safe deposit box, they should be listed on a separate sheet of paper and attached to the registration statement Candidates running for more than one elected office are only allowed one primary campaign depository account All contributions and all disbursements for all offices must be run through the one account To open the campaign account, it may be necessary to complete a request for Employer Identification Number (EIN) using form SS4 This form should be available from your financial institution or from an IRS office or website Item Certification The candidate and committee treasurer must sign the original registration statement of a personal campaign committee or a support committee certifying that the information is true, correct, and complete, and that the committee is the only committee authorized to act on the candidate’s behalf Amendments to the registration may be signed by either the candidate or treasurer If there is a change in treasurer, the new treasurer should sign Item Exemption From Filing Campaign Finance Reports Registrants who are eligible for an exemption from filing campaign finance reports should complete this section The exemption requirements are explained in Section II of this manual Amending a Registration Statement When any of the information reported on the registration statement changes the statement must be amended by filing a new EB-1 The candidate or treasurer must file the new EB-1 within 10 days of the change, checking the “yes” box at the top of the form to indicate that it is an amendment Penalty For Not Filing a Registration Statement Failure to file the original registration statement by the deadline for filing nomination papers prevents a candidate’s name from appearing on the ballot If a required statement or amendment is not filed on time, the registrant may be subject to a fine II EXEMPTION FROM FILING CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS Eligibility Committees may be eligible for an exemption from filing campaign finance reports if campaign finance activity is low enough to meet all of the following criteria: The committee anticipates that it will not accept contributions, make disbursements, or incur loans and other obligations in an aggregate amount exceeding $1,000 in a calendar year; AND The committee anticipates that it will not accept any contribution or cumulative contributions from a single source (other than the candidate) exceeding $100 in a calendar year; AND The candidate or treasurer must sign and date the request for exemption on the campaign registration statement Committees on exemption may receive up to $1,000 in a calendar year, and may spend up to $1,000 in the same calendar year The candidate’s contributions count toward the total receipts of $1,000 or less in a calendar year The $100 limit on contributions from a single source does not apply to contributions from a candidate’s personal funds for his or her own campaign Financial Records During Exemption When a committee is exempt, it is not required to file any campaign finance reports (EB-2) However, the candidate or treasurer is required to keep financial records adequate to meet the requirements of campaign finance law Records must be kept of all contributions to the committee and of all expenditures A candidate who is exempt from filing campaign finance reports may use a personal account as the campaign depository Account information must be provided on the EB-1 A separate campaign depository account is not required for candidates claiming exemption Revoking Exemption If a decision is made at a later date to exceed the $1,000 limit on contributions or disbursements, or to raise more than $100 from a single source during a calendar year, the committee must amend its campaign registration statement immediately, by checking the box: “This registrant is no longer eligible to claim exemption.” The committee is then required to file campaign finance reports beginning with the next regular report The first report must cover all financial activity from January of the current year, through the cutoff date of the required report The committee may also need to list all committee contributions received in the current campaign period to monitor aggregate committee limits III CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS (EB-2) Campaign finance reports must be filed by all registrants that are not exempt from filing reports Committees must continue to file periodic reports until termination of their registration These reports must be filed with the appropriate filing officer when due The campaign finance report (EB-2) is a multi-page form provided to candidates for state office by the State Elections Board and to candidates for local office by the local filing officer (An example of a completed campaign finance report is shown on pages 28-50) Types of Reports Candidates must file a pre-primary and a pre-election report due days before the primary or election Candidates for local office whose names not appear on the primary ballot are not required to file a pre-primary report However, candidates for state nonpartisan office whose names not appear on a primary ballot are required to file a pre-primary report Candidates that lose in the primary or election, must continue to file reports until they are eligible for, and request, termination of their committee Candidates must also file continuing reports in January and July of each year until they terminate their registration The filing officer will send report forms and a notice of the filing requirements to the treasurer before each filing deadline The notice of filing requirement identifies the type of report to be filed and the period of time covered by the report (A table of reporting periods and filing deadlines is found on page 66) Failure to receive a notice does not excuse the committee from filing the report on time PACs (political action committees) and political party committees are sent filing notices for continuing reports and for fall pre-primary and pre-election reports Regular filing notices are not sent to these committees for spring elections or special elections Instead, a notice of the report deadlines is sent If the committee is planning to make a contribution to a candidate in the spring or special election, the treasurer is asked to request report forms Committees registered with the State Elections Board that accept contributions over $20,000 in a campaign period (candidates) or a biennium (non-candidates) are required to file their finance reports electronically in addition to the paper copy A biennium is a 2-year period running from January of an odd-numbered year through December 31 of the next even-numbered year Information Required The information listed on the campaign finance report discloses the financial activity of the registrant The law requires disclosure of income, disbursements, and incurred obligations In addition, disclosure is required for loan guarantees and for estimated in-kind contributions This information is required to be placed on separate schedules of the campaign finance report form Committee treasurers must exercise diligence in acquiring and furnishing the contributor information required on the receipts schedules Under current state law, treasurers and candidates are required to make a “good faith effort” to obtain all information required on the reports For all contributors giving over $20, you must disclose the individuals name and address If the individual’s year-to-date total exceeds $100, you must also provide the occupation, name and address of the principal place of employment At the time this manual was being revised, the Elections Board was in the process of drafting a rule which would require the return or donation of contributions with incomplete contributor information Under the proposed rule, committees would be required to furnish the information within a specified number of days from the due date of the report, or be required to return the contribution or donate it to a charity Elections Board staff will keep state registrants informed of changes in the requirements for reporting contributor information as they occur Each of the report schedules has detailed instructions for completing it on the back These instructions should be reviewed each time a campaign finance report is prepared A committee is only required to file schedules that show activity You not need to include blank schedules when filing reports All contributions received by the committee must be reported in Schedule (Receipts) of the campaign finance report Contributions and loans from individuals are listed in Schedule 1A (Contributions Including Loans From Individuals) Contributions from other committees, such as political action committees, political party committees, and other candidate committees, are reported in Schedule 1B (Contributions from Committees) All other income such as loans from financial institutions, contributions returned from other registrants, refunds, returns of deposits or interest on investments are reported in Schedule 1C (Other Income and Commercial Loans) The date which must be provided for all contributions is the date the committee received the contribution, that is, the date it acquired possession and control of the contribution, not the date of deposit or date on the check (unless all dates are the same) All money spent by the committee is reported in Schedule (Disbursements) of the campaign finance report General operating expenditures are listed in Schedule 2A (Gross Expenditures) Contributions to other political committees are listed in Schedule 2B (Contributions to Committees) Additional information required to be disclosed is reported in Schedule (Additional Disclosure) of the campaign finance report All obligations of the committee such as unpaid bills are listed in Schedule 3A (Incurred Obligations Excluding Loans) Loans and the individuals who guarantee loans for the committee are listed in Schedule 3B (Loans) Estimated values of in-kind contributions are reported by the recipient in Schedule 3C (Estimated Value of In-Kind Contribution Received from Individuals and Committees) and by contributors in Schedule 3D (Estimated Value of In-Kind Contributions Given to Candidates or Committees) Contributions that your committee is returning to contributors are listed in Schedule 3E (Contributions Returned to Contributor) Contributions donated to charity or the Common School Fund are reported in Schedule 3F (Contributions Donated to Charity or Common School Fund) A registration statement (EB-1) is included in every EB-2 finance report forms booklet to be used only if there is a change in committee information If there are no changes in committee information, please keep the EB-1 form for future updates if needed Schedule (Termination Request) of the campaign finance report is used for requests to terminate registration A final campaign finance report must be filed with a termination request Short Form If a registrant receives no contributions, makes no disbursements and incurs no obligations during a reporting period, the registrant may file a post card report form, EB-2a This post card form should be used only when there has been no financial activity and the cash balance remains unchanged during the reporting period If there is any financial activity, a registrant is required to use the regular campaign finance report form, EB-2 Special Report of Late Contribution Candidates for state offices must report contributions of $500 or more received in the 14-day period before the primary or election within 24 hours of receipt A special report of late contribution (EB-3) must be filed (1) for any contribution of $500 or more, or (2) for contributions from a single source totaling $500 or more received after the closing date of the pre-primary or pre-election report and before the primary or election is held Contributions of $500 or more from the candidate to his or her own campaign are included in this reporting requirement The report must be filed within 24 hours of receiving the contributions Also, the contribution must be reported on the next full campaign finance report (An example of completed special report of late contributions is on page 26) Reconciling Records: This is the best way to make sure your reports accurately reflect the committee’s activity First you must complete a normal reconciliation or the committee’s check book to the bank account Once you have identified outstanding checks and arrived at a reconciled bank balance, you need to reconcile your finance reports (EB-2) to the reconciled bank balance Completing a periodic (6 month) reconciliation of the committee finance reports to the bank account is the best way to ensure that the reports are accurately reporting all activities If you identify a check which has been reported as an expense and remains outstanding for a long period of time (6 – 12 months), such that the committee’s bank will no longer honor the checks, you must report the lost or outstanding checks on Schedule 1-C of the finance report (EB-2) and reissue a check to that vendor or individual If an individual or vendor fails, or declines to cash a committee check for payment of services or product, this will result in that amount becoming an in-kind contribution to the committee Many times these individuals have already made contributions and this in-kind contribution may result in putting them over the contribution limit If the check was originally written to a vendor (corporation), the failure to cash the check will result in an illegal corporate donation Individuals or vendors trying to help your campaign by not cashing checks may actually be causing illegal contributions, and making it more difficult for treasurers to reconcile the committee reports to the bank account (See attached sample reconciliation worksheet) Duplicate Reports: Who Must File: All Political Action Committees (PACs), Party Committees, and Conduits registered with the State Elections Board that are active on both the state and local level Committees active only at the local level only file with the local clerk Committees active only at the state level only file with the State Elections Board Committees active at both state and local levels, register with the state, and must file duplicate reports for any report period with both state and local activity When to File: Any time a PAC, Party or Conduit registered with the State Elections Board has local activity (candidate or referendum) The report period covering the time of the local activity must be filed with both the State Elections Board and the county clerk of the county the municipality resides Where to File: Duplicate originals must be filed with the State Elections Board and the county clerk of the county in which the municipality is located Committees registered with the State Elections Board must file an original of every report with the Elections Board offices whether the report is required because of state or local activity Note: You are not required to file a copy with each municipal or school district clerk In Milwaukee, you would file with the Milwaukee County or City Election Commission 52 Filing Fee Reminder for PACs, Parties, and Groups Each individual, committee, group, or corporation that is registered with the State Elections Board, whose spending exceeds a total of $2,500 in any year, shall pay an annual filing fee of $100 This provision does not apply to candidates or personal campaign committees It does apply to PACs, conduits, corporations and political party committees The $100 filing fee is due when the individual, committee, group, or corporation files its January continuing report s.11.055, Stats A registrant can determine if it needs to pay the $100 fee by reviewing the summary page (first page) of its Campaign Finance Reports (EB-2) for the year If the sum of all Total Disbursements (Totals from Schedules 2A and 2B) exceed $2,500, the registrant is required to pay the $100 filing fee The fee is made payable to the State Elections Board at the time of filing the January continuing report The report and fee are due in the office of the State Elections Board no later than the due date for the January continuing report Sample Worksheet Spring Pre-Primary -Total Disbursements This Report Period Spring Pre-Election - Total Disbursements This Report Period July Continuing Report - Total Disbursements This Report Period Pre-Primary Report Total Disbursements This Report Period Pre-Election Report Total Disbursements This Report Period January Continuing Report - Total Disbursements This Report Period $ 250 1,000 250 250 1,000 500 Total Disbursements for $ 3,250 (This registrant is required to pay the $100 filing fee.) A corporation may pay the $100 filing fee for the PAC and/or conduit that it sponsors The payment of the filing fee is reported as an administrative expense on the corporations July continuing report Likewise, a registrant may pay the filing fee for another registrant (in-kind contribution) In this case, indicate on the check the WSEB ID number of the committee for which the fee is being paid If a registrant terminates during a year, and spends more than $2,500 in that year, the registrant must pay the $100 filing fee with its termination request Any registrant who fails to pay the fee within the time prescribed shall forfeit $500 plus $300 which is three times the filing fee s.11.60(3m), Stats Questions about the filing fee may be directed to the Elections Board’s campaign finance auditors at 608-266-8005 Please see other side for blank worksheet 53 Committee Worksheet for determining filing fee requirement From the Campaign Finance Report (EB-2), the contribution amounts are found on the line that is shaded in this example Sample from EB-2 Summary Page Column A This Period Column B Year-to-Date DISBURSEMENTS A Gross Expenditures $ 500 $ 2200 B Contributions to Committees (Transfers-Out) $ 400 $ 400 $ 900 $ 2600 TOTAL DISBURSEMENTS (Add totals from 2A and 2B) Worksheet Total Disbursements By Report Period Amount Spring Pre-Primary Report Spring Pre-Election Report Special Election Reports if needed Special Election Reports if needed July Continuing Report Fall Pre-Primary Report Fall Pre-Election Report Special Election Reports (if needed) Special Election Reports (if needed) January Continuing Report Total Disbursements for Calendar Year If Total Disbursements for the year exceed $2,500, the committee is required to pay the $100 filing fee when filing its January Continuing Report Checks for the filing fee should be payable to the WI State Elections Board and include the WSEB ID number in the memo section Any registrant who fails to pay the fee within the time prescribed shall forfeit $500 plus $300 which is three times the filing fee s.11.60(3m), Stats 54 EXPENDITURES BY POLITICAL PARTY COMMITTEES Wisconsin law restricts the use of political funds Money in a committee’s campaign account may be spent for political purposes only The State Elections Board has not expanded on the definition of political purpose with specific examples in the form of an administrative rule These general guidelines have been developed by the Elections Board staff and reviewed by the Board The committee is responsible for ensuring that campaign finances are spent for political purposes PERMISSIBLE EXPENDITURES FUNERAL MEMORIALS AND FLOWERS FOR PARTY MEMBERS ARE PERMISSIBLE These memorials acknowledge services or support given to the party by the member or supporter They recognize the role of the political party as a membership organization and its need to express appreciation for support given by the deceased ADVERTISEMENTS IN PUBLICATIONS ARE PERMISSIBLE Purchases of ads in publications of charitable and civic organizations, yearbooks, school papers, etc., are allowable expenditures They serve as membership recruitment techniques and, therefore, meet the general test for political purpose IMPERMISSIBLE EXPENDITURES DONATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO CHARITIES ARE NOT ALLOWED Donations or contributions to charities not meet the definition of political purpose No matter how worthy the cause, the party may not use money raised for political purposes for donations to charities or other non-profit institutions If the party receives some type of public recognition for its gift, then a case can be made that this recognition constitutes membership recruitment and, consequently, meets the political purpose test However, the assumption is that these gifts not meet the test Unless information is provided which describes the political purpose, they are not allowed Union strike funds are considered the same as charities for this purpose CONTRIBUTIONS TO SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS ARE NOT ALLOWED An outright gift or donation for a scholarship fund does not meet the definition of political purpose However, if the scholarship is used as compensation for services given to the party, then it can be treated the same as a salary paid to a party worker It is up to the party to specifically state that the scholarship is compensation for services If this is not specifically stated, then the contribution is not allowed REIMBURSEMENT FOR POLITICAL DONATIONS ARE NOT ALLOWED Individuals may not be reimbursed for donations made to other political committees If a party member or officer attends a candidate fundraiser, they can not be reimbursed for any payments to the candidate committee Reimbursement would result in making a contribution in the name of someone other than the original contributor (laundering) 3-04 55 QUICK REFERENCE TOPICS IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS: DEFINITION: Any goods, services, or property offered to the committee at no cost or at less than the market value Note: You must obtain the committee’s consent before you make an in-kind contribution EXAMPLE: An individual purchases stamps used for a committee mailing and is not reimbursed; the value of the stamps is an in-kind contribution OR A committee or individual provides food, beverages, or hall rental for a fundraiser at less than the ordinary market price In this case, the difference between the ordinary market price and the cost to the campaign is an in-kind contribution Note: When an in-kind contribution is used to pay for political communications, the communications must bear the disclaimer of the committee receiving the contribution REPORTING: The value of in-kind contributions must be reported both as a receipt and disbursement This will provide full disclosure of the contribution, while not increasing the cash balance SEE PAGES 9-10 & 18-19 OF THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND BOOKKEEPING MANUAL FOR MORE INFORMATION PROHIBITED CONTRIBUTIONS: Certain contributions are prohibited by Wisconsin law A committee may not accept the following types of contributions: Anonymous contributions of more than $10; Contributions in cash of more than $50; Contributions given in the name of someone other than the contributor (these are laundered contributions); Contributions from cooperatives or corporations; Contributions in excess of the limits set by law A registrant should not accept contributions over $25 from organizations that have not registered If the committee is notified that a contribution was received from an unregistered organization, the committee must return the contribution, and not accept any additional contributions from that organization unless the organization registers with the appropriate filing officer To determine if a committee is registered, check with your filing officer Registered lobbyists are prohibited from making campaign contributions to state candidates except between June and the day of the general election in the year of the candidate’s election Contributions cannot be given during this period if the legislature is in session For more information on this restriction, contact the Ethics Board at (608) 266-8123 CONTRIBUTOR INFORMATION: At the time this manual was being revised, the Elections Board was in the process of drafting a rule that would require the return or donation of contributions with incomplete contributor information Under the proposed rule, committees would be required to furnish the information within a specified number of days from the due date of the report, or be required to return the contribution or donate it to a charity Elections Board staff will keep state registrants informed of changes in the requirements for reporting contributor information as they occur 56 This table helps summarize the contributor information you are required to get from the individual, and what is required to be disclosed on the reports Year-to-Date Amount $10 or less Contributor Information Internal Committee Records Anonymous Contributor Information Required on Finance Reports Unitemized Receipts $10.01 - $20 • • Name Address (street, city, zip) $20.01 - $100 • • Name Address (street, city, zip) • • Name Address (street, city, zip) • • • • • Name Address (street, city, zip) Occupation Name of Employer Employer Address • • • • • Name Address (street, city, zip) Occupation Name of Employer Employer Address $100.01 and over Unitemized Receipts This information is required by: Sections 11.06(1)(a), and 11.06(1)(b) Wis Stats.; and ElBd 1.46 Wis Administrative Code SEE PAGES 5-6 & 14-16 OF THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND BOOKKEEPING MANUAL FOR MORE INFORMATION DATE OF CONTRIBUTIONS: DEFINITION: The date is the day that the committee acquires possession and control of the monetary contribution or received the benefit of an in-kind contribution Note: This is not the date on the check or the date of deposit, unless all occur on the same date EXAMPLE: A check dated June 1, is mailed to the committee The treasurer picks up the mail on June 10, and deposits the check on June 13 The date of the contribution is June 10, the date the treasurer has possession and control of the check The date of the contribution is very important to determine if a committee needs to file a Report of Late Contribution (EB-3) within 24 hrs of receipt for late contributions SEE PAGES 5-6 & 14-16 OF THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND BOOKKEEPING MANUAL FOR MORE INFORMATION RECONCILING REPORT ISSUES: Lost / Returned Checks: When reconciling your committee bank account, you may find outstanding checks • If the disbursement is a contribution to another committee and the check has been lost or returned, you need to report the check on Schedule 1-C You have already reported the disbursement, the check has not cleared the bank Note: By reporting a receipt on Schedule 1C, you offset the original disbursement and bring the report balance back into agreement with the bank balance • If the disbursement is a payment for services or supplies and the check has not been cashed, you need to contact the individual or vendor to cash the check or stop payment and re-issue another check Failure to cash a check that is payment for services or product provided to the campaign would result in an in-kind contribution If the vendor is a corporation, the result is an illegal corporate donation You would report the 57 original check (lost or stopped payment) on Schedule 1-C, and the replacement check along with any bank fees on Schedule 2-A Receipts or Disbursements not agree with bank totals: Total receipts and total disbursements on the finance reports should include the value of any in-kind contributions, as a result, your reported receipts and disbursements should be greater than the bank totals by the amount of your in-kind contributions The ending cash balance on each report should match your reconciled bank balance for the end of the reporting period It is important to reconcile these two figures each time you file a report This will enable you to identify errors within the most recent report period and avoid carrying them over to future reports RECORD RETENTION: Three years after the election: The treasurer must maintain records of all contributions, disbursements and incurred obligations exceeding $10 for not less than years after the date of an election in which the registrant participates These records shall be maintained in an organized and legible manner Section 11.12(3) Wis Stats FILING COMPUTER GENERATED REPORTS: Printed reports Vendor Software: There are a number of vendors that sell computer software used for campaign management and filing of finance reports The Elections Board does not endorse any vendor Committees may use this software to prepare and file their reports, however, you must submit a sample report to ensure the report meets the disclosure requirements Excel Spreadsheet: Committees may use an Excel spreadsheet to enter their financial activity and print the reports A file for this purpose may be downloaded from the Elections Board website http://elections.state.wi.us This file is simply for reporting purposes, it does not track year-to-date totals, or track contribution limits Electronic Filing (State Committees Only) Who is Required to File: Candidates filing with the State Elections Board and accepting contributions of $20,000 or more during a campaign period Non-candidate committees filing with the State Elections Board and accepting contributions of $20,000 or more during a biennium Any committee filing with the State Elections Board and voluntarily files a report electronically Once a committee files electronically, whether required or voluntarily, they must file all future reports with the State Elections Board electronically What is Required to be Filed: How to File: Committees filing electronically must submit both a hard copy and electronic copy of the report by the filing deadline The information on both reports must be identical Acceptable file formats for electronic filing include xls, txt, csv, and rtf You may not submit pdf files You must send an email to wired@seb.state.wi.us with the file(s) attached, no later than the due date for the reports A hard copy must be sent to the State Elections Board, PO Box 2973, Madison, WI 53701-2973 You may not submit by fax 58 CASH BALANCE RECONCILIATION WORKSHEET The ending cash balance on your January continuing campaign finance report should be the same as the reconciled bank balance on December 31 It is important to reconcile these two figures each time you file a report This ensures that you are able to identify errors in the report period in which they occur, and that they not carry over to a new reporting period This worksheet will help you complete reconciliation It is NOT necessary to file this reconciliation with your finance report RECORD the December 31, bank balance in the committee’s checking account ADD any receipts appearing in Schedules 1-A, 1-B, or 1-C, but not included in the December 31, bank balance + _ SUBTOTAL SUBTRACT any disbursements appearing in Schedules 2-A or 2-B that have not cleared on your bank statement as of December 31 - _ TOTAL ADD the balance of any savings accounts, certificates of deposit, or other investment accounts of the committee + _ RECONCILED TOTAL ENDING CASH BALANCE on your January continuing campaign finance report The total on line should match line (the ending cash balance on your committee’s January continuing report) If you have any questions or have difficulty in reconciling your reported ending cash balance to your bank balance, please contact one of our auditors: Richard Bohringer Dennis Morvak Olivia Manke (608) 267-7735 (608) 267-9252 (608) 267-7804 Prepared by Wisconsin State Elections Board Staff (3/15/04) 59 richard.bohringer@seb.state.wi.us dennis.morvak@seb.state.wi.us olivia.manke@seb.state.wi.us EXPENDITURES BY CANDIDATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEES Wisconsin law restricts the use of campaign funds Money in a candidate’s campaign account may be spent for political purposes only The State Elections Board has not expanded on the definition of political purpose with specific examples in the form of an administrative rule These general guidelines have been developed by the Elections Board staff and reviewed by the Board The candidate is responsible for ensuring that campaign finances are spent for political purposes and not for personal or governmental purposes PERMISSIBLE EXPENDITURES BANQUET TICKETS Candidate committees may purchase banquet tickets from charities and other civic organizations Presence at the banquet increases the public visibility of a candidate and, therefore, meets the political purpose test Purchase of a banquet ticket for a spouse and/or campaign staff also is permissible However, the purchase of banquet tickets for capitol office staff and constituents is not allowed ADVERTISEMENTS IN PUBLICATIONS Purchases of ads in publications of charitable and civic organizations, yearbooks, school papers, etc., are allowable expenditures They serve to increase public visibility for the candidate and, therefore, meet the general test for political purpose PAYMENT OF AUTO EXPENSES One of the following three options may be selected for the payment of auto expenses: The campaign committee may reimburse the candidate and campaign workers for auto expenses up to the amount allowed by the IRS for mileage in that year (34.5 cents per mile in 2001), plus tolls and parking Any extraordinary maintenance or repairs is determined on a case-by-case basis The campaign committee may reimburse the candidate and campaign workers for gas, oil and normal maintenance for cars used on campaign business Any questions about what constitutes normal maintenance are decided on a case-by-case basis The campaign committee may purchase, lease or rent a car for the exclusive use of the campaign and pay all costs EXPENSES FOR OUT-OF-STATE CONFERENCES ON POLITICAL ISSUES Campaign committees may use their funds to send the candidate to out-of-state conferences on general political issues Expenses for campaign staff and spouses would not be allowable PURCHASE OF ITEMS TO BE USED AS AWARDS OR PREMIUMS Items given as awards or in recognition of accomplishments, where current officeholders at a public event present them, may be purchased with campaign committee funds Other such permissible items include the purchase of American flags flown over the State Capitol, when given to schools PURCHASE OF SMALL ITEMS TO BE HANDED OUT TO CONSTITUENTS The purchase of small items, such as pens, balloons, seeds and refreshments at campaign headquarters, are allowed The general rule is that these items should not have a utility, independent of any campaign message, valued at more than $1 LEASE OF A PERSONAL COMPUTER OR OTHER CAPITAL ASSET BY A CAMPAIGN 60 A capital asset, such as a computer, purchased and owned by an individual for personal use, may be leased to the campaign Any rent or reimbursement paid by the campaign shall be at market rate and the terms of the lease shall be in writing See ElBd 1.75, Wis Adm Code for further guidance IMPERMISSIBLE EXPENDITURES DONATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO CHARITIES Donations or contributions to charities not meet the definition of political purpose No matter how worthy the cause, a candidate may not use money raised for political purposes for donations to charities or other non-profit organizations If the candidate receives some type of public recognition for the donation, then a case can be made that this recognition meets the political purpose test Union strike funds are considered the same as charities for this purpose A committee may donate residual funds to a charitable organization upon termination of the committee Also, a committee may dispose of anonymous contributions exceeding $10, excess contributions over the limits, and corporate contributions, by donating the amounts to a charitable organization or the common school fund GIFTS TO CONSTITUENTS FOR PRIVATE EVENTS OR CELEBRATIONS Campaign funds may not be used for such things as wedding or graduation gifts, nor for funeral memorials or flowers for constituents In the case of funeral memorials, if the constituent was a member of the campaign committee or an active volunteer, then a case can be made that this is an allowable expenditure However, short of clear identification of campaign committee membership, funeral memorials are not allowed MEMBERSHIP DUES TO PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS Dues to organizations, such as bar or professional associations or societies, where membership is restricted on the basis of professional credentials, are not allowed Examples of dues allowed may include payments to civic organizations with a general membership, ethnic organizations, and community-based religious organizations EXPENSES FOR CAPITOL OFFICE STAFF Campaign funds may not be used for expenses for capitol office staff, such as lunch for Secretary's Day Gifts of this nature, or other expenses related specifically to capitol office staff, not fall under the definition of political purpose However, if the staff is taken to lunch in recognition for services rendered as volunteers, outside of regular office hours in order to help out in the campaign, then this is an acceptable use of campaign funds DIVIDING THE EXPENSES OF LEGISLATIVE NEWSLETTERS BETWEEN A LEGISLATOR'S OFFICE ACCOUNT AND CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE A legislator may not use any part of his/her state allowance for political purposes Similarly, campaign funds may not be used for legislative purposes Therefore, when the initial cost of preparing and distributing a newsletter is paid in any part by the use of state money, it is considered non-political As a result, campaign committee funds may not be used to pay any part of these initial costs Campaign committee funds may be used for printing copies of office newsletters provided that a campaign committee attribution statement (disclaimer) is printed on the copies 61 CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE FUNDS MAY NOT BE USED TO SUPPLEMENT CAPITOL OFFICE ACCOUNTS If a legislator overspends his/her Capitol office account, campaign committee funds may not be used to reimburse the excess amount Capitol office accounts are for the conduct of state business and, therefore, not meet the political purpose test Campaign finance regulations require a distinction between official duties of officeholders and campaign activity Mixing the two accounts is not permissible under those statutes PURCHASE OF CLOTHING FOR THE CAMPAIGN The purchase of clothing for the campaign generally is not allowed However, the replacement of damaged or lost items directly attributable to campaign activity is permissible Dry cleaning bills are not allowed except under special circumstances (soiled clothing during a campaign event) THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF MEAL EXPENSES MUST BE GIVEN While meal expenses paid to a restaurant may be related to political purpose, the simple description of "lunch" does not provide sufficient information to justify political purpose Meal expenses described as being for a campaign meeting, a discussion with a consultant, for a strategy session, for discussions with committee members, or paid to an organization, are allowable USE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS FOR LEGAL FEES Legal fees that are used to file civil suits for libel are not allowed However, legal fees in order to stop false campaign information are allowed 3/04 62 CONTRIBUTION LIMITS FOR LOCAL OFFICES All candidates running for elected office must abide by contribution limits that vary depending on the office sought and the population of the district The only contributor not subject to limits is the candidate contributing to his or her own election To determine the limits for a candidate for local office, see the guidelines below and check with the local clerk to get the current and exact amounts Contribution limitations apply cumulatively to the entire primary and election campaign in which the candidate participates, whether or not there is a contested primary election Limit on Contributions from an Individual - 11.26(1)(d), Stats The greater of $250 or $.01 times the number of inhabitants of the county, town, city, village or district according to the latest federal census, but not more than $3,000 (Check with the filing officer.) Population in District z z z Maximum Contribution Equal to or greater than 300,000 Greater than 25,000 and less than 300,000 Equal to or less than 25,000 $3,000 $ 01 times population $ 250 Note - Candidates on Exemption: If the candidate has claimed an exemption from filing campaign finance reports, the maximum contribution they can accept from a single contributor in a calendar year is $100, regardless of population The candidate’s contributions to their own campaign count toward the total receipts of $1,000 or less in a calendar year The $100 limit on contributions from a single source does not apply to contributions from a candidate’s personal funds for his or her own campaign Limit on Contributions from a PAC or Other Candidate Committee - 11.26(2)(e), Stats The greater of $200 or $.0075 times the number of inhabitants of the county, town, city, village or district according to the latest federal census, but not more than $2,500 (Check with the filing officer.) Population in District z z z Maximum Contribution Equal to or greater than 333,334 Greater than 26,667 and less than 333,334 Equal to or less than 26,667 $2,500 $.0075 times population $ 200 If the candidate has claimed an exemption from filing campaign finance reports, the maximum contribution they can accept from a single contributor in a calendar year is $100, regardless of population 63 45% LIMIT - Total Contributions a Candidate May Receive from All Committees Excluding Political Party Committees - 11.26(9)(b), Stats This is the maximum amount of contributions a candidate may receive from all PAC s and candidate personal campaign committees per campaign period (Check with filing officer.) Candidates in Milwaukee County: z z z County Executive $121,275 Other Countywide Offices 48,521 County Supervisor 7,763 Candidates in Milwaukee City: z z z z Mayor City Attorney Other Citywide Offices Alderperson $121,298 72,776 48,521 7,763 Candidates in Other Counties: 45% of the greater of: a b c d $1.075; or 53.91% of annual salary for the office sought, rounded to nearest $25; or 32.35 cents per inhabitant of the jurisdiction or district The amount of a, b or c may not exceed $43,125 After calculation, the contribution limit is no less than $483.75 and no more than $19,406 65% LIMIT - Total Contributions a Candidate May Receive From All Committees Including Political Party Committees - 11.26(9)(b), Stats This is the maximum amount of contributions a candidate may receive from all political committees including political party and legislative campaign committees per campaign period (Check with filing officer.) Candidates in Milwaukee County: z z z County Executive $175,175 Other Countywide Offices 70,086 County Supervisor 11,213 Candidates in Milwaukee City: z z z z Mayor City Attorney Other Citywide Offices Alderperson $175,208 105,121 70,086 11,213 Candidates in Other Counties: 65% of the greater of: a b c d $1,075; or 53.91% of annual salary for the office sought, rounded to nearest $25; or 32.35 cents per inhabitant of the jurisdiction or district The amount of a, b or c may not exceed $43,125 After calculation, the contribution limit is no less than $698.75 and no more than $28,031 Remember – always check with the local clerk to get the current and exact amounts (3/04) Prepared by State Elections Board Staff 64 CONTRIBUTION LIMITS STATE OFFICES THESE LIMITS APPLY TO ALL CANDIDATES AND PERSONAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEES Contribution limitations apply cumulatively to the entire primary and election campaign in which the candidate participates, whether or not there is a contested primary election 65% LIMIT Total Contributions From All Committees Including Political Party Committees (3) Individual Contribution Limit Single Committee Contribution Limit (1) 45% LIMIT Total Contributions From All Committees Except Political Party Committees (2) $10,000 $43,128 $485,190 $700,830 LT GOVERNOR 10,000 12,939 145,564 210,259 ATTY GENERAL 10,000 21,560 242,550 350,350 STATE TREASURER 10,000 8,625 97,031 140,156 SECRETARY OF STATE 10,000 8,625 97,031 140,156 SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION 10,000 8,625 97,031 140,156 SUPREME COURT 10,000 8,625 97,031 140,156 3,000 3,000 38,813 56,063 Districts II, III, IV 2,500 2,500 38,813 56,063 CIRCUIT COURT Dane, Milwaukee & Waukesha Counties 3,000 3,000 38,813 56,063 All Other Counties 1,000 1,000 38,813 56,063 3,000 3,000 72,776 105,121 Dane & Waukesha Counties 3,000 3,000 38,813 56,063 All Other Counties 1,000 1,000 38,813 56,063 1,000 1,000 15,525 22,425 500 500 7,763 11,213 Office GOVERNOR COURT OF APPEALS District I DISTRICT ATTORNEY Milwaukee County STATE SENATE STATE ASSEMBLY (1) (2) (3) This is the maximum amount a candidate may receive from a single PAC or another candidate's committee per campaign This is the maximum amount a candidate may receive from all PAC's and candidate committees per campaign Wisconsin Election Campaign Fund grants also count against this limit This is the maximum amount a candidate may receive from all committees including political party and legislative campaign committees Note: The maximum a party or legislative campaign committee can give without reducing committee contributions is $6,900 for senate candidates and $3,450 for assembly candidates Note: In addition to the above campaign period limits, an individual may not contribute more than $10,000 each calendar year to any combination of Wisconsin candidates or political committees (S11.26(4)Wis.Stats.) (3/04) Prepared by State Elections Board Staff 65 CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT DATES **The January 2006 Continuing report is due January 31, 2006, and covers 7/1/05 thru 12/31/05** 2006 Election Dates: Spring Primary, February 21, 2006 Fall Primary, September 12, 2006 Spring Election, April 4, 2006 Fall General Election, November 7, 2006 2006 Reports Filing Deadline Reporting Period Spring Pre-Primary February 13, 2006 1/1/06 thru 2/6/06 Spring Pre-Election March 27, 2006 2/7/06 thru 3/20/06 July Continuing July 20, 2006 3/21/06 thru 6/30/06 or 1/1/06 thru 6/30/06 Fall Pre-Primary September 5, 2006 7/1/06 thru 8/28/06 Fall Pre-Election October 30, 2006 8/29/06 thru 10/23/06 January Continuing January 31, 2007 10/24/06 thru 12/31/06 or 7/1/06 thru 12/31/06 2007 Election Dates: Spring Primary, February 20, 2007 Spring Election, April 3, 2007 2007 Reports Filing Deadline Reporting Period Spring Pre-Primary February 12, 2007 1/1/07 thru 2/5/07 Spring Pre-Election March 26, 2007 2/6/07 thru 3/19/07 July Continuing July 20, 2007 3/20/07 thru 6/30/07 or 1/1/07 thru 6/30/07 January Continuing January 31, 2008 7/1/07 thru 12/31/07 2008 Election Dates: Spring Primary, February 19, 2008 Fall Primary, September 9, 2008 Spring Election, April 1, 2008 Fall General Election, November 4, 2008 2008 Reports Filing Deadline Reporting Period Spring Pre-Primary February 11, 2008 1/1/08 thru 2/4/08 Spring Pre-Election March 24, 2008 2/5/08 thru 3/17/08 July Continuing July 21, 2008 3/18/08 thru 6/30/08 or 1/1/08 thru 6/30/08 Fall Pre-Primary September 2, 2008 7/1/08 thru 8/25/08 Fall Pre-Election October 27, 2008 8/26/08 thru 10/20/08 January Continuing February 2, 2009 10/21/08 thru 12/31/08 7/1/08 thru 12/31/08 H:/CF Notices/CF Reporting Dates_060708 (Rev.07/05) ... contribution limits and prohibitions To help candidates and their treasurers comply with the law, the State Elections Board has prepared this campaign finance manual This manual contains instructions... the registration statement and campaign finance reports, summarizes the major provisions of the law, and describes a bookkeeping system for campaign committees The bookkeeping system presents... of candidate campaign committees: personal campaign committee and support committee A personal campaign committee is organized by the candidate to promote the candidate’s declared candidacy for
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