Prohibitions and Campaign Committees in California’s Political Reform Act

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California political reform law requires that certain campaign disclosures be made pursuant to Chapter 4 of Title 9 of the Governmental Code. Section 3 of Chapter 4 is titled “Prohibitions” and contains Section 84300 through 84310 of the Government Code. Section 84300(a) prohibits any contribution of $100 or more to be made or received in cash. Section 84300(b) prohibits spending $100 or more in cash.

Section 84300(c) prohibits making contributions of $100 or more other than an in-kind contribution, except in the form of a written instrument containing the donor’s name and the recipient’s name and drawn from the donor’s account or the middleman. Section 84300(d) specifies that the value of all in-kind contributions of $100 or more must be reported in writing to the recipient upon the written request of the recipient.

Section 84301 prohibits any contribution from being made, directly or indirectly, by any person under a name other than the name by which that person is identified for legal purposes. Section 84302 prohibits a person from making a contribution on behalf of another, or acting as an intermediary or agent of another, without disclosing to the recipient of the contribution both the full name and postal address of this person, his occupation and the name of this person. the person’s employer, if applicable.

Section 84303 prohibits an expenditure of $500 or more from being made, other than for overhead or normal operating expenses, by any agent or independent contractor, including, but not limited to, an agency publicity, in the name or for the benefit of a candidate. or committee unless declared by the candidate or the committee as if the expense had been incurred directly by the candidate or the committee.

Section 84304 prohibits a person from making an anonymous contribution or contributions to a candidate, committee, or other person totaling $100 or more in a calendar year. An anonymous contribution of $100 or more cannot be retained by the intended recipient, but must instead be promptly paid to the Secretary of State for deposit in the state’s general fund.

Section 84305 prohibits a candidate, a candidate-controlled committee established for an elective office for the controlling candidate, or a political party committee from sending a direct mail unless the name, address, and city of the candidate or committee are indicated on the outside of each exhibit. of mail in the mass mailing and on at least one of the inserts included in each mailing piece of the direct mail in characters of at least 6 points and in color or in characters contrasting with the background so as to be easily readable.

Section 84305.5 provides that an organization or mailing committee formed primarily to support or oppose one or more ballot measures must include:

  • The name, address, and city of the organization or slate-sending committee primarily formed to support or oppose one or more ballot measures are listed on the outside of each piece of mail. slate and on at least one of the inserts included with each piece of slate mail in roman type of at least 8 points which must be of a color or printing contrasting with the background so as to be easily legible.
  • At the top or bottom of the front or surface of at least one insert, or at the top or bottom of one side or surface of a postcard or other self-mailing, there is a notice in bold roman type of at least 8 points, which must be of a color or printing contrasting with the background so as to be easily readable, and in a printed or drawn box and separated from any other printed matter. The notice must include the following statement:

NOTICE TO VOTERS

THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN PREPARED BY (name of organization or slate dissemination committee formed primarily to support or oppose one or more ballot measures), NOT AN OFFICIAL ORGANIZATION OF A POLITICAL PARTY. Appearance in this posting does not necessarily imply endorsement of others appearing in this posting, nor does it imply endorsement or opposition of any issues presented in this posting. Appearance is paid for and authorized by each candidate and ballot measure which is designated with an *.

  • The name, address, and city of the organization or slate-sending committee formed primarily to support or oppose one or more ballot measures as needed and required notice may appear on the same side or on the same surface of an insert.
  • Each candidate and each ballot that has paid to appear in the slate mailer is designated with an *. Any candidate or ballot that has not paid to be on the mailer slate is not marked with an *.
  • The name of any candidate appearing in the slate mailing who is a member of a political party different from the political party which the mailing appears to represent by representation or indicia is accompanied, immediately below the name, by the designation of the candidate’s party, in roman type of at least 9 points which must be of a color or printing contrasting with the background so as to be easily legible. Nomination is not required in the case of candidates for non-partisan office.

Section 84305.7 provides that if a slate-sending organization sends a slate-sending or other mass mailing that displays a logo, insignia, emblem, or mark that is identical or substantially similar to the logo, insignia, emblem or mark of a government agency, and which would reasonably be construed to imply the involvement or endorsement of such government agency, the mailing organization must obtain the express written consent of the government agency associated with the logo, insignia, emblem, or mark before using the logo, insignia, emblem, or trademark in the slate mailer or other mass mailing.

In addition, a disclosure must include one of the following statements:

  • If the list senders organization represents public safety personnel: “This organization represents ____ public safety personnel.” The list-submitting organization must fill in the blank portion of the declaration with the number of public safety personnel it represents.
  • If the list senders organization does not represent public safety personnel: “This organization does not represent any public safety personnel.”

Section 84306 requires that all contributions received by a person acting as an agent of a candidate be promptly reported to the candidate or one of the candidate’s designated agents. All contributions received by a person acting as an officer of a committee must be reported promptly to the treasurer of the committee or one of its designated officers.

Section 84307 prohibits contributions from being commingled with the personal funds of the recipient or any other person. Article 84307.5 specifies that the spouse or common-law partner of an elected official or of a candidate for elected office cannot receive, in exchange for services rendered, remuneration from campaign funds held by a controlled committee of the elected official. or candidate for elected office.

Section 84308 provides definitions for the following terms: “party”, “participant”, “agency”, “agent”, “license, permit or other right of use” and “contribution”.

Section 84309 prohibits a person from personally receiving or delivering or attempting to deliver any contribution to the State Capitol, any State office building, or any office for which the State pays the majority of the rent other than a legislative district office. This section also defines the terms “personally deliver” and “receive”.

Section 84310 prohibits a candidate, candidate-controlled committee established for elective office for the controlling candidate, political party committee, or list-serving organization from expending campaign funds, directly or indirectly, to pay phone calls of a similar nature and totaling 500 or greater in number, made by an individual, or individuals, or by electronic means and which advocate support for or opposition to a candidate, ballot measure, or two, unless during each call the name of the candidate, controlled candidate committee established for elective office for the controlling candidate, political party committee or list-sending organization that authorized or paid for the call is disclosed to the call recipient.

Finally, campaign and ballot measurement committees are prohibited from contracting with a telephone bank supplier who does not disclose the information to be disclosed. A candidate, committee, or slate-sending organization that pays for phone calls must retain a record of the script of the call for the period specified in Section 84104.

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