November 7, 2018 •

J.B. Pritzker Defeats Incumbent Bruce Rauner to Take Illinois’ Governor Race

Billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker defeated first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, by a margin of 54 percent to 39.3 percent. Less than an hour after polls closed, Rauner conceded his re-election bid, giving Democrats near total control of Illinois’ state government. […]

Billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker defeated first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, by a margin of 54 percent to 39.3 percent. Less than an hour after polls closed, Rauner conceded his re-election bid, giving Democrats near total control of Illinois’ state government.

“Voting is an act of optimism that the levers of our Democracy still work,” Pritzker told supporters moments after declaring victory. “You embody that optimism. You light the beacon fire on the hill of history that signals from one generation to another that these are the things that we stand and fight for.”

In addressing the exuberant crowd, he reminded them that the first McDonald’s opened here and the ice cream sundae was born here, as well.

“We taught the nation how to debate, how to shuffle to the Super Bowl and how to eat a pizza,” he said.

According to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, “Pritzker did something different in this campaign,” Durbin said. “Here was a Chicagoan, clearly a Chicagoan, who wasted no time getting Downstate. I looked around and thought, ‘This is what I’ve been looking for — a governor who starts off by unifying the whole state.’”

In his concession speech, Rauner stated, “This is a time for us to come together.  This is a time for us to unite. To Mr. Pritzker, I said, Godspeed.  I hope and pray you serve Illinois well.”

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November 7, 2018 •

Lt. Governor Brad Little Takes Idaho’s Governor’s Race

Longtime Republican lawmaker and Idaho Lieutenant Governor Brad Little has defeated Democratic challenger Paulette Jordan by a margin of 59.5 percent to 38.4 percent to become Idaho’s next governor. Jordan, a former state lawmaker and member of the Coeur d’Alene […]

Longtime Republican lawmaker and Idaho Lieutenant Governor Brad Little has defeated Democratic challenger Paulette Jordan by a margin of 59.5 percent to 38.4 percent to become Idaho’s next governor.

Jordan, a former state lawmaker and member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, was the first woman to earn her party’s nomination in Idaho. Even though there was significant national media attention given to Jordan, Little’s win was predictable in this intensely conservative state.

Little has been lieutenant governor since 2009 and ran on a platform to carry on retiring Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s policies that lead to the state’s recent growth.

“Twenty-four years ago Phil Batt broke a 24-year cycle of Democrats having control of the governor’s office,” Little said during his victory speech Tuesday night before a packed room of cheering supporters.

“This is the 24th anniversary of that and Idaho is still a very red state. I look forward to working with President Trump as we continue to allow Idahoans to be the masters of their own destiny,” he said.

“Idaho has been fairly successful, but we have more work to do in taking back the authority that the federal government over the years has taken, whether it is in the areas of education, transportation, health care, public lands management and all of the areas of regulation.”

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September 10, 2018 •

Ask the Experts – Using Federal PAC Funds to Contribute to State Candidates

Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Can I use my company’s federal PAC to make contributions to candidates for state office?

 

With the exception of Massachusetts, contributions from a federal PAC to non-federal state candidates are permissible.  However, the challenging aspect of making these types of contributions is that every jurisdiction has different rules regarding how to register and report such contributions.  To make this a little easier to digest, we have broken down the states into five categories.  Please note:  regardless of the registration and reporting process, in all jurisdictions the federal PAC is subject to the contribution limits according to the law of that jurisdiction.

Category #1:  You do not have to do anything.  Simply make the contribution to the state candidate as you would any other contribution from your federal PAC.  This option is usually only available if your FEC filings are current and complete.  Examples of these jurisdictions include Alabama, Delaware, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

Category #2:  You must register and report as a state PAC.  In these instances, your federal PAC is treated no differently than any other out-of-state PAC.  You must register your federal PAC using that jurisdiction’s registration forms.  You must report your contributions using state forms and file your reports according to that jurisdiction’s filing deadlines.  Examples of these jurisdictions include Connecticut, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Category #3:  You may file your FEC registration and reports in lieu of state registrations and reports. The tricky thing about these jurisdictions is keeping track of whether you file your reports according to the jurisdiction’s reporting schedule or the FEC’s reporting schedule.  Examples of these jurisdictions include Kentucky, New Mexico, and North Dakota.

Category #4:  You have to register using state form and report using your FEC filings, or vice versa. Examples of these jurisdictions include Illinois, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Category #5:  You have a choice regarding how to register and report.  These two jurisdictions include Iowa and Kansas.

As was mentioned, in Massachusetts, federal PACs may not contribute to campaigns in that state.  Federal PACs must establish a separate segregated fund for contributions in Massachusetts and comply with the same requirements as in-state committees.  The separate segregated fund must be established as a depository account in a financial institution authorized to transact business in Massachusetts and having its main office, or a branch office, in Massachusetts.

We have not listed PAC rules for all the states, only examples of some states. If you have a question on a state not listed here, please contact us directly at 330-761-9960

We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need. Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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June 7, 2018 •

Ask the Experts – Required California Political Contribution Reports

My employer makes corporate contributions in California.  We have not yet exceeded $10,000 in calendar year 2018.  The primary election and special elections are taking place, along with the general election in the fall.  If we decide to make contributions, […]

My employer makes corporate contributions in California.  We have not yet exceeded $10,000 in calendar year 2018.  The primary election and special elections are taking place, along with the general election in the fall.  If we decide to make contributions, when do we have a late contribution report due?

The California “Late Contribution Report” [Form 497], sometimes referred to as the “24-hour report” is due during the 90-day period preceding any election if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The contribution is $1,000 or more, or multiple contributions aggregating $1,000 or more, to a single candidate, ballot measure committee, or political party.  This includes non-monetary and in-kind contributions…Read the full article

For more information, be sure to check out the “Registration and Reports Required” section of the U.S. Political Contributions Compliance Laws online publication for California. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Click here to read ALL Ask the Experts articles in full

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May 1, 2018 •

Ask the Experts – Employee Personal Political Contributions

Q. Before I can make a political contribution using my own funds, my employer requires that I obtain permission first.  Can my employer legally do this? A. Yes, employers may require employees to seek preapproval before making personal political contributions. Not […]

Nola Werren
Q. Before I can make a political contribution using my own funds, my employer requires that I obtain permission first.  Can my employer legally do this?

A. Yes, employers may require employees to seek preapproval before making personal political contributions. Not only can your employer require this, it’s smart business to do so. Employers may even require preapproval from family members of employees.

This preapproval requirement has evolved as a result of the increased number of jurisdictions enacting pay-to-play laws. A seemingly innocuous contribution by an employee could result in the loss of government contracts, fines, and a ban on future contracting. Criminal sanctions may apply when repeated violations occur. By requiring pre-approval, your employer can properly vet the contribution for compliance with a jurisdiction’s pay-to-play law, including disclosure requirements.

In a majority of jurisdictions, employees covered by pay-to-play laws include officers, partners, directors, senior management, salespersons, and their spouses and dependent children. In Pennsylvania and Kentucky, all employees are covered in the instance of a no-bid contract.

Requiring preclearance of employee personal political contributions is certainly more preferable than imposing a ban on employee contributions, which could result in a violation of applicable labor laws. Various jurisdictions bar employers from retaliating against employees for engaging in political activities, which can include everything from participating in a political rally to making campaign contributions. Even though an employer can require preapproval, an employer cannot directly or indirectly affect an individual’s employment by means of discrimination or threat of discrimination based on the individual’s personal political contributions.

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You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: experts@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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May 9, 2017 •

Ask the Experts – Contributions by Out-of-State PACs

Q.  Can a PAC from one state make contributions to candidates and ballot measures in a different state? A.  Yes, an out-of-state PAC may make contributions in a different state, but it must be aware of the state laws governing […]

Q.  Can a PAC from one state make contributions to candidates and ballot measures in a different state?

A.  Yes, an out-of-state PAC may make contributions in a different state, but it must be aware of the state laws governing such a practice.

In most states, the out-of-state PAC will be subject to the same rules governing an in-state PAC, although there may be parameters.  For example:

  • In North Carolina, the out-of-state PAC must have a certified assistant treasurer who is a resident of North Carolina.
  • In New Jersey, the Election Law Enforcement Commission will determine if the out-of-state PAC has a significant percentage of activity within the state to require registration and reporting.
  • In Nevada, the out-of-state PAC must appoint a registered agent from Nevada.
  • In New York, out-of-state committees must designate a depository, which must be a banking organization authorized to do business in New York.

In other jurisdictions, an out-of-state PAC must create an in-state PAC before it can contribute.  For instance…Click here to read this and all Ask the Experts articles in full


We have not listed PAC rules for all the states, only examples of some states.
If you have a question on a state not listed here, please contact us directly
at 330-761-9960.

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May 1, 2017 •

Ask the Experts – Federal PAC Contributions to State Candidates

Q. Can I use my company’s federal PAC to make contributions to candidates for state office? A. With the exception of Massachusetts, contributions from a federal PAC to non-federal state candidates are permissible.  However, the challenging aspect of making these […]

Nola WerrenQ. Can I use my company’s federal PAC to make contributions to candidates for state office?

A. With the exception of Massachusetts, contributions from a federal PAC to non-federal state candidates are permissible.  However, the challenging aspect of making these types of contributions is that every jurisdiction has different rules regarding how to register and report such contributions.  To make this a little easier to digest, we have broken down the states into five categories.  Please note:  regardless of the registration and reporting process, in all jurisdictions the federal PAC is subject to the contribution limits according to the law of that jurisdiction…

experts line

We have not listed PAC rules for all the states, only examples of some states.
If you have a question on a state not listed here, please contact us directly
at 1-330-761-9960.

Click here to read ALL Ask the Experts articles in full

Please fill out the small form to gain access to all articles free! Thanks.

 

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May 5, 2016 •

Ask the Experts – Aggregation of Contribution Limits

Q. My employer is a wholly owned subsidiary of a parent corporation.  Does a parent corporation, a subsidiary, or other affiliated entity have its own contribution limit or must the contributions be aggregated and have a shared limit? A. This […]

Nola WerrenQ. My employer is a wholly owned subsidiary of a parent corporation.  Does a parent corporation, a subsidiary, or other affiliated entity have its own contribution limit or must the contributions be aggregated and have a shared limit?

A. This is a very important question that must be addressed when making a contribution, particularly when there is a hierarchy to the corporate structure.  If a limit is shared, the parent, subsidiary, or other affiliated entity must have an open line of communication when it comes to making political contributions.

In New York, each affiliated or subsidiary corporation, if a separate legal entity, has its own limit.

In California, contributions made by certain combinations of affiliated individuals, entities, and committees must be aggregated.  It all comes down to a matter of control:

  • The contributions of an entity whose contributions are directed and controlled by any individual must be aggregated with contributions made by that individual and any other entity whose contributions are directed and controlled by the same individual.
  • If two or more entities make contributions directed and controlled by a majority of the same persons, the contributions of those entities must be aggregated.
  • Contributions made by entities majority-owned by any person must be aggregated with the contributions of the majority owner and all other entities majority-owned by that person, unless those entities act independently in their decision to make contributions.

So in California, a parent and subsidiary share a contribution limit if the decision to make a contribution is directed and controlled by a majority of the same persons.  If the parent and subsidiary act wholly independently of each other in deciding to make a contribution, the parent and subsidiary each have their own limit.

In New Jersey, if a corporation has subsidiaries, affiliates, branches, or locals, then the contributions of these organizations cannot exceed the applicable contribution limit in the aggregate.  Two or more corporations will be conclusively deemed to be affiliated if:

  • Any individual, corporation, partnership, company, association, or other entity owns, directly or indirectly, more than a 30 percent interest in each of such corporations; or
  • One such corporation owns, directly or indirectly, more than a 30 percent interest in the other such corporation.

These are just a few examples of aggregation of limits.  As we always advise, verify the rules in your state before making political contributions.

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You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: experts@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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February 22, 2016 •

Ask the Experts – Maryland Pay-to-Play Restrictions

Q. I want to contribute to an acquaintance in Maryland.  I know there are pay-to-play restrictions.  What are my personal limitations? A. Is your company “doing public business” with the state of Maryland?  “Doing public business” means having a single […]

Nola WerrenQ. I want to contribute to an acquaintance in Maryland.  I know there are pay-to-play restrictions.  What are my personal limitations?

A. Is your company “doing public business” with the state of Maryland?  “Doing public business” means having a single contract (an agreement in any form entered into by a governmental entity for a procurement) with a single governmental entity involving cumulative consideration of at least $200,000.  Governmental entity means: (1) the State, a county, a municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the State; and (2) a unit of the State, a county, a municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the State.

Contributions in Maryland are still permissible even though your employing organization is doing public business.  The issue is not permissibility, but whether disclosure is required.  If you are an officer or director and the contribution is $500 or more, it must be disclosed.

  • Director is a member of the board of directors of a business entity
    [M.C.E.L. §14-101(g)].
  • Officer includes an individual who serves as a business entity’s chief executive officer, president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, chief financial officer, managing partner, managing member, or principal or in any other formal or informal role in which the individual exercises substantial independent responsibility for managing the affairs of a business entity [M.C.E.L. §14-101(k)].

If you fall into either category, disclosure is required to the Board of Elections on May 31 and November 30.

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You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: experts@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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November 2, 2015 •

Ask the Experts – Contributions Before Election Day

Q. Are there any rules that pertain to making contributions in the weeks leading up to an election? A. With local elections in 2015 and the upcoming 2016 elections, it is wise to know what the rules are when making […]

Nola WerrenQ. Are there any rules that pertain to making contributions in the weeks leading up to an election?

A. With local elections in 2015 and the upcoming 2016 elections, it is wise to know what the rules are when making contributions in the days and weeks leading up to an election.  Usually, there is a monetary threshold that must be exceeded, and typically there is a short turnaround time to disclose the contribution, usually within 24 hours. In some instances, there is an outright ban on contributions.

In California, contributions of $1,000 or more per candidate made by a major donor during the 90-day period before an election must be disclosed within 24 hours of making the contribution.  Contributions to ballot measure committees and political party committees are also included within this reporting requirement.  The candidate and the ballot measure committee must be on the ballot at the election for which the 90-day period applies.  California’s 90-day pre-election period is the longest in the country.  If numerous special elections are being held, the 90-day periods may overlap.

In Washington, a contribution of $1,000 or more per candidate made by a registered lobbyist during the 21 days before an election must be disclosed within 24 hours of making the contribution.  This includes contributions to candidates and ballot measures appearing on the ballot at the election for which the 21-day period applies, as well as contributions to political party committees and PACs.  The Washington Public Disclosure Commission has a link on its home page that allows for the electronic filing of this report.

In Florida, opposed candidates must return contributions received less than five days prior to an election.

In Tennessee, a PAC is prohibited from making a contribution to a candidate for state office after the 10th day before an election until the day of the election.

These are just a few examples.  As we always advise, verify the rules in your state before making political contributions.

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You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: experts@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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February 2, 2015 •

Ask the Experts – Indexing of Contribution Limits

Q. With the start of the New Year, are there any changes I should be aware of in political contribution limits?  A. Aside from changes as a result of new legislation, the most common adjustment of contribution limits is indexing […]

Nola Werren
Q. With the start of the New Year, are there any changes I should be aware of in political contribution limits?

 A. Aside from changes as a result of new legislation, the most common adjustment of contribution limits is indexing for inflation.  Typically, adjustments are made biennially for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index.  The Consumer Price Index is calculated by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This concept was addressed by the United States Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo (1976).  The court allowed federal contribution limits to be adjusted upwards at the beginning of each calendar year by the average percentage rise in the Consumer Price Index for the 12 preceding months.

The principal behind this is quite simple:  it is based on the recognition that the cost of campaigning steadily increases each year based on the increase to cost of living.  Campaign fliers, mailers, yard signs, and media buys do not cost the same in 2013 as they do in 2015.

This year, California adjusted its contribution limits for the 2015-2016 biennium.  In doing so, corporate contributions limits for general assembly candidates increased from $4,100 per election to $4,200.  Washington adjusts its limits in even-numbered years, so the 2014 corporate contribution limit of $950 per election for state legislative candidates will remain the same for 2015.   Illinois adjusts its limits in odd-numbered years, so the 2014 corporate contribution limit of $10,500 per election cycle for legislative candidates will increase to $10,800.

Finally, the indexing of contribution limits usually results from amendments to a state’s administrative code as opposed to its statute.  In order to ensure compliance, a contributor should review both of these sources.

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You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: experts@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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February 25, 2014 •

Nola Werren Answers the Question, “Why Do We Attend PAC?”

  Hello, I am Nola Werren, Client Specialist at State and Federal Communications. I am excited to be attending the 2014 National PAC Conference; in fact, I am a regular attendee! Take a look at this video so I can […]

 

Hello, I am Nola Werren, Client Specialist at State and Federal Communications. I am excited to be attending the 2014 National PAC Conference; in fact, I am a regular attendee! Take a look at this video so I can share with you why I think it is a superb event:

 

 

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State and Federal Communications is hosting a Pre-Conference Luncheon on Monday, March 3, at 11:30 a.m. featuring Nola Werren, our compliance expert of 17 years, in an “Ask the Expert” session.

Bring your questions to Miami.    Nola will answer them!

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February 19, 2014 •

Ask the Experts – State Ban on Personal Political Contributions by Registered Lobbyists

  Q. I am a registered lobbyist and on occasion I use my personal funds to make political contributions, as does my spouse.  Are there states that prohibit such activity? A. A lobbyist, simply by virtue of his or her […]

Nola Werren

 

Q. I am a registered lobbyist and on occasion I use my personal funds to make political contributions, as does my spouse.  Are there states that prohibit such activity?

A. A lobbyist, simply by virtue of his or her profession, may be prohibited from making personal political contributions.

There are nine states that either prohibit or limit a registered lobbyist’s ability to contribute to state candidates. In most instances, a lobbyist’s ability to contribute to political parties and ballot measure committees remains intact.

Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee impose an outright ban on lobbyists’ contributions. In Connecticut and Massachusetts, there isn’t an outright ban, but instead a monetary limit of $100 and $200, respectively. In Connecticut, the limitation extends to family members of lobbyists.

Perhaps the state most mired in “red tape” is Alaska. A lobbyist may not contribute to a candidate for office in a district outside the lobbyist’s own voting district. This prohibition continues for one year after a lobbyist’s registration or renewed registration date. A lobbyist who contributes to a legislative candidate must file a Lobbyist Report of Contributions to Legislative Candidates (Form 15-5A) within 30 days after making the contribution.

In some states, lobbyists may not contribute to state candidates or officeholders if registered to lobby the candidate’s or officeholder’s agency. Such is the case in California and South Carolina.

Finally, as a registered lobbyist you should be aware there are numerous states that impose a lobbyist ban during the legislative session. Be sure to review the relevant statutes, regulations, and guidelines.

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You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: marketing@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

 

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January 3, 2014 •

Ask the Experts – Disclosure of Corporate Political Contributions

Q. When must direct corporate political contributions be disclosed? A. At least 15 states require some sort of corporate contribution disclosure, whether it be on a campaign finance statement or lobbyist/employer disclosure report. Campaign finance reports typically require an annual […]

Nola WerrenQ. When must direct corporate political contributions be disclosed?

A. At least 15 states require some sort of corporate contribution disclosure, whether it be on a campaign finance statement or lobbyist/employer disclosure report.

Campaign finance reports typically require an annual aggregate threshold be exceeded before a report is triggered.  For example, in Utah, direct corporate contributions must exceed $750 in the aggregate per calendar year before a report is required.  In Georgia, the threshold is $25,000.  In Nebraska, a corporation making more than $250 in direct corporate contributions must file a report within 10 days after the end of the calendar month in which the contribution is made.

Conversely, lobbying reports typically start at “dollar one.” In New Mexico, lobbyists are required to report all political contributions made by the employer, regardless of amount.  The same holds true in South Carolina and New Hampshire.

And then there’s California—a hybrid of both campaign finance and lobbying disclosure.  Direct corporate contributions must exceed $10,000 in the aggregate per calendar year before a campaign finance report is due.  However, until this threshold is exceeded, corporate political contributions must be disclosed on the lobbyist employer’s quarterly report.

As always, the best practice is to track all corporate political contributions in the event disclosure is required.   Likewise, you need to familiarize yourself with the reporting requirements in those jurisdictions where your company is making contributions.

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You can directly submit questions for this feature, and we will select those most appropriate and answer them here. Send your questions to: marketing@stateandfed.com.

(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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