FPPC Issues Notice of Proposed Guidelines - State and Federal Communications

November 7, 2011  •  

FPPC Issues Notice of Proposed Guidelines

CaliforniaThe Fair Political Practices Commission has issued notice of proposed amendments to the California Code of Regulations to be considered at a public hearing on December 8, 2011. The proposed regulations codify commission guidance instructing filers to treat an in-kind contribution of the services of salaried personnel to a committee and the expenditure by the person making the salary payment as a contribution made on the payroll date of the salaried personnel.

The commission will also consider regulations which differentiate a contribution from a donation. Under the proposed regulation, a contribution is a payment made for a political purpose and includes payments to a multi-purpose organization. By contrast, a payment to a multi-purpose organization that is not made or used for a political purpose is to be treated as a donation and not a contribution for the purposes of identifying reportable contributions.

Lastly, the commission will consider amendments to the provisions pertaining to primarily formed and general purpose committees to assist filers in determining which label fits the purpose and structure of their committee.

The regulations define a general purpose committee as an ongoing committee which supports multiple candidates and measures in successive elections. General purpose committees include associations, political action committees, political party committees, major donors, as well as entities and individuals making independent expenditures.

The regulation proposes a standard for determining whether a committee is a state, county, or city general purpose committee. A committee will be considered a city or county committee if more than 70 percent of their activity is at the city or county level. Classification as a state committee will be the default.

Pursuant to the proposed regulation, a primarily formed committee is a committee formed or existing to support a single candidate or measure in a specific election. A committee will be considered primarily formed if more than 70 percent of the committee’s contributions and expenditures are for specific candidates or measures during the 24 months preceding the date where the candidate or measure is on the ballot.

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