May 1, 2017 •
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 […]
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 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…
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
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October 4, 2012 •
Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Q. I am interested in making contributions to state candidates in the upcoming elections. Does the fact that I’m a registered lobbyist affect my ability to contribute?
A. In certain states, being a registered lobbyist does impact your ability to give to a political candidate, ranging from a total ban on political activity, to simply having to report the contributions on your periodic reports.
In Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, lobbyists may not make contributions to lawmakers while the state legislature is in session. Fortunately, in the context of the upcoming elections, most states have adjourned sine die. In California, a lobbyist may not make a contribution to a candidate for any office for which the person is registered to lobby. Because most lobbyists are registered to communicate with the legislature, this ends up being nearly a total ban on contributions to legislators. Similarly, in Kentucky, a lobbyist registered with the legislative branch may not make a contribution to a lawmaker. In Alaska, a lobbyist is only allowed to contribute to candidates for office within his or her voting district.
There are several states in which lobbyists are allowed to make contributions, but must disclose the donations on their lobbyist reports. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Washington are examples.
Some states have unique provisions for politically-active lobbyists. In Pennsylvania, for instance, a lobbyist who makes political contributions must register and report in the same manner as PACs. Minnesota lobbyists must include their registration numbers in the memo section of campaign contribution checks.
If you or a member of your team would like to make a campaign contribution in a state in which you are registered, please contact a member of the State and Federal Communications Compliance Department for fact-specific guidance.
(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.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.