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Greetings from Registry Chairman | Notice of Exemption | Ten Important Campaign Finance Questions |

Online Resources | Contribution Limits | Recordkeeping Suggestions | Sample Campaign Contribution Card |

2012 Reporting Dates | Late Filing Fines & Procedures | Email Reminder Project 

More than $3000 Welcome Packet  (.pdf 719 kb)

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Greetings from Registry Chairman

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Notice of Exemption

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Ten Important Campaign Finance Questions


KENTUCKY
REGISTRY OF ELECTION FINANCE

TEN IMPORTANT CAMPAIGN FINANCE QUESTIONS

 

 

 

1.         When is a disclaimer required?

            KRS 121.190(1); 32KAR 2:110

 

All newspaper or magazine advertising, posters, circulars, billboards, handbills, sample ballots, and paid - for television or radio advertisements which expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or group of candidates is required to have a disclaimer. 

 

For television and radio broadcasts, compliance with Federal Communication Commission regulations regarding sponsored programs and broadcasts by candidates for public office shall be considered compliance with Kentucky law.

 

 

2.                  What is the proper wording of the disclaimer?         

            KRS 121.190(1)

 

The phrase “paid for by candidate” is NEVER a correct disclaimer!

 

If paid for by the candidate or the campaign committee, the disclaimer must state “paid for by” and the candidate’s first and last name or the committee’s name.  If paid for by an individual or other entity, the disclaimer must list the name and complete address of the individual or other entity. 

 

 

3.         Is the money a candidate spends out of his/her own pocket during the campaign considered a contribution?

KRS 121.180(9)(b); KRS 121.220

 

The personal funds of a candidate used in connection with seeking elective office should be deposited directly into the campaign account.  Any money spent “out of pocket” by the candidate must be reimbursed to the candidate from the campaign account or reported as a debt owed by the campaign to the candidate.  Take caution, as expenditures using personal funds outside the campaign account may subject the candidate’s personal accounts to an audit if the campaign cannot adequately document the source of funds expended.

 

 

4.         Same example as #3, but the candidate does not want to be reimbursed. Can the candidate’s “out of pocket expenses” be an in-kind contribution to the campaign?

KRS 121.015(6); KRS 121.180(9)(b); KRS 121.220

 

The candidate’s “out of pocket expenses” should be reimbursed or reported as debt owed by the campaign to the candidate.  A candidate may make unlimited contributions to his/her own campaign by depositing funds in the candidate’s campaign account. A candidate may provide goods, advertising, or services (e.g. the use of a personal computer) privately owned prior to the campaign, which would constitute an in-kind contribution. However, the payment of funds by a candidate for gas, lodging, meals, printing or other such expenses, constitutes an expenditure, which should be made or subsequently reimbursed from the candidate campaign account’s primary depository or otherwise reported as a debt owed by the campaign.

 

 

5.         What determines if and/or when a candidate files a report?

KRS 121.180

 

The exemption chosen on the Statement of Intent is the most important factor in determining if and/or when a candidate files a report.  If a candidate indicated on the Statement of Intent that he/she intended to raise and spend over $3,000 but actually spent under $1,000, the candidate is still required to file reports as if the campaign spent over $3,000.  If a candidate indicated on the Statement of Intent that he/she intended to raise and spend under $1,000 but actually exceeds $1,000, the candidate must notify the Registry as soon as he/she has exceeded the amount elected in the Statement of Intent and then begin filing all subsequent pre-election and post-election finance statements. 

 

 

 6.        What if the intent is not checked on the Statement of Intent? 

KRS 121.180

 

If the amount intended to be raised/spent is not indicated on the Statement of Intent, the candidate is required to file all pre-election and post-election finance statements.

 

 

7.         When does a person become a candidate?

KRS 121.015(8)

 

A person is considered a candidate when he/she has received contributions or made expenditures with a view to bringing about his/her nomination or election to public office.

 

 

8.         A contributor is self-employed.  On the campaign finance report why is “self-employed” not an allowable description for the contributor’s occupation and/or place of employment?

KRS 121.160 (2)(b)

 

The statute specifically requires the name under which the contributor is doing business to be listed on the campaign finance statement.

 

 

9.         What may a candidate purchase using the funds in the campaign account?

KRS 121.175; KRS 121.180(10); 32 KAR 2:200

 

Allowable campaign expenses are only those expenditures which directly benefit the campaign.  The statutes prohibit the purchase of items which provide a personal benefit to the candidate or another but do not directly benefit the campaign.

 

 

10.       How should candidate loans be reported?  

KRS 121.180(3), (4) & (7); 32 KAR 2:100

 

Candidate loans should be reflected on both the Schedule 1A and Schedule 4. Since the candidate is putting money into the campaign account, the transaction must be indicated on Schedule 1A.  Since a candidate loan is considered a debt until repaid or assumed, it should also be listed on Schedule 4.  The repayment of candidate loans will also be documented on Schedule 1A and Schedule 4.

 

 

Need additional help?  Have more questions?  Contact Registry Staff at (502) 573-2226 or visit our website at www.kref.ky.gov.

 

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Online Resources

A. The Registry's Website
   
www.kref.ky.gov

  • Contains candidate and committee guides
  • Includes all KREF forms and brochures
  • Maintains a "Frequently Asked Questions" section
  • Lists reporting date information
  • Links to KY campaign statutes and regulations
  • Houses past KREF Advisory Opinions
  • Is searchable by key terms or words

B. The Registry's Online Election Finance Training Seminar
   
www.kref.ky.gov/OnlineTrainingSeminar.htm

  • Helps first-time candidates and treasures become familiar with campaign finance terms and procedures
  • Brings veteran candidates and their campaign staff up-to-date on campaign finance laws
  • Teaches candidates how to accurately report campaign contributions, disbursements and other activities
  • Makes candidates aware of common pitfalls to avoid
  • Shows candidates how to maintain records and how to close out a campaign.

C. The Registry's Online Searchable Database (OSD)
   
www.kref.state.ky.us/krefsearch/

  • Contains contribution information for all reports filed with KREF since 1998
  • Offers the opportunity for the public to search the OSD by election date, candidate name, contributor name, office, committee or by organization
  • Facilitiates downloading to a campaign finance data text file or a spreadsheet progrtam for more detailed analysis

D. The Registry's Electronic Filing Program
    
www.kref.ky.gov/efile/

  • Provides a choice of approved vendors for software for the filing of campaign finance reports
  • Allows campaigns to maintain information and submit reports in a more orderly manner.
  • Permits the purchase of campaign finance software as an approved campaign expense

For more information, contact: Jim Neal, 502-573-2226, ext. 235 or jim.neal@ky.gov

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Contribution Limits

 

Contribution Limits1

 

From an
Individual

From a
Permanent
Committee (PAC)² 

From a
Contributing
Organization² 

From a
Corporation

From an
Executive
Committee

From a
Caucus
Campaign
Committee

To
Candidate
or Slate of
Candidates

$1,000
per election
121.150(6)

$1,000
per election³
121.150(6)

$1,000
per election
121.150(6)

Prohibited
121.025
& 121.035

Unlimited
121.150(23)

Unlimited
121.150(23)

To
Permanent
Committee (PAC)

$1,500
per year
aggregate
121.150(10)

$1,500
per year
aggregate
121.150(10)

$1,500
per year
aggregate
121.150(10)

Prohibited
121.025
& 121.035

$1,500
per year
aggregate
121.150(10)

$1,500
per year
aggregate
121.150(10)

To
Political Issues
Committee

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited
121.035

Unlimited

Unlimited

To an
Executive
Committee

$2,500
per year
aggregate
121.150(11)

$2,500
per year
aggregate
121.150(11)

$2,500
per year
aggregate
121.150(11)

Prohibited
121.025
& 121.035

Unlimited
Transfer
of Funds

$2,500
per year
aggregate
121.150(11)

To a
Caucus
Campaign
Committee

$2,500
per year
121.150(11)

$2,500
per year
121.150(11)

$2,500
per year
121.150(11)

Prohibited
121.025
& 121.035

$2,500
per year
121.150(11)

$2,500
per year
121.150(11)

 
 

 

 

To a
Candidate
or Slate
 

To a
School Board
Candidate

To a
Permanent
Committee (PAC)
 

To an
Issues
Committee

To an
Executive
Committee

To a
Caucus
Campaign
Committee 

Cash Contributions

$50 per election
121.150(4)

$50 per election
121.150(4)

$50 per election
121.150(4)

$50 per election
121.150(4)

$50 per election
121.150(4)

$50 per election
121.150(4)


Anonymous
Contributions

$50 per election (Maximum aggregate $1000 per election)
121.150(3)

$50 per election (Maximum aggregate $1000 per election)
121.150(3)

$50 per election (Maximum aggregate $1000 per election)
121.150(3) 

$50 per election (Maximum aggregate $1000 per election)
121.150(3)

$50 per election (Maximum aggregate $1000 per election)
121.150(3)

$50 per election (Maximum aggregate $1000 per election)
121.150(3)

   1  

In-kind and monetary contributions jointly count toward both the “per election” and the “per year” contribution limits.

2

Contributing Organizations or PACs affiliated by bylaw structure or by registration shall be considered as one (1) committee for purposes of applying contribution limits.
KRS 121.150(7)

3

The amount the candidate retains from PACs per election cannot be more than fifty percent (50%) of the candidate’s total contributions, or ten thousand dollars ($10,000), whichever is greater. 
KRS 121.150(23)(a)

4

The contributions given by Executive Committees are unlimited. Party rules and or by-laws may prohibit Executive Committees and Caucus Campaign Committees from making contributions to candidates in non-partisan races. For more information, you may contact these committees.  The contributions that a candidate or slate of candidates may retain from an Executive Committee are limited. The limit is based on the total contributions received by the candidate per election. The amount the candidate retains from Executive Committees per election cannot be more than fifty percent (50%) of the candidate’s total contributions, or ten thousand dollars ($10,000), whichever is greater.  KRS 121.150(23)(a)-(c)

5

The contributions given by Caucus Campaign Committees are unlimited.  Party rules and or by-laws may prohibit Executive Committees and Caucus Campaign Committees from making contributions to candidates in non-partisan races. For more information, you may contact these committees.  The contributions that a candidate or slate of candidates may retain from Caucus Campaign Committees are limited. The limit is based on the total contributions received by the candidate per election. The amount the candidate retains from Caucus Campaign Committees per election cannot be more than fifty percent (50%) of the candidate’s total contributions, or ten thousand dollars ($10,000), whichever is greater. 
KRS 121.150(23)(a)-(c)

6

Party rules and or by-laws may prohibit Executive Committees and Caucus Campaign Committees from making contributions to candidates in non-partisan races. For more information, you may contact these committees.

7

Contributions by cashier's check or money order are limited to fifty dollars ($50) per election unless the instrument identifies both the payor and the payee.  If the cashier's check or money order does identify both the payor and the payee, the instrument is considered a contribution by check.  KRS 121.150(4)

 

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Recordkeeping Suggestions

 

KENTUCKY REGISTRY OF ELECTION FINANCE
RECORDKEEPING SUGGESTIONS


How to Organize Contribution Records

 

         Have each contributor complete a contribution card.

 

         Photocopy each contribution check.

         Attach the contribution card to the check photocopy.

         Group check copies and contribution cards by deposit and attach a copy of the deposit slip.

 

 

How to Examine a Contributor’s Check

 

         Always examine the check prior to deposit.

         Make sure the check is from an allowable contributor.

         Make sure the check is made payable to the campaign.

         Make sure the check amount is within the legal cumulative contribution limit for that contributor.

         Unless there is other documentation, attribute the contribution to the person who signed the check.

 

If you are not certain whether the contribution check is from a corporation, access the Online Business Database on the Secretary of State’s web page (www.sos.ky.gov) for more information.  If you do not have Internet access, contact the Secretary of State’s office (Phone: 502-564-3490) or the Registry (Phone: 502-573-2226) for assistance.

 

 

How to Organize Disbursement Records

 

         Obtain an invoice from every business and individual to which payment is made or obligated.

         Directly on each invoice, write the number of the campaign check used to make payment.

         Organize invoices by the check number written on them.

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Sample Campaign Contribution Card

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2012 Reporting Dates


Primary Election Filing Deadline: January 31, 2012

Deadline to Designate or Rescind Statement of Intent for the 2012 Primary Election: February 15, 2012

05/22/2012
Primary Election

Report Due

Grace Period Ends

Due From

32-day pre- Primary Report

04/20/2012

04/25/2012

All candidates who elected to receive/spend over $3,000 for the 2012 Primary Election

15-day pre- Primary Report

05/07/2012

05/14/2012

All candidates who elected to receive/spend over $3,000 for the 2012 Primary Election

30-day post- Primary Report

06/21/2012

06/26/2012

All candidates who elected to receive/spend over $1,000 for the 2012 Primary Election AND Executive Committees AND Caucus Campaign Committees

60-day post- Primary Report

07/21/2012

07/26/2012

All candidates with debt and/or surplus remaining on the 30-day post-Primary Election report

__________________________________________________________ ____

General Election Filing Deadline for Independents and minor-party candidates: April 2, 2012

Primary Election Winners - Deadline to Designate or Rescind Statement of Intent for 2012 General Election: June 18, 2012

General Election Filing Deadline for candidates with no Primary Election per KRS 118.365: August 14, 2012

Deadline to Designate or Rescind Statement of Intent for the 2012 General Election for candidates who were exempted from the Primary Election by KRS 118.365: August  29. 2012

11/06/2012
General Election

Report Due

Grace Period Ends

Due From

32-day pre- General Report

10/05/2012

10/10/2012

All candidates who elected to receive/spend over $3,000 for the 2012 General Election

15-day pre- General Report

10/22/2012

10/29/2012

All candidates who elected to receive/spend over $3,000 for the 2012 General Election

30-day post- General Report

12/06/2012

12/11/2012

All candidates who elected to receive/spend over $1,000 for the 2012 General Election AND Executive Committees AND Caucus Campaign Committees

60-day post- General Report

01/05/2013

01/10/2013

All candidates with debt and/or surplus remaining on the 30-day post-General Election report

__________________________________________________________ ____

 

Report Due

Grace Period Ends

Due From

1st
Quarter report

03/31/2012

04/05/2012

Candidates who have notified the Registry of their intent to run in a future year but did not have an open campaign account for that office from a prior election AND Permanent Committees (PACs) AND Inaugural Committees

2nd Quarter report

06/30/2012

07/05/2012

Candidates who have notified the Registry of their intent to run in a future year but did not have an open campaign account for that office from a prior election AND Permanent Committees (PACs) AND Inaugural Committees

3rd Quarter report

09/30/2012

10/05/2012

Candidates who have notified the Registry of their intent to run in a future year but did not have an open campaign account for that office from a prior election AND Permanent Committees (PACs) AND Inaugural Committees

4th Quarter report

12/31/2012

01/07/2013

Candidates who have notified the Registry of their intent to run in a future year but did not have an open campaign account for that office from a prior election AND Permanent Committees (PACs) AND Inaugural Committees

__________________________________________________________ ____

 

Report Due

Grace Period Ends

Due From

Annual Report 

11/13/2012

11/13/2012

Candidates having a debt or surplus of funds remaining on the last report filed for a previous election other than the 2012 General Election

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Late Filing Fines & Procedures 

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Email Reminder Project

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Last Updated 6/6/2012
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