Chapter 17 - Election Contributions and Expenses

Chapter 17 - Election Contributions and Expenses

6.1701 Definitions.


As used in this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Advertisement” means:

(1) any communication exclusive of bumper stickers or other sundry items paid for by or on behalf of a candidate which identifies a candidate directly or by implication or which advocates or supports the nomination for election, or election of the candidate or advocate or supports his defeat; and

(2) any communication exclusive of bumper stickers or other sundry items paid for by or on behalf of a committee which identifies an issue or question which appears or is reasonably certain to appear on the ballot at the next applicable election or which advocates or supports the passage or defeat of the question or issue.

(b) “Campaign treasurer” means a person appointed under 6.1708, and, unless expressly indicated otherwise, includes deputy campaign treasurers.

(c) “Candidate” means an individual who seeks nomination to election, or election, to the Office of the Governor or Lieutenant Governor, or member of the House of Representatives. An individual is a candidate if he does any of the following:

(1) files nomination papers for an office for himself with the Chief Election Officer’s office; or

(2) receives contributions in an aggregate amount of more than $100, or makes or incurs any expenditures to bring about his nomination for election, or election to office; provided, that in no event shall a person be considered a candidate by reason of the provisions set forth in paragraphs (2) and (3) prior to 1 July of the year that person runs for election; or

(3) gives his consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures to aid his nomination for election, or elections, to office.

(d) “Commission” means the Campaign Spending Commission.

(e) “Committee” means:

(1) any person who accepts a contribution or makes an expenditure for or against any candidate, person seeking nomination for election, or election, to office, or party, or who accepts a contribution or makes an expenditure for or against any question or issue which appears or is reasonably certain to appear on the ballot at the next applicable election;

(2) any person who raises or holds money or anything of value and who subsequently contributes the money or thing of value to, or makes expenditures in behalf of a candidate, person, or party; provided, that the term “committee” shall not include any person making a contribution or expenditure of his own funds or thing of value, which he originally acquired for his own use and not for the purpose of evading any provision of this chapter.

(f) “Contribution” means:

(1) a gift, subscription, loan, advance, deposit of money or anything of value, or cancellation of a debt or legal obligation and includes the purchase of tickets to testimonial or fund-raising affairs, for the purpose of:

(A) influencing the nomination for election, or election, of any person to office; or

(B) influencing the outcome of any question or issue which appears or is reasonably certain to appear on the ballot at the next applicable election ; or

(C) use by any party for the purposes set out in subparagraph (A) or (B);

(2) the payment, by any person other than a candidate or committee, of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to the candidate or committee without charge or at an unreasonably low charge; or

(3) a contract, promise, or agreement to make a contribution; provided, that notwithstanding paragraphs (1), (2) and (3), the term shall not include services or portions thereof voluntarily provided without reasonable compensation by individuals or in behalf of a candidate or committee.

(g) “Election” means any election for office or for determining a question or issue provided by law or ordinance.

(h) “Expenditure” means:

(1) any purchase or transfer of money or anything of value, or promise or agreement to purchase or transfer money or anything of value, or payment incurred or made, or the use or consumption of a nonmonetary contribution for the purpose of:

(A) influencing the nomination for election, or election, to office whether or not the person has filed his nomination papers; or

(B) influencing the outcome of any question or issue which appears or is reasonably certain to appear on the ballot at the next applicable election; or

(C) use by any party for the purposes set out in subparagraph (A) or (B) above;

(2) the payment, by any person other than a candidate or committee, of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to the candidate or committee for any of the purposes mentioned in subparagraph (A), (B) or (C) above; or

(3) the expenditure by a candidate of his own funds for the purposes set out in subparagraph (A), (B) and (C) above.

(i) “House bulletin” means a communication sponsored by any person in the regular course of publication for limited distribution primarily to its employees or members.

(j) “Newspaper” means a publication of general distribution in the territory issued once or more per month which is written and published in the Territory.

(k) “Office” means any elective public or constitutional office.

(l) “Person” means an individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation, or labor union and its auxiliary committees.

6.1702 Campaign Spending Commission.


There is established a Campaign Spending Commission consisting of 5 members, appointed by the Governor subject to confirmation by the Senate. The term of the members is 4 years and members may be reappointed. Members serve without compensation. Vacancies from unexpired terms are filled in like manner as the original appointments.

6.1703 Duties of the Chief Election Officer and Commission.


(a) The Chief Election Officer’s principal duty is to regulate the election process, and under this chapter his duties are to:

(1) develop and adopt reporting forms required by this chapter;

(2) adopt and publish a manual for all candidates and committees, describing the requirements of this chapter, including uniform and simple methods of recordkeeping;

(3) preserve all reports required by this chapter for at least 5 years from the date of receipt;

(4) permit the inspection, copying, or duplicating of any report required by this chapter under rules adopted by the Commission; provided, that no information or copies from the report shall be sold or used by any person for the purpose of soliciting contributions or for any commercial purpose.

(b) The Commission’s principal duty is to supervise campaign contributions and expenditures, and under this chapter its duties are to:

(1) ascertain whether any candidate, committee, or party has failed to file a report required by this chapter or has filed a substantially defective or deficient report, and to notify the persons that their failure to file or filing of a substantially defective or deficient report must be corrected and explained, the correction or explanation to be submitted in writing to the Commission within a reasonable time after the notification of the failure to file or deficiency; the Commission shall make available a list of candidates, committees, and parties who have failed to correct their deficiency within the time allowed by the Commission, failure to respond to the notification shall constitute a violation of this chapter;

(2) hold public hearings;

(3) investigate and hold hearings for receiving evidence of any violations;

(4) adopt a code of fair campaign practices;

(5) establish rules under 4.1001 et seq.;

(6) request the initiation of prosecution for the violation of this chapter under 6.1724; and

(7) suggest accounting methods for candidates, parties, and committees, as the Commission may consider advisable, in connection with reports and records required by this chapter.

6.1704 Filing of reports.


(a) Reports required to be filed under this chapter by a candidate or committee supporting a candidate with his consent shall be certified by the candidate. Reports required to be filed under this chapter by a party or committee which supports more than 1 candidate shall be certified by the party or committee treasurer, or the deputy treasurer, or the chairman thereof, in that order. Reports required to be filed shall be open for public inspection.

(b) Reports required by this chapter shall be filed as follows: The original and 1 copy shall be filed at the Commission office.

(c) The Commission shall give each person filing a report a receipt showing the type of report and date and time of filing.

(d) The reports filed shall be preserved for 5 years.

(e) Reports required to be filed shall at all times be available to the Chief Election Officer.

6.1705 Registration.


Each candidate, committee, and party shall file an organizational report not later than 4:30 p.m. on the earliest of the following applicable days:

(1) on or before the day of filing for nomination or election;

(2) at least 45 days before the general, or special election; or

(3) by the 10th day after:

(A) receiving any contributions in an aggregate amount of more than $100; or

(B) making or incurring any expenditure which is reportable under 6.1718 and 6.1719.

6.1706 Organizational report.


(a) The organizational report includes:

(1) the name, address, office sought when known, and party affiliation of each candidate or individual whom the committee or party is supporting and the name and address of the committee or party;

(2) the names and addresses of the campaign treasurer and deputies;

(3) the names and addresses of the campaign chairman and deputy campaign chairman;

(4) a list of all banks, safety deposit boxes, or other depositories used and the applicable account numbers;

(5) the amount and date of deposit of the contribution and the name and address of each individual donor who has contributed an aggregate amount of more than $100 to the office being sought; provided, that this paragraph shall not apply to contributions made prior to 1 July 1977; and

(6) in the case of a report by a committee or party supporting or opposing a ballot question or issue, all of the information described in paragraphs (a) (2) to (a) (5) and a description of the question or issue.

(b) Any change in information submitted in the organizational report, other than paragraph (a) (5), shall be reported not later than 4:30 p.m. on the 10th calendar day after the change or when the candidate, committee, party, or campaign treasurer becomes aware of the change.

6.1707 Designated central committee.


Each candidate for a Territory-wide or representative office who is supported by more than 1 committee shall designate a central committee which shall be responsible for aggregating the total contributions and expenditures of all committees directly associated with the candidate and for filing composite reports indicating this information on the dates set by 6.17l8 and 6.1719.

6.1708 Campaign treasurer.


(a) Every committee, party, and candidate shall appoint a campaign treasurer on or before the day for filing an organizational report. Up to 2 deputy campaign treasurers may be appointed. A candidate may appoint himself as campaign treasurer.

(b) A campaign treasurer may be removed at any time. In case of death, resignation, or removal of the campaign treasurer, the committee, party, or candidate shall promptly appoint a successor. During the period the office of campaign treasurer is vacant, the candidate, committee chairman, or party chairman, whichever is applicable, shall serve as campaign treasurer.

(c) Each campaign treasurer shall be authorized to receive contributions or make expenditures on behalf of the candidate, committee, or party appointing him.

6.1709 Contributions-Deposit-Itemized record required—Limitations.


(a) Monetary contributions shall be promptly deposited in a financial depository duly authorized to do business in the territory, such as a bank, savings and loan institution, industrial loan company, or similar financial institution, in the name of the candidate, committee, or party, whichever is applicable.

(b) Each candidate, committee, or party shall establish and maintain an itemized record showing the amount of all monetary contributions, the description and value of each nonmonetary contribution, and the name and address of each donor making a contribution.

(c) Each candidate and campaign treasurer shall report the amount and date of deposit of each contribution and the name and address of each donor who makes a contribution or contributions whose aggregate value is $100 or more.

(d) No candidate, committee, or party may accept a contribution of $100 in cash from a single person without issuing a receipt to the donor and keeping a record of the transaction.

(e) Each committee and party shall disclose the original source of all earmarked funds, the ultimate recipient of the earmarked funds, and the fact that the funds are earmarked.

(f) For the purposes of this section, “earmarked funds” means contributions received by a committee or party on the condition that the funds be contributed to or expended only on certain candidates, issues, or questions.

(g) The following contributions are the maximum permissible:

(1) corporations, partnerships, joint ventures or any business or organization, $2,000; and

(2) individuals, $500.

6.1710 Contributions-Restrictions against transfer.


(a) A candidate, campaign treasurer, or committee shall not receive any contributions, make any expenditures, or receive or make any transfer of money or anything of value:

(1) for any purpose other than those directly related:

(A) in the case of the candidate, to his own campaign; or

(B) in the case of a campaign treasurer or committee, to the campaign of the candidate, question, or issue with which they are directly associated; or

(2) to support the campaigns of candidates other than the candidate, for whom the funds were collected or with whom the campaign treasurer or committee is directly associated; or

(3) to campaign against any other candidate not directly opposing the candidate for whom the funds were collected or with whom the campaign treasurer or committee is directly associated; provided, that a candidate, campaign treasurer or committee may purchase from its campaign fund not more than 2 tickets for each testimonial or fundraising affair as defined in 6.1713 and 6.1714, respectively, held by another candidate, committee, or party.

(b) This section may not be construed to prohibit a party from supporting more than 1 candidate, or. to prohibit joint expenditure by 2 or more candidates seeking election to multiple offices from the same district whether the expenditures are equally or unequally incurred among those candidates; provided, that the allocation of expenditures between the candidates is based upon reasonable objective standards. The party or candidates, whichever is applicable, shall make the initial allocation between candidates. If the allocation is disallowed by the Commission, and the allocation of expenditures is not corrected as prescribed by the Commission within the time allowed by the Commission, then the amount of the allocation found to be unreasonable by the Commission shall be presumed to be a transfer of funds in violation of this section.

6.1711 Anonymous contributions unlawful.


(a) No person may make a contribution of his own money or property or money of another person to any candidate, party, or committee in connection with a nomination for election, or election, anonymously; nor may any candidate, party, or committee knowingly receive, accept, or retain the contribution or enter or cause the same to be entered in its accounts as an anonymous contribution or in another name than that of the person by whom it was actually furnished.

(b) Anonymous contributions received by a candidate, party, or committee shall not be used or expended, but shall be returned to the donor. If the donor cannot be identified, the contribution shall escheat to the Territory.

(c) This section does not apply to amounts that aggregate less than $250 when obtained through multiple contributions made by 10 or more persons at the same event. Each aggregate contribution shall be reported accompanied by a description of the means, method, place, and date of receipt.

6.1712 Use of another person’s name prohibited.


(a) Persons may not make contributions of their own money or property or money or property of another person to any candidate, party, or committee in connection with a nomination for election, or election, in any other name than the name of the person owning the money or who supplied the money or property.

(b) Contributions made in the name of a person other than the true or established name of the actual owner of the money or property shall escheat to the Territory.

6.1713 Testimonial affairs and coffee hours.


(a) As used in this section, “testimonial affair” means any function held for the benefit of a person and designed to raise funds for political purposes for which the total cost for attending the affair is more than $15 a person.

(b) No person or a committee directly associated with the person shall hold more than one testimonial affair until after an election in which that person was either elected or defeated unless that person seeks election to Territorial office, in which case he or his directly associated committees may hold no more than 3 testimonial affairs in each county. An additional testimonial affair may be held within 6 months after a general, or special election, in the case of a candidate or committee directly associated with that person having a deficit. No testimonial affair may be held unless a notice of intent to hold the affair is filed by the person in charge of the affair with the commission prior to the date of the affair setting forth the name and address of the person in charge, the charge per person, the date, hour, and place of the affair and whether contributions will be solicited at the affair and method thereof. Testimonial affairs sponsored by a party for a political purpose for the general benefit of the party are exempt from the limits of this subsection.

(c) The number of functions held for the benefit of a person designed to raise funds for political purposes for which the total cost for attending the affair is $15 or less per person shall not be limited except:

(1) For territorial offices, no person may hold more than 2 functions in each district.

(2) For all other offices, a person may hold either 2 functions of 1 testimonial affair in each district.

6.1715 Campaign expenditures—Written authorization required.


(a) A candidate may draw on the campaign treasurer for his political expenditures for postage, telegrams, telephone calls, stationery, expressage, travel, meals, and lodging. The candidate shall make a detailed accounting of his political expenditures and the accounting shall be made a part of the reports required in 6.1718 and 6.1719. The account shall state the amount and the purpose of the expenditures and other information required by the Commission and shall be signed and certified by the campaign treasurer.

(b) No funds shall be withdrawn or paid from a campaign depository except upon the written authorization of the campaign treasurer.

(c) No expenditure by or on behalf of a candidate shall be made or incurred by any committee without specific written authorization of the candidate or his authorized representative. Every expenditure so authorized and made or incurred shall be attributed to the candidate for whom the expenditure is made for the purpose of imposing the expenditure limitations imposed by § 1616.

6.1717 House bulletins.


The cost of preparing, printing, and circulating house bulletins and the writings, drawings, and photographs contained therein, except for paid political advertisements, shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

6.1718 Preliminary reports.


(a) Each candidate, authorized person in the case of a party, or campaign treasurer in the case of a committee shall file a preliminary report with the Commission on forms provided by the Commission not later than 4:30 p.m. of the 10th calendar day prior to each election. The report shall be certified under 6.1704 and shall contain the following information which is current through the 15th calendar day prior to the election:

(1) The aggregate sum of all contributions received;

(2) the amount and date of deposit of the contribution and the name and address of each donor who contributes an aggregate of $100 or more;

(3) all expenditures made, incurred, or authorized by or for a candidate including the name and address of each payee and the amount, date, and purpose of each expenditure; and

(4) a current statement of the balance on hand or deficit.

(b) Notwithstanding this section, a candidate or committee which makes expenditures of $500 or less may file a short form report with the Commission in lieu of the reports required by this section and 6.1719.

6.1719 Final and supplemental reports.


(a) Each candidate whether or not successful in a general, special, or runoff election, authorized person in the case of a party, or campaign treasurer in the case of a committee directly associated with a candidate, shall file a final report not later than 4:30 p.m. on the 20th day after the general, special, or runoff election is certified. The report shall include:

(1) a statement of the total contributions received;

(2) the amount and date of deposit of the contribution and the name and address of each donor who contributes an aggregate of $100 or more;

(3) a statement of all expenditures made or incurred by or for a candidate including the name of each payee and the amount, date, and purpose of each expenditure; and

(4) a statement of the balance on hand or deficit.

(b) Deficit. In the event of a deficit, the candidate, authorized person in the case of a party, or campaign treasurer in the case of a committee shall, every 3 months until the deficit is eliminated, file supplemental reports reporting all items prescribed in subsection (a). The first report is due not later than 4:30 p.m. on the 5th day after the last day of the election year.

(c) Surplus. In the event of a surplus the candidate, authorized person in the case of a party, or campaign treasurer in the case of a committee shall:

(1) maintain the cash surplus in a financial depository; and

(2) Every 6 months, until he becomes a candidate again, file supplemental reports reporting all items prescribed in subsection (a).

The first report shall be due not later than 4:30 p.m. on the 5th day after the last day of the election year.

(d) A candidate, party, or committee who receives no contributions or makes no expenditures shall nevertheless file preliminary, final, and supplemental reports as required by law.

6.1720 Disposition of funds.


(a) Candidates who withdraw or cease to be candidates or committees direct1y associated with these candidates, individuals who receive contributions but fail to file for nomination, or committees or parties which discontinue their activities covered in this chapter, shall return any residual contributions proportionately to the donors if their identities are known. This subsection does not apply to elected officials or candidates who failed to be elected.

(b) If no donors are found, the residual contributions shall be contributed to the campaign fund of any candidate, or to any party, charity, or nonprofit organization or escheated to the Territory.

(c) Upon disposition, the candidate or campaign treasurer shall file a report with the commission reporting the amounts distributed under this section and the manner of disposition.

6.1721 Advertising.


(a) No person may cause or submit any advertisement in support for a candidate or against a candidate’s opponent, to be broadcast, televised, or otherwise circulated and distributed except under the following conditions:

(1) The advertisement shall contain a notice in a prominent location that the literature or advertisement is published, broadcast, televised, or circulated with the approval and authority of the candidate, provided that in the event that the literature or advertisement is paid for by a candidate or committee directly associated with a candidate, the notice of approval and authority need not be included; or

(2) The advertisement shall contain a notice in a prominent location that the literature or advertisement is published, broadcast, televised, or circulated without the approval and authority of the candidate.

(b) All advertisements mentioned in subsection (a) shall contain the name and address of the candidate, committee, or party paying for it.

6.1722 Complaints, investigation, and notice.


(a) Complaints of violations of this chapter against any person shall be filed with the Commission. The complaint shall be in writing and shall be signed under oath by the complainant. Complaints initiated by the Commission shall be in writing and signed by the chairman.

(b) The Commission shall give notice of receipt of the complaint together with a copy of the complaint to the person cited and shall afford him an opportunity to explain or otherwise respond to the complaint. The Commission may also cause an investigation to be made of the complaint.

(c) Upon hearing the response of the person cited, if he elects to respond to the complaint, and upon completion of any investigation, the Commission shall make a prompt determination as to whether probable cause exists that a violation has been committed.

(1) Persons who appear before the Commission shall have all of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a witness appearing before the courts of the Territory. Witnesses summoned before the Commission shall receive reimbursement as paid in like circumstances in the courts of this Territory. Persons whose names are mentioned during a proceeding of the Commission, and who may be adversely affected thereby, may appear personally before the Commission on their own behalf or file a written statement for incorporation into the record of the proceeding.

(2) The Commission shall cause a record to be made of all proceedings under this subsection. At the conclusion of proceedings concerning an alleged violation the Commission shall immediately begin deliberations on the evidence and then proceed to determine by majority vote of the members whether probable cause exists that a violation has been committed.

(d) Until the determination of probable cause by the Commission, all proceedings, in-cluding the filing of the complaint, investigation, and hearing shall be confidential unless the person complained of requests an open session. In the event the Commission determines that probable cause does not exist, then the complaint shall be dismissed and the entire record of the proceedings shall be kept confidential at the option of the person complained of.

(e) The Commission shall give written notice to the person complained of and to the complainant as to whether probable cause of a violation exists or whether the complaint has been dismissed.

(f) In the event a determination is made that probable cause of willful violation exists, the Commission shall promptly advise the Chief Election Officer of its findings. In the event a determination is made that probable cause of an unintentional violation exists, the Commission shall issue a confidential order that may require the violator to:

(1) temporarily cease and desist violation of this chapter; or

(2) file any report, statement, or other information as required by this chapter.

(g) The Commission may only initiate prosecution as provided in 6.1724 when it finds that probable cause of a willful violation exists.

6.1723 Violation—Penalty.


(a) Persons knowingly violating any provision of this chapter shall, unless otherwise expressly stated, be punishable in the manner prescribed as follows:

(1) if a natural person, he shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor and shall be upon conviction sentenced accordingly; or

(2) if a corporation, organization, or association, it shall be upon conviction sentenced accordingly; and

(3) Whenever a corporation, organization, or association violates this chapter, the violation shall be considered to be also that of the individual directors, officers, or agents of the corporation, organization, or association, who have knowingly authorized, ordered, or done any of the acts constituting the violation.

(b) Persons may sue for injunctive relief to compel compliance with this chapter.

6.1724 Prosecution.


(a) For purposes of prosecution for violations of this chapter, the Office of the Attorney General has jurisdiction to be exercised as follows:

(1) Prosecution shall commence with a written request from the Commission or upon the issuance of an order of the court; and

(2) In the case of all offices, parties, or issues, the Attorney General shall prosecute any violation.

(b) The court shall give priority to the expeditious processing of suits under this section.

(c) Prosecuting for violation of any provision of this chapter shall not be commenced after 1 year has elapsed from the date of the violation or date of filing of the report covering the period in which the violation occurred, whichever is later.