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North Carolina > Elections And Election Laws > Regulation of Election Campaigns - Corrupt Practices and Other Offenses Against the Elective Franchise (§ § 163-259 through 163-278.329) In General (§ § 163-278.5 through 163-278.38y) Article 22A. Regulating Contributions and Expenditures in Political Campaigns (§ § 163-1 through 163-7)

§ 163-278.12. Special reporting of contributions and independent expenditures.

Overview of Statute

Section mandates an individual, person, or other entity to file a statement of any independent expenditure in excess of $100.00. The section also stipulates, the State Board of Elections to require disclosure within 48 hours of incurring an expense of at least $5,000 or receiving a donation of at least $1,000 subject to the scope of this article.

Statute

(a) Subject to G.S. 163-278.39 and G.S. 163-278.14, individuals and other entities not otherwise prohibited from doing so may make independent expenditures. In the event an individual, person, or other entity making independent expenditures but not otherwise required to report them makes independent expenditures in excess of one hundred dollars ($100.00), that individual, person, or entity shall file a statement of such independent expenditure with the appropriate board of elections in the manner prescribed by the State Board of Elections.

(b) Any person or entity other than an individual that is permitted to make contributions but is not otherwise required to report them shall report each contribution in excess of one hundred dollars ($100.00) with the appropriate board of elections in the manner prescribed by the State Board of Elections.

(c) In assuring compliance with subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the State Board of Elections shall require the identification of each person or entity making a donation of more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) to the entity filing the report if the donation was made to further the reported independent expenditure or contribution. If the donor is an individual, the statement shall also contain the principal occupation of the donor. The “principal occupation of the donor” shall mean the same as the “principal occupation of the contributor” in G.S. 163-278.11.

(d) Contributions or independent expenditures required to be reported under this section shall be reported within 30 days after they exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) or 10 days before an election the contributions or independent expenditures affect, whichever occurs earlier.

(e) The State Board of Elections shall require subsequent reporting of independent expenditures according to the same schedule required of political committees under G.S. 163-278.9(a). An individual or person that makes an independent expenditure shall disclose by report to the State Board of Elections within 48 hours of incurring an expense of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or more or receiving a donation of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more for making an independent expenditure before an election but after the period covered by the last report due before that election.

(f) For the purposes of subsection (c) of this section, a donation to the person or entity making the independent expenditure is deemed to have been donated to further the independent expenditure if any of subdivisions (1) through (4) of this subsection apply. For purposes of this subsection, the “filer” is the person or entity making the independent expenditure and responsible for filing the report, or an agent of that person or entity. For purposes of this subsection, the “donor” is the person or entity donating to the filer the funds or other thing of value, or an agent of that person or entity.

(1) The donor designates, requests, or suggests that the donation be used for an independent expenditure or for multiple independent expenditures, and the filer agrees to use the donation for an independent expenditure.

(2) The filer expressly solicited the donor for a donation for making or paying for an independent expenditure.

(3) The donor and the filer engaged in substantial written or oral discussion regarding the donor’s making, donating, or paying for an independent expenditure.

(4) The donor or the filer knew or had reason to know of the filer’s intent to make independent expenditures with the donation.

A donation shall not be deemed to be made to further an independent expenditure if the donation was a commercial transaction occurring in the ordinary course of business between the donor and the filer unless there is affirmative evidence that the amounts were donated to further an independent expenditure. In determining the amount of a donation that was made to further any particular independent expenditure, there shall be excluded any amount that was designated by the donor with respect to a different election than the election that is the subject of the independent expenditure covered by the report.

Subdivisions (1) through (4) of this subsection shall also apply to reports made under subsection (c) of this section concerning contributions. However, nothing in this section shall be interpreted to limit the effect of the prohibition on making contributions in the name of another in G.S. 163-278.14.

(g) All reports required by this section shall be filed according to rules adopted by the State Board. If the expense incurred is greater than five thousand dollars ($5,000), the report shall be filed electronically. The State Board of Elections shall provide the software necessary to file the electronic report to any individual or person required to file an electronic report at no cost to that individual or person.

(1973, c. 1272, s. 1; 1979, c. 107, s. 15; c. 1073, s. 20; 1999-31, s. 2(d); 2004-127, s. 16; 2010-170, s. 2; 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)

Definition [expenditure]

The terms “expend” or “expenditure” mean any purchase, advance, conveyance, deposit, distribution, transfer of funds, loan, payment, gift, pledge or subscription of money or anything of value whatsoever, whether or not made in an election year, and any contract, agreement, or other obligation to make an expenditure, to support or oppose the nomination, election, or passage of one or more clearly identified candidates, or ballot measure. An expenditure forgiven by a person or entity to whom it is owed shall be reported as a contribution from that person or entity. Supporting or opposing the election of clearly identified candidates includes supporting or opposing the candidates of a clearly identified political party. The term “expenditure” also includes any payment or other transfer made by a candidate, political committee, or referendum committee.

§ 163A-1411 (51). Definitions.

Definition [Expenditure]

Expenditure. – An expenditure means any purchase, advance, conveyance, deposit, distribution, transfer of funds, loan, payment, gift,pledge, subscription of money, anything of value whatsoever, and any contract, agreement, promise, or other obligation to make an expenditure, by a legal defense fund for a permitted use as provided in G.S. 163A-1570. An expenditure forgiven by a person or entity to whom it is owed shall be reported as a legal expense donation.

§ 163A-1550 (3). Definitions.

Definition [contribution]

The terms “contribute” or “contribution” mean any advance, conveyance, deposit, distribution, transfer of funds, loan, payment, gift, pledge or subscription of money or anything of value whatsoever, made to, or in coordination with, a candidate to support or oppose the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates, to a political committee, to a political party, to an affiliated party committee, or to a referendum committee, whether or not made in an election year, and any contract, agreement, or other obligation to make a contribution. An expenditure forgiven by a person or entity to whom it is owed shall be reported as a contribution from that person or entity. These terms include, without limitation, such contributions as labor or personal services, postage, publication of campaign literature or materials, in-kind transfers, loans or use of any supplies, office machinery, vehicles, aircraft, office space, or similar or related services, goods, or personal or real property. These terms also include, without limitation, the proceeds of sale of services, campaign literature and materials, wearing apparel, tickets or admission prices to campaign events such as rallies or dinners, and the proceeds of sale of any campaign-related services or goods. Notwithstanding the foregoing meanings of “contribution,” the word shall not be construed to include services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate, political committee, or referendum committee. The term “contribution” does not include an “independent expenditure.” If:

a. Any individual, person, committee, association, or any other organization or group of individuals, including but not limited to, a political organization (as defined in section 527(e)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) makes, or contracts to make, any disbursement for any electioneering communication, as defined in this section; and

b. That disbursement is coordinated with a candidate, an authorized political committee of that candidate, a State or local political party or committee of that party, an affiliated party committee, or an agent or official of any such candidate, party, or committee that disbursement or contracting shall be treated as a contribution to the candidate supported by the electioneering communication or that candidate’s party and as an expenditure by that candidate or that candidate’s party.

 

§ 163A-1411 (13). Definitions.

 

 

 

 

Definition [political committee]

The term “political committee” means a combination of two or more individuals, such as any person, committee, association, organization, or other entity that makes, or accepts anything of value to make, contributions or expenditures and has one or more of the following characteristics:

a. Is controlled by a candidate;

b. Is a political party or executive committee of a political party or is controlled by a political party or executive committee of a political party;

c. Is created by a corporation, business entity, insurance company, labor union, or professional association pursuant to G.S. 163A-1436(d); or

d. Has the major purpose to support or oppose the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates; [or]

e. Is an affiliated party committee. Supporting or opposing the election of clearly identified candidates includes supporting or opposing the candidates of a clearly identified political party. If the entity qualifies as a “political committee” under sub-subdivision a., b., c., or d. of this subdivision, it continues to be a political committee if it receives contributions or makes       expenditures or maintains assets or liabilities. A political committee ceases to exist when it winds up its operations, disposes of its assets, and files its final report. The term “political committee” includes the campaign of a candidate who serves as his or her own treasurer. Special definitions of “political action committee” and “candidate campaign committee” that apply only                  in Part 2 of this Article are set forth in G.S. 163A-1475.

§ 163A-1411 (74). Definitions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definition [independent expenditure]

The term “independently expend” or “independent expenditure” means an expenditure to support or oppose the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates that is not a coordinated expenditure. Supporting or opposing the election of clearly identified candidates includes supporting or opposing the candidates of a clearly identified political party. A contribution is not an independent expenditure. As applied to referenda, the term “independent expenditure” applies if consultation or coordination does not take place with a referendum committee that supports a ballot measure the expenditure supports, or a referendum committee that opposes the ballot measure the expenditure opposes.

§ 163A-1411 (53). Definitions.

Definition [board]

The term “board” means the State Board with respect to all candidates for State, legislative, and judicial offices and the county board of elections with respect to all candidates for county and municipal offices. The term means the State Board with respect to all statewide referenda and the county board of elections conducting all local referenda.

§ 163A-1411 (3). Definitions.

 

 

 

 

Definition [Board]

Board. – Any State board, commission, council, committee, task force,
authority, or similar public body, however denominated, created by statute or
executive order, as determined and designated by the State Board, except for
those public bodies that have only advisory authority.

§ 163A-152 (3). Definitions

Definition [State]

“State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

§ 163A-1336 (5). Definitions.

Definition [expend]

The terms “expend” or “expenditure” mean any purchase, advance, conveyance, deposit, distribution, transfer of funds, loan, payment, gift, pledge or subscription of money or anything of value whatsoever, whether or not made in an election year, and any contract, agreement, or other obligation to make an expenditure, to support or oppose the nomination, election, or passage of one or more clearly identified candidates, or ballot measure. An expenditure forgiven by a person or entity to whom it is owed shall be reported as a contribution from that person or entity. Supporting or opposing the election of clearly identified candidates includes supporting or opposing the candidates of a clearly identified political party. The term “expenditure” also includes any payment or other transfer made by a candidate, political committee, or referendum committee.

§ 163A-1411 (51). Definitions.

Definition [person]

The term “person” means any business entity, corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association.

§ 163A-1411 (72). Definitions.

Definition [election]

The term “election” means any general or special election, a first or second primary, a run-off election, or an election to fill a vacancy. The term “election” shall not include any local or statewide referendum.

§ 163A-1411 (30). Definitions.

Definition [Election]

“Election” means the event in which voters cast votes in ballot items concerning proposals or candidates for office in this State or the United States. The term includes primaries, general elections, referenda, and special elections.

§ 163A-1095 (4). Definition

Definition [Business]

Business. – Any of the following organized for profit:
a. Association.
b. Business trust.
c. Corporation.
d. Enterprise.
e. Joint venture.
f. Organization.
g. Partnership.
h. Proprietorship.
i. Vested trust.
j. Every other business interest, including ownership or use of land for
income.

§ 163A-152 (5). Definitions.

Definition [principal]

Lobbyist principal and principal. – The person or governmental unit on whose
behalf the lobbyist lobbies and who makes payment for the lobbying. In the
case where a lobbyist is paid by a law firm, consulting firm, or other entity
retained by a person or governmental unit for lobbying, the principal is the
person or governmental unit whose interests the lobbyist represents in
lobbying. In the case of a lobbyist employed or retained by an association or
other organization, the lobbyist principal is the association or other
organization, not the individual members of the association or other
organization.
The term “lobbyist principal” shall not include those designating
registered liaison personnel under Part 5 of this Article.

§ 163A-250 (21). Definitions

Definition [Committee]

Committee. – The Legislative Ethics Committee as created in Part 3 of Article
14 of Chapter 120 of the General Statutes.

§ 163A-152 (11). Definitions.