Introduced by Senator Sears of Bennington District, Senator Bartlett of Lamoille District, Senator Collins of Franklin District, Senator Condos of Chittenden District, Senator Flanagan of Chittenden District and Senator Leddy of Chittenden District
Subject: Elections; campaign finance; notice of expenditure; mass media activities
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to require any person who makes an expenditure of $100.00 or more on a mass media activity to notify a candidate or candidates mentioned in the mass media activity within 48 hours of making the expenditure. The notice requirement shall apply for 90 days before a primary or general election. Knowing or intentional violation of the notice requirement shall be a misdemeanor subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or two years imprisonment, or both. In addition, the bill clarifies the term “telephone bank” as used in the definition of “mass media activities” and further clarifies that newspaper and magazine advertisements are mass media activity. The bill also clarifies that a campaign finance report including a contributor’s name, town of residence, and mailing address is not required when the contribution amount is $100.00 or less.
AN ACT RELATING TO THE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS FOR EXPENDITURES ON MASS MEDIA ACTIVITIES REFERENCING AN ELECTION CANDIDATE
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 17 V.S.A. § 2801(11) is added to read:
(11) “Telephone bank” means more than 500 telephone calls of an identical or substantially similar nature that are made to the general public within any 30-day period.
Sec. 2. 17 V.S.A. § 2803(a) is amended to read:
(a) The secretary of state shall prescribe and provide a uniform reporting form for all campaign finance reports. The reporting form shall be designed to show the following information:
full name, town of residence, and mailing address of each contributor
who contributes an amount in excess of
$100.00 $100.01, the date
of the contribution, and the amount contributed;
(2) the total amount of all contributions of $100.00 or less and the total number of all such contributions;
* * *
Sec. 3. 17 V.S.A. § 2806(d) is added to read:
(d) A person who knowingly and intentionally violates a provision of subchapter 7 of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Sec. 4. 17 V.S.A. § 2883 is amended to read:
§ 2883. NOTICE OF EXPENDITURE
(a) For purposes of this section,
“mass media activities” include television commercials, radio commercials, newspaper
advertisements, magazine advertisements, mass mailings, literature drops,
central telephone banks which include the name or likeness of a
candidate for office.
(b) In addition to any other
reports required to be filed under this chapter, a person who makes expenditures
$500.00 $100.00 or more for mass media activities within
30 days of a primary or general election shall report such expenditures to the
secretary of state , and ; shall report to the candidate whose
name or likeness is included in the activity , within 24 48
hours of making the expenditure broadcasting, publishing, posting,
distributing, or initiating a mass media activity; and shall provide each
candidate whose name or likeness is included in the mass media activity with a
copy of the activity. The report shall identify the person who made the
expenditure with the name of the candidate involved in the activity and any
other information relating to the expenditure that is required to be disclosed
under the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of section 2803 of this title.
For purposes of this section, a person shall be treated as having made an
expenditure if the person has executed a contract to make the expenditure.
The Vermont General Assembly
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