Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 9.3. Campaign Finance Disclosure Act of 2006
11/29/2021

Article 4. Political Action Committees.

§ 24.2-949. Political action committee election cycle.

The political action committee's election cycle shall be deemed to begin on January 1 and continue through December 31 of each calendar year.

2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-949.1. Establishment of political action committees by certain entities.

Any stock or nonstock corporation, labor organization, membership organization, cooperative, or other group of persons may establish and administer for political purposes, and solicit and expend contributions for, a political action committee, provided that:

1. No political action committee shall make a contribution or expenditure by utilizing money or anything of value secured by physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisal, threat of force, or as a condition of employment.

2. Any person soliciting a contribution to a political action committee shall, at the time of solicitation, inform the person being solicited of (i) his right to refuse to contribute without any reprisal and (ii) the political purposes of the committee.

1981, c. 425, § 24.1-254.2; 1993, c. 641, § 24.2-909; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-949.2. Statement of organization for a political action committee.

A. Except as provided in subsection B or C, each political action committee that anticipates receiving contributions or making expenditures in excess of $200 in a calendar year shall file with the State Board a statement of organization within 10 days after its organization, or if later, within 10 days after the date on which it has information that causes the committee to anticipate it will receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $200 or on which it otherwise becomes subject to the provisions of this chapter. Any change in information previously submitted in a statement of organization shall be reported to the State Board within 10 days following the change.

The statement of organization shall include:

1. The name of the political action committee and its address in the Commonwealth;

2. The names, addresses, and relationships of affiliated or connected organizations;

3. The area, scope, or jurisdiction of the political action committee accompanied by the statement that the primary purpose of the committee is to advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate;

4. The name and business address of the treasurer and his residence address in the Commonwealth who shall be deemed the agent of the political action committee for the purpose of service of process on the political action committee;

5. The name, residence address in the Commonwealth, business address, and position of the custodian of the books and accounts, who works under the direction of the treasurer, and the address in the Commonwealth where the books are maintained;

6. The name, address, office sought, and party affiliation of each individual whom the political action committee is supporting or opposing for nomination or for election to any public office whatever or, if supporting the entire ticket of any party, the name of the party;

7. The designated depository to be used for the receipt and holding of funds and contributions received by the political action committee, in an account in a financial institution within the Commonwealth; and

8. Such other information as shall be required by the State Board except that the account number for the designated depository account shall not be required.

The State Board shall not register or issue a registration number to any political action committee that fails to state pursuant to subdivision 3 that its primary purpose is to influence the outcome of nonfederal elections in Virginia.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, a political action committee that is established or controlled by a corporation doing business in Virginia shall provide the following information in its statement of organization in lieu of the information required in subdivisions 1, 4, 5, and 7 of subsection A:

1. The name and address of the political action committee;

2. The name and residence and business addresses of the treasurer;

3. The name, residence address, and position of the custodian of the books who works under the direction of the treasurer; and

4. A listing of all banks, safe-deposit boxes, or other repositories used.

C. A federal political action committee that makes expenditures for the purpose of influencing the outcome of any election in Virginia, other than federal elections, shall provide the following information in its statement of organization:

1. The name and address of the committee;

2. The committee's Federal Election Commission registration identification number; and

3. The name and address of its treasurer.

The State Board shall be required to provide a link from its Internet website to the federal political action committee's electronically displayed Federal Election Commission campaign finance disclosure reports.

1975, c. 515, § 24.1-254.1; 1983, c. 119; 1991, cc. 9, 709; 1993, c. 641, § 24.2-908; 1996, c. 1042; 2000, cc. 852, 872; 2004, cc. 441, 457; 2006, cc. 771, 787, 805, 892; 2007, c. 246.

§ 24.2-949.3. Use of candidate's name in name of political committee.

A. No political action committee required to file a statement of organization pursuant to § 24.2-949.2 shall include in any part of its name the name of a candidate unless the political action committee either (i) has obtained, prior to filing, the written authorization of the candidate to use the candidate's name as part of the name of the political action committee or (ii) has mailed by certified mail, 21 or more days prior to filing, written notice to the candidate of its intent to use his name as part of the name of the political action committee.

B. Any political action committee which intends to use the name of a candidate as part of the name of the political action committee shall file with the statement of organization required by § 24.2-949.2 either (i) a copy of the written authorization of the candidate consenting to the use of his name or (ii) a copy of its notice to the candidate and evidence of its timely mailing. If two candidates seeking the same office have the same surname, the political action committee shall include the first name, or other initial or nickname, and the last name of the candidate, in the name of the political action committee so as to identify which candidate is associated with the political action committee; and either the written authorization of the identified candidate or written notice to the identified candidate shall be required by this section.

1996, cc. 586, 601, § 24.2-908.1; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-949.4. Political action committee treasurer requirements and responsibilities.

A. The treasurer shall keep detailed and accurate accounts of all contributions turned over to and expenditures made by the committee, the treasurer, or other officer on behalf of the political action committee, or reported to the treasurer pursuant to this chapter. Such account shall set forth the date of the contribution or expenditure, its amount or value, the name and address of the person or committee making the contribution or to whom the expenditure was made, and the object or purpose of the contribution or expenditure.

Such books and records may be destroyed or discarded at any time after (i) one year from the date of filing the final report required by § 24.2-949.9 or (ii) a period of three years, whichever first occurs, unless a court of competent jurisdiction shall order their retention for a longer period.

B. All receipts and expenditures received or made by any political action committee, or received or made on its behalf or in relation to the committee by any individual or person, except independent expenditures, shall be paid over or delivered to the political action committee's treasurer or shall be reported to the treasurer in such detail and form as to allow him to comply fully with this article. An independent expenditure shall be reported pursuant to § 24.2-945.2 in lieu of being reported to the political action committee's treasurer.

C. It shall be unlawful for any political action committee, its treasurer, or any person receiving contributions or making expenditures on the committee's behalf or in relation to the committee, to fail to report every contribution and expenditure as required by this article.

D. No political action committee treasurer or other individual shall pay any expense on behalf of the committee, directly or indirectly, except by a check or electronic debit drawn on such designated depository identifying the name of the political action committee. However, a treasurer or other authorized officer of the political action committee may be reimbursed, by a check or electronic debit drawn on the designated depository, for the payment of expenses (i) paid by him by cash, check or electronic debit, or credit card, (ii) made on behalf of the committee, and (iii) fully documented by complete records of the expenditure, maintained as required by this chapter, and including receipts identifying the nature of the expenses and the names and addresses of each person paid by the recipient of the reimbursement.

E. A treasurer of a political action committee (i) may establish a petty cash fund to be utilized for the purpose of making expenditures or reimbursing verified credit card expenditures of less than $200 if complete records of such expenditures are maintained as required by this chapter and (ii) may transfer funds from the designated campaign depository to an account or instrument to earn interest on the funds so long as the transferred funds and earned interest are returned to the designated depository account, complete records are maintained, and all expenditures are made through the designated depository account.

2006, cc. 787, 892; 2020, c. 349.

§ 24.2-949.5. Information to be included on campaign finance reports for political action committees.

A. The reports required by this article shall be filed on a form prescribed by the State Board and shall include all financial activity of the political action committee. All completed forms shall be submitted in typed, printed, or legibly hand printed format or electronically as provided in § 24.2-946.1. Persons submitting the forms shall do so subject to felony penalties for making false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016.

B. The report of receipts shall include:

1. The total number of contributors, each of whom has contributed an aggregate of $100 or less, including cash and in-kind contributions, as of the date of the report, and the total amount of contributions from all such contributors;

2. For each contributor who has contributed an aggregate of more than $100, including cash and in-kind contributions, as of the ending date of the report, the political action committee shall itemize each contributor on the report and list the following information:

a. the name of the contributor, listed alphabetically,

b. the mailing address of the contributor,

c. the amount of the contribution,

d. the aggregate amount of contributions from the contributor to date,

e. the date of the last contribution,

f. the occupation of the contributor,

g. the name of his employer or principal business, and

h. the locality where employed or where his business is located.

For each such contributor, other than an individual, the principal type of business and place of business of the contributor shall be substituted for subdivisions f and g, respectively. For each such contributor other than an individual, it shall be sufficient to list the address of the contributor one time on the report of receipts.

C. Upon transfer of a designated contribution to a designated candidate's campaign committee, the committee shall provide information to the campaign committee to identify the contributor as provided by § 24.2-947.4.

D. The report of disbursements shall include all expenditures and give:

1. The name and address of the person paid;

2. A brief description of the purpose of the expenditure;

3. The name of the person contracting for or arranging the expenditure;

4. The amount of the expenditure; and

5. The date of the expenditure.

The report of disbursements shall itemize any expenditure made by credit card payment.

E. Each report for a political action committee shall list separately those receipts and expenditures reported to the treasurer or other officer of the committee by any person, candidate campaign committee, or political committee, pursuant to subsection B of § 24.2-949.4, and in the case of in-kind contributions, shall set forth in each instance the source of the information reported.

F. The report shall list separately all loans, and for each loan, shall give:

1. The date the loan was made;

2. The name and address of the person making the loan and any person who is a co-borrower, guarantor, or endorser of the loan;

3. The amount of the loan;

4. The date and amount of any repayment of the loan; and

5. For any loan or part of a loan that is forgiven by the lender, the amount forgiven listed as both a contribution and loan repayment.

G. The State Board shall provide for a "no activity" report that may be filed for any reporting period in which the filer has no activity to report.

H. It is the responsibility of the treasurer that the report for the political action committee be filed and that the report be in full and accurate detail.

1970, c. 462, § 24.1-258; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 247; 1972, c. 620; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1978, c. 381; 1983, c. 119; 1990, c. 156; 1993, cc. 341, 641, § 24.2-914; 1997, cc. 364, 392; 1999, c. 864; 2000, c. 304; 2001, cc. 618, 810; 2002, c. 468; 2003, c. 248; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2008, cc. 152, 289.

§ 24.2-949.6. Filing schedule for political action committees.

A. Political action committees shall file the prescribed campaign finance reports with the State Board in accordance with the applicable provisions of this section. The first filed report shall be complete for the entire period from the time the committee was organized or contributions were received.

B. The reporting requirements shall continue in effect for each committee until a final report is filed.

C. Political action committees shall file the prescribed campaign finance reports as follows:

1. Not later than April 15 complete from the preceding report through March 31;

2. Not later than July 15 complete from the preceding report through June 30;

3. Not later than October 15 complete from the preceding report through September 30; and

4. Not later than January 15 complete from the preceding report through December 31, and then continuing in accordance with this subsection until a final report is filed.

D. A political action committee that files its statement of organization on or after August 15 and before the November election day in any odd-numbered year shall file with its statement of organization a campaign finance report as provided in § 24.2-949.5 for that year, complete through the date that it files its statement of organization, and if such political action committee files its statement of organization before September 30, such political action committee shall file its next campaign finance report in accordance with subdivision C 3. After September 30, or after the date a political action committee has filed its statement of organization if the political action committee has filed its statement of organization on or after October 1, and until the November election day, the political action committee shall report any single contribution of $500 or more to the State Board in writing or electronically pursuant to § 24.2-946.1, and the report shall be received by the State Board by 11:59 p.m. on the following day, or for a contribution received on a Saturday, by 11:59 p.m. on the following Monday. However, any such contribution received within the 24 hours prior to the election day shall be reported and a report thereof received on the day prior to the election. Any activity reported pursuant to this subsection shall also be reported on the report required to be filed for activity through December 31.

1984, c. 480, § 24.1-923; 1991, cc. 9, 709; 1993, cc. 639, 641, § 24.2-923; 1995, c. 785; 2002, cc. 156, 237; 2003, c. 256; 2004, c. 26; 2005, c. 9; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2008, c. 547; 2012, c. 525; 2016, c. 401.

§ 24.2-949.7. Large dollar contribution reporting requirement for political action committees.

In addition to the quarterly reports required by § 24.2-949.6, political action committees shall report any single contribution or loan of $10,000 or more received at any time during the calendar year within three business days of receipt of the contribution or loan.

1. The report shall be filed on a "large dollar contribution report" form prescribed by the State Board and shall be filed in writing or electronically in the same manner as the political action committee files its quarterly disclosure reports.

2. Any contribution or loan reported pursuant to this section shall also be reported on the next subsequent report required under § 24.2-949.6 following receipt of the contribution or loan.

3. For the purposes of this section, political action committees shall report as one contribution multiple contributions from a single source that have been subdivided into smaller amounts or given through different bank accounts for the purpose of evading the $10,000 threshold. A political action committee that receives contributions from affiliated organizations shall not be deemed to be receiving contributions from a single source.

1984, c. 480, § 24.1-923; 1991, cc. 9, 709; 1993, cc. 639, 641, § 24.2-923; 1995, c. 785; 2002, cc. 156, 237; 2003, c. 256; 2004, c. 26; 2005, c. 9; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-949.8. With whom political action committees file reports; electronic filing requirement.

A. Political action committees required to file reports by this article shall file all statements and campaign finance reports with the State Board.

B. A political action committee that is required by this chapter to file reports with the State Board, and that accepts contributions or makes expenditures in excess of $10,000 in any calendar year, or that accepted contributions or made expenditures in excess of $10,000 in the previous calendar year, shall file its reports with the State Board by computer or electronic means in accordance with the standards approved by the State Board until such time as the political action committee files a final report. Any political action committee that has been filing electronically, but does not anticipate accepting contributions or making expenditures in excess of $10,000 in the upcoming calendar year, may sign a waiver, on a form prescribed by the State Board, to exempt the committee from the electronic filing requirement for the calendar year. Such waiver form shall be submitted and received no later than the date the first report is due covering activity for that calendar year.

C. For political action committees that are not subject to the provisions of subsection B, any report required to be filed with the State Board shall be deemed to be filed by the deadline for the report if it is mailed and postmarked not later than the deadline for filing the report.

1996, c. 687, § 24.2-914.1; 1997, cc. 364, 392; 1998, c. 416; 1999, c. 864; 2000, cc. 511, 555; 2003, c. 242; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-949.9. Final report requirement; disbursement of surplus funds.

A. Any political action committee that, after having filed a statement of organization, disbands or determines it will no longer receive contributions or make expenditures during the calendar year in an aggregate amount exceeding $200 shall so notify the State Board. A final report shall be filed by the committee that sets forth (i) all receipts and disbursements not previously reported, (ii) an accounting of the retirement of all debts, and (iii) the disposition of the committee's surplus funds. This final report shall include a termination statement, signed by the treasurer or other principal officer listed on the statement of organization, that all reporting for the committee is complete and final.

B. Amounts received by a political action committee as contributions may be disposed of only by one or any combination of the following: (i) transferring the excess to an affiliated organization of the committee; (ii) returning the excess to a contributor in an amount not to exceed the contributor's original contribution; (iii) donating the excess to any organization described in § 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code; (iv) contributing the excess to one or more candidates or to any political committee that has filed a statement of organization pursuant to this chapter; (v) contributing the excess to any political party committee; and (vi) defraying any ordinary, nonreimbursed expense related to the political action committee. It shall be unlawful for any person to convert any contributed moneys, securities, or like intangible personal property to his personal use or to the use of a member of the "immediate family," as that term is defined in § 30-101, of the committee's treasurer or chief executive.

1990, c. 931, § 24.1-258.1; 1993, c. 641, § 24.2-921; 2004, c. 457; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2009, c. 231.