20. Alaska Public Offices Commission
30. Duties of the commission
40. Contributions, expenditures and supplying of services to be reported
45. Investigations, hearings
60. Campaign treasurers
70. Contributions and expenditures; amount and form of payment
80. Statement by contributor
90. Identification of communication
100. Expenditures before filing
110. Filing of reports
120. Penalty; limitations on actions
122. Legal counsel
125. Civil penalty: late filing of required reports
(a) This chapter applies in every election for governor, lieutenant governor, a member of the state legislature, a delegate to a constitutional convention, or judge seeking electoral confirmation. It also applies to every candidate for election to a municipal office in a municipality with a population of more than 1,000 inhabitants according to the latest United States census figures or estimates of population certified as correct for administrative purposes by the Department of Community and Regional Affairs. A municipality may exempt its elected municipal officers from the requirements of this chapter if a majority of the voters voting on the question at a regular election, as defined by AS 29.71.800(20), or a special municipality-wide election called for that purpose, vote to exempt its elected municipal officers from the requirements of this chapter. The question of exemption from the requirements of this chapter may be submitted by the governing body by ordinance or by initiative election. This chapter does not prohibit a municipality from regulating by ordinance campaign contributions and expenditures.
(b) Except as otherwise provided, this chapter applies to contributions, expenditures and communications made by a candidate, group, municipality or individual for the purpose of influencing the outcome of a ballot proposition or question as well as those made to influence the nomination or election of a candidate.
(a) There is created in the Department of Administration the Alaska Public Offices Commission consisting of five members. The governor shall appoint all members of the commission in the manner prescribed in (b) and (c) of this section, subject to confirmation by a majority of the legislature meeting in joint session.
(b) The governor shall appoint two members of each of the two political parties whose candidate for governor received the highest number of votes in the most recent preceding general election at which a governor was elected. The two appointees from each of these two parties shall be chosen from a list of four names to be submitted by the central committee of each party.
(c) The four members selected under (b) of this section shall, by a majority vote, nominate to the governor an individual to serve as the fifth member of the commission. The governor shall either appoint the nominee to the commission, or shall reject the nominee and request those four members to nominate another individual to serve as the fifth member of the commission.
(d) Members of the commission serve staggered terms of five years, or until a successor is appointed and qualifies. The terms of no two members who are members of the same political party may expire in consecutive years. A member may not serve more than one term. However, a person appointed to fill the unexpired term of a predecessor may be appointed to a successive full five-year term.
(e) A member of the commission, during tenure, may not
(1) hold or campaign for elective office;
(2) be an officer of a political party, political committee or group;
(3) permit the member's name to be used, or make any contributions whatsoever, in support of or in opposition to a candidate or proposition or question that appears on any ballot in the state including but not limited to that of a municipality; however, contributions may be made to a candidate for the office of President of the United States;
(4) participate in any way in an election campaign or participate in or contribute to any political party; or
(5) lobby, employ or assist a lobbyist.
(f) Members of the commission shall receive compensation of $50 a day while attending commission meetings and shall be entitled to travel expenses and per diem authorized by law for members of other boards and commissions.
(g) The members shall elect a chairman. Three members of the commission constitute a quorum. A vacancy does not impair the powers of the remaining members to exercise all of the powers of the commission.
(h) A vacancy on the commission shall be filled by the appropriate appointing method for the position within 30 days after the occurrence of the vacancy. The appointee shall serve for the remaining term of the appointee's predecessor.
(i) The commission may employ an executive director and other employees it considers necessary. Neither the executive director nor an employee may have a vote.
(j) The commission shall establish an office, which may be called a regional office, in each senate district in the state to keep on file for public inspection copies of all reports filed with the commission by candidates for statewide office and by candidates for legislative office in that district; however, where one municipality contains more than one election district, only one commission office shall be established in that municipality. The regional office shall make all forms and pertinent materials available to candidates. All reports shall be filed by candidates, groups and individuals directly with the commission's central district office. The commission shall insure that copies of all reports by statewide and legislative candidates in each senate district are forwarded promptly to that district or regional office.
(k) The commission shall insure that copies of reports filed by candidates for municipal office are made available for public inspection in the appropriate municipality.
The commission shall
(1) develop and provide all forms for the reports and statements required to be made under this chapter, AS 24.45 and AS 39.50;
(2) prepare and publish a manual setting out uniform methods of bookkeeping and reporting for use by persons required to make reports and statements under this chapter and otherwise assist candidates, groups, and individuals in complying with the requirements of this chapter;
(3) receive and hold open for public inspection reports and statements required to be made under this chapter and, upon request, furnish copies at cost to interested persons;
(4) compile and maintain a current list of all filed reports and statements;
(5) prepare a summary of each report filed under AS 15.13.110 and make copies of this summary available to interested persons at their actual cost;
(6) notify, by registered or certified mail, all persons who are delinquent in filing reports and statements required to be made under this chapter;
(7) report within 60 days after the election the names of all persons and groups who have failed to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter to the office of the attorney general;
(8) examine, investigate and compare all reports, statements and actions required by this chapter, AS 24.45 and AS 39.50 and to report to the attorney general the names of all persons or groups that the commission has substantial reason to believe have violated this chapter, AS 24.45 or AS 39.50;
(9) prepare and publish a biennial report concerning the activities of the commission, the effectiveness of this chapter, its enforcement by the attorney general's office, and recommendations and proposals for change; the commission shall notify the leglislature that the report is available:
(10) adopt regulations necessary to implement and clarify the provisions of AS 24.45, AS 39.50 and this chapter, subject to the provisions of AS 44.62 Administrative Procedure Act (AS 44.62).
(a) Each candidate shall make a full report, upon a form prescribed by the commission, listing the date and amount of all expenditures made by the candidate, the total amount of all contributions, including all funds contributed by the candidate, and for all contributions in excess of $100 in the aggregate a year, the name, address, principal occupation, and employer of the contributor and the date and amount contributed by each contributor. The report shall be filed in accordance with AS 15.13.110 and shall be certified correct by the candidate or campaign treasurer.
(b) Each group shall make a full report upon a form prescribed by the commission listing
(1) the name and address of each officer and director;
(2) the aggregate amount of all contributions made to it; and, for all contributions in excess of $100 in the aggregate a year, the name, address, principal occupation, and employer of the contributor, and the date and amount contributed by each contributor; and
(3) the date and amount of all contributions made by it and all expenditures made, incurred or authorized by it.
(c) The report required under (b) of this section shall be filed in accordance with AS 15.13.110 and shall be certified as correct by the group's treasurer.
(d) Every individual, person or group making a contribution or expenditure shall make a full report, upon a form prescribed by the commission, of the following contributions or expenditures:
(1) any contribution of cash, goods or services valued at more than $250 a year to any group or candidate; or
(2) any expenditure whatsoever for advertising in newspapers, on radio or on television; or, for the publication, distribution or circulation of brochures, flyers, or other campaign material for any candidate or ballot proposition or question.
(e) The report required under (d) of this section shall contain the name, address, principal occupation and employer of the individual filing the report, and an itemized list of expenditures. The report shall be filed with the commission by the contributor no later than 10 days after the contribution or expenditure is made. A copy of the report shall be furnished to the candidate, campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer at the time the contribution is made.
(f) During each year in which an election occurs, all businesses, persons, or groups that furnish any of the following services, facilities, or supplies to a candidate or group shall maintain a record of each transaction: newspapers, radio, television, advertising, advertising agency services, accounting, billboards, printing, secretarial, public opinion polls, or research and professional campaign consultation or management, media production or preparation, or computer services. The records shall be maintained on the forms provided and in the manner required by the commission. Within 30 days after each election, the supplier shall file with the commission a report of the complete record of each transaction with all candidates or groups to whom the supplier provides services, facilities or supplies in excess of $250 in the aggregate. All records shall be available for public inspection.
(a) The commission may issue subpoenas, administer oaths, hold hearings and conduct investigations.
(b) In conjunction with (a) of this section, the commission may compel the attendance of witnesses and production of papers, books, records, accounts, documents, and testimony, and may have the deposition of witnesses taken in a manner prescribed by court rule or law for the taking of depositions in civil actions when consistent with the powers and duties assigned to the commission by this chapter.
(c) The commission may examine the papers, books, records, accounts and documents of any person subject to this chapter to ascertain the correctness of a report filed with the commission, or in conjunction with an investigation or inspection conducted under (a) of this section.
(d) Subpoenas may be issued and shall be served in the manner prescribed by AS 44.62.430 and court rule. The failure, refusal or neglect to obey a subpoena is punishable as contempt in the manner prescribed by law or court rule. The superior court may compel obedience to the commission's subpoena in the same manner as prescribed for obedience to a subpoena issued by the court. (Sec. 14 ch 189 SLA 1975)
Each group, before making an expenditure on behalf of, or in opposition to, a candidate or a contribution to a candidate, shall register, on forms provided by the commission, with the commission. If the group intends to support or oppose only one candidate, or to contribute to or expend on behalf of, or in opposition to, one candidate 50 per cent or more of its funds, the name of the candidate shall be a part of the name of the group. Promptly upon receiving the registration, the commission shall notify the candidate of the group's organization and intent.
(a) Each candidate and group shall appoint a campaign treasurer who is responsible for receiving, holding, and disbursing all contributions and expenditures, and for filing all reports and statements required by law. A candidate may be a campaign treasurer.
(b) Each group shall file the name and address of its campaign treasurer with the commission at the time it registers with the commission under AS 15.13.050.
(c) Each candidate for state office shall file the name and address of the campaign treasurer with the commission, or submit, in writing, the name and address of the campaign treasurer to the director for filing with the commission, no later than 15 days after the date of filing the declaration of candidacy or the nominating petition. Each candidate for municipal office shall file the name and address of the campaign treasurer with the commission no later than seven days after the date of filing the declaration of candidacy or the nominating petition. If the candidate does not designate a campaign treasurer, the candidate is the campaign treasurer.
(d) In the case of the death, resignation or removal of a campaign treasurer, the candidate shall appoint a successor as soon as practicable and file the successor's name and address with the commission within 48 hours of the appointment. The candidate is disqualified if found to have been in wilful violation of this subsection.
(e) A campaign treasurer may appoint as many deputy campaign treasurers as necessary. The candidate shall file the names and addresses of the deputy campaign treasurers with the commission.
(f) The candidate is responsible for the performance of the campaign treasurer, and any default or violation by the treasurer also shall be considered a default or violation by the candidate if the candidate knew or had reason to know of the default or violation.
amount and form of payment. (a) A person or group, including but not limit to all political committees, businesses, corporations, and labor unions, may not contribute to or expend more than $1,000 a year on behalf of or in opposition to the competing candidates for each elective office. Political parties and their subdivisions are not subject to the limitation prescribed in this subsection, but they are subject to the reporting requirements prescribed by AS 15.13.040(b) and 15.13.110. This chapter does not prohibit
(2) individuals or groups, including but not limited to all political committees, businesses, corporations, and labor unions, from contributing to or expending on behalf of a ballot proposition or question more than $1,000 a year; however, these contributions and expenditures shall be reported in accordance with AS 15.13.040 and 15.13.110.
(b) A contribution over $100 may not be made in cash or by cash payment and it may not be accepted by or on behalf of a candidate.
(c) An expenditure over $100 may not be made in cash or by cash payment unless a written receipt is obtained and filed with the commission.
(d) A contribution may not be made, and an expenditure may not be made or incurred, directly or indirectly, anonymously, in a fictitious name, or by one person or group in the name of another, to influence the election of a candidate in an election. A contribution made by a person wishing to remain anonymous, and received by a candidate, campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer, may not be used or expended, but shall be returned to the donor, if the donor's identity is known, and if no donor is found, the contribution escheats to the state if not donated by the candidate to the charity of the candidate's choice.
(e) Contributions to a candidate or a political committee may be received by, and expenditures of a candidate or political committee may be made by, only the candidate, campaign treasurer, or deputy campaign treasurer.
(f) [Repealed, Sec. 45 ch 85 SLA 1986.]
(g) [Repealed, Sec. 45 ch 85 SLA 1986.]
(h) No campaign expenditure of any type whatsoever shall be made by any candidate, treasurer, or group unless the source is disclosed as required by the provisions of this chapter whether or not those funds were received before May 10, 1974.
A person or group contributing to a candidate over $250 or contributing goods or services to a candidate with a value of more than $250 to influence the election of a candidate shall furnish the commission a signed statement, on a form made available by the commission. The statement shall itemize the contributions and goods and state that the contributor is not a person or group prohibited by law from contributing and that the contribution consists of funds or property belonging to the contributor and has not been given or furnished by another person or group. The contributor's statement shall be filed with the commission by the contributor no later than 10 days after the contribution is made. A copy of the statement shall be furnished the candidate, campaign treasurer, or deputy campaign treasurer at the time the contribution is made.
All advertisements, billboards, handbills, paid-for television and radio announcements and other communications intended to influence the election of a candidate or outcome of a ballot proposition or question shall be clearly identified by the words "paid for by" followed by the name and address of the candidate, group or individual paying for the advertising. In addition, candidates and groups must identify the name of their campaign chairman.
A political campaign expenditure may not be made or incurred by a person in an election or by a person or group with the person's knowledge and on the person's behalf before the date upon which the person files for nomination for the office which the person seeks, except for personal travel expenses or for opinion surveys or polls. These expenditures must be included in the first report required under this chapter after filing for office.
(a) Each candidate and group shall make a full report in accordance with AS 15.13.040 during the period ending three days before the due date of the report and beginning on the last day covered by the most recent previous report. If the report is a first report, it shall cover the period from the beginning of the campaign to the date three days before the due date of the report. If the report is a report due February 15, it shall cover the period beginning on the last day covered by the most recent previous report or on the day that the campaign started, whichever is later, and ending on December 31 of the prior year. The report shall be filed
(1) 30 days before the election; however, this report is not required if the deadline for filing a nominating petition or declaration of candidacy is within 30 days of the election;
(2) one week before the election;
(3) ten days after the election; and
(4) February 15 for expenditures made and contributions received that were not reported during the previous year or when expenditures were not made or contributions were not received during the previous year.
(b) Each contribution or expenditure which exceeds $250 and which is made within nine days of the election shall be reported to the commission by date, amount, and contributor or recipient within 24 hours of receipt or expenditure by the candidate or campaign treasurer.
(c) The reports of candidates shall be filed with the commission's central office. All reports required by this chapter shall be kept open to public inspection. Within 30 days after each election, the commission shall prepare a summary of each report which shall be made available to the public at cost upon request. Each summary shall use uniform categories of reporting.
(d) [Repealed, Sec. 35 ch 126 SLA 1994.]
(e) A group formed to sponsor an initiative, a referendum or a recall shall report 30 days after its first filing with the lieutenant governor. Thereafter each group shall report within 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter on the contributions received and expenditures made during the preceding calendar quarter until reports are due under (a) of this section.
(f) During the year in which the election is scheduled, each of the following shall file the campaign disclosure reports in the manner and at the times required by this section:
(1) a person who, under the regulations adopted by the commission to implement AS 15.13.100, indicates an intention to become a candidate for elective state executive or legislative office;
(2) a person who has filed a nominating petition under AS 15.25.140 - 15.25.200 to become a candidate at the general election for elective state executive or legislative office;
(3) a person who campaigns as a write-in candidate for elective state executive or legislative office at the general election; and
(4) a group that receives contributions or makes expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to a person described in (1) - (3) of this subsection.
(a) A person who violates a provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, is punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than $5,000. A violation includes but is not limited to any of the following acts or omissions:
(1) failing to make a statement or report required to be made under this chapter, or failing to make a statement or report at the time the statement or report is required to be made under this chapter;
(2) making a campaign contribution that exceeds the limitations of AS 15.13.070;
(3) making a false statement or report under this chapter;
(4) giving or furnishing money to another person or group for the purpose of making a contribution or expenditure anonymously, in a fictitious name, or in the name of another, or contributing in violation of AS 15.13.070;
(5) making a communication to support or defeat a candidate without identification of sponsorship, in violation of AS 15.13.090;
(6) knowingly accepting a contribution in violation of AS 15.13.070.
(b) [Repealed, Sec. 6 ch 134 SLA 1982.]
(c) Promptly after the final date for filing statements and reports, the commission shall notify all persons who have become delinquent in filing them, including contributors who failed to file a statement in accordance with AS 15.13.040, and shall make available a list of these delinquents for public inspection. The commission shall also report to the attorney general the names of all candidates in an election whose campaign treasurers have failed to file the reports required by this chapter.
(d) A person who believes a violation of this chapter has occurred may file a complaint with the commission. If the commission determines there is substantial reason to believe that a violation has occurred, it shall expeditiously make an investigation, which may also include an investigation of reports and statements filed by the complainant if the complainant is a candidate, of the matter complained of. When, in the judgment of the commission, after affording due notice and an opportunity for a hearing, a person has engaged or is about to engage in any acts or practices which constitute or will constitute a violation of a provision of this chapter, or a regulation or order issued under it, it shall promptly report the information to the attorney general for appropriate action. The commission shall report its determination and recommendation to the person who filed the complaint with the commission within 60 days of receiving the complaint unless circumstances require additional time to make an adequate investigation. The finding of the commission may be appealed to the superior court.
(e) Prosecution for violation of a provision of this chapter may not be commenced after four years have elapsed from the date of the alleged violation.
(f) If, after being sworn into office, a person who was a successful candidate or the campaign treasurer or deputy treasurer of a person who was a successful candidate is convicted of a violation of this chapter, proceedings shall be held and appropriate action taken in accordance with
(1) art. II, Sec. 12 of the state constitution, if the candidate is a candidate for the state legislature;
(2) art. II, Sec. 20 of the state constitution, if the candidate is a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor;
(3) AS 29.20.170, if the candidate is a candidate for the borough assembly;
(4) AS 29.20.280, if the candidate is a candidate for borough mayor;
(5) AS 29.20.170, if the candidate is a candidate for city council;
(6) AS 29.20.280, if the candidate is a candidate for city mayor;
(7) the provisions of the call for the constitutional convention, if the candidate is a candidate for constitutional convention delegate;
(8) art. IV, Sec. 10 of the state constitution, if the candidate is a candidate for judicial retention.
(h) When, after being sworn into office, a successful candidate or the campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer of a person who was a successful candidate is charged with a violation of this chapter, the case shall be promptly tried and accorded a preferred position for purposes of argument and decision, so as to assure a speedy disposition of the matter.
(a) The attorney general is legal counsel for the commission. The attorney general shall advise the commission in legal matters arising in the discharge of its duties and represent the commission in actions to which it is a party. If, in the opinion of the commission, the public interest warrants, the commission may request the chief justice of the supreme court to appoint a special prosecutor to represent the commission in a proceeding involving an alleged violation of this chapter and to prosecute that violation.
(b) When the public interest warrants, the commission may employ temporary legal counsel from time to time in matters in which the commission is involved. (Sec. 26 ch 189 SLA 1975)
late filing of required reports. A person who fails to file a properly completed and certified report within the time required by AS 15.13.040(f) AS 15.13.110(a)(1), (3), or (4) or 15.13.110(f) is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10 a day for each day the delinquency continues as determined by the commission subject to right of appeal to the superior court. A person who fails to file a properly completed and certified report within the time required by AS 15.13.110(a)(2) or 15.13.110(b) is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $50 a day for each day the delinquency continues as determined by the commission subject to right of appeal to the superior court. An affidavit stating facts in mitigation may be submitted to the commission by a person against whom a civil penalty is assessed. However, the imposition of the penalties prescribed in this section or in AS 15.13.120 does not excuse that person from filing reports required by this chapter.
(2) "contribution" means purchase, payment, promise or obligation to pay, loan or loan guarantee, deposit or gift of money, goods or services for which charge is ordinarily made and which is made for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate, and in AS 15.13.010(b) for the purpose of influencing a ballot proposition or question, including the payment by a person other than a candidate or political party, or compensation of the personal services of another person which are rendered to the candidate or political party; however, "contribution" does not include
(A) services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate or ballot proposition or question, but it does include professional services volunteered by individuals for which they ordinarily would be paid a fee or wage;
(B) services provided by an accountant or other person to prepare reports and statements required by this chapter;
(C) ordinary hospitality in a home;
(3) "expenditure" means a purchase or a transfer of money or anything of value, or promise or agreement to purchase or transfer money or anything of value, incurred or made for the purpose of
(A) influencing the nomination or election of a candidate or of any individual who files for nomination at a later date and becomes a candidate;
(B) use by a political party;
(C) the payment by a person other than a candidate or political party of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to a candidate or political party; or
(D) influencing the outcome of a ballot proposition or question; however, "expenditure" does not include a candidate's filing fee or the cost of preparing reports and statements required by this chapter;
(4) "group" means every state and regional executive committee of a political party and, in addition, means any combination of two or more persons or individuals acting jointly who take action the major purpose of which is to influence the outcome of an election; a group that makes expenditures or receives contributions with the authorization or consent, express or implied, or under the control, direct or indirect, of a candidate shall be considered to be controlled by that candidate; a group whose major purpose is to further the nomination, election, or candidacy of only one person, or intends to expend more than 50 per cent of its money on a single candidate, shall be considered to be controlled by that candidate and its actions done with the candidate's knowledge and consent unless, within 10 days from the date the candidate learns of the existence of the group the candidate files with the commission, on a form provided by the commission, an affidavit that the group is operating without the candidate's control; a group organized for more than one year preceding an election and endorsing candidates for more than one office or more than one political party is presumed not to be controlled by a candidate; however, a group that contributes more than 50 per cent of its money to or on behalf of one candidate shall be considered to support only one candidate for purposes of AS 15.13.070, whether or not control of the group has been disclaimed by the candidate;
(5) "individual" means a natural person;
(6) [Repealed, Sec. 88 ch 74 SLA 1985.]
(7) "person", in addition to the terms set out in AS 01.10.060, includes a labor union.