TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION RULES

Chapter 22. RESTRICTIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

§ 22.1. Certain Campaign Treasurer Appointments Required before Political Activity Begins

§ 22.3. Disclosure of True Source of Contribution or Expenditure

§ 22.5. Contributions to Direct Campaign Expenditure Only Committees

§ 22.6. Reporting Direct Campaign Expenditures

§ 22.7. Contribution from Out-of-State Committee

§ 22.9. Cash Contributions Exceeding $100 Prohibited

§ 22.11. Prohibition on Contributions during Regular Session

§ 22.13. Contributions in the Capitol Prohibited

§ 22.15. Prohibition on Payments Made To Purchase Real Property

§ 22.17. Prohibition on Personal Use of Political Contributions

§ 22.19. General Restrictions on Reimbursement of Personal Funds

§ 22.21. Additional Restrictions on Reimbursement of Personal Funds and Payments on Certain Loans

§ 22.23. Restrictions on Certain Payments

§ 22.27. Time Limit on Retaining Unexpended Contributions

§ 22.29. Activity after Death or Incapacity of Candidate or Officeholder

§ 22.31. Restrictions on Foreign Nationals

§ 22.33. Expenditure Limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act


§ 22.1. Certain Campaign Treasurer Appointments Required before Political Activity Begins

(a) An individual must file a campaign treasurer appointment with the proper authority before accepting a campaign contribution or making or authorizing a campaign expenditure.

(1) An officeholder may accept an officeholder contribution and make or authorize an officeholder expenditure without a campaign treasurer appointment on file.

(2) An officeholder who does not have a campaign treasurer appointment on file may not accept a campaign contribution or make or authorize a campaign expenditure.

(b) A political committee may not accept political contributions exceeding $500 and may not make or authorize political expenditures exceeding $500 without filing a campaign treasurer appointment with the appropriate filing authority.

(c) A general-purpose committee may not make or authorize political expenditures totaling more than $500 unless the committee has:

(1) filed its campaign treasurer appointment not later than the 60th day before the date the expenditure is made that causes the total expenditures to exceed $500; and

(2) received contributions from at least 10 persons.

(d) Subsection (c) of this section does not apply to a general-purpose committee that accepts contributions from a multi-candidate political committee (as defined by the Federal Election Campaign Act) that is registered with the Federal Election Commission, provided that the general-purpose committee is in compliance with § 22.7 of this title (relating to Contribution from Out-of-State Committee).

(e) Unless the committee's campaign treasurer appointment was filed not later than the 30th day before the appropriate election day, a political committee may not knowingly make or authorize campaign contributions or campaign expenditures exceeding $500 to support or oppose a candidate in a primary or general election for the following:

(1) a statewide office;

(2) a seat in the state legislature;

(3) a seat on the State Board of Education;

(4) a multi-county district office; or

(5) a judicial district office filled by voters of only one county.

(f) This section does not apply to the county executive committee of a political party except as provided in Chapter 20, Subchapter I of this title (relating to Rules Applicable to a Political Party's County Executive Committee).

§ 22.3. Disclosure of True Source of Contribution or Expenditure

A person may not knowingly make or authorize a political contribution or political expenditure in the name of or on behalf of another unless the person discloses the name and address of the person who is the true source of the contribution.

§ 22.5. Contributions to Direct Campaign Expenditure Only Committees

(a) Before accepting a political contribution from corporations or labor organizations, a political committee that intends to act exclusively as a “direct campaign expenditure only committee” must file with the commission an affidavit stating the following:

(1) the committee intends to act exclusively as a direct campaign expenditure only committee; and

(2) the committee will not use its political contributions to make political contributions to any candidate for elective office, officeholder, or political committee that makes a political contribution to a candidate or officeholder.

(b) A political committee’s acceptance of a political contribution from a corporation or labor organization does not constitute a violation of section 253.003(b) or 253.094(a) of the Election Code if, before accepting the contribution, the committee files with the commission an affidavit described under subsection (a) of this section.

§ 22.6. Reporting Direct Campaign Expenditures

Section 254.261 of the Election Code applies to a person who, not acting in concert with another person, makes one or more direct campaign expenditures that exceed $100 in an election from the person’s own property.

§ 22.7. Contribution from Out-of-State Committee

(a) For each reporting period during which a candidate, officeholder, or political committee accepts a contribution or contributions from an out-of-state political committee totaling more than $500, the candidate, officeholder, or political committee must comply with subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

(b) The candidate, officeholder, or political committee covered by subsection (a) of this section must first obtain from the out-of-state committee one of the following documents before accepting the contribution that causes the total received from the out-of-state committee to exceed $500 during the reporting period:

(1) a written statement, certified by an officer of the out-of-state-political committee, listing the full name and address of each person who contributed more than $100 to the out-of-state political committee during the 12 months immediately preceding the date of the contribution; or

(2) a copy of the out-of-state political committee's statement of organization filed as required by law with the Federal Election Commission and certified by an officer of the out-of-state committee.

(c) The document obtained pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be included as part of the report that covers the reporting period in which the candidate, officeholder, or political committee accepted the contribution that caused the total accepted from the out-of-state committee to exceed $500.

(d) A candidate, officeholder, or political committee that:

(1) receives contributions covered by subsection (a) of this section from the same out-of-state committee in successive reporting periods; and

(2) complies with subsection (b)(2) of this section before accepting the first contribution triggering subsection (a) of this section, may comply with subsection (c) of this section in successive reporting periods by submitting a copy of the certified document obtained before accepting the first contribution triggering subsection (a) of this section, rather than by obtaining and submitting an original certified document for each reporting period, provided the document has not been amended since the last submission.

(e) A candidate, officeholder, or political committee that accepts a contribution or contributions totaling $500 or less from an out-of-state political committee shall include as part of the report covering the reporting period in which the contribution or contributions are accepted either:

(1) a copy of the out-of-state committee's statement of organization filed as required by law with the Federal Election Commission and certified by an officer of the out-of-state committee; or

(2) the following information:

(A) the full name of the committee, and, if the name is an acronym, the words the acronym represents;

(B) the address of the committee;

(C) the telephone number of the committee;

(D) the name of the person appointing the campaign treasurer; and

(E) the following information for the individual appointed campaign treasurer and assistant campaign treasurer:

(i) the individual's full name;

(ii) the individual's residence or business street address; and

(iii) the individual's telephone number.

(f) This section does not apply to a contribution from an out-of-state political committee if the committee filed a campaign treasurer appointment with the commission before making the contribution.

§ 22.9. Cash Contributions Exceeding $100 Prohibited

(a) A candidate, officeholder, or specific-purpose committee may not knowingly accept political contributions in cash that in the aggregate exceed $100 from a contributor in a reporting period.

(b) Checks are not considered cash for purposes of this section.

§ 22.11. Prohibition on Contributions during Regular Session

(a) During the period that begins on the 30th day before the date a regular legislative session convenes and continuing through the 20th day after the date of final adjournment, a person may not knowingly make a political contribution to:

(1) a statewide officeholder or officer-elect;

(2) a member of the legislature or member-elect; or

(3) a specific-purpose committee for supporting, opposing, or assisting a statewide officeholder or officer-elect or member or member-elect of the legislature.

(b) An individual or committee described in subsection (a) of this section may not knowingly accept a political contribution, and shall refuse a political contribution that is received, during the period prescribed by subsection (a) of this section.

(c) A political contribution that is received and refused pursuant to this section shall be returned to the contributor not later than the 30th day after the date of receipt.

(d) A contribution made by United States mail or by common or contract carrier is not considered received during the period prescribed by subsection (a) of this section if it was deposited into an official repository of the United States Postal Service or delivered to a common or contract carrier with postage prepaid and properly addressed before the beginning of the period. The date of the postmark or common or contact carrier documents is considered to be the date the contribution was placed in the mail or delivered to the common or contract carrier unless proven otherwise.

(e) This section does not apply to a political contribution that was made and accepted with the intent that it be used:

(1) in an election held or ordered during the period prescribed by subsection (a) of this section in which the person accepting the contribution is a candidate if the contribution was made after the person appointed a campaign treasurer with the appropriate authority and before the person was sworn in for that office;

(2) to defray expenses incurred in connection with an election contest; or

(3) by a person who holds a statewide office or a member of the legislature, if the person or member was defeated at the general election held immediately before the session is convened, or by a specific-purpose political committee that supports or assists only that person or member.

§ 22.13. Contributions in the Capitol Prohibited

In section 253.039 of the Election Code, the term "Capitol" for purposes of this rule includes the Capitol Building and the Capitol Extension, and any office that is being used as the official capitol office for a member of the legislature, the governor, the lieutenant governor, or the secretary of state.

§ 22.17. Prohibition on Personal Use of Political Contributions

(a) A person who accepts a political contribution as a candidate or officeholder may not convert the contribution to personal use. This subsection applies only to political contributions accepted on or after September 1, 1983.

(b) A specific-purpose committee that accepts a political contribution may not convert the contribution to the personal use of a candidate, officeholder, or former candidate or officeholder. This prohibition applies only to political contributions accepted on or after September 1, 1987.

(c) The prohibitions set out in subsections (a) and (b) of this section apply to the use of an asset purchased with political contributions and to the use of any interest or other income earned on political contributions.

(d) "Personal use" means a use that primarily furthers individual or family purposes not connected with the performance of duties or activities as a candidate for or holder of a public office. It does not include:

(1) payments made to defray ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in connection with activities as a candidate or in connection with the performance of duties or activities as a public officeholder, including payment of rent, utility, and other reasonable housing or household expenses incurred in maintaining a residence in Travis County by members of the legislature who do not normally reside in Travis County, but excluding payments prohibited pursuant to § 22.15 of this title (relating to Prohibition on Payments Made to Purchase Real Property);

(2) payments of federal income taxes due on interest and other income earned on political contributions;

(3) use of contributions for defending a criminal action or prosecuting or defending a civil action brought by or against the individual in his or her status as a candidate or officeholder;

(4) use of contributions for participating in an election contest or participating in a civil action to determine an individual's eligibility to be a candidate for, or elected or appointed to, a public office in this state;

(5) an expenditure for a purpose listed in § 20.289 of this title (relating to Disposition of Unexpended Contributions);

(6) payment of travel expenses of a candidate's spouse or any other person if the spouse or other person is campaigning for candidate; or

(7) payment of travel expenses of an officeholder's spouse or any other person if the other person's travel is in connection with the performance of duties or activities as a public officeholder.

(e) An asset purchased with political contributions is not converted to personal use if the political contributions are fully reimbursed during the reporting period in which the use occurred in an amount that reasonably reflects the value of the use.

§ 22.19. General Restrictions on Reimbursement of Personal Funds

(a) If a candidate makes political expenditures from the candidate's personal funds, he or she may reimburse those personal funds from political contributions only if the expenditure is reported and the candidate states his or her intent to reimburse personal funds pursuant to § 20.219(16) of this title (relating to Content of Candidate's Sworn Report of Contributions and Expenditures).

(b) If an officeholder who does not have a campaign treasurer appointment on file makes political expenditures from the officeholder's personal funds, he or she may reimburse those personal funds from political contributions only if the expenditure is reported and the officeholder states his or her intent to reimburse personal funds pursuant to § 20.279(12) of this title (relating to Contents of Officeholder's Sworn Report of Contributions and Expenditures).

(c) A candidate or officeholder may reimburse personal funds from political contributions for the use of personal assets for political purposes provided that the reimbursement is reported as a political expenditure.

(d) A candidate or officeholder who makes political expenditures from his or her personal funds may reimburse those personal funds from political contributions only if:

(1) the expenditures were fully reported as political expenditures on the report covering the period during which the expenditures were made; and

(2) the report disclosing the expenditures indicates that the expenditures were made from the candidate's or officeholder's personal funds and are subject to reimbursement.

(e) A candidate's or officeholder's failure to comply with subsection (d) of this section may not be cured by filing a corrected report after the report deadline has passed.

(f) A candidate or officeholder who has complied with subsection (d) of this section and whose personal funds have been reimbursed from political contributions must report the amount of the reimbursement as a political expenditure in the report covering the period during which the reimbursement was made.

(g) Section 22.21 of this title (relating to Additional Restrictions on Reimbursement of Personal Funds and Payments on Certain Loans) sets limits on the amount of political expenditures from personal funds that a statewide officeholder may reimburse from political contributions.

§ 22.21. Additional Restrictions on Reimbursement of Personal Funds and Payments on Certain Loans

(a) A candidate or officeholder who makes political expenditures from personal funds may not reimburse his or her personal funds from political contributions in amounts that in the aggregate exceed the following amounts for each election in which the person's name appears on the ballot:

(1) for a statewide office other than governor, $250,000; or

(2) for governor, $500,000.

(b) A candidate or officeholder who accepts one or more political contributions in the form of loans, including an extension of credit or a guarantee of a loan or extension of credit, from one or more persons related to the candidate or officeholder within the second degree by affinity or consanguinity, as defined by the Government Code, Chapter 573, Subchapter B (concerning Relationships by Consanguinity or by Affinity), may not use political contributions to repay the loans in amounts that in the aggregate exceed the amount prescribed by subsection (a) of this section. Interest on loans from the personal funds of any person related to the candidate or officeholder within the second degree by affinity or consanguinity is included in the amount prescribed by subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The total amount of both reimbursements and repayments made by a candidate or officeholder under this section may not exceed the amount prescribed by subsection (a) of this section.

(d) An individual who is both a candidate and an officeholder covered by subsection (a) of this section may reimburse his or her personal funds or repay loans from political contributions only in one capacity.

§ 22.23. Restrictions on Certain Payments

(a) A candidate or officeholder, or a specific-purpose committee for supporting, opposing, or assisting the candidate or officeholder, may not knowingly make or authorize a payment from a political contribution if the payment is made for personal services rendered by the candidate or officeholder or by the spouse or dependent child of the candidate or officeholder to:

(1) a business in which the candidate or officeholder has a participating interest of more than 10%, holds a position on the governing body of the business, or serves as an officer of the business; or

(2) the candidate or officeholder or the spouse or dependent child of the candidate or officeholder.

(b) A payment made from a political contribution to a business described by subsection (a) of this section that is not prohibited by that subsection may not exceed the amount necessary to reimburse the business for actual expenditures made by the business.

(c) A discount given by a corporation to conform with subsection (b) of this section does not constitute a political contribution from the corporation.

§ 22.27. Time Limit on Retaining Unexpended Contributions

A former candidate may retain unexpended political contributions after he or she ceases to be a candidate or officeholder only in accordance with § 20.237 of this title (relating to Final Disposition of Unexpended Contributions) or § 20.289 of this title (relating to Disposition of Unexpended Contributions), as applicable.

§ 22.29. Activity after Death or Incapacity of Candidate or Officeholder

(a) The legal representative of a candidate or officeholder who has died or become incapacitated may accept political contributions and make or authorize expenditures only for the following purposes:

(1) payment of debts or expenses in connection with a campaign or in connection with officeholder duties and activities;

(2) payments to the political party with which the person was affiliated when the person's name last appeared on a ballot;

(3) political contributions to a candidate or political committee;

(4) donations to the Comptroller of Public Accounts for deposit in the state treasury;

(5) refunds of contributions to one or more persons from whom political contributions were received, not to exceed the total amount contributed by each person within the last two years;

(6) donations to a charity recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt;

(7) donations to a public or private post-secondary educational institution or an institution of higher education as defined by the Education Code, § 61.003(8) (concerning Definitions), solely for the purpose of assisting or creating a scholarship program; or

(8) payment of federal income taxes due on interest and other income earned on political contributions.

(b) See § 20.67 of this title (relating to Reporting after the Death or Incapacity of a Filer) in regard to reporting requirements after the death or incapacity of a candidate or officeholder.

§ 22.31. Restrictions on Foreign Nationals

Federal law prohibits contributions from foreign nationals who have not been granted permanent residence in the United States. See United States Code, Title 2, § 441(e).

§ 22.33 Expenditure Limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act

For purposes of the expenditure limits prescribed by Section 253.168 of the Election Code:

(1) an officeholder expenditure is attributed to the next election in which the officeholder is a candidate that occurs after the expenditure is made; and

(2) a campaign expenditure is attributed to the election for which the expenditure is made.

 

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