ADOPTED RULES

At its July 14, 2006, meeting, the Texas Ethics Commission voted to adopt rules regarding the following topics:

Definitions
Text of Adopted Rule

Corrected Reports
Text of Adopted Rule

Sworn Complaint Deadline Extension
Text of Adopted Rule

Formal Hearing Venue
Text of Adopted Rule


Definitions
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is italicized.

Chapter 20. REPORTING POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

Subchapter A. GENERAL RULES

§ 20.1. Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in Title 15 of the Election Code, in this chapter, Chapter 22 of this title (relating to Restrictions on Contributions and Expenditures), and Chapter 24 of this title (relating to Restrictions on Contributions and Expenditures Applicable to Corporations and Labor Organizations), shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Campaign communication--The term does not include a communication made by e-mail.

(2) Campaign treasurer--Either the individual appointed by a candidate to be the campaign treasurer, or the individual responsible for filing campaign finance reports of a political committee under Texas law or the law of any other state.

(3) Contribution--The term does not include a transfer for consideration of any thing of value pursuant to a contract that reflects the usual and normal business practice of the vendor.

(4) Corporation--The term does not include professional corporations or professional associations.

(5) Direct campaign expenditure--A campaign expenditure that does not constitute a contribution by the person making the expenditure. A campaign expenditure is not a contribution from the person making the expenditure if:

(A) it is made without the prior consent or approval of the candidate or officeholder on whose behalf the expenditure was made; or

(B) it is made in connection with a measure, but is not a political contribution to a political committee supporting or opposing the measure.

(6) Election cycle--A single election and any related primary or runoff election.

(7) Identified measure--A question or proposal submitted in an election for an expression of the voters’ will and includes the circulation and submission of a petition to determine whether a question or proposal is required to be submitted in an election for an expression of the voters’ will.

(8) In-kind contribution--A contribution of goods, services, or any other thing of value, except money, and includes an agreement made or other obligation incurred, whether legally enforceable or not, to make such a contribution. The term does not include a direct campaign expenditure.

(9) Non-political expenditure--An expenditure from political contributions that is not an officeholder expenditure or a campaign expenditure.

(10) Opposed candidate--A candidate who has an opponent whose name is to appear on the ballot. The name of a write-in candidate does not appear on the ballot.

(11) Out-of-state political committee--A political committee that makes political expenditures outside Texas and in the 12 months immediately preceding the making of a political expenditure by the committee inside Texas (other than an expenditure made in connection with a campaign for a federal office or made for a federal officeholder), makes 80% or more of the committee’s total political expenditures in any combination of elections outside this state and federal offices not voted on in this state. Section 20.13 of this title (relating to Out-of-State Committees) explains the practical application of this definition.

(12) Pledge--A contribution in the form of an unfulfilled promise or unfulfilled agreement, whether enforceable or not, to provide a specified amount of money or specific goods or services. The term does not include a contribution actually made in the form of a check.

(13) Political advertising:

(A) A communication that supports or opposes a political party, a public officer, a measure, or a candidate for nomination or election to a public office or office of a political party, and:

(i) is published in a newspaper, magazine, or other periodical in return for consideration;

(ii) is broadcast by radio or television in return for consideration;

(iii) appears in a pamphlet, circular, flier, billboard, or other sign, bumper sticker, or similar form of written communication; or

(iv) appears on an Internet website.

(B) The term does not include a communication made by e-mail.

(14) Political committee--Two or more persons that have as a principal purpose accepting political contributions or making political expenditures to support or oppose candidates, officeholders, or measures. The term does not include a group composed exclusively of two or more individual filers or political committees required to file reports under Election Code, Title 15 (concerning Regulating Political Funds and Campaigns), who make reportable expenditures for a joint activity such as a fundraiser or an advertisement.

(15) Political subdivision--A county, city, or school district or any other governmental entity that:

(A) embraces a geographic area with a defined boundary;

(B) exists for the purpose of discharging functions of government; and

(C) possesses authority for subordinate self-government through officers selected by it.

(16) Report--Any document required to be filed by this title, including an appointment of campaign treasurer, any type of report of contributions and expenditures, and any notice.

(17) Specific-purpose committee--A political committee that does not meet the definition of general-purpose committee and that has among its principal purposes:

(A) supporting or opposing one or more:

(i) candidates, all of whom are identified and are seeking offices that are known; or

(ii) measures, all of which are identified;

(B) assisting one or more officeholders, all of whom are identified; or

(C) supporting or opposing only one candidate who is unidentified or who is seeking an office that is unknown.

(18) Unidentified measure--A question or proposal that is intended to be submitted in an election for an expression of the voters’ will and that is not yet legally required to be submitted in an election, except that the term does not include the circulation or submission of a petition to determine whether a question or proposal is required to be submitted in an election for an expression of the voters’ will. The circulation or submission of a petition to determine whether a question or proposal is required to be submitted in an election for an expression of the voters’ will is considered to be an identified measure.


Corrected Reports
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is italicized.

Chapter 18. GENERAL RULES CONCERNING REPORTS

§ 18.9. Corrected Reports

(a) A filer may correct a report filed with the commission or a local filing authority at any time.

(b) A corrected report must clearly identify how the corrected report is different from the report being corrected.

(c) A filer who files a corrected report must submit an affidavit identifying the information that was corrected.

(d) A corrected report is not subject to a late fine if filed in accordance with sections 571.0771 and 305.033(f) of the Government Code, as applicable.

(e) This section does not apply to a corrected report filed under Section 571.069, Government Code, or a corrected report filed in response to a sworn complaint.


Sworn Complaint Deadline Extension
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is italicized.

Chapter 12. SWORN COMPLAINTS

Subchapter A. GENERAL PROVISIONS AND PROCEDURES

§ 12.27. Deadline Extension

The executive director may extend a deadline pursuant to section 571.136 of the Government Code.


Formal Hearing Venue
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is italicized.

Chapter 12. SWORN COMPLAINTS

Subchapter E. FORMAL HEARING

§ 12.117. Formal Hearing:  Venue

When the commission orders a formal hearing the commission shall decide whether the formal hearing will be held before the commission or before the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

 

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