PROPOSED RULE

At its December 3, 2013, meeting, the Texas Ethics Commission voted to propose the following rule. The Ethics Commission invites public comment on the rules. A written statement should be emailed to public_comment@ethics.state.tx.us, or mailed or delivered to Natalia Luna Ashley, Texas Ethics Commission, P.O. Box 12070, Austin, Texas 78711-2070, or by facsimile (FAX) to (512) 463-5777. A person who wants to offer spoken comments to the commission concerning the proposed rule may do so at any commission meeting during the public comment period at a commission meeting when the commission considers the proposed rule. Information concerning the time and location of commission meetings is available at http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tec/meetings.htm or by telephoning (512) 463-5800.

Purpose of Expenditure
Text of Proposed Rule

Contributions to Direct Campaign Expenditure Only Committees
Text of Proposed Rule


Purpose of Expenditure
Text of Proposed Rule

The proposed new language is indicated by underlined text.
The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

Chapter 20. POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES
Subchapter B. GENERAL REPORTING RULES

§ 20.61 Purpose of Expenditure

(a) For reporting required under Section 254.031 of the Election Code, the purpose of an expenditure means:

(1) A description of the category of goods, services, or other thing of value for which an expenditure is made. Examples of acceptable categories include:

(A) advertising expense;

(B) accounting/banking;

(C) consulting expense;

(D) contributions/donations made by candidate/officeholder/political committee;

(E) event expense;

(F) fees;

(G) food/beverage expense;

(H) gifts/awards/memorials expense;

(I) legal services;

(J) loan repayment/reimbursement;

(K) office overhead/rental expense;

(L) polling expense;

(M) printing expense;

(N) salaries/wages/contract labor;

(O) solicitation/fundraising expense;

(P) transportation equipment and related expense;

(Q) travel in district;

(R) travel out of district;

(S) other political expenditures; and

(2) A brief statement or description of the candidate, officeholder, or political committee activity that is conducted by making the expenditure and an additional indication if the expenditure is an officeholder expenditure for living in Austin, Texas. The brief statement or description must include the item or service purchased and must be sufficiently specific, when considered within the context of the description of the category, to make the reason for the expenditure clear. Merely disclosing the category of goods, services, or other thing of value for which the expenditure is made does not adequately describe the purpose of an expenditure.

(b) The description of a political expenditure for travel outside of the state of Texas must provide the following:

(1) The name of the person or persons traveling on whose behalf the expenditure was made;

(2) The means of transportation;

(3) The name of the departure city or the name of each departure location;

(4) The name of the destination city or the name of each destination location;

(5) The dates on which the travel occurred; and

(6) The campaign or officeholder purpose of the travel, including the name of a conference, seminar, or other event.

(c) Except as provided by subsection (d) of this section, this rule applies to expenditures made on or after July 1, 2010.

(d) The requirement to include an additional indication if an expenditure is an officeholder expenditure for living in Austin, Texas, applies to an expenditure made on or after July 1, 2014.

(e)(d) Comments:

The purpose of an expenditure must include both a description of the category of goods or services received in exchange for the expenditure and a brief statement or description of the candidate, officeholder, or political committee activity that is conducted by making the expenditure. A description of an expenditure that merely states the item or service purchased is not adequate because doing so does not allow a person reading the report to know the allowable activity for which an expenditure was made.

The following is a list of examples that describe how the purpose of an expenditure may be reported under section 20.61. This list is for illustrative purposes only. It is intended to provide helpful information and to assist filers in reporting the purpose of an expenditure under this rule. However, it is not, and is not intended to be, an exhaustive or an exclusive list of how a filer may permissibly report the purpose of an expenditure under this rule. The rule does not require the candidate or officeholder to identify by name or affiliation an individual or group with whom the candidate or officeholder meets.

(1) Example: Candidate X is seeking the office of State Representative, District 2000. She purchases an airline ticket from ABC Airlines to attend a campaign rally within District 2000. The acceptable category for this expenditure is "travel in district." The candidate activity that is accomplished by making the expenditure is to attend a campaign rally. An acceptable brief statement is "airline ticket to attend campaign event."

(2) Example: Candidate X purchases an airline ticket to attend a campaign event outside of District 2000 but within Texas, the acceptable category is "travel out of district." The candidate activity that is accomplished by making the expenditure is to attend a campaign event. An acceptable brief statement is "airline ticket to attend campaign or officeholder event."

(3) Example: Candidate X purchases an airline ticket to attend an officeholder related seminar outside of Texas. The acceptable method for the purpose of this expenditure is by selecting the "travel out of district" category and completing the "Schedule T" (used to report travel outside of Texas).

(4) Example: Candidate X contracts with an individual to do various campaign related tasks such as work on a campaign phone bank, sign distribution, and staffing the office. The acceptable category is "salaries/wages/contract labor." The candidate activity that is accomplished by making the expenditure is to compensate an individual working on the campaign. An acceptable brief statement is "contract labor for campaign services."

(5) Example: Officeholder X is seeking re-election and makes an expenditure to purchase a vehicle to use for campaign purposes and permissible officeholder purposes. The acceptable category is "transportation equipment and related expenses" and an acceptable brief description is "purchase of campaign/officeholder vehicle."

(6) Example: Candidate X makes an expenditure to repair a flat tire on a campaign vehicle purchased with political funds. The acceptable category is "transportation equipment and related expenses" and an acceptable brief description is "campaign vehicle repairs."

(7) Example: Officeholder X purchases flowers for a constituent. The acceptable category is "gifts/awards/memorials expense" and an acceptable brief description is "flowers for constituent."

(8) Example: Political Committee XYZ makes a political contribution to Candidate X. The acceptable category is "contributions/donations made by candidate/officeholder/political committee" and an acceptable brief description is "campaign contribution."

(9) Example: Candidate X makes an expenditure for a filing fee to get his name on the ballot. The acceptable category is "fees" and an acceptable brief description is "candidate filing fee."

(10) Example: Officeholder X makes an expenditure to attend a seminar related to performing a duty or engaging in an activity in connection with the office. The acceptable category is "fees" and an acceptable brief description is "attend officeholder seminar."

(11) Example: Candidate X makes an expenditure for political advertising to be broadcast by radio. The acceptable category is "advertising expense" and an acceptable brief description is "political advertising." Similarly, Candidate X makes an expenditure for political advertising to appear in a newspaper. The acceptable category is "advertising expense" and an acceptable brief description is "political advertising."

(12) Example: Officeholder X makes expenditures for printing and postage to mail a letter to all of her constituents, thanking them for their participation during the legislative session. Acceptable categories are "advertising expense" OR "printing expense" and an acceptable brief description is "letter to constituents."

(13) Example: Officeholder X makes an expenditure to pay the campaign office electric bill. The acceptable category is "office overhead/rental expense" and an acceptable brief description is "campaign office electric bill."

(14) Example: Officeholder X makes an expenditure to purchase paper, postage, and other supplies for the campaign office. The acceptable category is "office overhead/rental expense" and an acceptable brief description is "campaign office supplies."

(15) Example: Officeholder X makes an expenditure to pay the campaign office monthly rent. The acceptable category is "office overhead/rental expense" and an acceptable brief description is "campaign office rent."

(16) Example: Candidate X hires a consultant for fundraising services. The acceptable category is "consulting expense" and an acceptable brief description is "campaign services."

(17) Example: Candidate/Officeholder X pays his attorney for legal fees related to either campaign matters or officeholder matters. The acceptable category is "legal services" and an acceptable brief description is "legal fees for campaign" or "for officeholder matters."

(18) Example: Candidate/Officeholder X makes food and beverage expenditures for a meeting with her constituents. The acceptable category is "food/beverage expense" and an acceptable brief statement is "meeting with constituents."

(19) Example: Candidate X makes food and beverage expenditures for a meeting to discuss candidate issues. The acceptable category is "food/beverage expense" and an acceptable brief statement is "meeting to discuss campaign issues."

(20) Example: Officeholder X makes food and beverage expenditures for a meeting to discuss officeholder issues. The acceptable category is "food/beverage expense" and an acceptable brief statement is "meeting to discuss officeholder issues."

(21) Example: Candidate/Officeholder X makes food and beverage expenditures for a meeting to discuss campaign and officeholder issues. The acceptable category is "food/beverage expense" and an acceptable brief statement is "meeting to discuss campaign/officeholder issues."


Contributions to Direct Campaign Expenditure Only Committees
Text of Proposed Rule

The proposed new language is indicated by underlined text.

Chapter 22. RESTRICTIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

§ 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.

(c) A corporation or labor organization may not make a political contribution to a “direct campaign expenditure only committee” before the committee has filed with the commission an affidavit described under subsection (a) of this section.

(d) A corporation’s or labor organization’s making of a political contribution to a political committee that has filed an affidavit described under subsection (a) of this section does not constitute a violation of section 253.094(a) of the Election Code.

(e) This section does not apply to a contribution made or accepted under section 253.096 or 253.104 of the Election Code and an expenditure made under section 253.100 of the Election Code.


 
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