Maine Revised Statutes

§1056-B. Ballot question committees

A person not defined as a political action committee that receives contributions or makes expenditures, other than by contribution to a political action committee or a ballot question committee, aggregating in excess of $5,000 for the purpose of initiating or influencing a campaign as defined by section 1052, subsection 1 shall register as a ballot question committee and file reports with the commission in accordance with this section. For the purposes of this section, "campaign" does not include activities to influence the nomination or election of a candidate. For the purposes of this section, expenditures include paid staff time spent for the purpose of initiating or influencing a campaign. [2015, c. 408, §3 (AMD).]

1. Filing requirements.  A report required by this section must be filed with the commission according to the reporting schedule in section 1059. After completing all financial activity, the committee shall terminate its campaign finance reporting in the same manner provided in section 1061. The committee shall file each report required by this section through an electronic filing system developed by the commission unless granted a waiver under section 1059, subsection 5.
[ 2009, c. 190, Pt. A, §20 (AMD) .]
1-A. Ballot question committee registration.  A person subject to this section who receives contributions or makes expenditures that exceed $5,000 shall register with the commission as a ballot question committee within 7 days of receiving those contributions or making those expenditures. A ballot question committee shall have a treasurer and a principal officer. The same individual may not serve in both positions unless the person establishing the ballot question committee is an individual. The ballot question committee when registering shall identify all other individuals who are the primary decision makers and fund-raisers, the person establishing the ballot question committee and the campaign the ballot question committee intends to initiate or influence. The ballot question committee shall amend the registration within 10 days of a change in the information required in this subsection. The commission shall prescribe forms for the registration, which must include the information required by this subsection and any additional information reasonably required for the commission to monitor the activities of the ballot question committee.
[ 2015, c. 408, §3 (NEW) .]
2. Content.  A report required by this section must contain an itemized account with the date, amount and purpose of each expenditure made for the purpose of initiating or influencing a campaign; an itemized account of contributions received from a single source aggregating in excess of $50 in any election; the date of each contribution; the date and purpose of each expenditure; the name and address of each contributor, payee or creditor; and the occupation and principal place of business, if any, for any person who has made contributions exceeding $50 in the aggregate. The filer is required to report only those contributions made to the filer for the purpose of initiating or influencing a campaign and only those expenditures made for those purposes. The definitions of "contribution" and "expenditure" in section 1052, subsections 3 and 4, respectively, apply to persons required to file ballot question reports.
[ 2015, c. 408, §3 (AMD) .]
2-A. Contributions.   For the purposes of this section, "contribution" includes, but is not limited to:
A. Funds that the contributor specified were given in connection with a campaign; [2009, c. 524, §10 (AMD).]
B. Funds provided in response to a solicitation that would lead the contributor to believe that the funds would be used specifically for the purpose of initiating or influencing a campaign; [2011, c. 389, §40 (AMD).]
C. Funds that can reasonably be determined to have been provided by the contributor for the purpose of initiating or influencing a campaign when viewed in the context of the contribution and the recipient's activities regarding a campaign; and [2011, c. 389, §41 (AMD).]
D. Funds or transfers from the general treasury of an organization filing a ballot question report. [2007, c. 477, §4 (NEW).]
3. Forms.  A report required by this section must be on a form prescribed and prepared by the commission. A person filing this report may use additional pages if necessary, but the pages must be the same size as the pages of the form.
[ 1999, c. 729, §8 (NEW) .]
4. Records.   A person filing a report required by this section shall keep records as required by this subsection for 4 years following the election to which the records pertain.
A. The filer shall keep a detailed account of all contributions made to the filer for the purpose of initiating or influencing a campaign and all expenditures made for those purposes. [2011, c. 389, §42 (AMD).]
B. The filer shall retain a vendor invoice or receipt stating the particular goods or services purchased for every expenditure in excess of $50. [2007, c. 477, §4 (NEW).]
5. Liability for penalties.  The commission may hold the treasurer and principal officer of a ballot question committee and any for-profit, nonprofit or other organization that established the ballot question committee jointly and severally liable with the ballot question committee for any fines assessed against the ballot question committee for a violation of this chapter.
[ 2015, c. 408, §3 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1999, c. 729, §8 (NEW). 2007, c. 477, §4 (AMD). 2009, c. 190, Pt. A, §20 (AMD). 2009, c. 366, §7 (AMD). 2009, c. 366, §12 (AFF). 2009, c. 524, §§8-13 (AMD). 2011, c. 389, §§38-42 (AMD). 2011, c. 389, §62 (AFF). 2015, c. 408, §3 (AMD).