An Act Regarding the Acceptance of Maine Clean Election Act Campaign Contributions on State Websites
Sec. 1. 21-A MRSA §1125, sub-§3, as amended by IB 2015, c. 1, §18, is further amended to read:
A payment, gift or anything of value may not be given in exchange for a qualifying contribution. A candidate may pay the fee for a money order that is a qualifying contribution in the amount of $5 as long as the donor making the qualifying contribution pays the $5 amount reflected on the money order. Any money order fees paid by a participating candidate must be paid for with seed money and reported in accordance with commission rules. A money order must be signed by the contributor to be a valid qualifying contribution. The commission may establish by routine technical rule, adopted in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A, a procedure for a qualifying contribution to be made by a credit or debit transaction and by electronic funds transfer over the Internet. Qualifying contributions may not be made on a website hosted or operated by the commission, the State or a state agency. Records containing information provided by individuals who have made qualifying contributions over the Internet are confidential, except for the name of the individual making the contribution, the date of the contribution, the individual's residential address and the name and office sought of the candidate in whose support the contribution was made.
It is a violation of this chapter for a participating candidate or an agent of the participating candidate to misrepresent the purpose of soliciting qualifying contributions and obtaining the contributor's signed acknowledgement.
Sec. 2. Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices to amend rule. The Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices shall, prior to the commencement of the next qualifying period as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 21-A, section 1122, subsection 8, amend portions of section 2 of its rule Chapter 3: Maine Clean Election Act and Related Provisions to eliminate the commission's authority to establish an online service for members of the public to make qualifying contributions in support of candidates seeking Maine Clean Election Act funding.
This bill prohibits candidates who are seeking certification under the Maine Clean Election Act from collecting qualifying contributions over the Internet on a website hosted or operated by the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, the State or a state agency.