Friday, September 16, 2016

NYC New Fundraising Rules Tighten Restrictions Between Candidates and Independent Expenditure Groups

The New York City's Campaign Finance Board (CFB) put forward three proposals, the first of which is perhaps the most important one in the entire package.

It would add two new factors to determine whether a Campaign is coordinating with Independent Expenditure entities.

The Board would monitor whether a candidate raised funds for an independent spender or if the candidate and the entity had the same employees.

If any of these factors, along with six others that the Board already considers, are met in an election cycle, "the Board will assume an expenditure was coordinated unless there is evidence to the contrary," reads a post on the CFB website.

Two other rule proposals would require increased disclosure from independent spenders, including providing information about who owns or contributes to a group's contributors and making that information available on public communications.

CFB's New Rules:

To determine whether a coordinated expenditure is made in connection with a covered election, the Board will consider the totality of the circumstances, including a number of factors. Such factors may include, but are not limited to:

1. Whether the content focuses on the candidate, his/her opponent, or otherwise promotes the candidate and/or denigrates his/her opponent.

2. Whether, in cases where the communication refers to more than one individual, the content references the candidate in a manner that overshadows references to the other individuals, or otherwise promotes the candidate and/or denigrates his/her opponent.

3. Whether the distribution of a communication appears designed to reach the candidate’s electorate.

4. Whether the communications are focused on the candidate’s past accomplishments or positions, rather than focusing on issues being discussed by a governmental body.

5. Whether there is consistent and repeated overlap between campaign staff, the organization’s staff, and/or their consultants’ staff, or the candidate or his/her agent has raised funds for the organization.

6. Whether the organization lacks a history of advocacy on issues or other work that is separate from a candidate or campaign.

7. Whether the timing coincides with the candidate’s campaign.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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