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Campaign Finance Popular Questions

How does a political committee terminate?

The process of winding down a committee entails ceasing all campaign activity, zeroing out the committee’s bank account, and filing a termination statement with the filing officer in accordance with A.R.S. § 16-934.

  1. A committee must repay its debts to creditors before terminating.  If a terminating committee has surplus monies remaining after payment of all debts, the committee is required to dispose of those surplus monies in specific ways set forth in A.R.S. § 16-933.
  2. Once a committee has wound down its financial affairs, the committee may file a termination statement with the filing officer with whom the committee’s statement of organization is filed. A committee must pay any outstanding penalties/fees, if applicable.
  3. After the committee has completed winding down of all operations, under “Acct Mgmt” in the committee’s online campaign finance reporting account, click on “Terminate Filer Account.” After termination, account users will no longer be able to log on to the filing system and access the committee account.  Once termination is complete, confirmation that the committee has been terminated may be viewed through the Arizona Secretary of State’s public campaign finance search portal. 
What happens if my committee files late?

A committee that fails to timely file a report must pay the filing officer a penalty of $10 for each day that the filing is late during the first 15 days after the filing deadline and $25 for each subsequent day that the filing is late.  Penalties accrue until the late report is filed. (A.R.S. § 16-937)

Failure to file a complete report within 30 days after the filing deadline may result in notification to the enforcement officer, and failure to file 3 consecutive reports may result in the committee’s suspension.  Suspension does not eliminate a committee’s continued obligation to file reports and pay outstanding and accruing penalties.

We have a newly elected Chairperson and Treasurer for our committee. How do we update that change?

If any changes are made to a committee, you must file an amended statement of organization with the Secretary of State’s office. To do this, log on to the web-based system and under “Acct Mgmt” and “Filer Acct Mgmt,” and enter any changes to the committee information. Continue to the correspondence confirmation screen and complete the amendment by clicking the “Done” button. An amended Statement of Organization may be printed on demand under “Acct Mgmt” and “Filer Acct Mgmt” by selecting “Print - Statement of Organization.”.

Committees are required to file an amended statement of organization within 10 days after any change in committee information.

What type of disclaimer is required for advertising and fund-raising?

A campaign advertisement or fundraising solicitation must include (i) the words “paid for by” followed by the name of the person making the expenditure for the advertisement or fund-raising solicitation, and (ii) indicate whether the expenditure was authorized by any candidate, followed by the identity of the authorizing candidate, if any. (A.R.S. § 16-925)

If a disclaimer contains any acronym or nickname that is not commonly known, the disclosure must also spell out the acronym or provide the full name.

A PAC that makes an expenditure for an advertisement is required to include in the disclaimer the names of the 3 PACs making the largest aggregate contributions to the PAC making the expenditure and that exceed $20,000 during the election cycle, calculated at the time the advertisement was distributed for publication, display, delivery or broadcast.

A disclaimer in the following manner is required if the advertisement is

-    Broadcast on radio: must be clearly spoken at beginning or end;

-    Delivered by hand or mail or electronically: must be clearly readable;

-    Placed on a sign or billboard: displayed in a height of at least 4% of vertical height; or

-    Broadcast on TV, video or film: (i) both written and spoken at beginning or end, except that spoken disclaimer is not required if written display is for greater of at least one-sixth of broadcast duration or 4 seconds, and (ii) written disclosure letters are required to be in a height of at least 4% of vertical picture height.

A disclaimer is not required if the advertisement is

-    Placed in social media messages/text messages;

-    Placed as a paid link on a website, if not more than 200 characters and the link directs user to another website that complies with disclaimer requirements;

-    Placed as a graphic or picture link, if the disclaimer cannot conveniently be printed due to size of graphic or picture and the link directs user to another website that complies with disclaimer requirements; or

-    Placed on bumper stickers, pins, buttons, pens and similar small items.