Link / Memo # Title / Description # of Pages
M-15-01 Joint Fundraising and Joint Campaign Activities
This Memorandum provides guidance relating to joint fundraising and joint campaign expenditures with other party committees or candidates. It also discusses the rules for state or local party committees and candidates sharing office space with other committees or candidates.
5
M-14-03 Reports of Independent Expenditures Made by Individuals or Entities Other than Independent Expenditure PACs
This memo explains the statutory and regulatory requirements that apply when entities make independent expenditures.
5
M-14-02 Reports of Electioneering Communications
This memo explains the statutory and regulatory requirements that apply where an individual, group, association, corporation, labor union, or other entity not defined as a political committee makes electioneering communications.
5
M-14-01 Expenditures for payroll services
Depository committees may not use an automatic data payroll service to pay employees unless the service provider is given specially formatted depository checks drawn on the committee account for use in paying each employee.
1
M-12-01 Candidacy for political party committee office
This memorandum provides guidance for persons who are candidates for state or local (ward, town and city) political party committee office, regarding the extent to which such persons are subject to the requirements of the campaign finance law.
2
M-10-02 Legal defense, recount and inaugural funds
This memorandum is issued to provide guidance regarding the changes made to the campaign finance law relating to the creation of legal defense, recount and inaugural funds, and the disclosure required of donations received by such funds.
3
M-10-01 Distribution of e-mail solicitations in governmental buildings
This memorandum is issued to provide guidance in response to inquiries regarding the distribution of political fundraising e-mails to public employees and elected officials using the public employees' work addresses.
3
M-09-01 Posting municipal campaign finance reports to city or town Web sites
Chapter 28 of the Acts of 2009 made significant changes to the campaign finance law, M.G.L. Chapter 55. The revisions included amendments to Section 26, the statute that codifies requirements to preserve campaign finance reports and make them available to the public at the municipal level. This memorandum is intended to address issues relating to a specific change to Section 26: the statutory requirement to post campaign finance reports and statements on municipal Web sites.
2
M-08-01 Use of Federal and State Bank Accounts
This memorandum summarizes OCPF's review of how the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) impacts the operation of those state party committees in Massachusetts that maintain both state and federal bank accounts.
3
M-07-02 Dissolution of Political Committees and Disposition of Residual Funds
This memorandum addresses the issues relating to the procedures for the dissolution of political committees and the disposition of any assets or funds remaining in a committee's account at the time of dissolution.
3
M-07-01 Use of bulk mail permits by candidates and political committees
This memorandum summarizes issues relating to the use of bulk mail permits by candidates and political committees.
3
M-04-01 Contributions to Political Committees by Credit Card
This memorandum is intended to explain the regulation 970 CMR 1.09 that governs the receipt of credit card contributions.
8
M-03-01 Golf Fundraising Events
This memorandum summarizes issues raised when a municipal golf course is used for a candidate or political committee's fundraising event.
3
M-99-01 Use of Local Access Cable Television for Political Purposes
This memo refers interested persons to the Cable Television Division of the Mass. Department of Telecommunications and Cable, the agency which has jurisdiction to answer most questions relating to the political use of cable television.
1
M-98-06 Reporting of Year End Contributions
This memo explains how candidates and committees should report contributions received near the end or beginning of a new year.
4
M-98-05 Restrictions on Contributions by State and Municipal Securities Dealers
This memo summarizes obligations of securities dealers (MSRB Rule G-37) and also those restrictions of the campaign finance law that dealers should be aware of.
2
M-98-04 Question & Answer Guide for Corporations, Associations, Organizations and other Groups or Individuals Making Expenditures to Influence Ballot Questions
This memorandum answers 19 questions often asked by corporations, associations and other groups regarding the scope of disclosure required by chapter 55 of such groups when involved in the ballot question process.
6
M-98-03 Use of Candidate's Personal Funds for Campaign
This memorandum reviews many of the questions that candidates ask about making contributions and expenditures to their campaigns from their own personal funds. Candidates may contribute their own personal funds to their campaign or use them for campaign purposes in any amount, unless they are participants in the Clean Elections program. Certain candidates are limited, however, in how much they may loan to their campaign. Of course, like any contribution, candidate contributions must be kept in a separate campaign account and may not be commingled with personal or business accounts. Such contributions must also be disclosed in accordance with the campaign finance law, M.G.L. c. 55.
4
M-98-02 Surplus Funds: Application of the Pay-Back Formula
The limited public financing law provides for a formula which requires committees to pay back a portion of the public financing funds received if the committee has excess funds as of the date of the primary or general election, whichever is applicable. This memorandum outlines the various factors which affect the pay-back formula.
2
M-97-05 Indexing of Certain Contribution Amounts
M.G.L. c. 55 requires the director of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance to adjust the limit on the amount an individual may contribute to a people's committee during a calendar year and the amount of any individual contribution that may be collected, i.e. bundled, by a regulated intermediary. See M.G.L. c. 55, §§ 1 and10A. Both limits are indexed figures biennially by December 31st of each odd-numbered year.
1
M-97-04 Reimbursements for goods and services purchased by individuals
This memorandum provides guidance for political committees that reimburse individuals for goods or services obtained by such individuals on behalf of the candidate or committee from third parties. The treatment of a reimbursement is important. If a reimbursement is not made promptly, a "contribution" will have been received by the recipient candidate or committee.
3
M-97-03 Political Committee Automobile Leases
This memorandum provides guidelines for political committees which lease an automobile. Candidates, including legislators, and political committees which follow these guidelines will ensure that expenses associated with leased automobiles comply with the campaign finance law's record keeping requirements and restrictions on personal use.
3
M-97-02 Expenditures for Use of Personal Automobiles
This memorandum provides guidelines for political committees which make expenditures for the use of a candidate's or other person's personal automobile. Candidates and political committees which follow these guidelines will ensure that such travel expenses comply with the campaign finance law's record keeping requirements and restrictions on personal use.
2
M-97-01 Preliminary Information for Candidates Interested in Receiving Public Financing in 2014
M.G.L. chapter 55C, created by chapter 26 of the Acts of 2003, makes public financing available to qualifying candidates for governor and, if sufficient funds are available, to other qualifying candidates seeking statewide office in 2014. All contributions received from individuals and deposited in a statewide candidate's depository account on or after January 1, 2013 may be eligible as qualifying contributions for public financing. Contributions must also comply with chapter 55C and OCPF regulations at 970 CMR 4.00. This memorandum outlines several important steps candidates must take to ensure that qualified contributions are eligible for matching public funds.
3
M-96-04 Section 3 Penalty Requests for Waiver and Appeal Procedure
Requests for a waiver of a penalty assessed in accordance with M.G.L. c. 55, s. 3 are governed by regulations set forth at 970 CMR 2.14. These regulations provide that a candidate, treasurer or other person who has been assessed a penalty may submit a written request for a waiver of part or all of the assessed penalty.
1
M-96-03 Anonymous Contributions
This memorandum provides guidelines for candidates and political committees which receive anonymous contributions. Regulations issued by this office specify that such contributions "may not be accepted and shall, if unable to be returned to the contributor, be donated within 30 days of receipt, to an entity or entities specified in the residual funds clause or in a manner consistent with 970 CMR 2.05(2) (w) or 970 CMR 2.06(3)(a)2. Candidates and political committees must keep records reflecting such contributions." See also 970 CMR 1.04(5).
2
M-96-01 Settlement of Debts
This memorandum provides guidelines for candidates and political committees which settle debts owed to corporate or other creditors for less than the amount owed. Regulations issued by this office specify that a candidate or committee may enter into an agreement with a creditor to settle such debts if a Statement of Settlement is filed with this office documenting compliance with the regulation. See 970 CMR 1.03 and Form CPF S1: Settlement of Debts.
4
M-95-08 Procedure to Transfer a Candidate's Political Committee from the State Level to the Municipal Level
This memo outlines the steps that a candidate's committee filing with OCPF must take with the city or town clerk or election commission in connection with a campaign for local office. [UNDER REVIEW - Contact OCPF for guidance.]
2
M-95-07 Procedure to Transfer a Candidate's Political Committee from the Municipal Level to the State Level
This memo outlines the steps that a candidate's committee filing with a city or town clerk or election commission must take with OCPF in connection with a campaign for state or county office. [UNDER REVIEW - Contact OCPF for guidance.]
2
M-95-06 Expenditure of public resources by cities, towns or other local or regional governmental units: M.G.L. c. 55, s. 22A
M.G.L. c. 55, s. 22A requires the treasurer of any city, town or other governmental unit which has made expenditures or used public resources "to influence or affect the vote on any question submitted to the voters" to file a report, Form CPF M22A, disclosing such activity. This memorandum outlines the procedure that city and town clerks or election officials, and treasurers or financial officers of local or regional governmental units should follow in order to comply with the law.
3
M-94-07 Municipal Non-filers
This memorandum outlines these changes in the law brought about by the passage of Chapter 43 of the Acts of 1994, including the requirement that the director of OCPF, after referral by a local election official, assess a civil penalty against candidates and treasurers of political committees for any late filed report. This memorandum also set forth the procedure that local election officials should follow in order to comply with the newly revised state law.
6
M-92-01 Chapter 133 of the Acts of 1992, Definition of "Personal Use"
This memorandum outlined changes in the campaign finance law, including the exclusion of payments for the maintenance of a district office and the provision of constituent and legislative services from the definition of the "personal use" of campaign funds.
1
M-90-05 Instructions for Candidates on the Use of Depository Bank Accounts
Candidates for statewide office, Governor's Council, county offices and certain municipal offices are required by section 19 of M.G.L. c.55 to designate a bank or other authorized financial institution as a depository for campaign funds. This memo describes in general terms establishing a depository bank account, the use of a depository checking account, as well as the procedure for completing the receipt report form (Form CPF D106) and issuing checks. Candidates should consult the Campaign Finance Guide for Depository Candidates for further information on the campaign finance laws and the depository system.
5
M-90-04 Information for Banks Designated as Depositories for Campaign Funds under M.G.L. c. 55
Candidates for statewide office, Governor's Council, county offices and certain municipal offices are required by section 19 of M.G.L. c.55 to designate a bank or other authorized financial institution as a depository for campaign funds. Such candidates are often referred to as "depository candidates." If any such candidate has established a political committee, the candidate and the committee must each designate a depository bank. This memorandum outlines the responsibilities of depository candidates, treasurers and financial institutions handling depository accounts.
5
M-90-01 Treatment of Reimbursements and Loans
The campaign finance law provides that depository candidates and political committees must use specially formatted checks made payable to the vendor actually supplying goods or services to the depository candidate or committee for any expenditure in excess of $50. In general, therefore, individuals may not be reimbursed for purchases in excess of $50. This memorandum discusses when and how reimbursements can be made to candidate, treasurers and other persons. The memorandum also discusses loans by depository candidates to their committees and certain basic recordkeeping requirements.
2
M-89-02 Federal and state tax issues for political committees
This memorandum sets forth information on obtaining a Federal ID number and filing tax returns for political committees. Specifically, political committees should obtain a separate federal tax identification number in order to open a bank account, a form for which may be picked up at any IRS office, downloaded from the IRS's website or ordered by calling the IRS. For information regarding a political committee's tax liability, if any, contact the Internal Revenue Service and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
2
M-89-01 Information on Raffles for Candidates and Political Committees - M.G.L. c. 271, 7A
The campaign finance law does not prohibit the conduct of raffles by political committees. The Attorney General, however, has concluded that M.G.L. c. 271, s. 7A does not permit political committees to conduct raffles. Questions about raffles should, therefore, be directed to the AG's Election Division at 727-2200.
1
M-84-01 Transfer of Funds between a Candidate's Federal Political Committee and that Candidate's State Political Committee
The Massachusetts Campaign Finance Law, M.G.L. Chapter 55, and regulations promulgated by the Federal Election Commission prohibit the transfer of funds between a Massachusetts candidate's federal and state political committees. A Massachusetts candidate with a federal committee may, however, make arrangements to refund contributions from their federal committee to contributors for subsequent solicitation by their state committee. Candidates should contact both OCPF and the FEC to ensure that any refund and re-solicitation complies with state and federal law and regulation.
2

What is a Memorandum?

Memoranda are issued to clarify the application of the Massachusetts campaign finance law to various topics.

OCPF periodically revises memoranda, so if you see that a memorandum is under review, you should call or e-mail OCPF for the latest guidance on the topic.



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