M.G.L. c. 55 regulates all campaign finance activity for state, county, city and town elections and regional school and other district elections in the Commonwealth. 970 CMR 1.00 provides for the regulation of activity which is often engaged in by political committees. It establishes specific guidelines for transactions such as debt settlements, the acceptance and reporting of campaign contributions and loans from candidates to their political committees.
970 CMR 1.00: M.G.L. c. 55, §§ 3, 6 and 10A.Last updated 2/06/15
M.G.L. c. 55 is a comprehensive and specific statute which covers a variety of areas concerning the financing of political campaigns in the Commonwealth for state, county, city and town elections. It regulates the sources from, and manner in which, campaign funds may be raised and spent. It provides for the disclosure of all contributions received and expenditures made. The statute also regulates certain conduct surrounding the raising and spending of campaign funds, such as the activities of public employees.
970 CMR 2.00 is promulgated pursuant to M.G.L. c. 55, § 6 which is concerned with political expenditures. In accordance with the statute, 970 CMR 2.00 governs two different categories of political committees. Political committees which are established on behalf of candidates for statewide offices are governed by 970 CMR 2.05, and as such can only expend campaign funds for reasonable and necessary expenses directly related to the campaign of the candidate, as 970 CMR 2.05 provides. All ballot question committees, non-statewide candidate committees, people's committees, political action committees, party committees and any other political committees are governed by 970 CMR 2.06. As such, these political committees can only expend campaign funds for the enhancement of the political future of the candidate or principle for which the committee was organized, as 970 CMR 2.06 provides. Notwithstanding any of the above, M.G.L. c. 55, § 6 strictly prohibits any expenditure the purpose of which is primarily for a candidate's or any other person's personal use.
970 CMR 2.00 governs all expenditures by political committees organized for the purpose of participation in Massachusetts campaign finance activity.
970 CMR 2.00: M.G.L. c. 55, §§ 3 and 6.Last updated 2/06/15
The Director of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance has the power and authority to investigate the legality, validity, completeness and accuracy of all reports and actions required to be filed and taken by candidates, treasurers, political committees, and any other person pursuant to M.G.L. c. 55 and any other laws of the commonwealth pertaining to campaign contributions and expenditures.
970 CMR 3.00 governs investigations and hearings conducted by the Office. They have been adopted to guide the Office in fulfilling its statutory responsibilities in a fair and effective manner. They are also intended to protect the rights of candidates, treasurers, witnesses and all others involved in any hearings or investigations conducted by the Office. The Director may, in his discretion, permit certain activities and procedures relative to the conduct of investigations and hearings which are not covered by 970 CMR 3.00 but which are not inconsistent with 970 CMR 3.00, M.G.L. c. 55 or any other law. The Office may also adopt internal guidelines to enable it to effectively and efficiently fulfill its statutory mandate.
970 CMR 3.00: M.G.L. c. 55, § 3. Last updated 12/02/14
M.G.L. c. 55C establishes expenditure limits for certain candidates for statewide elective office in the Commonwealth. In addition, M.G.L. c. 55C provides that candidates for statewide elective office who agree to abide by certain statutory expenditure limits and who submit qualified contributions in the minimum amounts established by law are eligible for limited public financing. M.G.L. c. 55C also regulates the distribution, accounting and, in certain cases, the repayment of public funds by candidates. 970 CMR 4.00 governs certain procedures candidates must follow in order to have their name appear on the ballot and that those candidates seeking public financing of their campaign must follow to qualify for public funds. In addition, 970 CMR 4.00 governs the procedures, recordkeeping practices and post election audits applicable to candidates for statewide elective office.
970 CMR 4.00: M.G.L. c. 55, §§ 3, 6; c. 55C, § 11. Last updated 12/02/14
The OCPF website provides an unofficial version of these regulations. The official version of these regulations on file with the State Publications and Regulations Division of the Secretary of State's Office will control in the event of any discrepancy with the information contained on this website. Please contact the Regulations Division to obtain an official version of these regulations at: Telephone: (617) 727-2831 or Fax: (617) 742-4822.