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This bulletin is issued to provide guidance and direction to political committees and interested persons regarding the interpretation and implementation of those sections of the campaign finance law relating to the filing of subvendor reports. The law requires political committees to disclose how their paid consultants and vendors make expenditures on their behalf.
Independent Expenditure Political Action Committees
This bulletin is issued to provide guidance and direction to groups that raise funds solely to make independent expenditures. See emergency regulation 970 CMR 2.17 (11) regarding disclosure prior to the Sept. 4, 2018, election. Click here.
Filing of Late Contribution Reports
This bulletin is issued to provide guidance and direction to political committees and interested persons regarding the interpretation and implementation of the campaign finance law as it applies to the filing of late contribution reports.
Disclaimers on Independent Expenditures and Electioneering Communications
This interpretive bulletin provides guidance and direction regarding the interpretation and implementation of M.G. L. Chapter 55, Section 18G, concerning disclaimers on independent expenditures and electioneering communications.
Express Advocacy and Issue Advocacy, Independent Expenditures, Electioneering Communications and Coordinated Communications
This interpretive bulletin defines "express advocacy" and "issue advocacy" and provides guidance regarding whether communications that might be considered either "express advocacy" or "issue advocacy" involve the making of expenditures or the receipt of contributions subject to the requirements of the Massachusetts campaign finance law. In addition, the bulletin summarizes the impact of "coordination" on communications that would otherwise be issue advocacy, independent expenditure communications, or electioneering communications.
Use of Internet and E-mail for Political Campaign Purposes
This bulletin summarizes OCPF's responses to questions relating to expenditures that may be made for Internet access, the services that may be provided to candidates and committees to help them establish websites, the use of links to campaign websites, the use of the Internet to recieve contributions, and access to government websites and e-mail networks.
Political Activity, Organization & Dissolution of Ballot Question Committees and Civic
Organizations' Involvement in Ballot Question Campaigns
This bulletin defines the range of political activity which may be undertaken by ballot question committees, the organization and dissolution of such committees, and the relationship between ballot question campaigns and civic organizations.
Implementation of Chapter 43 of the Acts of 1994: Requirements Relating to Political
This bulletin provides guidance to political committees and interested persons regarding the interpretation and implementation of ch. 43 of the Acts of 1994 relating to PACs and related entities, effective January 1, 1995. Specifically, the bulletin addresses the obligations of PACs and a new kind of political committee created by chapter 43 called "people's committees."
Activities of Public Officials in Support of or Opposition to Ballot Questions
This bulletin provides guidance regarding the extent to which an appointed or elected official may utilize governmental resources when speaking or acting in support of or opposition to a ballot question. In general, appointed officials may act or speak out about a ballot question in their official capacity during work hours if in doing so they are acting within the scope of their official responsibilities. Elected officials may address or advocate any position on any matter of public policy, including the subject matter of a ballot question, and such speech or advocacy may take place during work hours. Like an appointed official, however, an elected official may not use public resources to promote or oppose a ballot question.
The Application of the Campaign Finance Law to Political Fundraising by Public Employees
This bulletin provides guidance and answers to appointed public employees concerning fundraising. Public employees are prohibited from soliciting or receiving contributions for any political purpose. The bulletin also addresses issues concerning public employees who also run for elected office.
The Use of Governmental Resources for Political Purposes
This bulletin provides general guidance and answers certain frequently asked questions regarding the use of governmental resources for political purposes. Although the discussion and examples are primarily drawn from ballot question campaigns, and most frequently relate to the distribution of information to voters regarding a ballot question, much of the discussion also applies in other contexts where governmental resources are used for political purposes. See Anderson v. City of Boston, 376 Mass. 178, 187, 380 N.E.2nd 628 (1978), appeal dismissed, 439 U.S. 1069 (1979). See also: IB-90-02 (Disclosure and Reporting of Contributions and Expenditures Related to Ballot Questions), IB-92-01 (The Application of the Campaign Finance Laws to Public Employees and Political Solicitation), IB-92-02 (Extent to which Policy-Making Officials May Act or Speak in Support of or Opposition to Ballot Questions), IB-95-02 (Political Activity of Ballot Question Committees and Civic Organizations' Involvement in Ballot Question Campaigns).
Disclosure and Reporting of Contributions and/or Expenditures Related to Ballot
This Bulletin defines when expenditures to influence a ballot question become subject to the campaign finance law and provides guidelines regarding the disclosure of expenditures made to promote or oppose a ballot question by ballot question committees and by other organizations. If an organization solicits or receives any money or other thing of value for the purpose of promoting or opposing a question submitted to the voters, the organization is functioning as a ballot question committee. As such, the organization is subject to all the provisions of the campaign finance law as of the date of the solicitation or receipt of such money or other thing of value. Disclosure reports are filed with OCPF for statewide or county ballot questions or legislative advisory questions. Reports are filed with local election officials for local ballot questions.
Lease of Real or Personal Property by Candidates and Political Committees
This bulletin provides guidelines to candidates and political committees regarding the lease of real or personal property by candidates and political committees. Candidates and political committees which follow these guidelines will ensure that rental expenses for office space and equipment comply with the campaign finance law's record keeping requirements and restrictions against personal use.
Filing of Reports by PACs and People's Committees organized with OCPF which
participate in Municipal Elections
This bulletin advises that PACs and People's Committees organized with OCPF or at the municipal level generally do not have additional reporting responsibilities at the municipal level or OCPF. There are exceptions, e.g. a political committee organized at the municipal level that makes more than an occasional contribution to a non-municipal candidate must report to OCPF. This bulletin also reflects changes to the law affecting PACs and people's committees. See chapters 43 and 292 of the Acts of 1994, effective January 1, 1995.
The Applicability of MA Campaign Finance Law to Unregistered Political Groups &
Non-MA Political Committees
This bulletin provides guidance regarding the participation of political committees, especially PACs, organized in another state or at the federal level in Massachusetts elections. Although Massachusetts political committees may contribute to non-Massachusetts candidates and political committees subject to any relevant limits of the non-Massachusetts jurisdiction, non-Massachusetts political committees may not contribute to Massachusetts candidates and political committees other than ballot questions committees unless the non-Massachusetts committee establishes a segregated account and registers the committee with OCPF.
An interpretive bulletin may clarify an aspect of the campaign finance law or provide guidance on how OCPF administers the law in a particular situation.
OCPF periodically issues and revises interpretive bulletins on various topics.