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News & Announcements

October 7, 2021
Rules for Reporting Political Expenditures

Reporting Information for Political Committees, Political Committee Organizations, Independently Sponsored Campaign Communications and Reporting

Reminder: Ordinance 2021-16, An Ordinance Amending the Campaign Code, was approved on Aug 25, 2021

The City of Santa Fe would like to remind organizations of the following obligations as related to Independent Expenditure reporting and Political Committees.

Although the City does not advise outside organizations, each person or organization needs to determine which category they fall into for this election and if required, report accordingly. 

Under the Code, the ECRB "may give advisory opinions to any person requesting an opinion as to whether his or her own future conduct would violate the Code of Ethics, the Campaign Code or the Public Campaign Finance Code. An advisory opinion rendered by the board shall be binding on the board in any subsequent proceeding on a complaint against the person or entity who requested the opinion and acted in good faith in reliance thereon, unless the person or entity omitted or misstated a material fact in requesting the advisory opinion." SFCC 6-16.2(C).

The Governing Body approved Ordinance 2021-16 - An Ordinance Relating to the Campaign Code, which amended certain sections of the Campaign Code. Ordinance 2021-16 updates are included in full under each summary of change for reference. Please note the changes are not codified in the online code; they are pending compilation. 

  • Amending Section 9-2.3 (Definitions) to Amend the Definition of a "Political Committee" to Include a Threshold Amount for Reporting Contributions;
  • Amending Section 9-2.6 (Independently sponsored campaign communications and reporting) to Increase the Aggregate Expenditure Amount Requiring Reporting to Five Hundred Dollars and to Exempt Aggregate Contribution Amounts of Less than Twenty-Five Dollars from Separate Reporting Requirements;
  • Amending Section 9-2.7 (Statement of political committee organization) to Make Necessary Changes Regarding References to a "Political Committee";
  • and Amending Section 9-2.11 (Campaign finance statement; contents) to Exempt Aggregate Contribution Amounts of Less than Twenty-Five Dollars from Separate Reporting Requirements.

An organization does NOT have to be a registered Political Committee or fall into the definition of Political Committee to expend money related to this election. 

However, any person or entity that makes expenditures of $500 or more in the aggregate during the sixty days before an election to pay for any form of public communication is required to report the expenditure. 

The next reporting date is Friday, October 8, 2021. If you need a reporting form or an appointment with the City Clerk’s Office please email [bot protected email address] or call 505-955-6521. 

Ordinance 2021-16: Summary of change

followed by the full ordinance section

Amending Section 9-2.6 (Independently sponsored campaign communications and reporting) to Increase the Aggregate Expenditure Amount Requiring Reporting to Five Hundred Dollars and to Exempt Aggregate Contribution Amounts of Less than Twenty-Five Dollars from Separate Reporting Requirements;

9-2.6 Independently Sponsored Campaign Communications and Reporting. 

  1. Any person or entity that makes expenditures of five hundred dollars ($500.00) or  more in the aggregate during a single election to pay for any form of public communication including print, broadcast, cable or electronic advertising, billboards, signs, pamphlets, mass mailers, mass electronic mail, recorded phone messages, organized phone-banking or organized precinct-walking, that is disseminated to one hundred (100) or more eligible voters, and that either expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate, or the approval or defeat of a ballot proposition; or refers to a clearly identifiable candidate or ballot proposition within sixty (60) days before an election at which the candidate or proposition is on the ballot, shall thereafter, on each of the days prescribed for the filing of campaign  finance statements, file with the city clerk a report of all such expenditures made and all contributions received for the purpose of paying for such expenditures on or before the date of the report which have not been previously reported and which are not exempted from reporting by paragraph D of this subsection.

 

  1. Each report shall be submitted on a form prescribed by the city clerk.  The name and address of the reporting person or entity and the name of its president, chief executive officer, or equivalent position shall be stated in the report.

 

  1. Contributions shall be specified by date, amount of contribution, name, address and occupation of the person or entity from whom the contribution was received. No contribution shall be reported in the name of a person who is not the actual contributor or who has been or will be reimbursed or compensated for the contribution by another person. The reporting person or entity shall certify on the filing that its expenditures were or were not made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, his/her representatives or agents or the candidate’s political committee.

 

  1. A contribution received from a contributor whose aggregate contributions to the reporting person or entity for the purpose of paying for the expenditures covered by Paragraph A of this Section are less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) need not be separately reported, but the amount thereof shall be included in the reported cumulative total of contributions received by the reporting person or entity during the period covered by the report. Where such a contributor makes subsequent contributions that increase the contributor's aggregate total of such contributions to twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or more, all such contributions from the contributor, regardless of their amount, shall thereafter be separately reported for the reporting period during which they are received.

 

  1. Expenditures shall be specified by date, the amount of the expenditure, the name and address of the person or entity where an expenditure was made and the purpose of the expenditure. No report is required under this subsection for expenditures made exclusively for communications to the news media, editorials, reports or commentary by the news media, impartial candidate forums or debates or the announcements thereof, or for impartial voter guides allowed by the Internal Revenue Code for Section 501(c)(3) organizations or a communication by a membership organization or corporation to its current members, stockholders or executive or administrative personnel unless the membership organization or corporation is a campaign committee or a political committee.

 

  1. Any person or entity that has to file under this subsection and receives contributions from another entity that does not have to disclose its contributors to the city clerk, shall place the following visible disclosure on its campaign materials: “This campaign material is supported in part by donations from an organization that is not required to disclose its contributors to the Santa Fe city clerk."

 

Amending Section 9-2.3 (Definitions) to Amend the Definition of a "Political Committee" to Include a Threshold Amount for Reporting Contributions;

N        Political committee means any entity that:

(1)       Is formed for the principal purpose of:

(a)       Raising or collecting, and expending or contributing money or anything of value for supporting the election or defeat of any identifiable candidate or candidates or for supporting the approval or defeat of ballot propositions; or

(b)       Coordinating or cooperating in efforts to support the election or defeat of any identifiable candidates or of supporting the approval or defeat of any ballot proposition; and

 

(2)      Expends five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) or more in the aggregate for these principal purposes during a single election.

 

Amending Section 9-2.7 (Statement of political committee organization) to Make Necessary Changes Regarding References to a "Political Committee";

 

9-2.7 Statement of Political Committee Organization

A           Every political committee shall file a statement of organization with the city clerk within ten (10) days of becoming a political committee as defined in Subsection 9-2.3(N) SFCC 1987.

 

B         The statement of organization shall include but not be limited to:

(1)       The name, street address, city, county, state, zip code and telephone number of the political committee;

(2)       The full name, street address, city, county, state and telephone number of each firm, association, partnership, business trust, corporation, company, committee, and other organization or group of individuals with which the political committee is affiliated or connected or with which it coordinated or cooperated in its efforts to support the election or defeat of any identifiable candidate;

(3)       The names, addresses and titles of its officers; or if it has no officers, the names, addresses and titles of its responsible leaders;

(4)       The full names, addresses and telephone number (home and business) of its campaign treasurer and campaign depository;

(5)       The full name of each candidate whom the political committee is supporting or opposing;

(6)       The ballot proposition concerned, if any, and whether the political committee is in favor of or opposed to such proposition; and

(7)       What distribution of surplus funds will be made upon dissolution.

 

  1. Any material changes in information previously submitted to the city clerk shall be reported to the city clerk within ten (10) days of such change.

 

Amending Section 9-2.11 (Campaign finance statement; contents) to Exempt Aggregate Contribution Amounts of Less than Twenty-Five Dollars from Separate Reporting Requirements.

 

9-2.11 Campaign Finance Statement; Contents.

A  Each campaign finance statement shall be filed in accordance with subsection 9-2.10 SFCC 1987. The initial statement shall begin with the date of the first contribution or expenditure. Subsequent statements shall begin on the day after the end date of the previous reporting period. Statements shall contain the following information:

(1)       The funds on hand at the beginning of the period. This shall include the cumulative total amount of all contributions and expenditures. This includes, but is not limited to, contributions and expenditures in aid of, or in opposition to, candidates or ballot propositions before they qualify for the ballot and contributions and expenditures following the election;

(2)       The full name, home address, occupation, name of employer, date of receipt and amount of each contribution received from each individual contributor from whom a contribution in money, goods, materials, services, facilities or anything of value has been received and whether the contribution was received in cash, by check, by credit card, by electronic transfer or otherwise. No contribution shall be reported in the name of a person who is not the actual contributor, or who has been or will be reimbursed or compensated for the contribution by another person.

(3)       The full name, type of business, physical address, date of receipt and amount of each contribution for each business or organizational contributor, from whom a contribution in money, goods, materials, services, facilities or anything of value has been received, and whether the contribution was received in cash, by check, by credit card, by electronic transfer or otherwise. No contribution shall be reported in the name of a person who is not the actual contributor, or who has been or will be reimbursed or compensated for the contribution by another person.

(4)       The date of receipt and amount of any anonymous contribution received by the campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer and the disposition that was made of each such contribution pursuant to subsection 9-2.9C SFCC 1987, including the date when it was donated to the city or to a charity and the identity of the recipient of the donation.

(5)       The full name and complete mailing address of each individual or business to whom an expenditure has been made, the purpose of each campaign expenditure and the date each expenditure was made. This report shall be itemized with the total amount paid to each individual or business for the goods, services or facilities provided;

(6)       The full name of the candidate or political committee and the full name and complete address of the campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer;

(7)       For each contributor, the cumulative total of all contributions made; and

(8)       Where goods, materials, services, facilities, or anything of value other than money is contributed or expended, the monetary value thereof shall be reported at the fair market value.

B     A contribution received from a contributor whose aggregate contributions to the candidate or committee are less then twenty-five dollars ($25.00) need not be separately reported, but the amount thereof shall be included in the reported cumulative total of all contributions received during the period covered by the report. Where such a contributor makes subsequent contributions that increase the contributor's aggregate total to twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or more, all contributions from the contributor, regardless of their amount, shall thereafter be separately reported for the reporting period during which they are received.

C     Loans of money, property or other things made to a candidate or political committee during the period covered by the campaign finance statement shall be reported separately in the statement, with the following information:

(1)       The total value of all loans received during the period covered by the campaign finance statement;

(2)      The cumulative total value of all loans received; and

 

(3)       The total amount of loans remaining unpaid.

D       If a loan has been forgiven or paid by a third person, it shall be reported pursuant to this section.

 

E.        Investments made with campaign funds under subsection 9-2.9 SFCC 1987 and interest, dividends and

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