Secretary of State
GUIDELINES SET BY SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES
Persons, groups of persons and political committees may support candidates covered by the Sunshine Law by making independent expenditures on their behalf. Independent expenditures may be made without limit since they do not count against the contribution limits established by Section 67-6610A, Idaho Code.
This outline defines the term independent expenditure and explains reporting and other requirements involved in making independent expenditures.
If you have any questions after reading this outline, please call the Secretary of State's office at (208)334-2852.
1) Each person who makes independent expenditures in an aggregate amount exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) in support of or in opposition to any one (1) candidate, political committee or measure, shall file a statement of the expenditure with the Secretary of State.
2) Statements shall be filed with the Secretary of State, not less than seven (7) days prior to the primary and general election and thirty (30) days after the primary and general election.
3) The statement shall contain the following information: (a) the name and address of any person to whom an expenditure in excess of fifty dollars ($50.00) has been made by any such person in support of or in opposition to any such candidate or issue during the reporting period, together with the amount, date and purpose of each such expenditure; and (b) the total sum of all expenditures made in support of or in opposition to any candidate or measure.
(4) In addition to the requirements set forth in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, each person who makes independent expenditures in an aggregate amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more after the sixteenth day before, but more than forty-eight (48) hours before, any primary or general election, shall file a written statement of the expenditure with the secretary of state not more than forty-eight (48) hours from the time of such expenditure. The statement shall include the information required in subsection (3) of this section.
Form C-4 Independent Expenditures
Form C-7 48 Hour Notice of Independent Expenditures
What is an independent expenditure?
"Independent expenditure" means any expenditure by a person for a communication expressly advocating the election, passage or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or measure that is not made with the cooperation or with the prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request of a suggestion of, a candidate or any agent or authorized committee of the candidate or political committee supporting or opposing a measure. As used in this subsection, "expressly advocating" means any communication containing a message advocating election, passage or defeat including, but not limited to, the name of the candidate or measure, or expression such as "vote for," "elect," "support," "cast your ballot for," "vote against," "defeat" or "reject."
When is a candidate "clearly identified"?
A candidate is clearly identified if the candidate's name, nickname, photograph or drawing appears, or the identity of the candidate is otherwise apparent. Examples include: "the Governor," "your senator", "the Democratic candidate for Senate in Legislative District 14."
What is "Express Advocacy" (Candidate Advocacy)?
Express advocacy (candidate advocacy) means that the communication includes a message that unmistakably urges election or defeat of one or more clearly identified candidates(s).
Section 67-6602(g), Idaho Code, defines "express advocacy" by the use of certain magic words.
What is not an independent expenditure?
When an expenditure for a communication expressly advocating a candidate's election or defeat is made under the circumstances described below, it results in an in-kind contribution rather than an independent expenditure and therefore counts against the spender's contribution limit for the candidate's election.
with candidate's campaign
by campaign employee
of common vendors
on behalf of a candidate
contributions may affect independence