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Idaho Secretary of State
Election Division


CAMPAIGN FINANCE FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Contributions to Committees & Candidates in Idaho

 

 

EXPENDITURES

What is considered an expenditure?
An expenditure includes “any payment, contribution, subscription, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value, and includes a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable, to make an expenditure. The term “expenditure” also includes a promise to pay, a payment or a transfer of anything of value in exchange of goods, services, property, facilities or anything of value for the purpose of assisting, benefiting or honoring any public official or candidate, or assisting in furthering or opposing any election campaign.” (Section 67-6602(g), I.C.)

Must personal expenditures made by a Candidate in support of his or her own campaign be reported?
Yes, all personal funds expended by a Candidate in support of his or her own campaign must be reported. All expenditures made by a Candidate in support of his or her own campaign are reported as loans to the campaign.

The Candidate’s campaign repays the Candidate for personal expenditures. How is this reported?
Since the personal expenditure was reported as a loan, the repayment to the Candidate is shown as a repayment on the loan from the Candidate. These repayments are reported on the Campaign Financial Disclosure Report on Schedule D - Loans.

Our Political Committee paid for printing costs or other services for a Candidate or other Political Committee. How should we report that on OUR report?
The Political Committee will list the individual, organization or business to whom the monetary payment was made along with the name of the Candidate(s) or Political Committee(s) benefiting from the expenditure on Schedule B - Itemized Expenditures page.

A reporting Candidate or Political Committee made an Independent Expenditure. How should it be reported?
The Political Treasurer will list the individual, organization or business to whom the monetary payment was made. Enter the purpose of the expenditure including a list of the Candidate(s) and/or Political Committee(s) being supported or opposed by the expenditure. Be sure to identify if it is in support of or opposition of each Candidate or Committee listed.

RETIRING DEBT

What is considered debt and how is the debt amount figured?
Debt means any unpaid monetary obligation incurred as listed on the reports filed through the post election period minus any cash balance reported on the post-election report.

Are loans considered debt?
Yes, outstanding loans are considered debt and must be reported on Schedule D - Loans.

Are purchases made with a credit card considered debt?
Yes, purchases made with a credit card are considered debt. Regardless of whether the credit card balance is paid when the statement is received all credit card transactions must be reported on Schedule E - Credit Cards and Debt and Schedule E-1 - Itemization of Credit Cards and Debt.

May I accept contributions to retire debt?
Yes, a Candidate with unpaid debt may accept additional contributions to retire such unpaid debt. However, the contributions can not exceed the applicable contribution limits for the election for which the debt was incurred.

Do contribution limits apply to contributions to retire debt?
Yes, contributors are still bound by the contribution limits.

For example: A Legislative Candidate incurred debt during the last General Election. A contributor donated $500 before the last General Election. The individual would like to donate additional funds toward the incurred debt. In this example, the individual could contribute up to $500 and designate it toward the last General Election.

Can undesignated contributions be applied to the retirement of debt?
Yes, although all undesignated contributions are automatically designated for the Candidate’s upcoming election, the Candidate may use those funds to retire debt.

How does the Secretary of State determine if a Candidate has debt?
All previously filed reports document any campaign debt. All debt and payment on debt must be reported on the Campaign Financial Disclosure Report on Schedule D - Loans and Schedule E - Credit Cards and Debt.


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