Brochures

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Overview of the Board's Web Reporting System
Overview of Iowa's Campaign Finance Laws for Candidates

Below are brochures provided by the Board that contain helpful information regarding reporting requirements and compliance with Iowa Code 68A and 68B.

 

Registering a Committee

Revised September 2018

New Committees:

Pursuant to Iowa Code section 68A.201, a campaign committee is required to register with the Board by filing a statement of organization (DR-1) within 10 days of exceeding $1,000 in money or goods raised, expenditures made, or debts incurred.  Pursuant to Iowa Code section 68A.201(3), a committee must file an amended DR-1 if there are any changes to the information disclosed on the original DR-1. The amended form must be filed within 30 days of the date of the change.

Statements Required to be Electronically Filed:

Effective January 1, 2016, every committee must file an original or amended DR-1 electronically using the Board’s web reporting system,i which can be found here: https://webapp.iecdb.iowa.gov/Default.aspx

New Committees Filing Before Reaching Financial Threshold:

New committees also have the option of registering a committee prior to reaching the $1,000 financial filing threshold.  A committee seeking to register before required by statute to do so may either file a DR-1 or Form DR-SFA.  If a committee filing Form DR-SFA later exceeds the $1,000 threshold, the committee is required to file a DR-1.  The purpose of this voluntary registering of a campaign committee is to allow the committee to use the abbreviated “paid for by” attribution statement on political materials that is available to registered committees.  A Form DR-SFA may be filed using the Board’s web reporting system: https://webapp.iecdb.iowa.gov/Default.aspx.

Existing Candidate’s Committees Seeking a Different Office:

A candidate’s committee that has already filed a DR-1 for one office but then exceeds the $1,000 threshold for a different office must either file a new DR-1 or amend the existing DR-1. In either case, the statement must be filed within 10 days of the $1,000 threshold being exceeded for the new office sought.

Permanent Organization Making a One-Time Contribution:

A permanent organization (such as a business, association, or other person that is not an individual) that makes one campaign contribution in excess of $1,000 in a calendar year may file Form DR-OTC in lieu of registering a committee and filing campaign reports.  A permanent organization that makes more than one campaign contribution in a calendar year that in the aggregate exceeds $1,000 is required to organize and register a political committee, file disclosure reports, and, upon completion of activity, file a notice of dissolution.  A Form DR-OTC may be filed using the Board’s web reporting system: https://webapp.iecdb.iowa.gov/Default.aspx.

County Central Committees (County Statutory Political Committees):

Prior to July 1, 2005, a county central committee was automatically created when its state party was formed. However, Iowa Code section 68A.102(12) was amended so that a county central committee is not required to be registered until it exceeds the $1,000 threshold. Thus, if any new state parties are created, their corresponding county central committees will only need to register if they exceed $1,000 in activity or voluntarily register in order to use the abbreviated “paid for by” attribution statement on political materials.

Out-of-State/Federal PACs:

An out-of-state or federal PAC making a contribution in excess of $50 to an Iowa committee is required to electronically file a Verified Statement of Registration (VSR).  A VSR may be filed using the Board’s web reporting system: https://webapp.iecdb.iowa.gov/Default.aspx.

The Board encourages all prospective campaign committees to contact the Board’s staff if they have any questions or concerns.  The Board’s telephone number is (515) 281-4028. 

Iowa Code References

  • iIowa Code § 68A.401, as amended by 2015 Iowa Acts, chapter 54, sections 7-8. 
  • Iowa Administrative Code r. 351—4.11. 
  • Iowa Administrative Code r. 351—4.6(2)
  • Iowa Administrative Code r. 351—4.35. 
  • Iowa Code § 68A.402(9). 
  • Iowa Code §68A.201A. 

 

 

Dissolving a Committee

August 15, 2005

TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS:

Pursuant to Iowa Code section 68B.32A(11) and rule 351—1.2, the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board issues this opinion on the procedure for dissolving a campaign committee. The Board’s jurisdiction is limited to the application of Iowa Code chapters 68A and 68B, Iowa Code section 8.7, and rules in Iowa Administrative Code chapter 351. Advice in a Board opinion, if followed, constitutes a defense to a subsequent complaint based on the same facts and circumstances.

OPINION:

In order to remove confusion surrounding the procedure for the dissolution (closing) of a campaign committee, the Board issues this opinion.

A committee will not be deemed dissolved and will continue to be responsible for filing campaign reports until all of these steps have been completed.

Committees Involved in State Elections:

  1. Resolve all outstanding loans, debts, and obligations.
  2. Dispose of all campaign property valued over $100.
  3. Spend all remaining campaign funds.
  4. File a final campaign report disclosing the final committee transactions.
  5. File a final campaign account bank statement disclosing the final committee transactions.
  6. File a Notice of Dissolution (Form DR-3) within 30 days of closing the committee.

A committee that dissolves will still be responsible for addressing any disclosure issues that are raised after the Board’s staff audits the committee’s campaign reports. 

Committees Involved in County, City, School, or Other Political Subdivision Elections:

  1. Resolve all outstanding loans, debts, and obligations.
  2. Dispose of all campaign property valued over $100.
  3. Spend all remaining campaign funds.
  4. File a final campaign report disclosing the final committee transactions.
  5. File a Notice of Dissolution (Form DR-3) within 30 days of closing the committee.

A committee that dissolves will still be responsible for addressing any disclosure issues that are raised after the Board’s staff audits the committee’s campaign reports. In addition, a committee involved in a county, city, school, or other political subdivision election is required to file a final committee bank statement if requested to do so by the Board.1

In closing, as a campaign committee is not deemed dissolved and will continue to have filing responsibilities under the law until all required steps are undertaken, the Board encourages all committees to review the requirements for committee dissolution in Iowa Code section 68A.402B and the Board’s rules in 351—4.54 and 351—4.55.

BY DIRECTION AND VOTE OF THE BOARD

James Albert, Board Chair 
Janet Carl, Vice Chair
Gerald Sullivan
Betsy Roe
John Walsh
Patricia Harper

Submitted by: W. Charles Smithson, Board Legal Counsel


1 See Board rule 351—5.55(5).

Print Version: 

"Paid for by" Attribution Statement

WHAT IS AN ADVERTISING ATTRIBUTION STATEMENT?

Iowa Code section 68A.405 and Board rule 351-4.38 require a "paid for by" attribution statement to be printed or displayed on political material to identify the person paying for the material. An attribution MUST contain the words "Paid for by" to comply with the law and rule.

WHAT POLITICAL ITEMS ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE AN ATTRIBUTION STATEMENT?

Political material in newspapers, magazines, tabloids, shoppers, Web sites, stationery, mailings, brochures, postcards, scratch pads, posters, and outdoor political material as well as television, video, and motion picture advertising. 
EXCEPTION: An individual who acts alone and spends $100 or less of his or her own money to advocate the passage or defeat of a ballot issue is not required to place an attribution statement on such political materials.

IS THE ATTRIBUTION STATEMENT REQUIRED IN EDITORIALS AND NEWS STORIES OF A NEWSPAPER, MAGAZINE, ETC.?

No. Editorials, letters to the editor, and news stories are not considered to be political material.

DOES IOWA LAW REQUIRE AN ATTRIBUTION FOR POLITICAL RADIO AND TV ADS?

Not on radio ads. However, federal law as administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may require an attribution on radio political advertisements. Make sure to ask the station for guidance concerning what attribution is required by federal law before placing an advertisement. Effective April 8, 2010, attributions must appear for at least four seconds on television, video, and motion picture advertising.

EXACTLY WHAT MUST AN ATTRIBUTION STATEMENT CONTAIN?

If the sponsor is an individual, the words "paid for by" and the name and address of the individual. This includes a candidate who has not registered a committee by filing a statement of organization under Iowa Code section 68A.201 because the candidate has not exceeded the $1000 filing threshold.
A candidate who has not exceeded $1000 may file Form DR-SFA with the Ethics Board and use the shorter "paid for by" attribution.

If the sponsor is a candidate who has registered a committee by filing a statement of organization, the words "paid for by" and the official registered name of the committee.

If the sponsor is an organization, the words "paid for by" and the full name and mailing address of the organization and the name and office of one officer. This includes an organization established to pass or defeat a ballot issue but has not registered a committee.

If the sponsor is a registered party committee, central committee, or political committee (one that has registered by filing a statement of organization), the words "paid for by" and the official registered name of the committee. 

If more than one individual is responsible, the words "paid for by", the names of the individuals, and either their addresses or a statement that the addresses have been submitted to the Ethics Board.

If a sponsor is donating labor or material rather than paying for the material, there is still a cost involved and the attribution statement should begin "Paid for by", and should be followed by one of the above as circumstances apply.

If the sponsor is a corporation, the words "paid for by", the name and address of the corporation, and the name and title of the corporation's chief executive officer.

If the published material is an independent expenditure with a value in excess of $1000, the words "paid for by", the other information as set out above as circumstances apply, and a statement that the material was not authorized by any candidate, candidate's committee, or ballot issue committee.


WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A CAMPAIGN SIGN?
IS AN ATTRIBUTION STATEMENT REQUIRED ON POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SIGNS?

A "campaign sign" is a sign with dimensions of 32 square feet or less that is erected on real estate property (land, as opposed to buildings or vehicles). Attributions are not required on campaign signs.

 


WHAT IS "OUTDOOR ADVERTISING"? ARE ATTRIBUTION STATEMENTS REQUIRED?

Outdoor advertising is any sign (except a yard sign as defined above) including wood, metal, plastic, or other hardboard signs which are affixed to the side of a building or painted directly on the building, affixed to the top, side, or back of a vehicle, or painted directly on the vehicle. It also includes portable signs, lighted signs, billboards, and magnetic signs temporarily affixed on vehicles or structures (rule 351-4.39).

All of the above must bear advertising attribution statements, preceded by the words "Paid for by".


WHAT ITEMS DO NOT REQUIRE AN ATTRIBUTION STATEMENT?

The law specifically excludes yard signs, matchbooks, bumper stickers, pins, buttons, pens, business cards, and similar items smaller than 2" by 4" where including the attribution would be impracticable. Also, items of clothing such as T-shirts and caps.


IS THE NEWSPAPER, SHOPPER, ETC. THAT ACCEPTS POLITICAL MATERIAL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTRIBUTION STATEMENT ON THE AD?

No. The "person who causes the publication" is the person who submits the political material for publication, not the publisher of the material.


DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended to provide you with general guidance concerning the applicable laws and rules. It is not a restatement of the law and does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the applicable laws and rules or contact the Board for further guidance.

For More Information Contact the Board:

IOWA ETHICS & CAMPAIGN DISCLOSURE BOARD
510 E. 12th, SUITE 1A
DES MOINES, IA 50319
(515) 281-4028
(515) 281-4073 fax
www.iowa.gov/ethics 

 

 

 

Campaign Fundraising Guidelines

DEFINITIONS

"Candidate's committee" is the campaign committee of a judge standing for election or any candidate for public office, including candidates for statewide office, general assembly, county office, city office, school board, and other political subdivision elective office. "Ballot issue committee" is a committee that is involved only in the advocacy of a question placed before the voters in a referendum. Ballot issue committees are also "political committees" (PACs). "Statutory committee" is the state parties and the county central committees (political party committees). A "political committee" is a "political action committee" (PAC).

INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS

All committees may accept checks or cash from individuals. Contributions such as goods or services paid for by individuals and donated to the committee may also be accepted (reported as in-kind contributions).

PAC CONTRIBUTIONS

All committees may accept contributions from PACs.

POLITICAL PARTY CONTRIBUTIONS

All committees may accept contributions from political party committees, and political party committees may accept contributions from candidates' committees and other committees.

RESTRICTIONS APPLICABLE TO A CANDIDATE'S COMMITTEE

Registered Iowa lobbyists and PACs are prohibited from making contributions to committees for General Assembly and Statewide candidates during the period of time the legislature is in session. This prohibition extends for an additional 30 days after session to the Governor and gubernatorial candidates.

EXCEPTIONS: General Assembly candidates in a special election held during the legislative session MAY accept contributions for a limited period of time from lobbyists and political committees. However, elected state officials may not solicit contributions from them during this period of time. Elected state officials who are seeking federal office may accept contributions to their federal campaign accounts during session from lobbyists and PACs. See Iowa Code section 68A.504 for further guidance.

A candidate's committee is prohibited from making contributions to or accepting contributions from another candidate's committee. In addition, a candidate's committee is prohibited from making contributions to PACs.

EXCEPTION: A candidate's committee is permitted to purchase tickets with campaign funds for himself and one other person to a meal event sponsored by a candidate's committee or PAC so long as the candidate attends the event to enhance the candidacy. Also, a candidate may pay incurred travel costs to another candidate's fundraiser event and be reimbursed from campaign funds.

RESTRICTIONS APPLICABLE TO CORPORATE ENTITIES

Contributions from corporations, financial institutions, and insurance companies may not be accepted by a candidate's committee or a PAC that advocates the election or defeat of candidates.

NOTE: A ballot issue committee is permitted to accept corporate contributions. However, if a corporation contributes more than $1000 to a ballot issue committee, the corporation must form a temporary PAC and file disclosure reports. This provision applies to ANY permanent organization that is temporarily involved in political activities exceeding $1000 in a calendar year.

AUCTIONS

Committees that hold auctions of donated items must keep complete records of all donated items. This includes a donor's name and address, description of the item, the item's fair market value, buyer's name and address, and the selling price. The committee must then fully report all transactions in excess of its itemization level as auction proceeds on Schedule A. Committees, other than ballot issue committees, cannot accept donated items from prohibited contributors. Donated items must be reported as an "in-kind" contribution on Schedule E.

GAMBLING LICENSES

Some campaign events create the need for a gambling license. This includes bingo, raffles, lotteries, card games, games of chance, games of skill, or any other social event that involves a wager or drawing.

Gambling licenses are obtained from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50309, 515-281-6848. Licenses must be obtained in advance of the event. NOT ALL COMMITTEES ARE ELIGIBLE TO OBTAIN A GAMBLING LICENSE.

Gambling licenses cannot be loaned to or used by any committee or organization except the entity to which it was originally issued.

COMMITTEES THAT ARE ELIGIBLE FOR GAMBLING LICENSES

* Candidates' Committees

* State Political Party Committees

* County Central Committees

COMMITTEES THAT ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR GAMBLING LICENSES

* PACs (including ballot issue committees)

JOINT FUNDRAISERS

Candidates who conduct joint fundraisers should receive separate checks from their contributors, and must issue committee checks for fundraiser expenses. Candidates are not permitted to transfer money from one candidate's committee to another except for purchases made at fair market value. Candidates engaging in joint fundraisers should first contact the Board for guidance.

Iowa Code chapter 68A and the Board's rules in 351-Chapter 4 has further guidance on fundraising.

 

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended to give a brief overview of the relevant campaign laws and rules. It is not a complete restatement of the law and is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult the laws in Chapter 68A and the Board's rules in 351-Chapter 4 of the Iowa Administrative Code.

Guide for Legislative Candidate Committees

WHO MUST FILE

Any legislative candidate who receives contributions (including loans), makes expenditures (including personal funds), or incurs indebtedness in excess of $1000 in a calendar year must organize and register a committee by filing a statement of organization (DR-1) [68A.201]. Remember that a debt is incurred when an item is ordered, not when the bill is received. The statement must be filed within 10 days of crossing the $1000 threshold.

All registered candidate committees are required to file Disclosure Reports on scheduled due dates [68A.402]. A Disclosure Report is a DR-2, Summary Page and a statement of contributions received, expenditures made, and indebtedness incurred (see CONTENTS OF A DISCLOSURE REPORT below).

If a committee, after having filed a Statement of Organization (DR-1) or one or more disclosure reports, determines that it will no longer receive contributions or make disbursements, the committee shall notify the Board within thirty days following such dissolution or determination by filing a Statement of Dissolution (DR-3) [68A.402B].

GENERAL PROVISIONS

1. Every candidate committee shall appoint a treasurer who shall be an Iowa resident that has reached the age of majority. Every candidate committee shall maintain all of the committee's funds in bank accounts in a financial institution located in Iowa [68A.203(1)].

2. The treasurer shall deposit all funds within seven days of receipt by the treasurer in an account maintained by the committee.  A person, other than a candidate or committee officer, who receives contributions on behalf of the committee shall deliver the funds to the treasurer within fifteen calendar days of the date of the contribution [68A.203(2)].

3. A candidate and the candidate's committee shall use campaign funds only for campaign purposes, educational and other expenses associated with the duties of office, or constituency services, and shall not use campaign funds for personal expenses or benefit [68A.302 and administrative rule 351-4.25].

4. PROHIBITED MONETARY/IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS

* Anonymous contributions in excess of $25 [68A.501]

* Contributions in the name of another [68A.502]

* Corporations, banks, credit unions, savings and loans, and insurance companies [68A.503]

*Contributions during regular legislative session (see below) [68A.504]

 

DUE DATES OF DISCLOSURE REPORTS

After registering and organizing a committee due to crossing the $1,000 threshold, campaign disclosure reports are due on regularly scheduled reporting dates [68A.402]. Click here for reporting due dates for Statewide & General Assembly candidates.

CIVIL PENALTIES

A candidate's committee is subject to civil penalties for failing to timely file reports [68A.401]. To be considered timely, a report must be electronically filed by 4:30 pm on the due date. The report must be filed electronically using the Board's web site at www.iowa.gov/ethics. Failing to file a report or evidence of an intentional failure to file can lead to the imposition of additional criminal and civil sanctions. A person using the Board's electronic filing system shall not be assessed a civil penalty if the Board's electronic filing system is not properly functioning and causes the person to be unable to timely file the report [Administrative rule 351-4.59].

CONTENTS OF A DISCLOSURE REPORT

A report consists of a completed Disclosure Summary Page (DR-2) and appropriate Schedules to support the entries:

Schedule A - Contributions: Include all money received (dates, names/addresses, amounts, and relationships as applicable). Include PAC I.D. number.

 Schedule B - Expenditures: Include all expenditures (dates, names/addresses, purpose, and amount as applicable).

 Schedule D - Incurred Indebtedness: Include all debts incurred, but not paid at end of reporting period.

 Schedule E - In Kind Contributions: Include donors of goods or services, description, estimated fair market value, and relationship of contributor to candidate (as applicable).

 Schedule F - Loans: Include loans made to committee and repayments, including original loan source, and relationship (as applicable).

 Schedule G - Consultant Activity: Include details of any contracts between the committee and consultants (see Consultant section below).

 Schedule H - Campaign Property: Ongoing records of equipment, supplies and materials purchased with campaign funds or received in-kind with an initial value of $500 or more. This will continue to be listed with the current residual value until it falls under $100.

 *NOTE: All Schedules must list complete name and address of contributors in excess of $25 in a calendar year, and of expenditures of $5 or more {68A.402A(1)].

*NOTE: A candidate's committee shall submit a copy of a campaign bank statement including a reconciliation to justify outstanding checks and other discrepancies between the ending balance on the bank statement and the ending balance on a campaign statement or report when requested to do so by the Board [Administrative rule 351-4.21].

REPORTING OF CONTRACTS WITH "CONSULTANTS"

Candidates who enter into contracts with "consultants" must provide details of such contracts. A "consultant" is defined as a person who provides or procures services, such as consulting, advertising, organizing, polling, managing, fundraising or public relations for a candidate. A candidate's committee contracting with a consultant must report not only the expenditures made to the consultant, but must provide details of the contractual agreement, including the nature of performance expected and estimates of future performance. A breakdown of disbursements made by the consultant must also be reported, including name and address of the recipient, amounts, purposes and dates. The amounts paid to the consultant are reported with other expenditures on Schedule B. The dates and details of the contract and the disbursement breakdowns are reported on Schedule G [Administrative rule 351-4.19].

ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS

See Paid for by attribution brochure

RECEIVING CONTRIBUTIONS FROM COMMITTEES OUTSIDE IOWA

Out-of-state and federal PACs that make contributions to you in excess of $50 are required to file a Verified Statement of Registration (VSR) with the Board.  You may want to contact these committees when they make contributions to you and remind them they have separate filing responsibilities with the Board {68A.201A].

CONTRIBUTIONS DURING LEGISLATIVE SESSION PROHIBITED

A lobbyist or political committee, other than a state statutory political committee, county statutory political committee, or a national political party, shall not contribute to, act as an agent or intermediary for contributions to, or arrange for the making of monetary or in-kind contributions to the campaign of an elected state official, member of the general assembly, or candidate for state office on any day during the regular legislative session and, in the case of the governor or a gubernatorial candidate, during the thirty days following the adjournment of a regular legislative session allowed for the signing of bills [68A.504].

EXCEPTIONS: Contributions to candidates in a general assembly special election held or called during the legislative session are permitted, but only from the date that at least two candidates have been nominated through the day the election is held. Also, a state officeholder seeking federal office may receive such contributions when placed in the candidate's federal account [68A.504(2)].

DISCLOSURE REPORTING SUGGESTIONS

Candidates have sole responsibility under the law for accurate and timely disclosure reports so keep in touch with your treasurer.

When you "pass the hat", announce that you MUST have names/addresses of those who will contribute more than $10. You must keep internal records of each donor of more than $10. Although you only need to disclose contributors on your report once they have exceeded $25 in a calendar year [Administrative rule 351-4.14(4)].

Be sure campaign workers promptly deliver checks and cash to the treasurer, as well as any bills they incur.

Start completing schedule pages of your disclosure report early in the reporting period. Check bank statements promptly and reconcile differences.

Be sure you know the correct name of PAC contributors. Do not list the corporate or sponsoring entity. List PAC ID numbers on Schedule A, including Out-of-State & Federal PACs. ID number lists are available on the Board's web site and within the Web Reporting System (WRS) for electronic filing.

Remember your reports are PUBLIC RECORDS, subject to review by your opponent, the media, and the general public.

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended to serve as general guidance and is not a restatement of the law or rules and is not legal advice. Please review Iowa Code chapter 68A and the Board's rules in Chapter 351 of the Iowa Administrative Code or contact the Board for further guidance.

Please see Chapter 68A and the Board's rules in 351-Chapter 4 for further guidance

Prohibited and Permitted Corporate Activity

NOTE: The corporate restrictions and prohibitions in this brochure do not apply to ballot issue (referendum) committees or to utility franchise committees. These committees are allowed to accept corporate contributions (see Addendum at end of brochure).

EXPLAIN THE TERM "CORPORATE ENTITIES"

For purposes of the disclosure law "corporate entities" means both non-profit and for-profit corporations, as well as "P.C.s" (professional corporations).

MAY A CORPORATION PLACE YARD SIGNS ON ITS LAWN OR POST POLITICAL SIGNS ON ITS CORPORATE BUILDING?

See Campaign Sign Brochure

MAY A CORPORATION THAT IS IN THE BUSINESS OF MAKING SIGNS OR PRINTING ADVERTISING PROVIDE A DISCOUNT TO A COMMITTEE?

No, unless it provides the same discount to all other customers under the same circumstances.

HOW ABOUT BUMPER STICKERS ON CORPORATE VEHICLES?

If the car, truck or other vehicle is owned by a corporate entity, the law prohibits placement of any type of political advertising sign on it.

ARE CORPORATIONS ALLOWED TO MAKE MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS TO COMMITTEES?

In general, the answer is no.

MAY A COMMITTEE USE THE TELEPHONES OF A CORPORATION TO MAKE CAMPAIGN CALLS?

Yes. However, the candidate must reimburse the corporation at $3 per telephone per hour, plus any actual long distance charges. See rules 351-4.44 through 4.52.

MAY A COMMITTEE USE A PERSONAL COMPUTER, COPY MACHINE OR OTHER EQUIPMENT OF A CORPORATION?

Yes. However, the candidate must reimburse the corporation for the normal and usual charge of the equipment per the commercial market. For example, if it would otherwise cost 10¢ per page to have a brochure copied at a commercial printer, the corporation must be reimbursed 10¢ per page even if its costs and overhead were actually only 5¢ per page. This is true regardless if the equipment was being used after hours. See rules 351-4.44 through 4.52.

MAY OWNERS, OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF A CORPORATION DO VOLUNTEER WORK FOR A COMMITTEE?

Yes, so long as the work is on their own time and not reimbursed by the corporation. The use of corporate equipment would need to be reimbursed in the case of a candidate.

MAY A COMMITTEE USE THE BULK MAIL PERMIT OR POSTAGE METER OF A CORPORATE ENTITY?

Yes. However, the corporation must be reimbursed at the first-class mail rate.

MAY A CORPORATION PROVIDE A MEETING ROOM FOR POLITICAL USE?

Yes. However, the committee must reimburse the corporation at the fair market value that other property in the community would be rented or leased.

HOW ABOUT SPACE ON THE COUNTER OF A BUSINESS FOR DISTRIBUTING BROCHURES OR CAMPAIGN LITERATURE, OR ON A BULLETIN BOARD FOR POSTING CAMPAIGN MATERIALS?

No. However, a bulletin board that is made available for use by any member of the public may be used by candidates.

MAY A CORPORATION COMMUNICATE WITH ITS MEMBERS ON POLITICAL ISSUES?

Non-profit corporations may communicate with dues-paying members on political matters and not be subject to reporting.

DOES THIS MEAN THAT A CORPORATION IS PRECLUDED FROM PARTICIPATING IN VOTER REGISTRATION ACTIVITIES OR OTHER VOTING INFORMATION?

Entities may provide or publicize voter registration procedures, election day information or any other voter education provided the activity is not designed to advocate the election or defeat of any candidate.

HOW ABOUT CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP OF A PAC?

A corporate entity can sponsor a PAC, solicit eligible members to join or contribute and pay the administrative costs of the PAC. The corporate entity should refer to Iowa Code section 68A.503 and rules 351- 4.44 through 4.52 when engaging in PAC activity.

INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

Corporations may engage in independent expenditures that advocate for or against candidates so long as the provisions of Iowa Code section 68A.404 are followed and reports filed.

ADDENDUM

All of the corporate restrictions and prohibitions apply to candidates and political committees that are not involved in ballot issues or franchise utility elections. Committees that are involved in referendum questions placed before the voters may accept direct and in-kind contributions from corporations and need not reimburse them. However, if the corporation exceeds $1000 in a calendar year in political contributions to ballot issues, the corporation is required to temporarily register as a PAC and file at least one disclosure report. The filing is simple and the Board will assist corporations meet the law's requirements. Late filers will be assessed a civil penalty.

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended as general guidance. It is not a restatement of the law or rules and is not legal advice. Please refer to Chapter 68A and the Board's rules in chapter 351 of the Iowa Administrative Code or contact the Board for further guidance.

See chapter 68A and the Board's rules in 351-chapter 4 for more guidance

Guide for Statewide Candidate Committees

WHO MUST FILE

Any statewide candidate who receives contributions (including loans), makes expenditures (including personal funds), or incurs indebtedness in excess of $1000 in a calendar year must organize and register a committee by filing a statement of organization (DR-1) [68A.201]. Remember that a debt is incurred when an item is ordered, not when the bill is received. The statement must be filed within 10 days of crossing the $1000 threshold.

All registered candidate committees are required to file Disclosure Reports on scheduled due dates [68A.402]. A Disclosure Report is a DR-2 Summary Page and a statement of contributions received, expenditures made, and indebtedness incurred (see CONTENTS OF A DISCLOSURE REPORT below).

If a committee, after having filed a Statement of Organization (DR-1) or one or more disclosure reports, determines that it will no longer receive contributions or make disbursements, the committee shall notify the Board within thirty days following such dissolution or determination by filing a Statement of Dissolution (DR-3) [68A.402B].

GENERAL PROVISIONS

1. Every candidate committee shall appoint a treasurer who shall be an Iowa resident that has reached the age of majority. Every candidate committee shall maintain all of the committee's funds in bank accounts in a financial institution located in Iowa [68A.203(1)].

2. The treasurer shall deposit all funds within seven days of receipt by the treasurer in an account maintained by the committee.  A person, other than a candidate or committee officer, who receives contributions on behalf of the committee shall deliver the funds to the treasurer within fifteen calendar days of the date of the contribution[68A.203(2)].

3. A candidate and the candidate's committee shall use campaign funds only for campaign purposes, educational and other expenses associated with the duties of office, or constituency services, and shall not use campaign funds for personal expenses or benefit. [68A.302 and administrative rule 351-4.25].

4. PROHIBITED MONETARY/IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS

* Anonymous contributions in excess of $25 [68A.501]
* Contributions in the name of another [68A.502]
* Contributions from corporations, banks, credit unions, savings and loans, and insurance companies [68A.503]
*Contributions during regular legislative session (see below)[68A.504]

DUE DATES OF DISCLOSURE REPORTS

After registering and organizing a committee due to crossing the $1000 threshold, campaign disclosure reports are due on regularly scheduled reporting dates [68A.402]. Click here for reporting due dates for Statewide & General Assembly candidates.

 

CIVIL PENALTIES

A candidate's committee is subject to civil penalties for failing to timely file reports [68A.401]. To be considered timely, a report must be electronically filed on the due date. The report may be filed electronically using the Board's web site at www.iowa.gov/ethics. Failing to file a report or evidence of an intentional failure to file can lead to the imposition of additional criminal and civil sanctions. A person using the Board's electronic filing system shall not be assessed a civil penalty if the Board's electronic filing system is not properly functioning and causes the person to be unable to timely file the report [Administrative rule 351-4.59].

CONTENTS OF A DISCLOSURE REPORT

A report consists of a completed Disclosure Summary Page (DR-2) and appropriate Schedules to support the entries:

Schedule A - Contributions: Include all money received (dates, names/addresses, amounts, and relationships as applicable). Include PAC I.D. number.

 Schedule B - Expenditures: Include all expenditures (dates, names/addresses, purpose, and amount as applicable).

Schedule D - Incurred Indebtedness: Include all debts incurred, but not paid at end of reporting period.

 Schedule E - In Kind Contributions: Include donors of goods or services, description, estimated fair market value, and relationship of contributor to candidate (as applicable).

 Schedule F - Loans: Include loans made to committee and repayments, including original loan source, and relationship (as applicable).

 Schedule G - Consultant Activity: Include details of any contracts between the committee and consultants (see Consultant section below).

 Schedule H - Campaign Property: Ongoing records of equipment, supplies and materials purchased with campaign funds or received in-kind with an initial value of $500 or more. This will continue to be listed with the current residual value until it falls under $100.

 *NOTE: All Schedules must list complete name and address of contributors in excess of $25 in a calendar year, and of expenditures of $5 or more{68A.402A(1)].

*NOTE: A candidate's committee shall submit a copy of a campaign bank statement including a reconciliation to justify outstanding checks and other discrepancies between the ending balance on the bank statement and the ending balance on a campaign statement or report when requested to do so by the Board [Administrative rule 351-4.21].

REPORTING OF CONTRACTS WITH "CONSULTANTS"

Candidates who enter into contracts with "consultants" must provide details of such contracts. A "consultant" is defined as a person who provides or procures services, such as consulting, advertising, organizing, polling, managing, fundraising or public relations for a candidate. A candidate's committee contracting with a consultant must report not only the expenditures made to the consultant, but must provide details of the contractual agreement, including the nature of performance expected and estimates of future performance. A breakdown of disbursements made by the consultant must also be reported, including name and address of the recipient, amounts, purposes and dates. The amounts paid to the consultant are reported with other expenditures on Schedule B. The dates and details of the contract and the disbursement breakdowns are reported on Schedule G [Administrative rule 351-4.19].

ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS

See Paid for by attribution brochure

RECEIVING CONTRIBUTIONS FROM COMMITTEES OUTSIDE IOWA

Out-of-state and federal PACs that make contributions to you in excess of $50 are required to file a Verified Statement of Registration (VSR) with the Board.  You may want to contact these committees when they make contributions to you and remind them they have separate filing responsibilities with the Board {68A.201A].

CONTRIBUTIONS DURING LEGISLATIVE SESSION PROHIBITED

A lobbyist or political committee, other than a state statutory political committee, county statutory political committee, or a national political party, shall not contribute to, act as an agent or intermediary for contributions to, or arrange for the making of monetary or in-kind contributions to the campaign of an elected state official, member of the general assembly, or candidate for state office on any day during the regular legislative session and, in the case of the governor or a gubernatorial candidate, during the thirty days following the adjournment of a regular legislative session allowed for the signing of bills [68A.504].

EXCEPTIONS: Contributions to candidates in a general assembly special election held or called during the legislative session are permitted, but only from the date that at least two candidates have been nominated through the day the election is held. Also, a state officeholder seeking federal office may receive such contributions when placed in the candidate's federal account [68A.504(2)].

DISCLOSURE REPORTING SUGGESTIONS

Candidates have sole responsibility under the law for accurate and timely disclosure reports, so keep in touch with your treasurer.

When you "pass the hat", announce that you MUST have names/addresses of those who will contribute more than $25. [Administrative rule 351-4.14(4)].

Be sure campaign workers promptly deliver checks and cash to the treasurer, as well as any bills they incur.

Start completing schedule pages of your disclosure report early in the reporting period. Check bank statements promptly and reconcile differences.

Be sure you know the correct name of PAC contributors. Do not list the corporate or sponsoring entity. List PAC ID numbers on Schedule A, including Out-of-State & Federal PACs. ID number lists are available on the Board's web site and within the Web Reporting System (WRS) for electronic filing.

Remember your reports are PUBLIC RECORDS, subject to review by your opponent, the media, and the general public.

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended to serve as general guidance and is not a restatement of the law or rules and is not legal advice. Please review Iowa Code chapter 68A and the Board's rules in Chapter 351 of the Iowa Administrative Code or contact the Board for further guidance.

Please see Chapter 68A and the Board's rules in 351-Chapter 4 for further guidance

Use of Campaign Funds for Meals

Advisory Opinion 2008-06

Subject:  Use of Candidate Campaign Funds for Meals/Proper Disclosure

TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS:

Pursuant to Iowa Code section 68B.32A(11) and rule 351—1.2, the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board issues this opinion on the use of candidate campaign funds for meal expenses and the proper reporting of such transactions.  We note at the outset that the Board’s jurisdiction is limited to the application of Iowa Code chapters 68A and 68B, Iowa Code section 8.7, and rules in Iowa Administrative Code chapter 351.  Advice in a Board opinion, if followed, constitutes a defense to a subsequent complaint based on the same facts and circumstances.

   

OPINION:

Iowa Code section 68A.302(1) provides that a candidate may use campaign funds for “campaign purposes, educational and other expenses associated with the duties of office, or constituency services, and shall not use campaign funds for personal expenses or personal benefit.”  The statute then sets out a number of specific permissible and impermissible uses of campaign funds.  Finally, the statute requires the Board to adopt rules “which list the items that represent proper campaign expenses.”

The use of campaign funds for meals has been a particular source of difficulty.  Iowa Code section 68A.302(2) provides that campaign funds “shall not be used for any of the following purposes” and then includes subparagraph “i” that states the following:

“Meals, groceries, or other food expense, except for tickets to meals that the candidate attends solely for the purpose of enhancing the candidacy or the candidacy of another person.  However, payment for food and drink purchased for campaign related purposes and for entertainment of campaign volunteers is permitted.”

Similar provisions are set out in Board rule 351—4.25(1)“h” and “p” and the Board has issued at least three advisory opinions that directly discuss the issue of the use of candidate campaign funds and meals. 1 In addition, the Board has adopted rule 351—4.25(2)“c” that permits the use of candidate campaign funds for meals and other expenses “incurred in connection with attending a local meeting to which the officeholder is invited and attends due to the officeholder’s official position as an elected official.” 2

We understand and appreciate the theory behind prohibiting the use of campaign funds for meals except for campaign related purposes.  The General Assembly intended to prohibit the use of campaign funds for food that was for personal consumption and not related to the campaign.  However, in practice this statutory provision has been very difficult to enforce. 3

The following are examples of permissible disclosures on Schedule B of a candidate’s campaign disclosure report concerning expenditures for the purchase of meals:

1.  Costs associated with fundraiser;

2.  Food at meeting with campaign staff;

3.  Reimbursement to campaign worker;

4.  Meal purchased when traveling to campaign event; or

5.  Meal consumed at campaign/political event.

Disclosures such as “meals,” “food,” and “constituent meetings/meeting with supporters” will not be deemed sufficient disclosure.

This opinion is not intended to be a laundry list of items.  Rather, it is to provide both candidates and the Board’s staff with some common guidance.  Candidates should also be aware that the more specific they are in disclosing transactions and how the transactions comply with the campaign laws, the less likely it will be that the Board’s staff will require additional information.  

In closing, all candidates should review Iowa Code sections 68A.301, 68A.302, 68A.303, Board rule 351—4.25, and the Board’s advisory opinions on the use of campaign funds.

1. See IECDB Advisory Opinions 2000-09, 2000-10, and 2006-15.

2. The rationale behind this particular rule was that such meetings had the natural effect of enhancing the candidacy of the attendee. 

3. Candidates have not always been precise or consistent in reporting transactions involving meals and the Board has been required to question the propriety of such expenditures.  This forces candidates to prove that they discussed campaign business at a meal or in the alternative for the Board to prove that meals were not purchased for “campaign related purposes.”  Thus, this has been a source of tension between candidates and the Board for some time.

Use of Public Money or Property for Political Purposes

BACKGROUND

Iowa Code §68A.505 prohibits the use of public funds for any political purpose, including the express advocacy of a ballot issue.

ENDORSEMENTS OR PROCLAMATIONS

The law does not prohibit "the state or the governing body of a political subdivision from expressing its opinion on a ballot issue through the passage of a resolution or proclamation." However, the resolution or proclamation may not be reproduced or distributed for promotional purposes by the state or political subdivision.

INTERPRETATION OF "USE OF PUBLIC MONEYS"

The Board interprets the use of public moneys to include direct or indirect expenditure of funds by a governmental body, the use of any property, resource, or equipment owned by the governmental body, and utilization of staff time during regular working hours.

EXCEPTIONS

Property of the political subdivision that is regularly available to the general public may be used for political purposes. For example, if there is a published policy permitting all members of the public to use meeting rooms, the rooms may be used by political committees subject to the same rules applicable to all other members of the public.  However, the governmental body may be required to substantiate this claim to the Board. Similarly, elected officials may attend functions where they participate as speakers or panelists as part of their official duties to discuss political issues without violating the law. Salaried administrators may likewise attend functions as part of their official duties to provide information relevant to a ballot issue.

EXAMPLES OF PROHIBITED USES OF PUBLIC FUNDS

(unless exception above applies)

Subject to the exceptions noted above, the following are examples of prohibited activities for political purposes by governmental bodies. Not all possibilities can be shown.

1. Political signs to expressly advocate a ballot issue, candidate, or political committee may not be placed on property or buildings owned or leased by the governmental bodies or on the public right-of-way. Brochures may be distributed in parking lots or placed on vehicles parked in a public lot.

2. Telephones and telephone service owned or leased by the governmental body.

3. Reproduction equipment such as copy machines, facsimile equipment, video equipment, audio equipment, or cameras owned by a governmental body are not permitted to be used.

4. Office equipment owned by a governmental body, such as computer hardware, computer software, computer printers, typewriters, or calculators are prohibited.

5. Government e-mail and Web sites are not permitted to be used.

6. Governmental bodies are prohibited from displaying political posters, brochures, flyers, or promotional literature of any type.

7. Governmental bodies cannot use, or permit to be used by others, the postage meters or postage stamps that are the property of the governmental body for political mailings.

8. Mailing lists, databases, or other compilations prepared for a public purpose and owned by the governmental body cannot be provided (either free, or for a charge) for political purposes unless the lists, databases, or compilations are available to all members of the public for the same consideration. The governmental body may be asked to substantiate the public access to these materials.

9. Employees of a governmental body may not engage in campaign activities of any sort during time the employees are expected to be engaged in official duties.

10. Teachers may not send advocacy literature home with students.

11. Political literature may not be distributed on the premises of a governmental body (including school mail boxes).

 

CITIZEN COMMITTEES

Officials and employees of governmental bodies may be members of independent citizen committees to advocate for or against a ballot issue, and may solicit or encourage members of the public to be part of a citizens' committee, so long as these activities occur on personal time and off the premises of the publicly-owned property (unless the previously stated exception applies). The committee may solicit and accept contributions to expressly advocate a ballot issue, and may expend funds for this purpose (see brochure for Local Ballot Issue Committees). The committee must comply with the reporting requirements of Chapter 68A.

 

NEWSLETTERS

The most frequently reported problem on the part of a political subdivision is using a newsletter paid for by tax dollars to communicate an advocacy position on a ballot issue. A governmental body may wish to avoid extensive discussion of the issue and simply remind readers of the date of the election.

Governmental bodies are invited to mail or fax suggested language for literature to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board for advance guidance and advice. You may also submit your literature by email.

Persons in doubt about the use of public property or time of individuals should contact the Board with specific questions.

 

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended as general guidance. It is not a restatement of the law or rules and is not legal advice. Please refer to Chapter 68A and the Board's rules in chapter 351 of the Iowa Administrative Code or contact the Board for further guidance.

Questions and Answers - Political Action Committees

WHO MUST FILE DISCLOSURE REPORTS?

Any organization organized for the purpose of expressly advocating for or against candidates or a ballot issue and receives contributions, makes expenditures or incurs indebtedness in excess of $1000 in a calendar year.

Also, any permanent organization existing for some other purpose that temporarily becomes engaged in political activity and exceeds the same $1000 threshold to expressly advocate for or against candidates for Iowa public office or a ballot issue.

"Contributions" includes in-kind as well as monetary contributions. An in-kind contribution is a gift of goods or services to a committee.

 

WHEN ARE REPORTS DUE?

A PAC must register by filing the Statement of Organization (DR-1) within ten days of crossing the $1000 threshold mentioned above. The PAC then files full disclosure reports on the following due dates until it dissolves:

Reports must be filed electronically at or before 4:30 pm of the due date through the Board's Web site. If a due date falls on a weekend or holiday the report deadline is extended to the next working day.

State Political Committee (State PAC)

Election Year (Even Numbered Years)

Due Date                                                  Covering Period of Report

May 19                                                      January 1 through May 14

July 19                                                       May 15 through July 14

October 19                                                 July 15 through October 14

January 19 (next calendar year)                October 15 through December 31 of election year

Non Election Year (Odd Numbered Years)

July 19                                                        January 1 through June 30

January 19 (next calendar year)                 July 1 through December 31

 

County Political Committee (County PAC)

Election Year (Even Numbered Years)

Due Date                                                      Covered Period of Report

May 19                                                          January 1 through May 14

July 19                                                           May 15 through July 14

October 19                                                    July 15 through October 14

January 19                                                     October 15 through December 31

Non Election Year (Odd Numbered Years)

January 19                                                    Covering January 1 through December 31 of preceding year.

 

City Political Committee (City PAC)

Election Year

Due Date                                                      Covering Period of Report

Five days before primary election                Date of initial activity through ten days before primary election

Five days before general election                 Nine days before primary election through ten days before general election

Five days before runoff election*                 Nine days before the general election through ten days before runoff election

January 19 (next calendar year)                    Cutoff date from previously filed report through December 31

*If a runoff election is held.

 Non Election Year                                                 

January 19 (next calendar year)                   January 1 through December 31 of nonelection year

 

School Board or Other Political Subdivision Political Committee (School Board or Other Local PAC)

Election Year

Due Date                                                     Covering Period of Report

Five days before election                             Date of initial activity through ten days before election

January 19 (next calendar year)                   Nine days before election through December 31

Non Election Year

January 19 (next calendar year)                   January 1 through December 31 of nonelection year

 

Statewide or Local Ballot Issue Committee (Ballot Issue PAC)

Election Year

Due Date                                                     Covering Period of Report

Five days before election                             Date of initial activity or previous report through ten days before election

May 19                                                         Date of initial activity or previous report through May 14

July 19                                                          Date of initial activity or previous report through July 14

October 19                                                    Date of initial activity or previous report through October 14

 

IS A PAC REQUIRED TO HAVE A SEPARATE BANKING ACCOUNT?

Yes, if it is an ongoing PAC, organized for the purpose of expressly advocating for or against candidates or ballot issues. If the PAC is a permanent organization that engages temporarily in political activity and uses only general funds of the parent organization to make its expenditures, a separate banking account is not required. However, if the parent organization is incorporated, it cannot use its general funds to support candidates. Candidate committees and political committees are prohibited from accepting corporate funds (see Prohibited Contributions section of this brochure). Only ballot issue committees are allowed to accept corporate contributions (monetary or in-kind).

The PAC treasurer, a person of majority age, is required to deposit funds within seven days of receipt. The law requires that either the treasurer be an Iowa resident or the banking account be in an Iowa financial institution. The name on the PAC banking account and on the PAC checks MUST be the same as the official registered name of the PAC as shown on the Statement of Organization.

 

PROHIBITED CONTRIBUTIONS TO PACS

A PAC that supports candidates may not accept any contributions from corporations (profit or nonprofit), banks, savings and loan associations, or credit unions.

EXCEPTION: A PAC is allowed to use its corporate sponsor's funds and property for the true administrative costs of the PAC such as printing of stationery, salary for staff who administer the PAC, and postage to solicit contributions. However, a PAC must report these items as corporate in kind contributions to the PAC on Schedule E. A PAC also is prohibited from accepting anonymous contributions in excess of $25, or contributions in the name of another person. See Board rules 351-4.44 through 4.52 for further guidance on the ability of corporations to become involved with PAC's that advocate for or against candidates.

 

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM NON-IOWA COMMITTEES

If the PAC receives a contribution from a committee outside Iowa, the check may be deposited if it is accompanied by a Verified Statement Registration (VSR). If you do not receive a VSR, contact the Board to be sure that the non-Iowa committee is fulfilling its filing requirements under Iowa law.

 

WHAT FORMS ARE USED FOR REPORTING?

The Statement of Organization (DR-1).

A full disclosure report consists of a disclosure summary page that summarizes the financial activity of the PAC, and corresponding supporting Schedules A-F:

SCHEDULE A - Itemize by date, full name, complete address and amount, each contributor to the PAC who gives in excess of $25 in a calendar year. List as "Unitemized contributions for the period" the sum of all contributions received of $25 or less. Miscellaneous income may also be listed on this schedule if properly identified, such as interest earned on a bank account.

SCHEDULE B - Itemize by date, complete name and address, and purpose, all expenditures and donations made by the PAC of $5 or over. Include candidate ID number if applicable.

 SCHEDULE D - Itemize unpaid debts and obligations remaining at the end of the reporting period by date, name and address, and amount. If the debt is for items or services not received or invoiced for which you are unsure of the amount owing, show "estimated" beside the figure. Provide a written purpose for each debt.

SCHEDULE E - Itemize by date, contributor name and address, and item description all in-kind contributions received. Show the fair market value of the goods or services received. Remember that you cannot accept in-kind contributions from corporate entities EXCEPT for the actual and true administration/solicitation costs of your PAC.

SCHEDULE F - If any person loans money to the PAC, list the date, name and address of the person and the amount of the loan (on the left side of the schedule), and show loan repayments similarly (on the right side of the schedule). Original loan source and endorsers must be reported.

 

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

  •  Some PACs deliver checks to candidates, rather than mailing them. Be sure that the contribution is delivered to the candidate within 15 days of the date of the check.
  •  PACs cannot obtain gambling licenses. Sometimes the nonprofit sponsor of a political action committee can obtain a gambling license. But if the sponsor is incorporated, it is prohibited from transferring funds from the gambling activity to its PAC.
  • Any published political advertising to support a candidate or political committee must show the name and address of the person paying for the material. If a registered PAC is paying for the material, the attribution includes the words "paid for by" and the name of the PAC. If the PAC is not registered, then the full name, address, and the name of an officer is required.

 

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended to serve as general guidance and is not a restatement of the law or rules and is not legal advice. Please review Iowa Code chapter 68A and the Board's rules in Chapter 351 of the Iowa Administrative Code or contact the Board for further guidance.

 

See Iowa Code chapter 68A and the Board's rules in 351-Chapter 4 for more guidance.

Guide for Out-of-State Committees

ARE IOWA COMMITTEES PERMITTED TO ACCEPT CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SOURCES OUTSIDE THE STATE?

Yes. Iowa committees may accept contributions from persons who live outside the state of Iowa. The name and address of the contributor needs to be reported.  Iowa committees are permitted to accept contributions from political committees (PACs) and party committees that are organized in other jurisdictions if the non-Iowa committee has met the filing requirements of Iowa law. The fair market value purchase of an item from an Iowa committee does NOT constitute a reportable contribution (see IECDB Advisory Opinion 2008-05).

 

WHAT ARE THE FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-IOWA COMMITTEES?

Before making a contribution to an Iowa committee, the out-of-state committee is required to meet one of the following criteria:

(1) Have registered with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board by filing a Statement of Organization and full disclosure reports. The out-of-state committee must have all of its funds in a separate banking account in an Iowa financial institution or have named an Iowa resident as treasurer.

-OR-

(2) Be registered and filing full disclosure reports with the FEC or another state disclosure agency and file a Verified Statement Registration (VSR) with the Board. The other state must have reporting requirements that are substantially similar to Iowa's, especially with regard to prohibiting direct or indirect corporate contributions. If the committee is registered and reporting in another jurisdiction but the other state's laws are not substantially similar, contact the Board office for instructions. A 527 committee is not permitted to contribute to an Iowa committee.

 

WHAT INFORMATION IS DISCLOSED ON THE VSR?

1. The complete name, mailing address and telephone number of the non-Iowa committee.

2. The name, address and telephone number an Iowa resident who could accept legal service on behalf of the non-Iowa committee. This does not have to be an employee or associate of the out-of-state committee, but simply an Iowan who agrees to accept this responsibility in the unlikely event of a legal problem. It can be someone with the recipient committee.

3. The name and address of any parent entity, affiliate or sponsor of the non-Iowa committee (such as the name of a corporation in the case of a corporate-sponsored PAC, or the name of a union when the committee is sponsored by a labor organization, etc.).

4. A statement about the purpose of the committee, and identification of the place where the committee is registered and files disclosure reports.

5. The name and complete mailing address of the Iowa committee to whom the contribution has been made, as well as the date and amount. The "date of the contribution" means the day, month and year the contribution check is dated. If the contribution is a donation of goods or services, rather than money, the in-kind contribution must be described.

6. An affirmation that the jurisdiction the out-of-state committee is registered in has reporting requirements that are substantially similar to those in Iowa, and that the contribution is being made from an account that does not accept corporate contributions.

 

HOW SOON AFTER ISSUANCE MUST A COMMITTEE'S CONTRIBUTION BE SENT TO THE IOWA COMMITTEE?

Iowa Code section 68A.203(2) and rule 351-4.32 require the contribution to be rendered to the Iowa committee's treasurer within 15 days of the date of the contribution.

 

HOW SOON AFTER ISSUANCE MUST A VSR BE SENT TO THE BOARD?

Iowa Code section 68A.203(2) and rule 351-4.32 require the VSR to be filed with the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board within 15 days of the date of the check.

 

CAN OUT-OF-STATE COMMITTEES CONTRIBUTE TO IOWA COMMITTEES DURING THE IOWA LEGISLATIVE SESSION?

Iowa Code 68A.504 prohibits a "political committee" (PAC) from making contributions to a statewide or general assembly candidate during the legislative session. This prohibition extends for an additional 30 days after session to the Governor and gubernatorial candidates.

EXCEPTIONS: An elected state official who is seeking federal office may accept such contribution into his or her federal campaign account. A candidate for state office who has filed nomination papers for an office for which a special election is held during the regular legislative session may accept such contributions for a specified period of time. If an out-of-state committee intends to make such a contribution, it should contact the Board.

 

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended to provide general guidance concerning contributions from organizations outside of Iowa to Iowa campaign committees. It is not a restatement of law and is not intended to be legal advice. For more guidance, please refer to Iowa Code chapter 68A and the Board's rules in 351-Chapter 4 of the Iowa Administrative Code or contact the Board.

See Iowa Code section 68A.201(5) and Board rule 351-4.32 for more guidance

Guide for Executive Branch Lobbyists

It is important to remember that the lobbying laws in Iowa Code chapter 68B distinguish between individuals that lobby the general assembly and individuals that lobby the various state offices, departments, and agencies that make up the executive branch.  Both branches have their own registration requirements and applicable rules.

Individuals that meet the definition of "lobbyist" in 68B.2(13)"a" by encouraging the passage, defeat, approval, veto, or modification of legislation, a rule, or an executive order by a state agency or any statewide elected official are "executive branch lobbyists."

It is important to look at Iowa Code section 68B.2(13)"b" and rule 351-8.3 that set out several examples of individuals who are not considered "lobbyists" under the law.

 

Executive branch lobbyists must file a registration form prior to engaging in lobbying activity (68B.36).  The failure to file the registration form prior to lobbying will result in a compliance measure by the Board.  The registration must include all of the clients to be represented.  It is not sufficient to merely disclose one client and then lobby on behalf of additional clients without amending the registration.2

Registration must be done annually as the registration expires upon the commencement of a new calendar year (68B.36(3)).  Individuals are permitted to file registrations for the upcoming year at any time on or after December 1.  Any change or addition to a registration must be filed within ten days of the lobbyist becoming aware of the change or addition (68B.36(2)).  It is important to timely file amendments to the registration as compliance measures may be initiated for the failure to do so. 

A lobbyist's client must file a report disclosing all salaries, fees, and retainers paid by the client to the lobbyist for lobbying purposes even if that amount is $0.00 (rule 351- 8.9(1) "c"). The report must be filed on or before July 31.

The client must disclose fees paid to each lobbyist and not just file an amount paid to a firm or partnership (rule 351-8.9(1)).

It is important for the clients to file the reports on or before the due date as automatic civil penalties apply (rule 351-8.11).  In addition, the failure to file a client report leads to a contested case proceeding and the imposition of more severe sanctions.

 

Executive branch lobbyists are prohibited from engaging in the following:

1.  Intentionally deceiving or attempting to deceive a public official with regard to any material fact pertinent to lobbying (rule 351-8.18).

2.  Causing a communication to be sent to a public official in the name of any fictitious person or in the name of any real person except with the consent of that person (rule 351-8.18).

3.  Accept contingency fees for lobbying (rule 351-8.5).

4.  Accepting money from a client designated by the client for the purpose of making campaign contributions in the name of the lobbyist (this is considered giving a campaign contribution in the name of another person and is prohibited by 68A.502).

All lobbyists are prohibited from contributing to, acting as an agent or intermediary for contributions to, or arranging for the making of monetary or in-kind contributions to the campaign of an elected state official, member of the general assembly, or candidate for state office on any day during the regular legislative session.  In the case of the governor or a gubernatorial candidate, the prohibition extends for an additional thirty days following the adjournment of session allowed for the signing of bills (68A.504 and rule 351-8.15).

 

This prohibition does not apply to the following:

1.  Contributions to the federal campaign account of an elected state official or member of the general assembly who is seeking federal elective office.

2.  Candidates for state office during a special election commencing when at least two candidates have been nominated and ending on the date on which the election is held.

3.  Special sessions or for the time period after a special session for the signing of bills in the case of the governor or gubernatorial candidates.

4.  Lobbyists that are not registered in Iowa, but are registered in another state or the federal government.

The Board has jurisdiction for handling complaints concerning contributions during session involving both legislative and executive branch lobbyists as that particular statute is under the campaign finance laws as opposed to the ethics laws.

 

All state and local governmental officials and employees may attend functions held during the legislative session and the gift law will not apply so long as all 150 legislators are invited to attend. However, a pre-function registration must be electronically filed 5 days before with the General Assembly and a report disclosing the total costs of food, beverage, and entertainment must be filed within 28 days after. Click here to go to the lobbyist section of the General Assembly's website. The General Assembly provides electronic notice to the Board when function registration and reports are filed.

 

1The statements in this document are limited to the regulation of executive branch lobbying and should not be used for guidance or advice applicable to the regulation of legislative branch lobbyists except for the discussion concerning the prohibitions on contributions during legislative session.

2All filing of lobbyist registrations, amendments, and the client reports are now done electronically with the General Assembly.

 

Guide for City Candidates

WHO MUST FILE?

Any candidate for city office who receives contributions, makes expenditures or incurs debts in excess of $1000 in the campaign. THIS INCLUDES PERSONAL FUNDS OF A CANDIDATE. If the $1000 threshold is exceeded, a filing is required even if the candidate is the only person involved in the campaign. A candidate who exceeds $1000 must register a committee with the Board by filing a Statement of Organization.

WHAT IS REQUIRED OF A COMMITTEE?

Every committee must name a treasurer who is an Iowa resident of majority age. A committee must maintain a separate banking account in an Iowa financial institution, with all campaign receipts and expenditures flowing through this account. (EXCEPTION: A candidate who uses ONLY personal funds and does not accept EVEN ONE DOLLAR from another source is not required to open a separate bank account).

WHERE ARE REPORTS FILED?

Reports are filed with the Board. Effective July 1, 2015, all reports must be filed via the Web Reporting System.

WHEN ARE REPORTS DUE?

A Statement of Organization is due within ten calendar days of crossing the $1000 threshold. A disclosure report is due five days prior to the primary, general, and runoff election and on January 19 of the next year.  Click here for reporting due dates for city candidates.

(If a committee remains open in off-election years, reports are also due on January 19 of those years).  All reports are due by 4:30 pm of the due date.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO REPORT?

All the money you take in (including personal funds), all the money you spend, all the debts you incur, and all the donated items or services you receive (in-kind contributions) are required to be reported. You must ITEMIZE all expenditures of $5 and over by date spent, full name and complete address of the creditor (list as "unitemized" all receipts and expenses under these amounts).

HOW IS PERSONAL MONEY REPORTED?

Items purchased for the campaign can be reported one of two ways. The first is as a debt owed to the candidate. Debt is reported on Schedule D incurred indebtedness) when reimbursement for the item purchased is expected. The other option is to report the purchase as an in-kind contribution. In-Kind contributions are reported on Schedule E when reimbursement for the item purchased is not expected.

Personal funds deposited in the campaign account can be reported one of two ways. the first is as a loan from the candidate to the committee. A loan is reported on Schedule F (Loans Received & Repaid) when repayment of the funds is expected. The other option is to report the funds as a contribution. Contributions are reported on Schedule A when repayment of the funds deposited is not expected.

CIVIL PENALTIES FOR LATE FILINGS/AUDIT PROCEDURES

Late-filed reports are subject to automatic civil penalties. Additional civil and criminal sanctions may also be imposed.

RESTRICTED CONTRIBUTIONS

Candidates may not accept anonymous contributions in excess of $25, or contributions made in the name of another person.

A candidate cannot accept contributions or use the resources of any corporation, bank, savings & loan, credit union, or insurance company (68A.503). However, a candidate may purchase a good or service from a corporation at fair market value.

RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS

Campaign funds may be used only for campaign purposes, officeholder expenses, and constituency services, and cannot be used for personal benefit of the candidate. Transfers may not be made to other candidates or PACs.

CAMPAIGN PROPERTY & DISPOSITION

The law provides that equipment, supplies, and materials purchased with campaign funds become campaign property. Property valued at $100 or more must be accounted for when the committee dissolves. An inventory listing of campaign property with an initial value of $500 or more is kept on Schedule H and included with each report. When a committee dissolves, items with a value of $100 or more must be donated to a charity or political party committee, or sold at fair market value with proceeds donated to one of the above or state of Iowa general fund.

NOTE: A candidate MAY SELL campaign property to another candidate committee at fair market value. A candidate may NOT DONATE campaign property to another candidate unless the candidate is the same person for both committees.

HOW IS A COMMITTEE DISSOLVED?

By filing the final report with an ending zero balance, all debts and obligations satisfied and all campaign property disposed of in accordance with the above. A Statement of Dissolution (DR-3) is also filed.

NOTE: Until a Statement of Dissolution is filed by the committee and approved by the Board, reporting requirements continue even if the committee has no funds or assets.

WHAT IS REQUIRED ON POLITICAL MATERIALS?

See Paid for by attribution brochure.

If the material is paid for before the $1000 threshold is crossed, you have the option to file a DR-SFA for purposes of using a shorter "paid for by" attribution statement.

OTHER APPLICABLE PROVISIONS

See brochures on campaign signs, paid for by attribution, and the city candidate guide by the Iowa League of Cities (available on our site for viewing or download).

See chapter 68A and the Board's rules in 351 - chapter 4 for guidance

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended to provide you with general guidance and is not a restatement of the laws or rules and is not intended as legal advice. For additional information, please look at Iowa Code chapter 68A and the Board's rules in Chapter 351 of the Iowa Administrative Code or contact the Board.

Guide for County Candidates

 

WHO MUST FILE?

If you accept contributions (including loans), make expenditures (including personal funds), or incur indebtedness in excess of $1000 in any one calendar year, you are required to file a Statement of Organization (DR-1) and subsequent disclosure reports. Remember that you incur debts when an item is ordered, not when the bill is received. Contributions include monetary and in-kind contributions (goods or services donated for free or at a reduced price). You have 10 days from the date you exceed the $1000 amount to file your Statement of Organization.

If you do not anticipate crossing the $1000 threshold, you may file a DR-SFA for the purpose of using a shorter "paid for by" attribution on your political material. If you subsequently cross the threshold, you would then have 10 days to file the Statement of Organization, DR-1.

DO I NEED A SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNT?

Yes, if you receive any money you must open an account in an Iowa financial institution. You and your treasurer are required to deposit money received within seven days of receipt.
EXCEPTION: You do not need a separate bank account if you spend only your personal funds with no contributions from anyone else.

WHERE ARE REPORTS FILED?

Reports are filed with the Board. Effective July 1, 2015, all campaign finance reports must be filed electronically via the Board's Web Reporting System.  All reports are due by 4:30 pm of the due date.

WHEN ARE DISCLOSURE REPORTS DUE?

A Statement of Organization is due within ten days of crossing the $1000 threshold.

Election Year (Year Name of Candidate is on Ballot)

Report Due                                                 Covered Period

May 19                                                           Jan. 1 through May 14

July 19                                                           May 15 through July 14

October 19                                                     July 15 through Oct. 14

Jan. 19                                                            Oct. 15 through Dec. 31

Non Election Year (Any Year Candidate Name Doesn’t Appear on Ballot)

Jan. 19                                                            Jan. 1 through Dec. 31

Special Election

5 days prior to election                               Beginning of activity through 10 days prior to election

All reports are due by 4:30 p.m. on the due date

CIVIL PENALTIES

A late-filed report is subject to the automatic assessment of a civil penalty (subject to a request for waiver). Reports that are not filed, or if there is evidence of an intentional failure to file are subject to the possible imposition of additional criminal and civil sanctions.

DISCLOSURE REPORT'S CONTENTS

A disclosure report consists of the Disclosure Summary Page (Form DR-2) and the appropriate supporting schedules for the activity you have had.

REPORTING OF MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS -Schedule A

Every contribution received (when the aggregate amount in any one calendar year from the same source exceeds $25) shall be listed on Schedule A by date, name, complete address, amount received, and relationship to the candidate (if applicable). All other contributions ($25 and less) may be totaled and listed on Schedule A as "Unitemized Contributions During Period".  A candidate or spouse who contributes personal funds (other than loans) to the committee must also be listed as a contributor on Schedule A. Contributors must be listed alphabetically or in chronological order of when the contribution was received.

REPORTING OF EXPENDITURES - Schedule B

Expenditures must be for campaign purposes, constituency expenses, or educational & officeholder expenses only. All expenditures of $5 or more (except loan repayments) shall be listed on Schedule B by date, name, complete address, purpose, and amount. Expenditures less than $5 may be totaled and listed on Schedule B as "Miscellaneous Disbursements" so long as the total in any one calendar year to any one person does not exceed $100. The purpose of an expenditure shall be a specific explanation. Vague definitions such as campaign expense, miscellaneous, supplies, or reimbursement to candidate are not acceptable. Expenditures must be listed in chronological order when the expenditure was made.

REPORTING INCURRED INDEBTEDNESS - Schedule D

If the committee (candidate) orders goods or services (whether or not they have been delivered or an invoice has been received) and the amount is not paid at the end of the reporting period, list the amount on Schedule D as an "Incurred Obligation". If the amount is unknown, list an estimated amount. Show all debts on each subsequent report until repaid.

REPORTING IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS - Schedule E

All contributions of goods or services paid for or donated to the committee by others shall be reported on Schedule E by date, name, complete address, description, and estimated fair market value. Schedule E is also used when the candidate pays bills without reimbursement from the committee, when loans payable are forgiven, and when the candidate personally assumes debts and obligations of the committee.

REPORTING OF LOANS PAYABLE - Schedule F

All loans made to a committee (including candidate's personal loans) shall be reported on Schedule F (Part I) by date, original source of loan, complete address, and amount. All loan repayments shall be reported on Schedule F (Part II) by date, name, complete address, and amount. All loans forgiven, transferred, or assumed by candidate shall be shown in total on this schedule and subtracted from the outstanding balance. This transaction must also be shown in detail on Schedule E as an in-kind contribution.

CONSULTANT ACTIVITY - Schedule G

If you hire an advertising agency or any type of consultant for your campaign you must complete Schedule G. Please consult the instructions or contact the Board for more detail.

CAMPAIGN PROPERTY - Schedule H

Schedule H is an on-going record of equipment, supplies, and materials purchased with campaign funds or received in-kind with a value of $500 or more. You do not need to disclose consumable campaign property or property that has a value of less than $100. Please consult the instructions on the form or contact the Board for more detail.

PROHIBITED CONTRIBUTIONS

Corporate (including nonprofit) contributions are prohibited, as well as contributions from banks, credit unions, savings and loan associations, and insurance companies.  Anonymous contributions in excess of $25 are prohibited and shall escheat to the general fund of the State of Iowa. Contributions in the name of another are prohibited. These restrictions apply to in-kind as well as monetary contributions.

DISSOLVING YOUR COMMITTEE

After filing a Statement of Organization, a committee has continual filing requirements until a Statement of Dissolution (DR-3) is filed. When the committee reduces its cash balance to zero, sells or transfers any campaign property, and satisfies all of its debts and obligations it shall then file the Statement of Dissolution (DR-3) within 30 days of the end of activity.

ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS

See the Paid for By brochure for advertising requirements. 

OUT-OF-STATE CONTRIBUTIONS

If you receive a contribution from an out-of-state committee, the out-of-state committee needs to file a Verified Statement Registration with the Board.  Please contact the Board for more information if you receive a contribution from an organization outside of Iowa.

See Iowa Chapter 68A and the Board's rules in 351-Chapter 4 for more guidance

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended to provide you with general guidance and is not a restatement of the laws or rules and is not intended as legal advice. For additional information, please look at Iowa Code chapter 68A and the Board's rules in Chapter 351 of the Iowa Administrative Code or contact the Board.

Guide for School Board Candidates

WHO HAS TO FILE?

Any school board candidate who receives contributions, makes expenditures, or incurs debt in excess of $1000 in a calendar year for his or her campaign. This includes personal funds. Remember that a debt is incurred when an item is ordered.

DO I HAVE TO OPEN A SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNT?

Yes, if you receive any monetary contributions other than your personal funds. You are required to deposit money received within seven calendar days of receipt. You do not need a separate banking account if you spend ONLY your personal funds, and do not accept contributions from anyone else.

WHERE DO I FILE MY REPORTS?

Reports are filed with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board (Board). They may be filed via the Board’s Web Reporting System (Required for committees exceeding $2000 in activity per year) faxed, hand-delivered, mailed or emailed. Mailed reports must have a U.S. Postal Service postmark dated on or before the due date.

WHEN DO I FILE?

File your Statement of Organization (DR-1) within ten days of crossing the $1000 financial threshold. The DR-1 registers your committee.  A disclosure report is due five days before the election (current through ten days before the election), and on the 19th day of January (current through December 31).

In addition, you must file a report on the 19th day of January of each year your name does not appear on the ballot, until the committee dissolves (funds spent and final report and Statement of Dissolution filed). Remember that any report due 5 days prior to an election must be physically received by the Ethics Board by 4:30 p.m. of the due date.  Click here for due dates.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO REPORT?

All the money you receive (including personal funds), all the money you spend, all the debts you incur, and all the donated items or services you receive (in-kind contributions) are required to be reported. You must ITEMIZE all contributions over $25 in a calendar year received by your committee from the same person (including your personal funds) by date received, full name and complete address. You must likewise ITEMIZE all expenditures of $5 or more by date spent, full name and complete address of the creditor (list as "unitemized" all receipts and expenses under these amounts).

HOW DO I REPORT SPENDING PERSONAL FUNDS FOR MY CAMPAIGN?

Items purchased for the campaign can be reported one of two ways. The first is as a debt owed to the candidate. Debt is reported on Schedule D incurred indebtedness) when reimbursement for the item purchased is expected. The other option is to report the purchase as an in-kind contribution. In-Kind contributions are reported on Schedule E when reimbursement for the item purchased is not expected.

Personal funds deposited in the campaign account can be reported one of two ways. The first is as a loan from the candidate to the committee. A loan is reported on Schedule F (Loans Received & Repaid) when repayment of the funds is expected. The other option is to report the funds as a contribution. Contributions are reported on Schedule A when repayment of the funds deposited is not expected.

ARE THERE SPENDING RESTRICTIONS?

Campaign funds may be spent only for campaign purposes, constituency services, and educational and other expenses associated with the duties of office that do not benefit the candidate or family personally. Candidates cannot transfer funds to other candidates or to PACs or ballot issue committees. Funds may be transferred to a political party committee or to a charitable organization as long as the candidate does not attach any conditions to the money transferred.

HOW DO I REPORT USE OF ITEMS FROM A PREVIOUS CAMPAIGN THAT I SAVED, LIKE CAMPAIGN SIGNS?

Report these on Schedule E as an in-kind contribution from you to your committee. Describe the items and list an estimated fair market value of the item.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT FILE, OR FILE LATE?

You'll be automatically assessed a civil penalty (fine) for late filing, ranging from $20 to $200. Additional civil and criminal sanctions may be imposed.

ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS ON HOW I CAN RAISE MONEY?

You CANNOT accept contributions from corporations, banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and insurance companies. This restriction includes non-monetary as well as monetary contributions. You CANNOT accept money anonymously in excess of $10, nor money contributed in the name of another. If you borrow money for your campaign, you must identify the lender on your report. If you receive money from a non-Iowa committee, that committee must file a Verified Statement Registration.

WHAT IS REQUIRED ON POLITICAL MATERIALS?

See Paid for by attribution brochure

If the material is paid for before the $1000 threshold is crossed, you have the option to file a DR-SFA for purposes of using a shorter "paid for by" attribution statement.

WHEN DOES REPORTING CEASE & THE COMMITTEE DISSOLVE?

You must file the final disclosure report (showing an ending balance of $0.00, all bills paid, loans paid or forgiven and campaign property disposed of) AND by signing and filing a Statement of Dissolution (DR-3). You continue to have to file reports, even if your committee is inactive, until you file the Statement of Dissolution and it is approved by the Board.

DISCLAIMER:

This brochure is intended for general guidance and is not a restatement of the laws or rules and is not legal advice. See chapter 68A and the Board's rules in chapter 351 of the Iowa Administrative Code or contact the Board for further guidance.

Guide for Local Subdivision Candidates

WHO MUST FILE?

Any candidate for any local subdivision office who receives contributions, makes expenditures or incurs debts in excess of $1000 in the campaign. THIS INCLUDES PERSONAL FUNDS OF A CANDIDATE. If the $1000 threshold is exceeded, a filing is required even if the candidate is the only person involved in the campaign. A candidate who exceeds $1000 must register a committee with the Board by filing a Statement of Organization.

WHAT IS REQUIRED OF A COMMITTEE?

Every committee must name a treasurer who is an Iowa resident of majority age. A committee must maintain a separate banking account in an Iowa financial institution, with all campaign receipts and expenditures flowing through this account. (EXCEPTION: A candidate who uses ONLY personal funds and does not accept EVEN ONE DOLLAR from another source is not required to open a separate bank account).

WHERE ARE REPORTS FILED?

Reports are filed with the Board. Effective July 1, 2015, you must file your report via the Web Reporting System by 4:30 pm of the due date.

WHEN ARE REPORTS DUE?

A Statement of Organization is due within ten calendar days of crossing the $1000 threshold. A disclosure report is due five days prior to the election and on January 19 of the next year.

(If a committee remains open in off-election years, reports are also due on January 19 of those years).

HOW IS PERSONAL MONEY REPORTED?

Items purchased for the campaign can be reported one of two ways. The first is as a debt owed to the candidate. Debt is reported on Schedule D incurred indebtedness) when reimbursement for the item purchased is expected. The other option is to report the purchase as an in-kind contribution. In-Kind contributions are reported on Schedule E when reimbursement for the item purchased is not expected.

Personal funds deposited in the campaign account can be reported one of two ways. the first is as a loan from the candidate to the committee. A loan is reported on Schedule F (Loans Received & Repaid) when repayment of the funds is expected. The other option is to report the funds as a contribution. Contributions are reported on Schedule A when repayment of the funds deposited is not expected.

CIVIL PENALTIES FOR LATE FILINGS/AUDIT PROCEDURES

Late-filed reports are subject to automatic civil penalties. Additional civil and criminal sanctions may also be imposed.

RESTRICTED CONTRIBUTIONS

Candidates may not accept anonymous contributions in excess of $25, or contributions made in the name of another person. Corporate contributions are also prohibited. This includes banks, savings & loans, and insurance companies.

RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS

Campaign funds may be used only for campaign purposes, officeholder expenses, and constituency services, and cannot be used for personal benefit of the candidate. Transfers may not be made to other candidates or PACs.

CAMPAIGN PROPERTY & DISPOSITION

The law provides that equipment, supplies, and materials purchased with campaign funds become campaign property. Property valued at $100 or more must be accounted for when the committee dissolves. An inventory listing of campaign property with an initial value of $500 or more is kept on Schedule H and included with each report. When a committee dissolves, items with a value of $100 or more must be donated to a charity or political party committee, or sold at fair market value with proceeds donated to one of the above or state of Iowa general fund. NOTE: A candidate MAY SELL campaign property to another candidate committee at fair market value. A candidate may NOT DONATE campaign property to another candidate unless the candidate is the same person for both committees.

HOW IS A COMMITTEE DISSOLVED?

By filing the final report with an ending zero balance, all debts and obligations satisfied and all campaign property disposed of in accordance with the above. A Statement of Dissolution (DR-3) is also filed. NOTE: Until a Statement of Dissolution is filed by the committee and approved by the Board, reporting requirements continue even if the committee has no funds or assets.

OTHER APPLICABLE PROVISIONS

See brochures on campaign signs, paid for by attribution, and the city candidate guide by the Iowa League of Cities (available on our site for viewing or download).

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended to provide you with general guidance and is not a restatement of the laws or rules and is not intended as legal advice. For additional information, please look at Iowa Code chapter 68A and the Board's rules in Chapter 351 of the Iowa Administrative Code or contact the Board.

Guide for Local Ballot Issue Committees

WHO MUST FILE?

1. Any group of citizens or an entity that takes a position on a question placed before the voters (either to advocate for or against) AND exceeds $1000 of financial activity in accepting contributions, making expenditures, or incurring debts. See also brochure on independent expenditures.

2. VERY IMPORTANT! Any permanent organization (including corporations and other businesses) that contributes to your ballot issue committee will ALSO have filing requirements if it contributes more than $1000. Be sure to inform your contributors and help them with the simple filing required. Monetary civil penalties apply for late reports. These provisions apply to in-kind as well as monetary contributions.

GUIDELINES FOR FRANCHISE ELECTION COMMITTEES

The Disclosure Summary Page must show all financial activity, with supporting schedules attached. All expenditures of $5 and over must be itemized by date, name, complete address and purpose of the expenditure. Expenditures under $5 (if any) must be shown as unitemized and included in the total. These entries must be shown on Schedule B. Offsetting funds from the parent entity must be shown on Schedule A-Contributions.

The entry might be:

10/12/02 XYZ Power Company $1000

(General Operating Funds)

123 State Street

Anytown, Iowa

If any goods or services are donated by the parent entity (such as printing, postage, etc.) they must be reported on Schedule E, In-kind Contributions, along with their estimated or actual fair market values. Such entries might be:

10/10/02 XYZ Power Company $130 Estimated

Printing of 2,000 letters

 

10/11/02 XYZ Power Company $340 Actual

Postage Meter

 

ARE THE COSTS OF THE ELECTION REPORTABLE ON THE DISCLOSURE FORMS?

No. Although the entity may be required to pay the county auditor for the costs of the franchise election, this expense is not considered to be advocating an affirmative vote and is not required to be reported. Therefore, if election costs are the only costs encountered, disclosure reports will not be required.

WHERE ARE REPORTS FILED?

Reports are filed with the Ethics Board. Effective July 1, 2015 they must be filed via the Web Reporting System by 4:30 pm of the due date.

IS A SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNT REQUIRED?

YES, if you are a group that will obtain all or any part of its funds for the ballot issue effort from the direct contributions of individuals or other organizations. You must disclose the contact information for the financial institution where your funds are held. You are required to deposit money received within seven days of receipt.

NO, if you are either an ongoing organization (like a chamber of commerce) or a permanent organization making short-term contributions that will use ONLY existing general operating funds to support your activities, and will NOT be soliciting or receiving funds for the ballot issue effort from other individuals or groups.

WHEN ARE REPORTS DUE?

After qualifying as a committee by exceeding the $1000 threshold or taking a position on a question placed before the voters, a Statement of Organization (DR-1) must be filed within ten days.

The disclosure reports are due 5 days before the election (contains information through five days prior to the due date) and on the 19th days of May, July, October, and the following January (which contains information through December 31).

Committees must also file reports on the 19th day of January of each year in which the issue does not appear on the ballot until the committee dissolves.

A committee is subject to civil penalties for failure to file timely reports.

WHAT MUST BE REPORTED?

1. All contributions received must be reported on Schedule A, itemizing each in excess of $25 in a calendar year by date, name, and complete address. Contributions of $25 and under may be combined and shown as unitemized contributions (so long as any individual contributor does not exceed $25 in the calendar year). Contributions must be listed alphabetically or chronologically.

2. All expenditures must be shown on Schedule B, itemizing $5 and over by date, name, complete address, and specific purpose of expenditure. (Under $5 may be combined and shown as unitemized.)   Expenditures must be listed chronologically.

3. Debts outstanding must be reported on Schedule D-Incurred Debts.

4. Contributions of goods or services donated or paid for by others (in-kind) must be itemized on Schedule E by date, name, complete address, description of item, and its estimated fair market value, if the value exceeds $25. Under $25 may be combined without itemization.

5. If loans are made to a committee, they must be reported on Schedule F.

6. All transactions related to consultant activity are required to be disclosed on Schedule G.

OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS

1. Corporate contributions to ballot issue committees ARE permitted (they are not permitted for other types of committees).

2. Anonymous contributions in excess of $25 are prohibited.

3. Contributions in the name of another are prohibited. The original source of the contribution must be disclosed.

4. Public funds, property, or equipment may not be used to advocate for or against a ballot issue.

POLITICAL MATERIAL ATTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS

See Paid for by attribution brochure for requirements on political materials.

PENALTIES FOR LATE FILINGS

Civil penalties are assessed for the late filings of disclosure reports. Penalties range from $20 to $200. Late-filed reports are also subject to possible civil and criminal penalties.

WHEN DOES REPORTING CEASE?

When the activities are over, with all bills paid, all loans paid or forgiven, and the committee's cash balance reduced to zero. Then the committee dissolves by filing a final report and a Statement of Dissolution (DR-3).

RETENTION OF RECORDS

All committee records must be retained a minimum of 3 years following dissolution or 5 years after the period covered by the report, whichever is shorter.

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended for general guidance and is not a restatement of the law or rules and is not legal advice. Please review Iowa Code chapter 68A and the Board's rules in chapter 351 of the Iowa Administrative Code or contact the Board when questions arise.

One-Time Contributors

Permanent Organization Temporarily Engaged in Political Activity

Pursuant to Iowa Code section 68A.402(9), a permanent organization temporarily engaging in PAC activity (i.e. making one or more contributions in excess of $1,000 in a calendar year) is required to organize and register a political committee (PAC), file disclosure reports, and, upon completion of activity, file a notice of dissolution. A permanent organization that is temporarily a PAC shall comply with all of the campaign laws in Iowa Code chapter 68A and the Board’s administrative rules. A permanent organization that makes loans to a candidate or committee or that is owed debts from a candidate or committee is not deemed to be engaging in political activity requiring registration.

One-Time Contribution Form

A permanent organization that makes a one-time contribution in excess of $1,000 to a committee may, in lieu of filing a statement of organization, disclosure reports, and a notice of dissolution, electronically file Form DR-OTC. In order to use the one-time contribution form, all of the following criteria must be met:

  1. The permanent organization made only one campaign contribution in excess of $1000 was made to a state or local candidate, party, or political committee (PAC) in a calendar year.
  2. The permanent organization was not established for election purposes.
  3.  No person gave money to the permanent organization for the purpose of the permanent organization using the money to make the contribution.
  4. No funds from a corporation or other prohibited contributor under Iowa Code section 68A.503 were used to make the contribution (this prohibition does not apply to a contribution made to a ballot issue committee).

The one-time contribution form must be filed within 10 days of making the campaign contribution.  If the permanent organization made more than one contribution and the total amount of the contributions exceed $1000, the permanent organization must register with the Board as a political committee (PAC) within 10 days of crossing the $1000 threshold.

See the Board’s rule 351-4.35 for more details on permanent organizations temporarily engaging in political activity and the form DR-OTC. 

Campaign Sign Placement

(from the Ethics Board's advisory opinion AO 2008-14)

A.  Campaign signs for candidates:

Permitted locations with the permission of the property owner or lessee:

1.  Residential property.

2.  Agricultural land belonging to a family farm operation as defined in Iowa Code section 9H.1.

3.  Property leased for residential purposes including, but not limited to, apartments, condominiums, college housing facilities, and houses.  However, signs may only be placed on the portion of the leased property space that is actually occupied.

4.  Vacant lots owned by a person who is not a prohibited contributor.

5.   Property belonging to any business, association, or organization that is not a corporation, financial institution, or insurance company.

6.  Property leased by a candidate, campaign committee, or an organization established to advocate the nomination, election or defeat of a candidate when the property is used as campaign headquarters or office and the placement of the sign is limited to the space that is actually leased.

7.  Property owned by the state, county, city, or other political subdivision if the property is made open and available to any person from the public to lawfully place any type of sign.

Prohibited locations for candidate campaign signs:

1.  On any property without the permission of the property owner or lessee.

2.  Property owned by the state or the governing body of a county, city, or other political subdivision of the state including all property considered the public right-of-way unless the property is made open and available to any individual or group from the public to lawfully place any type of sign.

3.  Property owned, leased, or occupied by a corporation, financial institution, or insurance company except when leased as campaign headquarters or a campaign office and the placement of the sign is limited to the space that is actually leased.

B.  Campaign signs for ballot issues:

Permitted locations with the permission of the property owner or lessee:

1.  Property belonging to any individual, corporation, financial institution, insurance company, business, association, organization, or other person.

Prohibited locations for ballot issue campaign signs:

1.  On any property without the permission of the property owner or lessee.

2.  Property owned by the state or the governing body of a county, city, or other political subdivision of the state including all property considered the public right-of-way unless the property is made open and available to any individual or group from the public to lawfully place any type of sign.

C.  Campaign signs on Election Day:

Except on private property, campaign signs for candidates or ballot issues shall not be placed on the following on Election Day:

1.  The premises of any polling place or within 300 feet of an outside door affording access to any room where the polls are held or to any hallway, corridor, stairway, or other means of reaching the room where the polls are held.

2.  On any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or any attachment to the preceding, if the vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer is parked on public property within 300 feet of an outside door affording access to a polling place and the sign is more than 90 square inches in size.

D.  Absentee/Satellite voting sites:

Except on private property, campaign signs for candidates or ballot issues shall not be placed on the following:

1.  The premises or within 300 feet of an outside door affording access to an absentee voting site during the hours when absentee ballots are available in the office of the county commissioner of elections as provided in Iowa Code section 53.10.

2.  The premises or within 300 feet of an outside door affording access to a  satellite voting station during the hours when satellite voting is available at the satellite voting station as provided in Iowa Code section 53.11.

3.  On any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or any attachment to the preceding, if the vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer is parked on public property within 300 feet of an outside door affording access to an absentee voting site during the hours when absentee ballots are available in the office of the county commissioner of elections and the sign is more than 90 square inches in size.

4.  On any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or any attachment to the preceding, if the vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer is parked on public property within 300 feet of an outside door affording access to a satellite voting station during the hours when satellite voting is available and the sign is more than 90 square inches in size.

This opinion applies solely to campaign signs for state and local campaigns as the Board does not have jurisdiction over federal candidates.

 

Mileage Reimbursement

Mileage Recordkeeping: Maintain a detailed trip log of actual mileage for campaign related travel that provides dates, miles driven, destination and purpose. (Rule 351 IAC 4.25(1).)

Mileage rate: Rate “not to exceed the current rate of reimbursement allowed under the standard mileage rate method for computation of business expenses pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code.” (Iowa Code section 68A.302(2)“e”.)  Visit the IRS website to determine the current mileage rate for business expenses.  Note also that when travel is done in one year and reimbursed in another year when the IRS has a different reimbursement rate, the rate to be used is for the year that the campaign travel was actually done. (IECDB Advisory Opinion 2001-15.)

Mileage Reimbursed within reporting period: If the mileage reimbursement is made during the reporting period the mileage expenses were incurred, the reimbursement is disclosed on Schedule B (Monetary Expenditures) as, for example, “mileage reimbursement – 150 miles @ 53.5 cents per mile.” The schedule would also show the date the reimbursement was paid and the total amount of the reimbursement.

Mileage Reimbursement to be in later reporting period: If the mileage is going to be reimbursed during a different reporting period than when the mileage expenses were incurred, the transaction is disclosed on Schedule D (Incurred Indebtedness) as, for example, “anticipated mileage reimbursement of 150 miles at 53.5 cents per mile.” The schedule would also show the name and address of the individual to be reimbursed and the last day that the mileage was incurred during that reporting period. Debts must be listed on each report until such time as they are paid or otherwise disposed of.

Mileage will not be reimbursed: If there is not going to be a mileage reimbursement, the total amount of mileage is disclosed on Schedule E (In-Kind Contributions) as, for example, “150 miles at 53.5 cents per mile.” The schedule would also show the name and address of the individual and the last day of the reporting period that mileage expenses were incurred. (Exception: When the value of transportation provided to a candidate does not exceed one hundred dollars in value in any one reporting period, reporting is not required. (Iowa Code 68A.102 Definitions.))

Prohibition on Iowa's PACs

1.  A PAC may not be established to advocate for or against only one candidate except for a judge standing for retention (68A.202(2)).  Thus PACs need to be careful when choosing a name for the committee (Citizens for Jones PAC is a bad idea) and must make sure to contribute to, or do work for, more than one candidate.

2.  Candidates for state office may not establish, direct, or maintain a PAC (68A.303(5)).

3.  PACs may not solicit or receive from an insurance company, savings and loan association, bank, credit union, or corporation any money, property, or thing of value belonging to any such entity for purposes of advocating for or against candidates (68A.503).

  • Ballot issue PACs are NOT subject to this prohibition (68A.503(1)). 
  • Use of corporate facilities is permitted when reimbursement is provided (rules 351-4.44 through 4.52).
  • The parent entity of a PAC that would otherwise be prohibited from providing anything of value to the PAC may pay for the administrative costs of the PAC (rule 351-4.52) including:

1.  Full or partial compensation of PAC staff (wages and benefits).

2.  Expenses of transportation and travel for PAC staff (does not include expenses of transportation or travel if provided to a candidate or for expenses of meals or events held on behalf of a candidate).

3.  Printing and office supplies related to routine office administration.

4.  Postage and stationery including mailing contributions to candidates and for providing advocacy materials to PAC members only.

5.  Expenses of maintaining committee records and preparing campaign reports.

6.  PAC promotional materials (pens, coffee mugs) so long as the materials do not promote candidates.

4.  The parent entity of a PAC that would otherwise be prohibited from providing anything of value to the PAC may also pay for the costs of soliciting the stockholders, administrative officers, and members for contributions to the PAC (68A.503(3) and rule 351-4.52).

1.  Employees who cannot be solicited may voluntarily contribute to the PAC.

2.  The Ethics Board defined "member" in IECDB Advisory Opinion 2000-20 to include individuals who are authorized to vote on corporate matters pursuant to by-laws or other organizational documents.

3.  In IECDB Advisory Opinion 2000-20, the Board opined that the prohibition on solicitations extended to non-supervisory personnel, clerical staff and associates.          

5.  PACs may not contribute to, act as an agent or intermediary for contributions to, or arrange for the making of monetary or in-kind contributions to state officeholders (both executive branch and legislators) or candidates for state office (statewide and legislative) on any day during the legislative session.  The prohibition extends for an additional 30 days after session for contributions to the Governor or any gubernatorial candidate (68A.15A).

1.  The prohibition does not apply if the officeholder is seeking federal office and the contribution is made to the federal campaign.

2.  The prohibition does not apply to a special election held during session so long as at least two candidates have been nominated.

3.  In IECDB Advisory Opinion 2001-01, the Ethics Board opined that the prohibition applied only during the "regular legislative session" and did not apply during any "special session."

6.  PACs may not receive anonymous contributions in excess of $25 (68A.501).  Such funds must escheat to the State of Iowa general fund.  

7.  Contributions shall not be made or received in the name of another person (68A.502).  Campaign reports must disclose the actual name of the person who made the contribution.

1.  If a PAC receives a contribution that is "earmarked" to then be given to a specific candidate or committee, the PAC is required to disclose on its campaign report the name of the contributor and the committee that the contribution has been earmarked.  When transferring the money to the subsequent committee, the PAC must inform the treasurer of the recipient committee the name of the individual contributor.  The committee receiving the earmarked contribution must disclose both the name of the original contributor and the PAC that forwarded the contribution (rule 351-4.33).

8.  Candidates are not permitted to make contributions to PACs from campaign funds (68A.302 and 68A.303) except for the purchase of PAC fundraiser ticket and the candidate attends the event.  The candidate may also pay for one guest to attend the fundraiser if the attendance of the guest would enhance the candidate's candidacy (rule 351-4.25(1)"h").

9.  All PAC expenditures must be by check.  Cash withdrawals and petty cash are not permitted.  If PAC fundraising event requires a cash drawer for making change or other cash transactions, the PAC may issue a check payable to a PAC officer to be cashed (rule 351-4.36).        

10.  PACs may not use any resources or property of the government to advocate for or against candidates or ballot issues unless the governmental entity has a written policy that would allow any group (regardless of whether or not for political purposes) to use the resources or property of the governmental entity (68A.505A).

Independent Expenditure Filing Guidelines

BACKGROUND

Iowa Code section 68A.404 as amended by 2010 Iowa Acts, Senate File 2354 requires that expenditures in excess of $1000 in the aggregate made to benefit a candidate or committee without prior approval or in coordination with that committee be reported to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. This does not include those expenditures made on behalf of a committee and reported as contributions.

ENDORSEMENTS OR PROCLAMATIONS

This law is not meant to limit or prohibit an individual from expressing an opinion regarding the passage or defeat of a candidate or ballot issue. Rather, this law is meant as a means for individuals to properly disclose those expenditures that benefit a candidate or ballot issue committee.

DEFINITIONS

Pursuant to Iowa Code 68A.404(1) “‘Independent expenditure’ means one or more expenditures in excess of one thousand dollars in the aggregate for a communication that expressly advocates the nomination, election, or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or the passage or defeat of a ballot issue that is made without the prior approval or coordination with a candidate, candidate's committee, or a ballot issue committee”.

Iowa Administrative Code 351-4.53(3) “‘Independent expenditure’ means an expenditure by a person for goods or services, including express advocacy communication, on behalf of a candidate or a ballot issue which is not made with the knowledge and approval of a candidate or a ballot issue committee”.

WHAT IS AN INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE?

Any person that makes an expenditure for a communication (such as direct mailing, brochure, or newspaper advertisement) that is done without the approval or coordination of a candidate or committee and that expressly advocates:

The nomination, election, or defeat of a candidate.

The passage or defeat of a ballot issue.

WHO HAS TO FILE?

Any person who does not fit one of the exceptions is required to file the statement. "Person" includes individuals as well as organizations that are not registered as committees. Corporations are permitted to make independent expenditures.

EXCEPTIONS

The statement does NOT need to be filed by:

1. Any candidate or committee that has registered with the Board.

2. Any person who makes one or more expenditures that, in total, do not meet the $1000 threshold.

3. A federal or out-of-state campaign committee.

WHEN MUST THE STATEMENT BE FILED?

The Independent Expenditure statement must be filed within 48 hours of making the expenditure. “Making the expenditure” is defined as the date that the cost is incurred. The statement must be filed electronically.

FAILURE TO FILE

A person who fails to file the statement in a timely manner is subject to an automatic civil penalty. A person deemed to intentionally fail to file the statement may incur additional civil and criminal sanctions.

DISCLAIMER

This brochure is intended to provide you with general guidance concerning the applicable laws and rules. It is not a restatement of the law and does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the applicable laws and rules or contact the Board for further guidance.

 

State Party Funds

State parties in Iowa are permitted to report all of their funds together in one report covering the majority of their activity. Only State Party Income Tax Checkoff Funds and the State Party Building Funds are reported separately.

Although each party uses a variety of fund names, including those in the lists below, candidate committees should report their transactions as taking place through the main state party committee with the committee numbers referenced below.

Iowa Democratic Party (Committee number 9098)

  • House Truman Fund
  • Joint Truman Fund
  • Senate Majority Fund
  • Iowa Democratic Party
  • Levin Fund

Republican Party of Iowa (Committee number 9161)

  • Eisenhower Club
  • Legislative Majority Fund
  • Technology Fund
  • Iowa Victory Fund
  • Iowa Governor’s Fund
  • Iowa Chairman’s Fund
  • House Majority Fund

 

Government Positions Banned from Political Activity

This information is being provided as a service only. This is not intended to be an inclusive list. Refer to the Code of Iowa for all official information. Except for rule 351—1.4 of the Iowa Administrative Code, these laws are not under the Ethics Board's jurisdiction and are not enforced by the Ethics Board.

Iowa Admin. Code Rule 351-1.4 Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board

The members and staff of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board are prohibited from the following activities:

  • Making monetary and in-kind contributions to the committees of candidates for Iowa public office
  • Serving as an officer or member of a candidate's committee of a candidate for Iowa public office is prohibited, whether the service is volunteer or paid.
  • Making monetary or in-kind contributions to a political committee (PAC)
  • Running for or holding elected public office 
  • Publicly endorsing a candidate for Iowa public office or publicly taking a position in support of or opposition to a ballot issue 
  • Serving as a delegate to a county or state political party convention

Iowa Code § 2A.1(4) Legislative Service Agency

The director and all other employees of the legislative services agency shall not participate in partisan political activities and shall not be identified as advocates or opponents of issues subject to legislative debate except as otherwise provided by law or by the legislative council.

Iowa Code § 8A.102(2) Department of Administrative Services

The director shall not be a member of any local, state, or national committee of a political party, an officer or member of a committee in any partisan political club or organization, or hold or be a candidate for a paid elective public office.  The director is subject to the restrictions on political activity as provided in section 8A.416.

Iowa Code § 16.6(1) Iowa Finance Authority

The executive director shall not directly or indirectly exert influence to induce any other officers or employees of the state to adopt a political view, or to favor a political candidate for office.

Iowa Code § 20.5(1)(a) Public Employment Relations Board

.…[N]o member shall engage in any political activity while holding office….

Iowa Code § 80.2 Department of Public Safety

The commissioner shall not engage in any other trade, business, or profession, nor engage in any partisan or political activity.  

Iowa Code § 80E.1(1) Drug Policy Coordinator

The coordinator shall not engage in political activity while holding the office.

Iowa Code § 86.4 Division of Workers’ Compensation 

It shall be unlawful for the commissioner or a chief deputy workers’ compensation commissioner to espouse the election or appointment of any candidate to any political office….

Iowa Code § 97B.3 IPERS

The chief executive officer shall not be a member of a political committee, participate in a political campaign, or be a candidate for a partisan elective office, and shall not contribute to a political campaign fund, except that the chief executive officer may designate on the checkoff portion of the federal tax return a party or parties to which a contribution is made pursuant to the checkoff.

Iowa Code § 99G.2(3) Iowa Lottery Authority

The lottery games shall be operated and managed in a manner that provides continuing entertainment to the public, maximizes revenues, and ensures that the lottery is operated with integrity and dignity and free from political influence.

Iowa Code § 123.13(1) Alcoholic Beverage Control

Commission members, officers, and employees of the division shall not, while holding such office or position . . . directly or indirectly, use their office or employment to influence, persuade, or induce any other officer, employee, or person to adopt their political views or to favor any particular candidate for an elective or appointive public office; nor, directly or indirectly, solicit or accept, in any manner or way, any money or other thing of value for any person seeking an elective or appointive public office, or to any political party or any group of persons seeking to become a political party.

Iowa Code § 217.5 Department of Human Services

The director shall not engage in political activity while holding this position.

Iowa Code § 307.11 Department of Transportation

The director shall not…serve on or under a committee of a political party, or contribute to the campaign fund of any person or political party.

Iowa Code § 421.1A Property Assessment Appeal Board

General counsel shall not be a member of a political committee, contribute to a political campaign, participate in a political campaign, or be a candidate for partisan political office.

Iowa Code § 421.3 Department of Revenue

The director…shall not serve on or under any committee of any political party or contribute to the campaign fund of any person or political party.

Iowa Code § 474.10 Utilities Board

During employment the general counsel shall not be a member of a political committee, contribute to a political campaign fund…, participate in a political campaign, or be a candidate for a political office.

Iowa Code § 475A.1(4) Consumer Advocate

The advocate shall not be a member of a political committee or contribute to a political campaign fund…or take part in political campaigns or be a candidate for a political office.

Iowa Code § 904.107 Department of Corrections

The director shall not be a member of a political committee, participate in a political campaign, be a candidate for a partisan elective office, and shall not contribute to a political campaign fund …..

Iowa Admin. Code Rule 481-15.4 Code of Administrative Judicial Conduct

An administrative law judge shall not engage in political or campaign activity that is inconsistent with the independence, integrity, or impartiality of the administrative judiciary.
Except as permitted by law, an administrative law judge shall not:

  • Act as a leader in, or hold an office in, a political organization;
  • Make speeches on behalf of a political organization;
  • Publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for any public office;
  • Solicit funds for, pay an assessment to, or make a contribution to a political organization, a candidate for judicial retention, or a candidate for public office;
  • Attend or purchase tickets for dinners or other events sponsored by a political organization or a candidate for public office; 
  • Participate in a precinct caucus, except merely to vote for, or support in the delegate selection process, a candidate for the office of President of the United States; or 
  • Become a candidate for nonjudicial elective office.  
     

 

Consanguinuity

 RELATIONSHIPS BY “CONSANGUINITY OR AFFINITY”

Iowa Code section 68A.402A(1)"i" and 351 IAC 4.14(5) require the disclosure of family relationship of a contributor to the candidate, if applicable.

Consanguinity” is a relationship by blood. “Affinity” is a relationship by marriage.

“To the third degree of consanguinity” applies to the candidate’s first, second, and third degree of blood relatives as follows:

  • Spouse - Children - Parents (first degree)
  • Brothers/Sisters - Half-Brothers/Half-Sisters - Grandchildren - Grandparents (second degree)
  • Uncles/Aunts - Nephews/Nieces - Great-Grandparents - Great-Grandchildren (third degree)

“To the third degree of affinity” applies to the candidate’s first, second, and third degree relatives by marriage as follows:

  • Stepchildren - Stepmother/Stepfather - Mother-in-Law - Father-in-Law (first degree)
  • Stepbrothers/Stepsisters - Brothers-in-Law - Sisters-in-Law – Step grandchildren – Step grandparents (second degree)
  • Step uncles/Step aunts – Step nephews/Step nieces – Step great Grandparents – Step great-Grandchildren (third degree)

A candidate’s committee accepting any form of contribution (cash or check, in-kind contribution, monetary loan) is required to list the relationship when reporting its receipt on Schedule A, Schedule E, or Schedule F as applicable.

View the pdf charts showing the relationships.

Printed from the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board website on August 13, 2020 at 5:55am.