"An Act relating to the use of campaign contributions for shared campaign activity expenses and to reimbursement of those expenses; and amending the definition of 'contribution' in regard to sharing fundraising lists between candidates and political parties without compensation. "
"The proposed statute relieves vendors of unnecessary responsibilities while maintaining our strict statutory prohibition of campaign-to-campaign loans or contributions."
- Rep. Hawker
House Bill 183 makes two changes to our campaign finance reporting statutes: allows a candidate to reimburse another candidate for costs incurred in a shared campaign expense and allows candidates and political parties to share fundraising lists.
Currently, when more than one candidate is involved in an event, vendors must collect separately from each candidate. This complication is an unnecessary inconvenience for vendors and does not substantially enhance Alaska's strict campaign finance regulation.
The intent of current law is to prohibit one campaign from making a loan or contribution to another campaign. This prohibition is accomplished by imposing the burden of compliance on vendors rather than candidates. It is reasonable to expect candidates to know and comply with campaign statutes, but it is not appropriate to impose this expectation on merchants during the ordinary conduct of their business.
This bill allows one candidate participating in a shared campaign activity to pay a vendor if the other candidate(s) involved reimburse their portion of that payment within seven days. If the complete reimbursement were not received within that time limit, the expenditure would be an illegal campaign-to-campaign contribution.
The proposed statute relieves vendors of unnecessary responsibilities while maintaining our strict statutory prohibition of campaign-to-campaign loans or contributions.
Fundraising lists are developed by candidates and by parties from previous and likely contributors. At this time, it is illegal for a candidate to share this list with another candidate or with their party office, even though the information for previous contributors is available from the Alaska Public Offices Commission website.