GBV Submits Testimony to City Council Committee

The New York City Council Committee on Governmental Operations is considering legislation to make technical amendments to the campaign finance legislation adopted this past summer. Among other changes, Intro. No. 651 would:

  • Ensure that the contribution limits that apply to persons doing business with the city encompass both the primary and general elections.
  • Clarify an exemption from the doing business restrictions for affordable housing developers.
  • Delay the application of the doing business contribution limits on those who act in a “senior managerial capacity” until July 2008.
  • Create an emergency exception for the doing business restrictions.
  • Confirm that the new 6:1 matching rate applies to all contributions raised for future elections.

The Committee held a hearing on December 6, 2007 at which the Executive Director of the Campaign Finance Board and the City’s Chief Procurement Officer testified.

Genova, Burns & Vernoia submitted testimony today, addressing several issues, including the fundraising threshold for public funds qualification and the spending limit exemption for expenses related to Campaign Finance Board audits.

PAC Compliance: Internal Controls

It is essential that political committees take steps to protect their assets from misappropriation and errors that lead to misreporting. Earlier this year the Federal Election Commission issued a policy statement creating a Safe Harbor for Misreporting Due to Embezzlement and also more general guidance on internal controls. Continue reading

Breaking News: ELEC Extends Non-Profit Disclosure Deadline

At a special meeting held today, ELEC voted to extend the reporting deadline for non-profit entities to January 15, 2008.

ELEC had received a letter from an attorney representing the NJ Senate, asking that the November 30, 2007 deadline be extended while the Legislature reviewed legislation to exempt non-profits from disclosure.  At the special meeting today, ELEC granted the request.

ELEC also announced that non-profit organizations that have already submitted their Chapter 271 disclosure forms may withdraw them by submitting a written request to ELEC.

FEC Approves Rulemaking

The FEC has approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking implementing section 204 of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.

The proposed rules would require candidate committees, leadership PACs, and political parties to report two or more contributions totaling $15,000 or more in a covered period which were “bundled” by lobbyists, lobbyist entities or political committees established or controlled by same.

Comments are due by November 30, 2007.

Breaking News: ELEC Maintains Chapter 271’s Applicability to Non-Profits

At a meeting today, the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) voted to require non-profit entities to make the annual disclosure pursuant to Chapter 271. As previously discussed on this blog, here and here, the State Treasurer and Department of Community Affairs had requested an opinion from the Attorney General as to the applicability of the law to non-profits. According to those at the meeting, ELEC characterized the Attorney General’s opinion as “not definitive.”

ELEC extended the filing deadline for nonprofit entities to November 30, 2007. The vote was 2-1 in favor of keeping nonprofits in the disclosure law and for extending the deadline.

UPDATE: Here is the Attorney General’s opinion.

Perception Trumps Reality: 2006 Business Entity Annual Disclosure Statements To Become Public on October 10

In little less than a week, the 2006 Business Entity Annual Disclosure Statements filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) for calendar year 2006 will become public. The disclosures are expected to be available for public inspection on ELEC’s website ( on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 10:00 am. Continue reading

What Happens to Nonprofit Organizations that have filed 2006 Business Entity Annual Disclosures with ELEC?

On Tuesday, September 25, 2007, the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) temporarily suspended the obligation of nonprofit organizations to file a 2006 Business Entity Annual Statement with the Commission by the September 28 filing deadline. (The Commission will consider whether nonprofits are subject to the annual disclosure requirement at its October 23, 2007 meeting.)

In light of this late-breaking change, what can a nonprofit do if it has already filed its 2006 Business Entity Annual Statement with ELEC? Continue reading

Breaking News: Temporary Reprieve for Non-Profits

Business entities that are non-profit organizations have at least an extra month to prepare their pay-to-play (P2P) disclosure reports, and ultimately may not be required to report at all.

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) announced today that it will reconsider its regulations that include non-profits organizations within the definition of “business entity” and suspend the September 28 filing deadline for non-profits only. ELEC anticipates receiving at its October 23, 2007 meeting an opinion from the State Attorney General whether or not inclusion of non-profits within P2P annual disclosure requirements is legally correct. If ELEC concludes that non-profits remain subject to the disclosure requirements, their 2006 reports will be due October 30, 2007.

The Attorney General opinion was requested by the State Treasurer and Department of Community Affairs, which earlier had indicated on their respective websites that nonprofits were subject to P2P reporting.

The ruling does not affect for-profit business entities, which remain subject to the September 28 deadline.

Chapter 271 Disclosure: Tip # 7

3 days until disclosure.

Here’s a tip: Statements filed for calendar year 2006 will be available for public inspection on the Commission’s website after the filing deadline and on a date to be determined. In other words, your competitors will know if you haven’t filed a report.

The penalty for failing to file a disclosure report depends on how much a business entity fails to report.

Even better: the next section of ELEC’s regulations provides instructions on how to file a complaint against someone who hasn’t filed.

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