California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 834


Introduced by Assembly Member Salas

February 26, 2015


An act to amend Section 82015 of the Government Code, relating to the Political Reform Act of 1974.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 834, as introduced, Salas. Political Reform Act of 1974: contributions.

Existing law, the Political Reform Act of 1974, provides for the comprehensive regulation of campaign financing, including requiring the reporting of campaign contributions and expenditures and imposing other reporting and recordkeeping requirements on campaign committees. The act provides that a payment made at the behest of a candidate is a contribution to that candidate, unless full and adequate consideration is received from the candidate or it is clear from the surrounding circumstances that the payment was made for purposes unrelated to his or her candidacy for elective office.

This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to that payment provision.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

Section 82015 of the Government Code is
2amended to read:

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82015.  

(a) “Contribution” means a payment, a forgiveness of
2a loan, a payment of a loan by a third party, or an enforceable
3promise to make a payment except to the extent that full and
4adequate consideration is received, unless it is clear from the
5surrounding circumstances that it is not made for political purposes.

6(b) (1) A payment made at the behest of a committee, as defined
7in subdivision (a) of Section 82013, is a contribution to the
8committee unless full and adequate consideration is received from
9the committee for making the payment.

10(2) A payment made at the behest of a candidate is a contribution
11tobegin delete the candidateend deletebegin insert that candidate,end insert unless the criteria in either
12subparagraph (A) or (B) are satisfied:

13(A) Full and adequate consideration is received from the
14candidate.

15(B) It is clear from the surrounding circumstances that the
16payment was made for purposes unrelated to his or her candidacy
17for elective office. The following types of payments are presumed
18to be for purposes unrelated to a candidate’s candidacy for elective
19office:

20(i) A payment made principally for personal purposes, in which
21case it may be considered a gift under the provisions of Section
2282028. Payments that are otherwise subject to the limits of Section
2386203 are presumed to be principally for personal purposes.

24(ii) A payment made by a state, local, or federal governmental
25agency or by a nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation
26under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

27(iii) A payment not covered by clause (i), made principally for
28legislative, governmental, or charitable purposes, in which case it
29is neither a gift nor a contribution. However, payments of this type
30that are made at the behest of a candidate who is an elected officer
31shall be reported within 30 days following the date on which the
32payment or payments equal or exceed five thousand dollars
33($5,000) in the aggregate from the same source in the same
34calendar year in which they are made. The report shall be filed by
35the elected officer with the elected officer’s agency and shall be
36a public record subject to inspection and copying pursuant to
37subdivision (a) of Section 81008. The report shall contain the
38following information: name of payor, address of payor, amount
39of the payment, date or dates the payment or payments were made,
40the name and address of the payee, a brief description of the goods
P3    1or services provided or purchased, if any, and a description of the
2specific purpose or event for which the payment or payments were
3made. Once the five-thousand-dollar ($5,000) aggregate threshold
4from a single source has been reached for a calendar year, all
5payments for the calendar year made by that source shall be
6disclosed within 30 days after the date the threshold was reached
7or the payment was made, whichever occurs later. Within 30 days
8after receipt of the report, state agencies shall forward a copy of
9these reports to the Commission, and local agencies shall forward
10a copy of these reports to the officer with whom elected officers
11of that agency file their campaign statements.

12(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B), a payment is made for
13purposes related to a candidate’s candidacy for elective office if
14all or a portion of the payment is used for election-related activities.
15For purposes of this subparagraph, “election-related activities”
16shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

17(i) Communications that contain express advocacy of the
18nomination or election of the candidate or the defeat of his or her
19opponent.

20(ii) Communications that contain reference to the candidate’s
21candidacy for elective office, the candidate’s election campaign,
22or the candidate’s or his or her opponent’s qualifications for
23elective office.

24(iii) Solicitation of contributions to the candidate or to third
25persons for use in support of the candidate or in opposition to his
26or her opponent.

27(iv) Arranging, coordinating, developing, writing, distributing,
28preparing, or planning of any communication or activity described
29in clause (i), (ii), or (iii).

30(v) Recruiting or coordinating campaign activities of campaign
31volunteers on behalf of the candidate.

32(vi) Preparing campaign budgets.

33(vii) Preparing campaign finance disclosure statements.

34(viii) Communications directed to voters or potential voters as
35part of activities encouraging or assisting persons to vote if the
36communication contains express advocacy of the nomination or
37election of the candidate or the defeat of his or her opponent.

38(D) A contribution made at the behest of a candidate for a
39different candidate or to a committee not controlled by the
40behesting candidate is not a contribution to the behesting candidate.

P4    1(3) A payment made at the behest of a member of the Public
2Utilities Commission, made principally for legislative,
3governmental, or charitable purposes, is not a contribution.
4However, payments of this type shall be reported within 30 days
5following the date on which the payment or payments equal or
6exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) in the aggregate from the
7same source in the same calendar year in which they are made.
8The report shall be filed by the member with the Public Utilities
9Commission and shall be a public record subject to inspection and
10copying pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 81008. The report
11shall contain the following information: name of payor, address
12of payor, amount of the payment, date or dates the payment or
13payments were made, the name and address of the payee, a brief
14description of the goods or services provided or purchased, if any,
15and a description of the specific purpose or event for which the
16payment or payments were made. Once the five-thousand-dollar
17($5,000) aggregate threshold from a single source has been reached
18for a calendar year, all payments for the calendar year made by
19that source shall be disclosed within 30 days after the date the
20threshold was reached or the payment was made, whichever occurs
21later. Within 30 days after receipt of the report, the Public Utilities
22Commission shall forward a copy of these reports to the Fair
23Political Practices Commission.

24(c) “Contribution” includes the purchase of tickets for events
25such as dinners, luncheons, rallies, and similar fundraising events;
26the candidate’s own money or property used on behalf of his or
27her candidacy, other than personal funds of the candidate used to
28pay either a filing fee for a declaration of candidacy or a candidate
29statement prepared pursuant to Section 13307 of the Elections
30Code; the granting of discounts or rebates not extended to the
31public generally or the granting of discounts or rebates by television
32and radio stations and newspapers not extended on an equal basis
33to all candidates for the same office; the payment of compensation
34by any person for the personal services or expenses of any other
35person if the services are rendered or expenses incurred on behalf
36of a candidate or committee without payment of full and adequate
37consideration.

38(d) “Contribution” further includes any transfer of anything of
39value received by a committee from another committee, unless
40full and adequate consideration is received.

P5    1(e) “Contribution” does not include amounts received pursuant
2to an enforceable promise to the extent those amounts have been
3previously reported as a contribution. However, the fact that those
4amounts have been received shall be indicated in the appropriate
5campaign statement.

6(f) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), “contribution”
7does not include a payment made by an occupant of a home or
8office for costs related to any meeting or fundraising event held
9in the occupant’s home or office if the costs for the meeting or
10fundraising event are five hundred dollars ($500) or less.

11(2) “Contribution” includes a payment made by a lobbyist or a
12cohabitant of a lobbyist for costs related to a fundraising event
13held at the home of the lobbyist, including the value of the use of
14the home as a fundraising event venue. A payment described in
15this paragraph shall be attributable to the lobbyist for purposes of
16Section 85702.

17(3) “Contribution” includes a payment made by a lobbying firm
18for costs related to a fundraising event held at the office of the
19lobbying firm, including the value of the use of the office as a
20fundraising event venue.

21(g) Notwithstanding the foregoing definition of “contribution,”
22the term does not include volunteer personal services or payments
23made by any individual for his or her own travel expenses if the
24payments are made voluntarily without any understanding or
25agreement that they shall be, directly or indirectly, repaid to him
26or her.

27(h) “Contribution” further includes the payment of public
28moneys by a state or local governmental agency for a
29communication to the public that satisfies both of the following:

30(1) The communication expressly advocates the election or
31defeat of a clearly identified candidate or the qualification, passage,
32or defeat of a clearly identified measure, or, taken as a whole and
33in context, unambiguously urges a particular result in an election.

34(2) The communication is made at the behest of the affected
35candidate or committee.

36(i) “Contribution” further includes a payment made by a person
37to a multipurpose organization as defined and described in Section
3884222.



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