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Record Keeping and Reporting

Frequently Asked Questions

This Frequently Asked Questions is being added to all the time. Please check back again for new entries.

  • El. Bd. Op. 2003-01

    The filing, with the State Elections Board, of a challenge to a candidate’s nomination, is an act for political purposes and the spending of more than $25 in the submitting of that challenge requires that the person challenging file a registration statement with the Board. The spending by an individual of more than $100 of his or her own money to submit a challenge to a candidate’s nomination precludes the individual from exempt status and requires the individual to file a campaign finance report.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1974-09

    A campaign worker may make an authorized disbursement exceeding $25 in support of a candidate and receive subsequent reimbursement from the campaign fund by negotiable instrument if the disbursement is verified by a receipt. (Issued to James W. Mohr, Jr., September 19, 1974)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1974-10

    The name and address of each contributor making a single contribution of $10 or less need not be recorded by a campaign treasurer, but the treasurer is under a statutory duty to exercise a "good faith" effort to seek to obtain such information if he knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a contributor’s aggregate contribution has or will exceed $10. (Issued to James W. Mohr, Jr., September 19, 1974)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1974-11

    A political party treasurer may be appointed by a candidate as his campaign treasurer. Separate bank accounts must be maintained so that a candidate's funds are not intermingled with the party treasury. (Issued to Thomas S. Sliek, August 23, 1974)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on November 11, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1974-15

    A campaign treasurer holds the power to return residual contributions to donors, in whole or in part, after a campaign has been completed. (Issued to Ervin C. Marquardt, September 25, 1974)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on November 11, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1974-16

    Out-of-pocket costs assumed by the host of a party held for political purposes are reportable if funds are raised at the party with the knowledge of the host. Such contributions may be made "in-kind" with the consent of a candidate's treasurer. Certain costs of fund-raising events, although reportable, are excludable from disbursement limitations. An item donated for resale is reportable and the gross proceeds of the sale need be reported after the item is sold. (Issued to Kate Barbash, October 31, 1974)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1974-17

    A candidate's personal traveling expenses or the personal expenses of his campaign workers are not reportable. If a candidate or worker is reimbursed for or provided with transportation by his committee or by another party, the actual cost is reportable. A gift of car tops is valued at the replacement cost at time of transfer. (Issued to William P. Vogel, October 31, 1974)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on May 5, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1976-01

    Use of a hall or room without charge need not be reported as an in-kind contribution if the hall or room is also provided without charge to non-political organizations. (Issued to David M. Travis, February 18, 1976)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on May 5, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1976-04

    All statements and reports required by ch. 11, Stats., to be verified may be sworn to before a town, village, city or county clerk or their respective deputies, if any. (Issued to John C. Oestreicher, February 18,1976)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1976-13

    Contributions: Use of charge card for contributions over $50 is permissible where such use produces a document identifying the contributor’s name and the amount contributed.§11.16 (2). (Issued to Michael D. Regenfuss, August 25, 1976)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on May 5, 2008. The opinion was codified by 1979 Wisconsin Act 328 at §11.16(2), Stats.

  • El. Bd. Op. 2001-01

    Registrants may use drawings as part of a solicitation to a fundraising event, but must report all contributions raised in connection with the solicitation and the event, including the fair market value of any donated prize that is to be awarded as part of the drawing. (Issued to Brady C. Williamson, March 21, 2001)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on May 5, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 2000-01

    A registrant may use a commercial vendor to collect contributions from visitors to the registrant’s web site. The vendor may not exercise any discretion or control over the amount of the contribution or who receives the contribution. The registrant must obtain the information about the contributor to enable the registrant to comply with the disclosure requirements of the campaign finance law. (Issued to R.J. Pirlot, June 21, 2000)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on May 5, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1998-01

    A registered conduit may transfer funds from members’ accounts to political committees (PAC’s) and those transfers will be treated as the contributions from the individual members who authorized the transfers to the PAC in the amount authorized by each member.

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on October 6, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1975-06

    Establishment and administration of separate segregated funds under §11.38 (l)(a) 2., Stats., discussed. (Issued to Richard S. Gallagher, December 19, 1975)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on October 6, 2008. Readers are also directed to GAB §1.06, Wis. Admin. Code, and Chapter 328, Laws of 1979, which specify reporting requirements for corporations.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1977-07

    Joint solicitation by federal and state committees: Under a joint solicitation plan, in which collected contributions are allocated by an escrow agent according to a predetermined formula between a state political committee and a committee whose activity is directed exclusively toward federal campaigns, and contributors are advised of such allocation at the time of contribution, (1) the federal committee is not subject to the regulatory and reporting requirements of chapter 11, Stats., (2) the funds allocated to the federal committee are not subject to the regulatory and reporting require
  • El. Bd. Op. 1978-10

    Limit on corporate solicitations for separate segregated fund: The $500 annual limit on a corporation's solicitation expenditures for its separate segregated fund may be applied to any period of 12 consecutive months, including the corporation's fiscal year. § 11.38 (1)(a)2., Stats. (Issued to Floyd S. Keene, July 20, 1978)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on October 6, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1979-05

    A corporation which establishes and administers a separate segregated fund under §11.38 (l)(a)2., Stats., may purchase and pay premiums on officers' and directors' liability insurance, general liability insurance and fidelity bonds for the fund (Issued to Thomas J. Sobota, December 13, 1979)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on October 6, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1980-03

    The separate segregated fund of a corporation or association established pursuant to §11.38(l)(a)2., Stats., may not accept contributions from other corporations to be used solely for the administrative expenses of the separate segregated fund. (Issued to Mr. Peter Coe Christianson. September 18, 1980)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on October 6, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1986-01

    JOINT FUNDRAISERS; a political action committee and a conduit may not conduct a joint fundraiser where the contributions are deposited in a single check in an escrow account and an allocation formula is used to divide the contributions. §§11.05(9) and 11.14(1) and (2), Stats. (Issued to Mr. James Buchen, April 30, 1986.)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on October 6, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1988-03

    Independent insurance agents can establish a commission withholding system that will enable participating insurance companies to forward agents' contributions to an agents' PAC, without attributing any of those contributions, or the expenses of maintaining the system to the participating insurance companies. Separate bookkeeping of each individual agent's contributions and pro-rata expenses must be maintained and reported. (Issued to Mr. Steven A. Reidich, October 5, 1988)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1989-01

    Interest income from conduit and PAC depository accounts, properly invested under §11.25(3) Stats., may be used in the same manner as other funds in the account, including payment of administration and solicitation expenses of a conduit if the conduit agreement so provides.

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on October 6, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1991-01

    A corporation which acts solely in the nature of a conduit in collecting and transferring the contributions of its employee-agents to the political action committee of the employeeagents' statewide trade association does not make a contribution to that trade association PAC, if none of the expenses of administration or solicitation of those contributions are borne by the corporation and if a list of the contributors and the amounts of their contributions is maintained at each stage of the transfer. (Issued to Brady Williamson, August 12, 1991)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1978-02

    Multiple Candidate Committees. The personal campaign committee of a candidate seeking more than one office may ensure compliance with contribution limits by either (a) separate bookkeeping and reporting or (b) adherence to the lowest applicable contribution limit. Such committee may not claim the $250 reporting exemption if its total activity, attributable to all offices sought, is over $250. GAB 1.02, Wis. Adm. Code, Sec. 11.05 (2r), Stats. (Issued to Mary Alice Sullivan, March 16, 1978)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1977-09

    Fund-raising by committee agents: Where circumstances indicate that one is collecting contributions as agent of a committee, he or she must inform the committee of each collected contribution within fifteen days of its collection and transmit the contribution to the committee's treasurer within fifteen days of its collection. §11.06(4)(c), Stats. (Issued to Wm. Pharis Horton, November 17, 1977)

  • El. Bd. Op. 77-3

    A national political party committee's payment of compensation to another specifically in exchange for full-time political services performed on behalf of a Wisconsin committee is a contribution, which subjects the national committee to registration and applicable reporting requirements. Such committee's payment of compensation to an employee or employees performing occasional services for a Wisconsin committee, when such services are merely incidental to the work of the employee or employees on behalf of the national committee, is

  • El. Bd. Op. 75-3

    A non-resident political committee is subject to the same registration and reporting requirements as a resident committee but may maintain its campaign depository outside of this state. The term "solicitation" as used in §11.38 (2), Stats., includes those activities which have as their sole purpose and which by their nature or manner result solely in the raising of funds. (Issued to M. Scott Cisney, November 19, 1975)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on May 5, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 75-5

    Contributions of $100 or less received in the form of a check drawn on a joint checking account may be assumed to be from the signer of the check absent evidence to the contrary. Contributions over $100 received in the form of a check drawn on a joint checking account may not be assumed to be from the signer of the check absent evidence to the contrary; instead, the treasurer must affirmatively inquire as to whom the contribution is from. Contributions received in the form of a check drawn on a partnership checking account may not be assumed to be from the signer of the check.

  • El. Bd. Op. 06-1

    Ancillary events, like a golf outing, held in conjunction with a political fundraiser are treated as part of the fundraiser unless the registrant/beneficiary of the fundraiser is able to show that the fundraiser was a separate and independent event. In determining whether ancillary events are separate and independent from a political fundraising event, PAC/Conduit events to raise money for the PAC are evaluated differently from events held to raise money for a candidate.

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