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Scope of Regulation

Frequently Asked Questions

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

  • El. Bd. Op. 2000-02

    Non-registrants, including corporations, may communicate to the general public their views about issues and/or about a clearly identified candidate, without subjecting themselves to a registration requirement, if the communication does not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate; expenditures which are "coordinated" with a candidate or candidate's agent will be treated as a contribution to that candidate; intra-association communications that are restricted to "a candidate endorsement, a position on a referendum or an explanation of the ass

  • 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. 1976-12

    Distribution of printed materials; "political purposes": Questions of whether officeholder's purchase and distribution of printed materials to constituents are subject to reporting and identification requirements and violative of election bribery statute depends on whether intentions of distributor as to political office, content of materials, time and manner of distribution, pattern and frequency of distribution, and value of materials indicate purchase and distribution are for "political purposes." §§11.01 (16), 11.06, 11.30 (2),12.11, Stats.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1976-07

    Campaign funds may be utilized only for political purposes as defined in §11.01 (16), Stats. (Issued to Tim Cullen, March 17, 1976)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was revised to make it clear that campaign funds can never be used to supplement a legislator’s office allowance. The opinion below was reaffirmed by the Government Accountability Board on June 9, 2008 and fully incorporates the revisions directed by the G.A.B.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1974-04

    Communications medium offering space to incumbent candidate for newsletter without printing statutory identification does not fall within regulation of campaign finance law. (Issued to James C. Coxe, August 6, 1974)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on March 26, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1988-04

    The exclusion set out in §11.29(1), Stats., and the application of Wisconsin's campaign finance disclosure law is limited to communications from an organization to its members to the exclusion of all others for the purpose of communicating endorsements of candidates, positions on referenda or an explanation of the organization's views and interests. The funding of such communications must be paid for by the organization.

    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. 1986-03

    Organization or PAC that sponsors a partisan "get out the vote" drive must register with the appropriate filing officer and meet the applicable requirements of the campaign finance law. §11.05(1), Stats. Disbursements used in the drive are not allocable as in-kind expenditures. (Issued to Brady C. Williamson, January 14, 1987.)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on March 26, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1979-04

    The registration, recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the campaign finance law, Chapter 11, Stats., do not apply to a corporation which communicates its views on a general issue which may later become the subject of a referendum question. (Issued to Robert M. Whitney, October 18, 1979)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on March 26, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1979-02

    Applicability of ch. 11, Stats., to Lawyers' Judicial Endorsement Poll: A poll conducted for the purpose of endorsing candidates in which the only information disseminated to those polled is biographical information on the candidates is not political activity and, therefore, not subject to regulation under ch. 11, Stats. The same is true of a press release indicating the results of the poll. (Issued to Richard S. Gallagher, April 19, 1979)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on March 26, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1979-03

    School District Annual Meetings. The registration and reporting requirements of the campaign finance law do not apply to school district annual meetings. (Issued to Orvin R. Clark and Cindy Schultz, September 20, 1979)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on March 26, 2008.

  • 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. 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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