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Sec. 15.13.090. Identification of communication.

(a) All communications shall be clearly identified by the words "paid for by" followed by the name and address of the candidate, group, nongroup entity, or individual paying for the communication. In addition, candidates and groups may identify the name of their campaign chairperson.

(b) The provisions of (a) of this section do not apply when the communication

(1) is paid for by an individual acting independently of any group or nongroup entity and independently of any other individual;

(2) is made to influence the outcome of a ballot proposition as that term is defined by AS 15.13.065 (c); and

(3) is made for

(A) a billboard or sign; or

(B) printed material other than an advertisement made in a newspaper or other periodical.

Sec. 15.13.095. False statements in telephone polling and calls to convince.

(a) A candidate who is damaged as the result of a false statement about the candidate made with knowledge that it was false, or with reckless disregard for whether it was false or not, made as part of a telephone poll or an organized series of calls, and made with the intent to convince potential voters concerning the outcome of an election in which the candidate is running may recover damages in an action in superior court under this section against the individual who made the telephone call, the individual's employer, and the person who contracted for or authorized the poll or calls to convince. However, the employer of the individual or the person who contracted for or authorized the poll or calls to convince is liable to the defamed candidate only if the employer or person authorized the statement to be made, knowing that it was false or with reckless disregard for whether it was false or not, as part of the poll or calls to convince.

(b) The court may award damages, including punitive damages. If the court finds that the result of the statement places the integrity of the election process in substantial doubt, the eligibility of the successful candidate to hold the office to which elected shall be determined as provided in AS 15.56.110 (b) or, in the case of a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor, by impeachment under art. II, sec. 20, Constitution of the State of Alaska.

Sec. 15.13.100. Expenditures before filing.

A political campaign expenditure may not be made or incurred by a person in an election or by a person or group with the person's knowledge and on the person's behalf before the date upon which the person files for nomination for the office which the person seeks, except for personal travel expenses or for opinion surveys or polls. These expenditures must be included in the first report required under this chapter after filing for office.

Sec. 15.13.110. Filing of reports.

(a) Each candidate, group, and nongroup entity shall make a full report in accordance with AS 15.13.040 for the period ending three days before the due date of the report and beginning on the last day covered by the most recent previous report. If the report is a first report, it must cover the period from the beginning of the campaign to the date three days before the due date of the report. If the report is a report due February 15, it must cover the period beginning on the last day covered by the most recent previous report or on the day that the campaign started, whichever is later, and ending on February 1 of that year. The report shall be filed

(1) 30 days before the election; however, this report is not required if the deadline for filing a nominating petition or declaration of candidacy is within 30 days of the election;

(2) one week before the election;

(3) 105 days after a special election; and

(4) February 15 for expenditures made and contributions received that were not reported previously, including, if applicable, all amounts expended from a public office expense term account established under AS 15.13.116(a)(8) and all amounts expended from a municipal office account under AS 15.13.116 (a)(9), or when expenditures were not made or contributions were not received during the previous year.

(b) Each contribution that exceeds $250 and that is made within nine days of the election shall be reported to the commission by date, amount, and contributor within 24 hours of receipt by the candidate, group, campaign treasurer, or deputy campaign treasurer. Each contribution to a nongroup entity for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election that exceeds $250 and that is made within nine days of the election shall be reported to the commission by date, amount, and contributor within 24 hours of receipt by the nongroup entity.

(c) All reports required by this chapter shall be filed with the commission's central office and shall be kept open to public inspection. Within 30 days after each election, the commission shall prepare a summary of each report which shall be made available to the public at cost upon request. Each summary shall use uniform categories of reporting.

(d) [Repealed, Sec. 35 ch 126 SLA 1994].

(e) A group formed to sponsor an initiative, a referendum or a recall shall report 30 days after its first filing with the lieutenant governor. Thereafter each group shall report within 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter on the contributions received and expenditures made during the preceding calendar quarter until reports are due under (a) of this section.

(f) During the year in which the election is scheduled, each of the following shall file the campaign disclosure reports in the manner and at the times required by this section:

(1) a person who, under the regulations adopted by the commission to implement AS 15.13.100 , indicates an intention to become a candidate for elective state executive or legislative office;

(2) a person who has filed a nominating petition under AS 15.25.140 - 15.25.200 to become a candidate at the general election for elective state executive or legislative office;

(3) a person who campaigns as a write-in candidate for elective state executive or legislative office at the general election; and

(4) a group or nongroup entity that receives contributions or makes expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to a person described in (1) - (3) of this subsection, except as provided for certain independent expenditures by nongroup entities in AS 15.13.135 (a).

Sec. 15.13.111. Preservation of records.

(a) Each candidate, group, nongroup entity, or person required to report under this chapter shall preserve all records necessary to substantiate information required to be reported under this chapter for a period of six years from the date of the election for which the information was required to be reported, unless the records have been submitted to the commission under (c) of this section.

(b) Information preserved under (a) of this section must be made available for inspection by the commission.

(c) A candidate for state elected office who was not elected or a person who has left state elected office may submit the records required to be preserved under (a) of this section to the commission electronically. Records submitted under this subsection shall be preserved by the commission for a period of six years from the date of the election for which the information was required to be reported.

Sec. 15.13.112. Uses of campaign contributions held by candidate or group.

(a) Except as otherwise provided, campaign contributions held by a candidate or group may be used only to pay the expenses of the candidate or group, and the campaign expenses incurred by the candidate or group, that reasonably relate to election campaign activities, and in those cases only as authorized by this chapter.

(b) Campaign contributions held by a candidate or group may not be

(1) used to give a personal benefit to the candidate or to another person;

(2) converted to personal income of the candidate;

(3) loaned to a person;

(4) knowingly used to pay more than the fair market value for goods or services purchased for the campaign;

(5) used to pay a criminal fine;

(6) used to pay civil penalties; however, campaign contributions held by a candidate or group may be used to pay a civil penalty assessed under this chapter if authorized by the commission or a court after it first determines that

(A) the candidate, campaign treasurer, and deputy campaign treasurer did not cause or participate in the violation for which the civil penalty is imposed and exercised a reasonable level of oversight over the campaign; and

(B) the candidate, campaign treasurer, and deputy campaign treasurer cooperated in the revelation of the violation and in its immediate correction; or

(7) used to make contributions to another candidate or to a group; however, it is not a violation of this paragraph if, in circumstances in which a candidate or group participates in a shared campaign activity, the candidate or group participating in the activity

(A) uses campaign contributions of the candidate or group for payment of

(i) all of the shared campaign activity expense; or

(ii) more than the candidate's or group's pro rata share of the activity expense; and

(B) receives, within seven days after payment of the expense, complete reimbursement of the amount of campaign contributions used for payments made on behalf of another candidate or group participating in the activity.

(c) A candidate may use up to a total of $1,000 in campaign contributions in a year to pay the cost of

(1) attending, or paying the cost for guests of the candidate to attend, an event or other function sponsored by a political party or subordinate unit of a political party;

(2) membership in a political party, subordinate unit of a political party, or other entity within a political party, or subscription to a publication from a political party; and

(3) co-sponsorship of an event or other function sponsored by a political party or by a subordinate unit of a political party.

Sec. 15.13.114. Disposition of prohibited contributions.

(a) A candidate, group, or nongroup entity that receives and accepts a contribution given in violation of AS 15.13.072 or 15.13.074 shall immediately, upon discovery that the contribution is prohibited, return it to the contributor. A candidate, group, or nongroup entity that receives and accepts a contribution in excess of the limitation on contributions set out in AS 15.13.070 shall immediately, upon discovery of the prohibited excess contribution, return the excess to the contributor. If the contribution or excess amount cannot be returned in the same form, the equivalent value of the contribution or excess amount shall be returned.

(b) An anonymous contribution is forfeited to the state unless the contributor is identified within five days of its receipt. Money that forfeits to the state under this subsection shall be delivered immediately to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the general fund.

Sec. 15.13.116. Disbursement of campaign assets after election.

(a) A candidate who, after the date of the general, special, municipal, or municipal runoff election or after the date the candidate withdraws as a candidate, whichever comes first, holds unused campaign contributions shall distribute the amount held on February 1 for a general election or within 90 days after a special election. The distribution may only be made to

(1) pay bills incurred for expenditures reasonably related to the campaign and the winding up of the affairs of the campaign, including a victory or thank you party, thank you advertisements, and thank you gifts to campaign employees and volunteers, and to pay expenditures associated with post-election fund raising that may be needed to raise funds to pay off campaign debts;

(2) make donations, without condition, to

(A) a political party;

(B) the state's general fund;

(C) a municipality of the state; or

(D) the federal government;

(3) make donations, without condition, to organizations qualified as charitable organizations under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) if the organization is not controlled by the candidate or a member of the candidate's immediate family;

(4) repay loans from the candidate to the candidate's own campaign under AS 15.13.078 (b);

(5) repay contributions to contributors, but only if repayment of the contribution is made pro rata in approximate proportion to the contributions made using one of the following, as the candidate determines:

(A) to all contributors;

(B) to contributors who have contributed most recently; or

(C) to contributors who have made larger contributions;

(6) establish a fund for, and from that fund to pay, attorney fees or costs incurred in the prosecution or defense of an administrative or civil judicial action that directly concerns a challenge to the victory or defeat of the candidate in the election;

(7) transfer all or a portion of the unused campaign contributions to an account for a future election campaign; a transfer under this paragraph is limited to

(A) $50,000, if the transfer is made by a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor;

(B) $10,000, if the transfer is made by a candidate for the state senate;

(C) $5,000, if the transfer is made by a candidate for the state house of representatives; and

(D) $5,000, if the transfer is made by a candidate for an office not described in (A) - (C) of this paragraph;

(8) transfer all or a portion of the unused campaign contributions to a public office expense term account or to a public office expense term account reserve in accordance with (d) of this section; a transfer under this paragraph is subject to the following:

(A) the authority to transfer is limited to candidates who are elected to the state legislature;

(B) the public office expense term account established under this paragraph may be used only for expenses associated with the candidate's serving as a member of the legislature;

(C) all amounts expended from the public office expense term account shall be annually accounted for under AS 15.13.110 (a)(4); and

(D) a transfer under this paragraph is limited to $5,000 multiplied by the number of years in the term to which the candidate is elected plus any accumulated interest; and

(9) transfer all or a portion of the unused campaign contributions to a municipal office account; a transfer under this paragraph is subject to the following:

(A) the authority to transfer is limited to candidates who are elected to municipal office, including a municipal school board;

(B) the municipal office account established under this paragraph may be used only for expenses associated with the candidate's serving as mayor or as a member of the assembly, city council, or school board;

(C) all amounts expended from the municipal office account shall be annually accounted for under AS 15.13.110 (a)(4); and

(D) a transfer under this paragraph is limited to $5,000.

(b) After a general, special, municipal, or municipal runoff election, a candidate may retain the ownership of one computer and one printer and of personal property, except money, that was acquired by and for use in the campaign. The current fair market value of the property retained, exclusive of the computer and printer, may not exceed $5,000. All other property shall be disposed of, or sold and the sale proceeds disposed of, in accordance with (a) or (c) of this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter,

(1) a candidate may (A) retain a bulk mailing permit that was paid for with campaign funds, and (B) use personal funds, campaign funds, or unused campaign contributions transferred to a public office expense term account under (a)(8) of this section to pay the continuing charges for the permit after the election; money used to continue the life of the permit is not considered to be a contribution under this chapter; in addition to any other use permitted under this chapter, during the candidate's term of office, the candidate may use the bulk mailing permit for mailings associated with service in the office to which the candidate was elected; during the candidate's term of office, if the candidate files a declaration of candidacy or the document necessary to permit the candidate to incur election-related expenses under AS 15.13.100 for the same or a different elective office, the candidate may also use the bulk mailing permit in that election campaign;

(2) a candidate may retain campaign photographs and use the photographs for any purpose associated with service in the office to which the candidate was elected;

(3) a candidate may retain seasonal greeting cards purchased with campaign funds; and

(4) campaign signs prepared for an election that has already taken place have no monetary value and may be retained or disposed of at the candidate's discretion.

(c) Property remaining after disbursements are made under (a) - (b) of this section is forfeited to the state. Within 30 days, the candidate shall deliver the property to the Department of Revenue. The Department of Revenue shall deposit any money received into the general fund and dispose of any other property in accordance with law.

(d) After a general or special election, a candidate for the state legislature who has been elected to the state legislature in that election may, from the amount retained in the public office expense term account reserve under this subsection, transfer to a public office expense term account not more than $5,000 each calendar year for use only for expenses associated with the candidate's serving as a member of the legislature, except that a senator serving a two-year term may transfer not more than $10,000 each calendar year. A candidate for the senate may transfer up to $20,000 from unused campaign contributions to a public office expense term account reserve. A candidate for the house of representatives may transfer up to $10,000 from unused campaign contributions to a public office expense term account reserve. The public office expense term account reserve may only be used to make transfers to the public office expense term account. At the end of the candidate's term of office, a balance in the public office expense term account reserve must be disposed of as provided in (a) of this section but may not be disposed of as provided in (a)(1), (4), or (6) - (9) of this section. All amounts expended under this subsection shall be annually accounted for under AS 15.13.110 (a)(4).

Sec. 15.13.120. [Renumbered as AS 15.13.380 ].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 15.13.122. [Renumbered as AS 15.13.385 ].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 15.13.125. [Renumbered as AS 15.13.390 ].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 15.13.130. Definitions. [Repealed, ch 48 Sec. 28 SLA 1996].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 15.13.135. Independent expenditures for or against candidates.

(a) Only an individual, group, or nongroup entity may make an independent expenditure supporting or opposing a candidate for election to public office. An independent expenditure supporting or opposing a candidate for election to public office, except an independent expenditure made by a nongroup entity with an annual operating budget of $250 or less, shall be reported in accordance with AS 15.13.040 and 15.13.100 - 15.13.110 and other requirements of this chapter.

(b) An individual, group, or nongroup entity who makes independent expenditures for a mass mailing, for distribution of campaign literature of any sort, for a television, radio, newspaper, or magazine advertisement, or any other communication that supports or opposes a candidate for election to public office

(1) shall comply with AS 15.13.090 ; and

(2) shall place the following statement in the mailing, literature, advertisement, or other communication so that it is readily and easily discernible:

This NOTICE TO VOTERS is required by Alaska law. (I/we) certify that this (mailing/literature/advertisement) is not authorized, paid for, or approved by the candidate.

Sec. 15.13.140. Independent expenditures for or against ballot proposition or question.

(a) This chapter does not prohibit a person from making independent expenditures in support of or in opposition to a ballot proposition or question.

(b) An independent expenditure for or against a ballot proposition or question

(1) shall be reported in accordance with AS 15.13.040 and 15.13.100 - 15.13.110 and other requirements of this chapter; and

(2) may not be made if the expenditure is prohibited by AS 15.13.145 .

Sec. 15.13.145. Money of the state and its political subdivisions.

(a) Except as provided in (b) and (c) of this section, each of the following may not use money held by the entity to influence the outcome of the election of a candidate to a state or municipal office:

(1) the state, its agencies, and its corporations;

(2) the University of Alaska and its Board of Regents;

(3) municipalities, school districts, and regional educational attendance areas, or another political subdivision of the state; and

(4) an officer or employee of an entity identified in (1) - (3) of this subsection.

(b) Money held by an entity identified in (a)(1) - (3) of this section may be used to influence the outcome of an election concerning a ballot proposition or question, but only if the funds have been specifically appropriated for that purpose by a state law or a municipal ordinance.

(c) Money held by an entity identified in (a)(1) - (3) of this section may be used

(1) to disseminate information about the time and place of an election and to hold an election;

(2) to provide the public with nonpartisan information about a ballot proposition or question or about all the candidates seeking election to a particular public office.

(d) When expenditure of money is authorized by (b) or (c) of this section and is used to influence the outcome of an election, the expenditures shall be reported to the commission in the same manner as an individual is required to report under AS 15.13.040 .

Sec. 15.13.150. Election educational activities not prohibited.

This chapter does not prohibit a person from engaging in educational election-related communications and activities, including

(1) the publication of the date and location of an election;

(2) the education of students about voting and elections;

(3) the sponsorship of open candidate debate forums;

(4) participation in get-out-the-vote or voter registration drives that do not favor a particular candidate, political party, or political position;

(5) the dissemination of the views of all candidates running for a particular office.

Sec. 15.13.155. Restrictions on earned income and honoraria.

(a) A candidate for the state legislature, for governor, or for lieutenant governor, including an individual campaigning as a write-in candidate for the office, may not

(1) seek or accept compensation for personal services that involves payments that are not commensurate with the services rendered taking into account the higher rates generally charged by specialists in a profession; or

(2) accept a payment of anything of value, except for actual and necessarily incurred travel expenses, for an appearance or speech; this paragraph does not apply to the salary paid to the candidate for making an appearance or speech as part of the candidate's normal course of employment.

(b) Notwithstanding (a) of this section, a candidate for the state legislature, for governor, or for lieutenant governor, including an individual campaigning as a write-in candidate for the office, may accept a payment for an appearance or speech if the appearance or speech is not connected with the individual's status as a state official or as a candidate.

Sec. 15.13.374. Advisory opinion.

(a) Any person may request an advisory opinion from the commission concerning this chapter, AS 24.45, AS 24.60.200 - 24.60.260, or AS 39.50.

(b) A request for an advisory opinion

(1) must be in writing or contained in a message submitted by electronic mail;

(2) must describe a specific transaction or activity that the requesting person is presently engaged in or intends to undertake in the future;

(3) must include a description of all relevant facts, including the identity of the person requesting the advisory opinion; and

(4) may not concern a hypothetical situation or the activity of a third party.

(c) Within seven days after receiving a request satisfying the requirements of (b) of this section, the executive director of the commission shall recommend a draft advisory opinion for the commission to consider at its next meeting.

(d) The approval of a draft advisory opinion requires the affirmative vote of four members of the commission. A draft advisory opinion failing to receive four affirmative votes of the members of the commission is disapproved.

(e) A complaint under AS 15.13.380 may not be considered about a person involved in a transaction or activity that

(1) was described in an advisory opinion approved under (d) of this section;

(2) is indistinguishable from the description of an activity that was approved in an advisory opinion approved under (d) of this section; or

(3) was undertaken after the executive director of the commission recommended a draft advisory opinion under (c) of this section and before the commission acted on the draft advisory opinion under (d) of this section, if

(A) the draft advisory opinion would have approved the transaction or activity described; and

(B) the commission disapproved the draft advisory opinion.

(f) Advisory opinion requests and advisory opinions are public records subject to inspection and copying under AS 40.25.

Sec. 15.13.380. Violations; limitations on actions.

(a) Promptly after the final date for filing statements and reports under this chapter, the commission shall notify all persons who have become delinquent in filing them, including contributors who failed to file a statement in accordance with AS 15.13.040 , and shall make available a list of those delinquent filers for public inspection. The commission shall also report to the attorney general the names of all candidates in an election whose campaign treasurers have failed to file the reports required by this chapter.

(b) A person who believes a violation of this chapter or a regulation adopted under this chapter has occurred or is occurring may file an administrative complaint with the commission within five years after the date of the alleged violation. If a member of the commission has filed the complaint, that member may not participate as a commissioner in any proceeding of the commission with respect to the complaint. The commission may consider a complaint on an expedited basis or a regular basis.

(c) The complainant or the respondent to the complaint may request in writing that the commission expedite consideration of the complaint. A request for expedited consideration must be accompanied by evidence to support expedited consideration and be served on the opposing party. The commission shall grant or deny the request within two days after receiving it. In deciding whether to expedite consideration, the commission shall consider such factors as whether the alleged violation, if not immediately restrained, could materially affect the outcome of an election or other impending event; whether the alleged violation could cause irreparable harm that penalties could not adequately remedy; and whether there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred or will occur. Notwithstanding the absence of a request to expedite consideration, the commission may independently expedite consideration of the complaint if the commission finds that the standards for expedited consideration set out in this subsection have been met.

(d) If the commission expedites consideration, the commission shall hold a hearing on the complaint within two days after granting expedited consideration. Not later than one day after affording the respondent notice and an opportunity to be heard, the commission shall

(1) enter an emergency order requiring the violation to be ceased or to be remedied and assess civil penalties under AS 15.13.390 if the commission finds that the respondent has engaged in or is about to engage in an act or practice that constitutes or will constitute a violation of this chapter or a regulation adopted under this chapter;

(2) enter an emergency order dismissing the complaint if the commission finds that the respondent has not or is not about to engage in an act or practice that constitutes or will constitute a violation of this chapter or a regulation adopted under this chapter; or

(3) remand the complaint to the executive director of the commission for consideration by the commission on a regular rather than an expedited basis.

(e) If the commission accepts the complaint for consideration on a regular rather than an expedited basis, the commission shall notify the respondent within seven days after receiving the complaint and shall investigate the complaint. The respondent may answer the complaint by filing a written response with the commission within 15 days after the commission notifies the respondent of the complaint. The commission may grant the respondent additional time to respond to the complaint only for good cause. The commission shall hold a hearing on the complaint not later than 45 days after the respondent's written response is due. Not later than 10 days after the hearing, the commission shall issue its order. If the commission finds that the respondent has engaged in or is about to engage in an act or practice that constitutes or will constitute a violation of this chapter or a regulation adopted under this chapter, the commission shall enter an order requiring the violation to be ceased or to be remedied and shall assess civil penalties under AS 15.13.390 .

(f) If the complaint involves a challenge to the constitutionality of a statute or regulation, necessary witnesses that are not subject to the commission's subpoena authority, or other issues outside the commission's authority, the commission may request the attorney general to file a complaint in superior court alleging a violation of this chapter. The commission may request the attorney general to file a complaint in superior court to remedy the violation of a commission order.

(g) A commission order under (d) or (e) of this section may be appealed to the superior court by either the complainant or respondent within 30 days in accordance with the Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(h) If the commission does not complete action on an administrative complaint within 90 days after the complaint was filed, the complainant may file a complaint in superior court alleging a violation of this chapter by a respondent as described in the administrative complaint filed with the commission. The complainant shall provide copies of the complaint filed in the superior court to the commission and the attorney general. This subsection does not create a private cause of action against the commission; against the commission's members, officers, or employees; or against the state.

(i) If a person who was a successful candidate or the campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer of a person who was a successful candidate is convicted of a violation of this chapter, after the candidate is sworn into office, proceedings shall be held and appropriate action taken in accordance with

(1) art. II, sec. 12, of the state constitution, if the successful candidate is a member of the state legislature;

(2) art. II, sec. 20, of the state constitution, if the successful candidate is governor or lieutenant governor;

(3) the provisions of the call for the constitutional convention, if the successful candidate is a constitutional convention delegate;

(4) art. IV, sec. 10, of the state constitution, if the successful candidate is a judge.

(j) Information developed by the commission under (b) - (e) of this section shall be considered during a proceeding under (i) of this section.

(k) If, after a successful candidate is sworn into office, the successful candidate or the campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer of the person who was a successful candidate is charged with a violation of this chapter, the case shall be promptly tried and accorded a preferred position for purposes of argument and decision so as to ensure a speedy disposition of the matter.

Sec. 15.13.385. Legal counsel.

(a) The attorney general is legal counsel for the commission. The attorney general shall advise the commission in legal matters arising in the discharge of its duties and represent the commission in actions to which it is a party. If, in the opinion of the commission, the public interest warrants, the commission may request the chief justice of the supreme court to appoint a special prosecutor to represent the commission in a proceeding involving an alleged violation of this chapter and to prosecute that violation.

(b) When the public interest warrants, the commission may employ temporary legal counsel from time to time in matters in which the commission is involved.

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