2 U.S.C. § 431 : US Code - Section 431: Definitions

Search 2 U.S.C. § 431 : US Code - Section 431: Definitions

      When used in this Act:
      (1) The term "election" means - 
        (A) a general, special, primary, or runoff election;
        (B) a convention or caucus of a political party which has
      authority to nominate a candidate;
        (C) a primary election held for the selection of delegates to a
      national nominating convention of a political party; and
        (D) a primary election held for the expression of a preference
      for the nomination of individuals for election to the office of
      President.

      (2) The term "candidate" means an individual who seeks nomination
    for election, or election, to Federal office, and for purposes of
    this paragraph, an individual shall be deemed to seek nomination
    for election, or election - 
        (A) if such individual has received contributions aggregating
      in excess of $5,000 or has made expenditures aggregating in
      excess of $5,000; or
        (B) if such individual has given his or her consent to another
      person to receive contributions or make expenditures on behalf of
      such individual and if such person has received such
      contributions aggregating in excess of $5,000 or has made such
      expenditures aggregating in excess of $5,000.

      (3) The term "Federal office" means the office of President or
    Vice President, or of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or
    Resident Commissioner to, the Congress.
      (4) The term "political committee" means - 
        (A) any committee, club, association, or other group of persons
      which receives contributions aggregating in excess of $1,000
      during a calendar year or which makes expenditures aggregating in
      excess of $1,000 during a calendar year; or
        (B) any separate segregated fund established under the
      provisions of section 441b(b) of this title; or
        (C) any local committee of a political party which receives
      contributions aggregating in excess of $5,000 during a calendar
      year, or makes payments exempted from the definition of
      contribution or expenditure as defined in paragraphs (8) and (9)
      aggregating in excess of $5,000 during a calendar year, or makes
      contributions aggregating in excess of $1,000 during a calendar
      year or makes expenditures aggregating in excess of $1,000 during
      a calendar year.

      (5) The term "principal campaign committee" means a political
    committee designated and authorized by a candidate under section
    432(e)(1) of this title.
      (6) The term "authorized committee" means the principal campaign
    committee or any other political committee authorized by a
    candidate under section 432(e)(1) of this title to receive
    contributions or make expenditures on behalf of such candidate.
      (7) The term "connected organization" means any organization
    which is not a political committee but which directly or indirectly
    establishes, administers or financially supports a political
    committee.
      (8)(A) The term "contribution" includes - 
        (i) any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money
      or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of
      influencing any election for Federal office; or
        (ii) the payment by any person of compensation for the personal
      services of another person which are rendered to a political
      committee without charge for any purpose.

      (B) The term "contribution" does not include - 
        (i) the value of services provided without compensation by any
      individual who volunteers on behalf of a candidate or political
      committee;
        (ii) the use of real or personal property, including a church
      or community room used on a regular basis by members of a
      community for noncommercial purposes, and the cost of
      invitations, food, and beverages, voluntarily provided by an
      individual to any candidate or any political committee of a
      political party in rendering voluntary personal services on the
      individual's residential premises or in the church or community
      room for candidate-related or political party-related activities,
      to the extent that the cumulative value of such invitations,
      food, and beverages provided by such individual on behalf of any
      single candidate does not exceed $1,000 with respect to any
      single election, and on behalf of all political committees of a
      political party does not exceed $2,000 in any calendar year;
        (iii) the sale of any food or beverage by a vendor for use in
      any candidate's campaign or for use by or on behalf of any
      political committee of a political party at a charge less than
      the normal comparable charge, if such charge is at least equal to
      the cost of such food or beverage to the vendor, to the extent
      that the cumulative value of such activity by such vendor on
      behalf of any single candidate does not exceed $1,000 with
      respect to any single election, and on behalf of all political
      committees of a political party does not exceed $2,000 in any
      calendar year;
        (iv) any unreimbursed payment for travel expenses made by any
      individual on behalf of any candidate or any political committee
      of a political party, to the extent that the cumulative value of
      such activity by such individual on behalf of any single
      candidate does not exceed $1,000 with respect to any single
      election, and on behalf of all political committees of a
      political party does not exceed $2,000 in any calendar year;
        (v) the payment by a State or local committee of a political
      party of the costs of preparation, display, or mailing or other
      distribution incurred by such committee with respect to a printed
      slate card or sample ballot, or other printed listing, of 3 or
      more candidates for any public office for which an election is
      held in the State in which such committee is organized, except
      that this clause shall not apply to any cost incurred by such
      committee with respect to a display of any such listing made on
      broadcasting stations, or in newspapers, magazines, or similar
      types of general public political advertising;
        (vi) any payment made or obligation incurred by a corporation
      or a labor organization which, under section 441b(b) of this
      title, would not constitute an expenditure by such corporation or
      labor organization;
        (vii) any loan of money by a State bank, a federally chartered
      depository institution, or a depository institution the deposits
      or accounts of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance
      Corporation, Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, or
      the National Credit Union Administration, other than any
      overdraft made with respect to a checking or savings account,
      made in accordance with applicable law and in the ordinary course
      of business, but such loan - 
          (I) shall be considered a loan by each endorser or guarantor,
        in that proportion of the unpaid balance that each endorser or
        guarantor bears to the total number of endorsers or guarantors;
          (II) shall be made on a basis which assures repayment,
        evidenced by a written instrument, and subject to a due date or
        amortization schedule; and
          (III) shall bear the usual and customary interest rate of the
        lending institution;

        (viii) any legal or accounting services rendered to or on
      behalf of - 
          (I) any political committee of a political party if the
        person paying for such services is the regular employer of the
        person rendering such services and if such services are not
        attributable to activities which directly further the election
        of any designated candidate to Federal office; or
          (II) an authorized committee of a candidate or any other
        political committee, if the person paying for such services is
        the regular employer of the individual rendering such services
        and if such services are solely for the purpose of ensuring
        compliance with this Act or chapter 95 or chapter 96 of title
        26,

      but amounts paid or incurred by the regular employer for such
      legal or accounting services shall be reported in accordance with
      section 434(b) of this title by the committee receiving such
      services;
        (ix) the payment by a State or local committee of a political
      party of the costs of campaign materials (such as pins, bumper
      stickers, handbills, brochures, posters, party tabloids, and yard
      signs) used by such committee in connection with volunteer
      activities on behalf of nominees of such party: Provided, That - 
          (1) such payments are not for the costs of campaign materials
        or activities used in connection with any broadcasting,
        newspaper, magazine, billboard, direct mail, or similar type of
        general public communication or political advertising;
          (2) such payments are made from contributions subject to the
        limitations and prohibitions of this Act; and
          (3) such payments are not made from contributions designated
        to be spent on behalf of a particular candidate or particular
        candidates;

        (x) the payment by a candidate, for nomination or election to
      any public office (including State or local office), or
      authorized committee of a candidate, of the costs of campaign
      materials which include information on or referenced to any other
      candidate and which are used in connection with volunteer
      activities (including pins, bumper stickers, handbills,
      brochures, posters, and yard signs, but not including the use of
      broadcasting, newspapers, magazines, billboards, direct mail, or
      similar types of general public communication or political
      advertising): Provided, That such payments are made from
      contributions subject to the limitations and prohibitions of this
      Act;
        (xi) the payment by a State or local committee of a political
      party of the costs of voter registration and get-out-the-vote
      activities conducted by such committee on behalf of nominees of
      such party for President and Vice President: Provided, That - 
          (1) such payments are not for the costs of campaign materials
        or activities used in connection with any broadcasting,
        newspaper, magazine, billboard, direct mail, or similar type of
        general public communication or political advertising;
          (2) such payments are made from contributions subject to the
        limitations and prohibitions of this Act; and
          (3) such payments are not made from contributions designated
        to be spent on behalf of a particular candidate or candidates;

        (xii) payments made by a candidate or the authorized committee
      of a candidate as a condition of ballot access and payments
      received by any political party committee as a condition of
      ballot access;
        (xiii) any honorarium (within the meaning of section 441i of
      this title); and
        (xiv) any loan of money derived from an advance on a
      candidate's brokerage account, credit card, home equity line of
      credit, or other line of credit available to the candidate, if
      such loan is made in accordance with applicable law and under
      commercially reasonable terms and if the person making such loan
      makes loans derived from an advance on the candidate's brokerage
      account, credit card, home equity line of credit, or other line
      of credit in the normal course of the person's business.

      (9)(A) The term "expenditure" includes - 
        (i) any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance,
      deposit, or gift of money or anything of value, made by any
      person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal
      office; and
        (ii) a written contract, promise, or agreement to make an
      expenditure.

      (B) The term "expenditure" does not include - 
        (i) any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed
      through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper,
      magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities
      are owned or controlled by any political party, political
      committee, or candidate;
        (ii) nonpartisan activity designed to encourage individuals to
      vote or to register to vote;
        (iii) any communication by any membership organization or
      corporation to its members, stockholders, or executive or
      administrative personnel, if such membership organization or
      corporation is not organized primarily for the purpose of
      influencing the nomination for election, or election, of any
      individual to Federal office, except that the costs incurred by a
      membership organization (including a labor organization) or by a
      corporation directly attributable to a communication expressly
      advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified
      candidate (other than a communication primarily devoted to
      subjects other than the express advocacy of the election or
      defeat of a clearly identified candidate), shall, if such costs
      exceed $2,000 for any election, be reported to the Commission in
      accordance with section 434(a)(4)(A)(i) of this title, and in
      accordance with section 434(a)(4)(A)(ii) of this title with
      respect to any general election;
        (iv) the payment by a State or local committee of a political
      party of the costs of preparation, display, or mailing or other
      distribution incurred by such committee with respect to a printed
      slate card or sample ballot, or other printed listing, of 3 or
      more candidates for any public office for which an election is
      held in the State in which such committee is organized, except
      that this clause shall not apply to costs incurred by such
      committee with respect to a display of any such listing made on
      broadcasting stations, or in newspapers, magazines, or similar
      types of general public political advertising;
        (v) any payment made or obligation incurred by a corporation or
      a labor organization which, under section 441b(b) of this title,
      would not constitute an expenditure by such corporation or labor
      organization;
        (vi) any costs incurred by an authorized committee or candidate
      in connection with the solicitation of contributions on behalf of
      such candidate, except that this clause shall not apply with
      respect to costs incurred by an authorized committee of a
      candidate in excess of an amount equal to 20 percent of the
      expenditure limitation applicable to such candidate under section
      441a(b) of this title, but all such costs shall be reported in
      accordance with section 434(b) of this title;
        (vii) the payment of compensation for legal or accounting
      services - 
          (I) rendered to or on behalf of any political committee of a
        political party if the person paying for such services is the
        regular employer of the individual rendering such services, and
        if such services are not attributable to activities which
        directly further the election of any designated candidate to
        Federal office; or
          (II) rendered to or on behalf of a candidate or political
        committee if the person paying for such services is the regular
        employer of the individual rendering such services, and if such
        services are solely for the purpose of ensuring compliance with
        this Act or chapter 95 or chapter 96 of title 26,

      but amounts paid or incurred by the regular employer for such
      legal or accounting services shall be reported in accordance with
      section 434(b) of this title by the committee receiving such
      services;
        (viii) the payment by a State or local committee of a political
      party of the costs of campaign materials (such as pins, bumper
      stickers, handbills, brochures, posters, party tabloids, and yard
      signs) used by such committee in connection with volunteer
      activities on behalf of nominees of such party: Provided, That - 
          (1) such payments are not for the costs of campaign materials
        or activities used in connection with any broadcasting,
        newspaper, magazine, billboard, direct mail, or similar type of
        general public communication or political advertising;
          (2) such payments are made from contributions subject to the
        limitations and prohibitions of this Act; and
          (3) such payments are not made from contributions designated
        to be spent on behalf of a particular candidate or particular
        candidates;

        (ix) the payment by a State or local committee of a political
      party of the costs of voter registration and get-out-the-vote
      activities conducted by such committee on behalf of nominees of
      such party for President and Vice President: Provided, That - 
          (1) such payments are not for the costs of campaign materials
        or activities used in connection with any broadcasting,
        newspaper, magazine, billboard, direct mail, or similar type of
        general public communication or political advertising;
          (2) such payments are made from contributions subject to the
        limitations and prohibitions of this Act; and
          (3) such payments are not made from contributions designated
        to be spent on behalf of a particular candidate or candidates;
        and

        (x) payments received by a political party committee as a
      condition of ballot access which are transferred to another
      political party committee or the appropriate State official.

      (10) The term "Commission" means the Federal Election Commission.
      (11) The term "person" includes an individual, partnership,
    committee, association, corporation, labor organization, or any
    other organization or group of persons, but such term does not
    include the Federal Government or any authority of the Federal
    Government.
      (12) The term "State" means a State of the United States, the
    District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a
    territory or possession of the United States.
      (13) The term "identification" means - 
        (A) in the case of any individual, the name, the mailing
      address, and the occupation of such individual, as well as the
      name of his or her employer; and
        (B) in the case of any other person, the full name and address
      of such person.

      (14) The term "national committee" means the organization which,
    by virtue of the bylaws of a political party, is responsible for
    the day-to-day operation of such political party at the national
    level, as determined by the Commission.
      (15) The term "State committee" means the organization which, by
    virtue of the bylaws of a political party, is responsible for the
    day-to-day operation of such political party at the State level, as
    determined by the Commission.
      (16) The term "political party" means an association, committee,
    or organization which nominates a candidate for election to any
    Federal office whose name appears on the election ballot as the
    candidate of such association, committee, or organization.
      (17) Independent expenditure. - The term "independent
    expenditure" means an expenditure by a person - 
        (A) expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly
      identified candidate; and
        (B) that is not made in concert or cooperation with or at the
      request or suggestion of such candidate, the candidate's
      authorized political committee, or their agents, or a political
      party committee or its agents.

      (18) The term "clearly identified" means that - 
        (A) the name of the candidate involved appears;
        (B) a photograph or drawing of the candidate appears; or
        (C) the identity of the candidate is apparent by unambiguous
      reference.

      (19) The term "Act" means the Federal Election Campaign Act of
    1971 as amended.
      (20) Federal election activity. - 
        (A) In general. - The term "Federal election activity" means - 
          (i) voter registration activity during the period that begins
        on the date that is 120 days before the date a regularly
        scheduled Federal election is held and ends on the date of the
        election;
          (ii) voter identification, get-out-the-vote activity, or
        generic campaign activity conducted in connection with an
        election in which a candidate for Federal office appears on the
        ballot (regardless of whether a candidate for State or local
        office also appears on the ballot);
          (iii) a public communication that refers to a clearly
        identified candidate for Federal office (regardless of whether
        a candidate for State or local office is also mentioned or
        identified) and that promotes or supports a candidate for that
        office, or attacks or opposes a candidate for that office
        (regardless of whether the communication expressly advocates a
        vote for or against a candidate); or
          (iv) services provided during any month by an employee of a
        State, district, or local committee of a political party who
        spends more than 25 percent of that individual's compensated
        time during that month on activities in connection with a
        Federal election.

        (B) Excluded activity. - The term "Federal election activity"
      does not include an amount expended or disbursed by a State,
      district, or local committee of a political party for - 
          (i) a public communication that refers solely to a clearly
        identified candidate for State or local office, if the
        communication is not a Federal election activity described in
        subparagraph (A)(i) or (ii);
          (ii) a contribution to a candidate for State or local office,
        provided the contribution is not designated to pay for a
        Federal election activity described in subparagraph (A);
          (iii) the costs of a State, district, or local political
        convention; and
          (iv) the costs of grassroots campaign materials, including
        buttons, bumper stickers, and yard signs, that name or depict
        only a candidate for State or local office.

      (21) Generic campaign activity. - The term "generic campaign
    activity" means a campaign activity that promotes a political party
    and does not promote a candidate or non-Federal candidate.
      (22) Public communication. - The term "public communication"
    means a communication by means of any broadcast, cable, or
    satellite communication, newspaper, magazine, outdoor advertising
    facility, mass mailing, or telephone bank to the general public, or
    any other form of general public political advertising.
      (23) Mass mailing. - The term "mass mailing" means a mailing by
    United States mail or facsimile of more than 500 pieces of mail
    matter of an identical or substantially similar nature within any
    30-day period.
      (24) Telephone bank. - The term "telephone bank" means more than
    500 telephone calls of an identical or substantially similar nature
    within any 30-day period.
      (25) Election cycle. - For purposes of sections 441a(i) and 441a-
    1 of this title and paragraph (26), the term "election cycle"
    means the period beginning on the day after the date of the most
    recent election for the specific office or seat that a candidate is
    seeking and ending on the date of the next election for that office
    or seat. For purposes of the preceding sentence, a primary election
    and a general election shall be considered to be separate
    elections.
      (26) Personal funds. - The term "personal funds" means an amount
    that is derived from - 
        (A) any asset that, under applicable State law, at the time the
      individual became a candidate, the candidate had legal right of
      access to or control over, and with respect to which the
      candidate had - 
          (i) legal and rightful title; or
          (ii) an equitable interest;

        (B) income received during the current election cycle of the
      candidate, including - 
          (i) a salary and other earned income from bona fide
        employment;
          (ii) dividends and proceeds from the sale of the candidate's
        stocks or other investments;
          (iii) bequests to the candidate;
          (iv) income from trusts established before the beginning of
        the election cycle;
          (v) income from trusts established by bequest after the
        beginning of the election cycle of which the candidate is the
        beneficiary;
          (vi) gifts of a personal nature that had been customarily
        received by the candidate prior to the beginning of the
        election cycle; and
          (vii) proceeds from lotteries and similar legal games of
        chance; and

        (C) a portion of assets that are jointly owned by the candidate
      and the candidate's spouse equal to the candidate's share of the
      asset under the instrument of conveyance or ownership, but if no
      specific share is indicated by an instrument of conveyance or
      ownership, the value of  1/2  of the property.