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11.01(6)(b)9. 9. Any cost incurred for covering or carrying a news story, commentary, or editorial by a broadcasting station, cable television operator, producer, or programmer, Internet site, or newspaper or other periodical publication, including an Internet or other electronic publication except the cost of a news story that appears in a medium that is owned or controlled by a candidate, personal campaign committee of a candidate, support committee of a candidate that is authorized under s. 11.05 (3) (p), or a political party.
11.01(6L) (6L) "Corporation" includes a limited liability company.
11.01(7) (7)
11.01(7)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (b), "disbursement" means any of the following:
11.01(7)(a)1. 1. A purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value, except a loan of money by a commercial lending institution made by the institution in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in the ordinary course of business, made for political purposes. In this subdivision, "anything of value" means a thing of merchantable value.
11.01(7)(a)2. 2. A transfer of personalty, including but not limited to campaign materials and supplies, valued at the replacement cost at the time of transfer.
11.01(7)(a)3. 3. A contract, promise, or agreement, if legally enforceable, to make a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit or gift of money or anything of value, except a loan of money by a commercial lending institution in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in the ordinary course of business, for a political purpose.
11.01(7)(a)4. 4. An expenditure authorized under s. 11.25 (2) (b) made from a campaign depository account.
11.01(7)(a)5. 5. Any payment for a communication to the general public for a political purpose by means of any broadcast, satellite communication, newspaper or other periodical publication, outdoor advertising facility, mass mailing, or mass telephoning to the general public, or any other form of advertising to the general public, except communications over the Internet by an individual acting in his or her own behalf, or acting in behalf of another person if the individual is not compensated specifically for those services, including the cost or value of any equipment and services identified in s. 11.06 (13).
11.01(7)(a)6. 6. Any payment for the purchase or rental of an electronic-mail address list made at the direction of a registrant for a political purpose.
11.01(7)(a)7. 7. Any payment for an electronic-mail address list that is transferred to a registrant for a political purpose.
11.01(7)(b) (b) "Disbursement" does not include any of the following:
11.01(7)(b)1. 1. The use of real or personal property and the cost of invitations, food, and beverages, voluntarily provided by an individual to a candidate in rendering voluntary personal services on the individual's residential premises for a purpose under par. (a) 1. if no funds are raised with the knowledge of the host.
11.01(7)(b)2. 2. Any unreimbursed payment for travel expenses made by an individual who on his or her own behalf volunteers his or her personal services for political purposes.
11.01(7)(b)3. 3. The costs of preparation and transmission of personal correspondence, provided that the correspondence is not reproduced by machine for distribution.
11.01(7)(b)4. 4. Compensation or fringe benefits provided as a result of employment by an employer to regular employees or pensioners who are not compensated specifically for services performed for a political purpose, and not in excess of that provided to other regular employees or pensioners of like status.
11.01(7)(b)5. 5. The reuse of surplus materials or utilization of unused surplus materials not exceeding $400 in value at the time of original receipt, in the aggregate, acquired in connection with a previous campaign for or against the same candidate, candidates, party or referendum in connection with which the materials are utilized, if utilized by the same registrant previously acquiring the materials and previously reported by that registrant as a disbursement under s. 11.06.
11.01(7)(b)6. 6. A communication or Internet activity by an individual acting in his or her own behalf, or acting in behalf of another person if the individual is not compensated specifically for those services, including the cost or value of any equipment and services identified in s. 11.06 (13), but not including professional video production services purchased by the individual.
11.01(7)(b)7. 7. Any cost incurred in covering or carrying a news story, commentary, or editorial by a broadcasting station, cable television operator, programmer or producer, Internet site, or newspaper or other periodical publication, including an Internet or electronic publication, except the cost of a news story that appears in a medium that is owned or controlled by a candidate, personal campaign committee of a candidate, support committee of a candidate that is authorized under s. 11.05 (3) (p), or a political party.
11.01(7)(b)8. 8. A nominal fee paid for a communication to the general public.
11.01(8) (8) "Filing officer" means the official or agency determined in accordance with s. 11.02.
11.01(9) (9) "Filing requirement" means the continuing duty to file reports of contributions, disbursements or incurred obligations with the appropriate filing officer.
11.01(10) (10) "Group" or "political group" means any person other than an individual and any combination of 2 or more persons, permanent or temporary, which makes or accepts contributions or makes disbursements for the purpose of influencing the outcome of any referendum whether or not engaged in activities which are exclusively political.
11.01(11) (11) "Incurred obligation" means every express obligation to make any contribution or disbursement including every loan, guarantee of a loan or other obligation or payment for any goods, or for any services which have been performed or are to be performed in the future, incurred by a candidate, committee, individual or group for political purposes.
11.01(12) (12) "Intentionally" has the meaning given under s. 939.23.
11.01(12m) (12m) "Internet activity" includes sending or forwarding an electronic message; providing a hyperlink or other direct access on a person's Internet site to an Internet site operated by another person; blogging; creating, maintaining, or hosting an Internet site; payment by a person of a nominal fee for the use of an Internet site operated by another person; or any other form of communication distributed over the Internet.
11.01(12s) (12s) "Legislative campaign committee" means a committee which does not file an oath under s. 11.06 (7) organized in either house of the legislature to support candidates of a political party for legislative office.
11.01(15) (15) "Personal campaign committee" means a committee which is formed or operating for the purpose of influencing the election or reelection of a candidate, which acts with the cooperation of or upon consultation with the candidate or the candidate's agent or which is operating in concert with or pursuant to the authorization, request or suggestion of the candidate or the candidate's agent.
11.01(16) (16) An act is for "political purposes" when it is done for the purpose of influencing the election or nomination for election of any individual to state or local office, for the purpose of influencing the recall from or retention in office of an individual holding a state or local office, for the purpose of payment of expenses incurred as a result of a recount at an election, or for the purpose of influencing a particular vote at a referendum. In the case of a candidate, or a committee or group which is organized primarily for the purpose of influencing the election or nomination for election of any individual to state or local office, for the purpose of influencing the recall from or retention in office of an individual holding a state or local office, or for the purpose of influencing a particular vote at a referendum, all administrative and overhead expenses for the maintenance of an office or staff which are used principally for any such purpose are deemed to be for a political purpose.
11.01(16)(a) (a) Acts which are for "political purposes" include but are not limited to:
11.01(16)(a)1. 1. The making of a communication which expressly advocates the election, defeat, recall or retention of a clearly identified candidate or a particular vote at a referendum.
11.01(16)(a)2. 2. The conduct of or attempting to influence an endorsement or nomination to be made at a convention of political party members or supporters concerning, in whole or in part, any campaign for state or local office.
11.01(16)(b) (b) A "political purpose" does not include expenditures made for the purpose of supporting or defending a person who is being investigated for, charged with or convicted of a criminal violation of state or federal law, or an agent or dependent of such a person.
11.01 Note NOTE: The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Wisconsin Right to Life v. Barland, Case No. 10-C-0669, decided May 14, 2014, held that the definition of "political purposes,"in sub. (16), is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.
11.01(17g) (17g) "Public access channel" means a PEG channel, as defined in s. 66.0420 (2) (s), that is used for public access purposes, but does not include a PEG channel that is used for governmental or educational purposes.
11.01(17r) (17r) "Public access channel operator" means a person designated by a city, village, or town as responsible for the operation of a public access channel.
11.01(18m) (18m) "Registrant" means an individual or organization registered under s. 11.05 with a filing officer.
11.01(19) (19) "Salary" means the highest salary to which any candidate for a particular office would, if elected, be entitled during the first year of incumbency.
11.01 Annotation It may be appropriate to consider context in determining whether a communication "expressly advocates" within the meaning of sub.(16) (a) 1. The Elections Board's attempt to apply a context-based standard of express advocacy was an unfair attempt at retroactive rule-making, without any express statutory grant of authority, and thus, a violation of due process. Elections Board v. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, 227 Wis. 2d 650, 597 N.W.2d 721 (1999), 98-0596.
11.01 Annotation The term "political purposes" is not restricted to acts of express advocacy, but encompasses many acts undertaken to influence an election, including making contributions to an election campaign. Contributions may be in-kind, as well as in cash, and campaign organizations are required to report the receipt of in-kind contributions. Wisconsin Coalition for Voter Participation, Inc. v. State Elections Board, 231 Wis. 2d 670, 605 N.W.2d 654 (Ct. App. 1999), 99-2574.
11.01 Annotation Subs. (9) and (16), 1975 stats., [now subs. (10) and (16)] are constitutional only if narrowly construed to apply only to acts of express advocacy of the election or defeat of an identified candidate or referendum result. 65 Atty. Gen. 145.
11.02 11.02 Determination of filing officer. Except where the filing of duplicate reports or statements is specifically required by law, each person, committee or group subject to s. 11.05 shall have one filing officer. Such officer shall be determined as follows:
11.02(1) (1) The "filing officer" for each candidate for state office and for each committee which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any candidate for state office is the board.
11.02(2) (2) The "filing officer" for each committee which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any candidates for state and local offices is the board.
11.02(3) (3) Except as provided in sub. (3e), the "filing officer" for each candidate for local office and for each committee which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any candidate for local office, but not any candidate for state office, is the clerk of the most populous jurisdiction for which any candidate who is supported or opposed seeks office.
11.02(3e) (3e) The "filing officer" for each candidate for municipal judge elected under s. 755.01 (4) and for each committee which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to such a candidate, but not any candidate for state office, is the county clerk or board of election commissioners of the county having the largest portion of the population in the jurisdiction served by the judge.
11.02(3m) (3m) The "filing officer" for an individual who or committee which supports or opposes an effort to circulate and file a petition to recall an individual who holds an office is the filing officer for candidates for that office.
11.02(4) (4) The "filing officer" for each group which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any statewide referendum is the board.
11.02(5) (5) The "filing officer" for each group which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any statewide and local referenda is the board.
11.02(6) (6) The "filing officer" for each group which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any local referendum, but not any statewide referendum, is the clerk of the most populous jurisdiction in which any referendum being supported or opposed is conducted.
11.02(7) (7) If the jurisdiction under sub. (3) or (6) is a school district, the appropriate clerk is the school district clerk.
11.02 History History: 1975 c. 93; 1983 a. 491; 1985 a. 225, 303; 1999 a. 182.
11.03 11.03 Nonapplicability.
11.03(1)(1) Elections for the positions of presidential elector and convention delegate are not subject to ss. 11.05 to 11.23 and 11.26 to 11.29.
11.03(2) (2) Except as otherwise expressly provided, this chapter does not apply to any candidate for national office acting exclusively in support of the candidate's own campaign, with respect to such activities only.
11.03(3) (3) Except as otherwise expressly provided, this chapter does not apply to any individual or committee acting exclusively in support of or in opposition to any of the following:
11.03(3)(a) (a) Candidates for national office.
11.03(3)(b) (b) Other individuals and committees exclusively supporting or opposing candidates for national office.
11.04 11.04 Registration and voting drives. Except as provided in s. 11.25 (2) (b), ss. 11.05 to 11.23 and 11.26 do not apply to nonpartisan campaigns to increase voter registration or participation at any election that are not directed at supporting or opposing any specific candidate, political party, or referendum.
11.04 History History: 1973 c. 334; 1979 c. 328.
11.05 11.05 Registration of political committees, groups and individuals.
11.05(1)(1) Committees and groups. Except as provided in s. 9.10 (2) (d), every committee other than a personal campaign committee which makes or accepts contributions, incurs obligations, or makes disbursements in a calendar year in an aggregate amount in excess of $300, and every political group subject to registration under s. 11.23 shall file a statement with the appropriate filing officer giving the information required by sub. (3). In the case of any committee other than a personal campaign committee, the statement shall be filed by the treasurer. A personal campaign committee shall register under sub. (2g) or (2r).
11.05(2) (2)Individuals. Except as provided in s. 9.10 (2) (d), every individual, other than a candidate or agent of a candidate, who accepts contributions, incurs obligations, or makes disbursements in a calendar year in an aggregate amount in excess of $300 to support or oppose the election or nomination of a candidate at an election and every individual subject to registration under s. 11.23 shall file a statement with the appropriate filing officer giving the information required by sub. (3). An individual who guarantees a loan on which an individual, committee or group subject to a registration requirement defaults is not subject to registration under this subsection solely as a result of such default.
11.05(2g) (2g)Candidates and personal campaign committees. Every candidate as defined in s. 11.01 (1) shall file a registration statement with the appropriate filing officer giving the information required by sub. (3). If a candidate appoints another person as campaign treasurer the candidate's registration statement shall be cosigned by the candidate and the candidate's appointed treasurer. A candidate who receives no contributions and makes no disbursements shall file such statement as provided in s. 11.10 (1) but need not appoint a campaign treasurer or designate a campaign depository account until the first contribution is received or disbursement made.
11.05(2r) (2r)General reporting exemptions. Any committee, group, or individual, other than a committee or individual required to file an oath under s. 11.06 (7), who or which does not anticipate accepting contributions, making disbursements or incurring obligations in an aggregate amount in excess of $1,000 in a calendar year and does not anticipate accepting any contribution or contributions from a single source, other than contributions made by a candidate to his or her own campaign, exceeding $100 in that year, or exceeding $2,500 in that year for a group or individual subject to registration under s. 11.23, may indicate on its registration statement that the committee, group, or individual will not accept contributions, incur obligations or make disbursements in the aggregate in excess of $1,000 in any calendar year and will not accept any contribution or contributions from a single source, other than contributions made by a candidate to his or her own campaign, exceeding $100 in that year, or exceeding $2,500 in that year for a group or individual subject to registration under s. 11.23. Any registrant making such an indication is not subject to any filing requirement if the statement is true. The registrant need not file a termination report. A registrant not making such an indication on a registration statement is subject to a filing requirement. The indication may be revoked and the registrant is then subject to a filing requirement as of the date of revocation, or the date that aggregate contributions, disbursements or obligations for the calendar year exceed $1,000, or the date on which the registrant accepts any contribution or contributions exceeding $100 from a single source, or exceeding $2,500 from a single source for a group or individual subject to registration under s. 11.23, other than contributions made by a candidate to his or her own campaign, during that year, whichever is earlier. If the revocation is not timely, the registrant violates s. 11.27 (1).
11.05(3) (3)Required information. The statement of registration shall include, where applicable:
11.05(3)(a) (a) The name and mailing address of the committee, group or individual.
11.05(3)(c) (c) In the case of a committee, a statement as to whether the committee is a personal campaign committee, a political party committee, a legislative campaign committee, a support committee or a special interest committee.
11.05(3)(e) (e) The name and mailing address of the campaign treasurer and any other custodian of books and accounts. Unless otherwise directed by the registrant on the registration form and except as otherwise provided in this chapter or any rule of the board, all mailings which are required by law or by rule of the board shall be sent to the treasurer at the treasurer's address indicated upon the form.
11.05(3)(f) (f) The name, mailing address, and position of other principal officers, including officers and members of the finance committee, if any.
11.05(3)(h) (h) The nature of any referendum which is supported or opposed.
11.05(3)(L) (L) The name and address of the campaign depository account and of any other institution where funds are kept and the account number of the depository account and of each additional account and safety deposit box used.
11.05(3)(n) (n) In the case of a labor organization, separate segregated fund under s. 11.38 (1) (a) 2. or conduit established by a labor organization, a statement as to whether the organization is incorporated, and if so, the date of incorporation and whether or not such incorporation is under ch. 181.
11.05(3)(o) (o) In the case of a legislative campaign committee, a statement signed by the leader of the party in the house for which the committee is established attesting to the fact that the committee is the only authorized legislative campaign committee for that party in that house.
11.05(3)(p) (p) In the case of a support committee, a statement signed by the individual on whose behalf the committee intends to operate affirming that the committee is the only committee authorized to operate on his or her behalf, unless the committee files a statement under s. 11.06 (7).
11.05(3)(q) (q) In the case of a conduit, the name and mailing address of a sponsor, as defined in s. 11.185 (1), to which contributions may be redirected as provided under s. 11.185.
11.05(3m) (3m)Vacancies in nomination. Any personal campaign committee of an independent candidate for partisan office or a candidate for nonpartisan county or municipal office may file with its registration statement a list of the members of the committee, in addition to those specified in sub. (3) (e) and (f), who shall be recognized by the official or agency with whom the candidate's nomination papers are filed for the purpose of filling a vacancy in nomination in the event of the candidate's death. The board shall provide a place on the statement for such designations.
11.05(4) (4)Referendum registration. Every committee under this chapter which in addition operates as a political group must register under this section as a group. Every group which in addition operates as a political committee must register under this section as a committee. Except in the case of a personal campaign committee, an organization which operates as both a committee and a group and which has the same filing officer for both operations may file a single registration statement under this section.
11.05(5) (5)Change of information. Any change in information previously submitted in a statement of registration shall be reported by the registrant to the appropriate filing officer within 10 days following the change. This period does not apply in case of change of an indication made under sub. (2r), which shall be reported no later than the date that a registrant is subject to a filing requirement under sub. (2r). Any such change may be reported only by the individual or by the officer who has succeeded to the position of an individual who signed the original statement; but in the case of a personal campaign committee, a candidate or campaign treasurer may report a change in the statement except as provided in s. 11.10 (2), and in the case of any other committee or group, the chief executive officer or treasurer indicated on the statement may report a change. If a preexisting support committee is adopted by a candidate as his or her personal campaign committee, the candidate shall file an amendment to the committee's statement under this subsection indicating that all information contained in the statement is true, correct and complete.
11.05(5m) (5m)Certification. Every statement and every change made in a statement filed under this section shall contain a certification signed by the individual filing the statement that all information contained in the statement is true, correct and complete.
11.05(6) (6)Contribution or disbursement prohibited. Except as provided in subs. (7) and (13), no person, committee or group subject to a registration requirement may make any contribution or disbursement from property or funds received prior to the date of registration under this section.
11.05(7) (7)Change in status of new registrant. Notwithstanding sub. (6), any individual or organization who or which has received property or funds which were not intended for political purposes in connection with an election for state or local office at the time of receipt may make contributions or disbursements from such property or funds in connection with an election for state or local office if the individual or organization complies with applicable provisions of sub. (1), (2) or (2g) as soon as such intent changes. For purposes of s. 11.06 (1), all property or funds which are in a registrant's possession on the date of registration under this section shall be treated as received on the date that such intent changes so that the property or funds are to be used for political purposes in connection with an election for state or local office.
11.05(8) (8)Certain intra-registrant transfers exempt. If an organization which is not organized exclusively for political purposes makes a contribution from its own property or funds to a committee or group, affiliated with the organization, which is organized exclusively for political purposes, and the contributing organization receives no contribution from a single source in excess of $20 in the aggregate during any calendar year, and it makes no contributions or disbursements and incurs no obligations other than to make the transactions specified in this subsection, then no registration requirement applies to the contributing organization.
11.05(9) (9)Conduits.
11.05(9)(a)(a) For purposes of this chapter, every individual who and every committee or group which deposits a contribution in an account at a financial institution as defined in s. 705.01 (3) is considered to receive and accept the contribution.
11.05(9)(b) (b) An individual who or a committee or group which receives a contribution of money and transfers the contribution to another individual, committee or group while acting as a conduit is not subject to registration under this section unless the individual, committee or group transfers the contribution to a candidate or a personal campaign, legislative campaign, political party or support committee.
11.05(10) (10)Certain activity by spouses exempt. For purposes of compliance with the registration requirements of this section a husband and wife acting jointly for political purposes shall be considered an "individual" rather than a "committee".
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before June 30, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after July 1, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 7-1-14)