False reports and statements. 11.27(1)
No person may prepare or submit a false report or statement to a filing officer under this chapter.
In civil actions under this chapter, the acts of every member of a personal campaign committee are presumed to be with the knowledge and approval of the candidate, until it has been clearly proved that the candidate did not have knowledge of and approve the same.
History: 1973 c. 334
; 1979 c. 328
Communications for political purposes. 11.29(1)(1)
Nothing in this chapter restricts any corporation, cooperative, unincorporated cooperative association, or voluntary association other than a political party or personal campaign committee from making disbursements for the purpose of communicating only with its members, shareholders or subscribers to the exclusion of all other persons, with respect to endorsements of candidates, positions on a referendum or explanation of its views or interests, without reporting such activity. No such corporation, cooperative, or association may solicit contributions from persons who are not members, shareholders or subscribers to be used for such purposes.
Notwithstanding s. 11.12 (1)
, a political party committee may make single communications to its members at periodic intervals with respect to an explanation of its views or interests, a position on a referendum to be submitted to the voters, or endorsement of an entire slate of candidates at any jurisdictional level or levels. Such activity shall be reported by the party committee.
No communications medium may be utilized for communications authorized under this section unless the medium is restricted solely to members, shareholders or subscribers.
For purposes of this section, the members of a local or regional cooperative or unincorporated cooperative association are deemed to be members of a state cooperative or unincorporated cooperative association if the local or regional cooperative or unincorporated cooperative association is a member of the state cooperative or unincorporated cooperative association.
Attribution of political contributions, disbursements and communications. 11.30(1)
No disbursement may be made or obligation incurred anonymously, and no contribution or disbursement may be made or obligation incurred in a fictitious name or by one person or organization in the name of another for any political purpose.
The source of every printed advertisement, billboard, handbill, sample ballot, television or radio advertisement or other communication which is paid for by or through any contribution, disbursement or incurred obligation shall clearly appear thereon. This paragraph does not apply to communications for which reporting is not required under s. 11.06 (2)
Every such communication the cost of which is paid for or reimbursed by a committee or group, or for which a committee or group assumes responsibility, whether by the acceptance of a contribution or by the making of a disbursement, shall be identified by the words "Paid for by" followed by the name of the committee or group making the payment or reimbursement or assuming responsibility for the communication and the name of the treasurer or other authorized agent of such committee or group.
Every such communication which is directly paid for or reimbursed by an individual, including a candidate without a personal campaign committee who is serving as his or her own treasurer, or for which an individual assumes responsibility, whether by the acceptance of a contribution or by the making of a disbursement, shall be identified by the words "Paid for by" followed by the name of the candidate or other individual making the payment or reimbursement or assuming responsibility for the communication. No abbreviation may be used in identifying the name of a committee or group under this paragraph.
In addition to the requirements of pars. (a)
, a committee or individual required to file an oath under s. 11.06 (7)
shall also in every communication in support of or in opposition to any clearly identified candidate or candidates include the words "Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's agent or committee".
Communications under this section by a personal campaign committee may identify the committee or any bona fide subcommittee thereof.
The source of each printed advertisement, billboard, handbill, paid television or radio advertisement or other communication made for the purpose of influencing the recall from or retention in office of an individual holding a state or local office shall clearly appear thereon in the manner prescribed in pars. (b)
This subsection does not apply to the preparation and transmittal of personal correspondence or the production, wearing or display of a single personal item which is not reproduced or manufactured by machine or other equipment for sale or distribution to more than one individual.
This subsection does not apply to communications printed on pins, buttons, pens, balloons, nail files and similar small items on which the information required by this subsection cannot be conveniently printed. The board may, by rule, specify small items not mentioned in this paragraph to which this subsection shall not apply.
This subsection does not apply to nonadvertising material contained in a regularly published newsletter by an organization which is expressing its political views with respect to elections which are of concern to its membership, provided that distribution of such newsletter is restricted to such membership.
Notwithstanding par. (a)
, the attributions required by this subsection in written communications shall be readable, legible and readily accessible.
Notwithstanding pars. (a)
, any communication making a solicitation on behalf of more than one candidate for a joint fund raising effort or program pursuant to an escrow agreement under s. 11.16 (5)
may omit the names of the candidates or personal campaign committees assuming responsibility for the communication if the communication discloses that a joint fund raising effort or program is being conducted on behalf of named candidates.
No person may publish or disseminate, or cause to be published or disseminated any communication in violation of this subsection. A communications medium which in good faith relies on the representations of any person who places an advertisement with such medium as to the applicability of this subsection to such person does not violate this paragraph as a result of publication or dissemination of that advertisement based on such representations, provided that the representations are reasonable.
This subsection applies to the following persons who own any financial interest in a newspaper or periodical circulating in this state or in any radio or television station located in this state:
Every person occupying any office or position with an annual compensation over $300, under the constitution or laws of the United States or of this state or under an ordinance of any municipality of this state.
Every candidate or member of any committee or group under this chapter.
Any person named in par. (a)
is guilty of a violation of this chapter unless, before using the communications medium for political purposes other than as provided for in sub. (2)
, there is filed with the board a verified declaration specifically stating the communications medium in which the person has financial interest or over which the person has control and the exact nature and extent of the interest or control.
No owner or other person with a financial interest in a communications medium may utilize such medium in support of or in opposition to a candidate or referendum except as provided in this chapter.
This chapter shall not be construed to restrict coverage of bona fide news stories, interviews with candidates and other politically active individuals, editorial comment or editorials by any broadcasting station, cable television operator or producer, Internet site, or newspaper or other periodical publication, including an Internet or electronic publication, unless the communication is made by a candidate, personal campaign committee, support committee of a candidate authorized under s. 11.05 (3) (p)
, or a political party. Activities that are not restricted under this subsection are not subject to an attribution requirement under sub. (2)
and need not be reported as a contribution or disbursement.
Whenever any person receives payment from another person, in cash or in-kind, for the direct or indirect cost of conducting a poll concerning support or opposition to a candidate, political party or referendum, the person conducting the poll shall, upon request of any person who is polled, disclose the name and address of the person making payment for the poll and, in the case of a registrant under s. 11.05
, the name of the treasurer of the person making payment.
This section is unconstitutional, as applied to the plaintiff's case — an individual advocating against the adoption of a local referendum. While the government's asserted interests: 1) to provide for an informed electorate; 2) to prevent corruption or the appearance thereof in the democratic process; and 3) to maintain the integrity of the electoral process, may be important and, even compelling in the context of regulating contributions in elections for public office, they are not relevant in referenda elections. Hatchett v. Barland, 816 F. Supp. 2d 583
Disbursement levels; calculation. 11.31(1)
The following levels of disbursements are established with reference to the candidates listed below. The levels do not operate to restrict the total amount of disbursements which are made or authorized to be made by any candidate in any primary or other election.
Candidates for lieutenant governor, $323,475.
Candidates for attorney general, $539,000.
Candidates for secretary of state, state treasurer, state superintendent, or justice, $215,625.
Candidates for court of appeals judge, $86,250.
Candidates for state senator, $34,500 total in the primary and election, with disbursements not exceeding $21,575 for either the primary or the election.
Candidates for representative to the assembly, $17,250 total in the primary and election, with disbursements not exceeding $10,775 for either the primary or the election.
Candidates for district attorney in any prosecutorial unit with a population of 500,000 or less, $86,250.
In any jurisdiction or district, other than a judicial district or circuit, with a population of 500,000 or more according to the most recent federal census covering the entire jurisdiction or district:
Candidates for any countywide elective office not specified in par. (dm)
or subd. 1.
For the following offices in cities of the 1st class:
Candidates for any local office, who are elected from a jurisdiction or district with less than 500,000 inhabitants according to the latest federal census or census information on which the district is based, as certified by the appropriate filing officer, an amount equal to the greater of the following:
% of the annual salary for the office sought, rounded to the nearest multiple of $25.
cents per inhabitant of the jurisdiction or district, but in no event more than $43,125.
(5) Separation of periods.
A disbursement is made for the purposes of the election under this section when a person or committee contracts for goods to be delivered or services to be performed after the date of the primary, regardless of the time at which the contract is entered into by the contracting person or committee.
For purposes of this section, the "campaign" of a candidate extends from July 1 preceding the date on which the spring primary or election occurs or January 1 preceding the date on which the partisan primary or general election occurs for the office which the candidate seeks, or from the date of the candidate's public announcement, whichever is earlier, through the last day of the month following the month in which the election or primary is held.
Disbursements which are made before a campaign period for goods to be delivered or services to be rendered in connection with the campaign are allocated to the disbursement level for that campaign.
Disbursements which are made after a campaign to retire a debt incurred in relation to a campaign are allocated to the disbursement level for that campaign.
Disbursements which are made outside a campaign period and to which par. (b)
does not apply are not subject to any disbursement level. Such disbursements are subject to s. 11.25 (2)
(8) Certain contributions excluded.
The levels specified in this section do not apply to a gift of anything of value constituting a contribution made directly to a registrant by another, but the levels do apply to such a gift when it is received and accepted by the recipient or if received in the form of money, when disbursed.
See also s. GAB 6.04
, Wis. adm. code.
Compensation for political advertisements. 11.32(1)(1)
No owner, agent or employee of any communications medium may solicit, receive or accept any payment, promise or compensation, nor may any person pay, promise to pay or compensate such person, for the purpose of influencing voting at any election through any broadcast or printed matter unless designated as a paid advertisement under s. 11.30
No person publishing a newspaper or periodical or operating a radio or television station may receive rates for publishing or broadcasting advertising for political purposes in excess of the rate regularly charged for commercial advertising of a similar character and classification. No person, committee or group placing such advertising may pay any rate or charge in excess of the regularly charged rate.
History: 1973 c. 334
Use of government materials by candidates. 11.33(1)(a)(a)
No person elected to state or local office who becomes a candidate for national, state or local office may use public funds for the cost of materials or distribution for 50 or more pieces of substantially identical material distributed after:
In the case of a candidate who is nominated by nomination papers, the first day authorized by law for circulation of nomination papers as a candidate.
In the case of a candidate who is nominated at a primary election by write-in votes, the day the board of canvassers issues its determination that the person is nominated.
In the case of a candidate who is nominated at a caucus, the date of the caucus.
In the case of any other candidate who is nominated solely by filing a declaration of candidacy, the first day of the month preceding the month which includes the last day for filing the declaration.
This subsection applies until after the date of the election or after the date of the primary election if the person appears as a candidate on a primary election ballot and is not nominated at the primary election.
This section does not apply to use of public funds for the costs of the following, when not done for a political purpose:
Answers to communications of constituents.
Actions taken by a state or local government administrative officer pursuant to a specific law, ordinance or resolution which authorizes or directs the actions to be taken.
Communications not exceeding 500 pieces by members of the legislature relating solely to the subject matter of a special session or extraordinary session, made during the period between the date that the session is called or scheduled and 14 days after adjournment of the session.
Except as provided in sub. (2)
, it is not a defense to a violation of sub. (1)
that a person was not acting with a political purpose. This subsection applies irrespective of the distributor's intentions as to political office, the content of the materials, the manner of distribution, the pattern and frequency of distribution and the value of the distributed materials.