11.1304   Duties of the ethics commission.
SUBCHAPTER XIV
PENALTIES
11.1400   Civil penalties.
11.1401   Criminal penalties; prosecution.
Ch. 11 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See definitions in s. 5.02.
subch. I of ch. 11 SUBCHAPTER I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
11.0100 11.0100 Construction. This chapter shall be construed to impose the least possible restraint on persons whose activities do not directly affect the elective process, consistent with the right of the public to have a full, complete, and readily understandable accounting of those activities expressly advocating for or against candidates for office or for or against referendums. Nothing in this chapter may be construed to regulate issue discussion, debate, or advocacy; grassroots outreach or lobbying; nonpartisan voter registration or turnout efforts; or the rights of the media.
11.0100 History History: 2015 a. 117.
11.0100 Annotation Campaign finance in Wisconsin after Buckley. 1976 WLR 816.
11.0101 11.0101 Definitions. In this chapter:
11.0101(1) (1) “Candidate" means an individual about whom any of the following applies:
11.0101(1)(a) (a) The individual takes any of the following affirmative actions to seek nomination or election to a state or local office:
11.0101(1)(a)1. 1. Files nomination papers with the appropriate filing officer.
11.0101(1)(a)2. 2. Is nominated as a candidate for state or local office by a caucus under s. 8.05 (1) or by a political party and the nomination is certified to the appropriate filing officer.
11.0101(1)(a)3. 3. Receives a contribution, makes a disbursement, or gives consent for another person to receive a contribution or make a disbursement in order to bring about the individual's nomination or election to a state or local office.
11.0101(1)(b) (b) The individual holds a state or local office and is the subject of a recall petition.
11.0101(1)(c) (c) The individual holds a state or local office.
11.0101(2) (2) “Candidate committee" means a committee authorized by a candidate or a candidate's agent to make or accept contributions or make disbursements in support of a candidate's campaign.
11.0101(3) (3) “Candidate's agent" means an individual who has control over the day-to-day operation of the candidate committee, but does not include an employee of a political party or a legislative campaign committee that is not also an employee of the candidate.
11.0101(4) (4) “Charitable organization" means any organization described in section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
11.0101(5) (5) “Clearly identified" means any of the following with regard to a communication supporting or opposing a candidate:
11.0101(5)(a) (a) The candidate's name appears or is stated.
11.0101(5)(b) (b) A photograph or drawing of the candidate appears.
11.0101(5)(c) (c) The candidate's identity is apparent by unambiguous reference.
11.0101(5m) (5m) “Commission" means the ethics commission.
11.0101 Note NOTE: Sub. (5m) was created as s. 11.01 (4m) by 2015 Wis. Act 118 and renumbered to s. 11.0101 (5m) by the legislative reference bureau under s. 13.92 (1) (bm) 2.
11.0101(6) (6) “Committee" means a candidate committee, legislative campaign committee, political action committee, independent expenditure committee, political party, recall committee, and referendum committee.
11.0101(7) (7) “Conduit" means a person other than an individual that receives a contribution of money, deposits the contribution in an account held by the person, and releases the contribution to a candidate committee, legislative campaign committee, political party, or political action committee at the direction of the contributor.
11.0101(8) (8)
11.0101(8)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (b), “contribution" means any of the following:
11.0101(8)(a)1. 1. A gift, subscription, loan, advance, or transfer of money to a committee.
11.0101(8)(a)2. 2. With the committee's consent under s. 11.1109, a transfer of tangible personal property or services to a committee, valued as provided under s. 11.1105.
11.0101(8)(a)3. 3. A transfer of funds between committees.
11.0101(8)(a)4. 4. The purchase of a ticket for a fundraising event for a committee regardless of whether the ticket is used to attend the event.
11.0101(8)(b) (b) “Contribution" does not include any of the following:
11.0101(8)(b)1. 1. Services that an individual provides to a committee, if the individual is not specifically compensated for providing the services to the committee.
11.0101(8)(b)2. 2. Any unreimbursed travel expenses that an individual incurs to volunteer his or her personal services to a committee.
11.0101(8)(b)3. 3. The costs of preparing and transmitting personal correspondence.
11.0101(8)(b)4. 4. Interest earned on an interest-bearing account.
11.0101(8)(b)5. 5. Rebates or awards earned in connection with the use of a debit or credit card.
11.0101(8)(b)6. 6. A loan from a commercial lending institution that the institution makes in its ordinary course of business.
11.0101(8)(b)7. 7. The reuse of surplus materials or the use of unused surplus materials acquired in connection with a previous campaign for or against the same candidate, political party, or recall if the materials were previously reported as a contribution.
11.0101(8)(b)8. 8. The cost of invitations, food, and beverages in connection with an event held in a private residence on behalf of a candidate committee.
11.0101(8)(b)9. 9. Any communication that does not expressly advocate for the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate.
11.0101(8)(b)10. 10. A communication made exclusively between an organization and its members. In this subdivision, a member of an organization means a shareholder, employee, or officer of the organization, or an individual who has affirmatively manifested an interest in joining, supporting, or aiding the organization.
11.0101(8)(b)11. 11. Any cost incurred to conduct 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 computers, software, Internet domain names, Internet service providers, and any other technology that is used to provide access to or use of the Internet, but not including professional video production services purchased by the individual.
11.0101(8)(b)12. 12. Any 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 unless a committee owns the medium in which the news story, commentary, or editorial appears.
11.0101(8)(b)13. 13. An expenditure of funds by a sponsoring organization for a political action committee's administrative or solicitation expenses.
11.0101(8)(b)14. 14. An expenditure of funds by a sponsoring organization for an independent expenditure committee's administrative or solicitation expenses.
11.0101(8)(b)15. 15. An expenditure of funds by a sponsor, as defined in s. 11.0705 (1), for a conduit's administrative or solicitation expenses.
11.0101(9) (9) “Corporation" includes a foreign limited liability company, as defined in s. 183.0102 (8) and a limited liability company, as defined in s. 183.0102 (10), if the foreign limited liability company or the limited liability company elect to be treated as a corporation by the federal internal revenue service, pursuant to 26 CFR 301.7701-3, or if the foreign limited liability company or the limited liability company has publicly traded shares.
11.0101(10) (10)
11.0101(10)(a)(a) “Disbursement" means any of the following:
11.0101(10)(a)1. 1. An expenditure by a committee from the committee's depository account.
11.0101(10)(a)2. 2. The transfer of tangible personal property or services by a committee.
11.0101(10)(a)3. 3. A transfer of funds between committees.
11.0101(10)(b) (b) “Disbursement" does not include any of the following:
11.0101(10)(b)1. 1. A communication made exclusively between an organization and its members. In this subdivision, a member of an organization means a shareholder, employee, or officer of the organization, or an individual who has affirmatively manifested an interest in joining, supporting or aiding the organization.
11.0101(10)(b)2. 2. 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 computers, software, Internet domain names, Internet service providers, and any other technology that is used to provide access to or use of the Internet, but not including professional video production services purchased by the individual.
11.0101(10)(b)3. 3. Any 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 unless a committee owns the medium in which the news story, commentary, or editorial appears.
11.0101(10)(b)4. 4. A nominal fee paid for a communication to the general public.
11.0101(10)(b)5. 5. An expenditure of funds by a sponsoring organization for a political action committee's administrative or solicitation expenses.
11.0101(10)(b)6. 6. An expenditure of funds by a sponsoring organization for an independent expenditure committee's administrative or solicitation expenses.
11.0101(10)(b)7. 7. An expenditure of funds by a sponsor, as defined in s. 11.0705 (1), for a conduit's administrative or solicitation expenses.
11.0101(10)(b)8. 8. An expenditure of funds for a political action committee's fundraising and administrative expenses.
11.0101(10)(b)9. 9. An expenditure of funds for an independent expenditure committee's fundraising and administrative expenses.
11.0101(10)(b)10. 10. An expenditure of funds for a conduit's fundraising and administrative expenses.
11.0101(11) (11) “Express advocacy" means a communication that contains terms such as the following with reference to a clearly identified candidate and that unambiguously relates to the election or defeat of that candidate:
11.0101(11)(a) (a) “Vote for".
11.0101(11)(b) (b) “Elect".
11.0101(11)(c) (c) “Support".
11.0101(11)(d) (d) “Cast your ballot for".
11.0101(11)(e) (e) “Smith for ... (an elective office)".
11.0101(11)(f) (f) “Vote against".
11.0101(11)(g) (g) “Defeat".
11.0101(11)(h) (h) “Reject".
11.0101(11)(i) (i) “Cast your ballot against".
11.0101(12) (12) “Federal account committee" means a committee of a state political party organization that makes contributions to candidates for national office and is registered with the federal election commission.
11.0101(13) (13) “Federal candidate committee" means a committee of a candidate for the U.S. senate or house of representatives from this state that the candidate designates under 2 USC 432 (e).
11.0101(14) (14) “Filing officer" means the commission, board of election commissioners, or official assigned to a committee or conduit under s. 11.0102.
11.0101(15) (15) “General election" means the election held in even-numbered years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November to elect United States senators, representatives in congress, presidential electors, state senators, representatives to the assembly, district attorneys, state officers other than the state superintendent and judicial officers, and county officers other than supervisors and county executives.
11.0101(16) (16) “Independent expenditure" means an expenditure for express advocacy by a person, if the expenditure is not made in coordination with a candidate, candidate committee, candidate's agent, legislative campaign committee, or political party, as prohibited under s. 11.1203.
11.0101(17) (17) “Independent expenditure committee" means any person, other than an individual, or any permanent or temporary combination of 2 or more persons unrelated by marriage that satisfies any of the following:
11.0101(17)(a) (a) It has the major purpose of making independent expenditures, as specified in the person's organizational or governing documents, the person's bylaws, resolutions of the person's governing body, or registration statements filed by the person under this chapter.
11.0101 Note NOTE: Par. (a) was created as subd. 1. by 2015 Wis. Act 117 and renumbered to par. (a) by the legislative reference bureau under s. 13.92 (1) (bm) 2.
11.0101(17)(b) (b) It uses more than 50 percent of its total spending in a 12-month period on independent expenditures and expenditures made to support or defeat a referendum. In this subdivision, total spending does not include a committee's fundraising or administrative expenses.
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2015-16 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2017 Wis. Act 2 and all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders effective on or before March 27, 2017. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after March 27, 2017 are designated by NOTES. (Published 3-27-17)