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.
This section applies to persons elected to state office who are seeking reelection or election to a different office and to the use of public funds for political purposes. 69 Atty. Gen. 259.
Solicitation of contributions from candidates restricted. 11.34(1)(1)
No person may demand, solicit, take, invite or receive from a candidate any gift of anything of value for a religious, charitable or fraternal cause or for any organization other than a political committee or group. No candidate may make, intimate or promise such a gift.
This section does not apply to payment of a regular subscription or contribution by a person to an organization of which the person is a member or to which the person may have been a regular contributor prior to the person's candidacy or to ordinary contributions at a regular church service.
Political solicitation involving public officials and employees restricted. 11.36(1)
No person may solicit or receive from any state officer or employee or from any officer or employee of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority any contribution or service for any political purpose while the officer or employee is engaged in his or her official duties, except that an elected state official may solicit and receive services not constituting a contribution from a state officer or employee or an officer or employee of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority with respect to a referendum only. Agreement to perform services authorized under this subsection may not be a condition of employment for any such officer or employee.
No person may solicit or receive from any officer or employee of a political subdivision of this state any contribution or service for any political purpose during established hours of employment or while the officer or employee is engaged in his or her official duties.
Every person who has charge or control in a building, office or room occupied for any purpose by this state, by any political subdivision thereof or by the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority shall prohibit the entry of any person into that building, office or room for the purpose of making or receiving a contribution.
No person may enter or remain in any building, office or room occupied for any purpose by the state, by any political subdivision thereof or by the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority or send or direct a letter or other notice thereto for the purpose of requesting or collecting a contribution.
In this section, "political purpose" includes an act done for the purpose of influencing the election or nomination for election of a person to national office, and "contribution" includes an act done for that purpose.
This section does not apply to response by a legal custodian or subordinate of the custodian to a request to locate, reproduce or inspect a record under s. 19.35
, if the request is processed in the same manner as the custodian or subordinate responds to other requests to locate, reproduce or inspect a record under s. 19.35
Travel by public officers. 11.37(1)
No person may use any vehicle or aircraft owned by the state or by any local governmental unit for any trip which is exclusively for the purposes of campaigning in support of or in opposition to any candidate for national, state or local office, unless use of the vehicle or aircraft is required for purposes of security protection provided by the state or local governmental unit.
No person may use any vehicle or aircraft owned by the state or by any local governmental unit for purposes which include campaigning in support of or in opposition to any candidate for national, state or local office, unless the person pays to the state or local governmental unit a fee which is comparable to the commercial market rate for the use of a similar vehicle or aircraft and for any services provided by the state or local governmental unit to operate the vehicle or aircraft. If a trip is made in part for a public purpose and in part for the purpose of campaigning, the person shall pay for the portion of the trip attributable to campaigning, but in no case less than 50% of the cost of the trip. The portion of the trip attributable to campaigning shall be determined by dividing the number of appearances made for campaign purposes by the total number of appearances. Fees payable to the state shall be prescribed by the secretary of administration and shall be deposited in the account under s. 20.855 (6) (h)
. Fees payable to a local governmental unit shall be prescribed by the governing body of the governmental unit.
Contributions and disbursements by corporations and cooperatives. 11.38(1)(a)1.1.
No foreign or domestic corporation, or association organized under ch. 185
, may make any contribution or disbursement, directly or indirectly, either independently or through any political party, committee, group, candidate or individual for any purpose other than to promote or defeat a referendum.
The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Wisconsin Right to Life v. Barland
, 751 F. 3d 804
(2014), held that subd. 1. is unconstitutional.
Notwithstanding subd. 1.
, any such corporation or association may establish and administer a separate segregated fund and solicit contributions from individuals to the fund to be utilized by such corporation or association, for the purpose of supporting or opposing any candidate for state or local office but the corporation or association may not make any contribution to the fund. The fund shall appoint a treasurer and shall register as a political committee under s. 11.05
. A parent corporation or association engaging solely in this activity is not subject to registration under s. 11.05
, but shall register and file special reports on forms prescribed by the board disclosing its administrative and solicitation expenses on behalf of such fund. A corporation not domiciled in this state need report only its expenses for administration and solicitation of contributions in this state together with a statement indicating where information concerning other administration and solicitation expenses of its fund may be obtained. The reports shall be filed with the filing officer for the fund specified in s. 11.02
in the manner in which continuing reports are filed under s. 11.20 (4)
No corporation or association specified in subd. 1.
may annually expend for solicitation of contributions to a fund established under subd. 2.
or to a conduit more than the greater of $20,000 or 20 percent of the amount of contributions in the previous year to the fund established under subd. 2.
or to a conduit.
The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Wisconsin Right to Life v. Barland
, 751 F. 3d 804
(2014), held that subd. 3. is unconstitutional.
No political party, committee, group, candidate or individual may accept any contribution or disbursement made to or on behalf of such individual or entity which is prohibited by this section.
This section does not affect the right of any individual to support candidates and purposes of the individual's own choosing or the individual's right to subscribe to a regularly published organization newspaper.
This section does not prohibit the publication of periodicals by a corporation, a cooperative, or an unincorporated cooperative association in the regular course of its affairs which advise the members, shareholders or subscribers of the disadvantages or advantages to their interests of the election to office of persons espousing certain measures, without reporting such activity.
This section does not apply to any labor organization which is incorporated under ch. 181
prior to January 1, 1978.
A violation of this section by an officer or employee of a corporation is prima facie evidence of a violation by the corporation.
Any corporation which violates this section shall forfeit double the amount of any penalty assessed under s. 11.60 (3)
Any individual or campaign treasurer who receives funds in violation of this section shall promptly return such funds to the contributor or donate the funds to the common school fund or a charitable organization, at the treasurer's option.
This section may not be construed to authorize any national bank or any corporation organized by authority of any law of congress to make a contribution or expenditure as defined by federal law in connection with any election to state or local office which is prohibited by federal law.
A corporation or association organized under ch. 185
which accepts contributions or makes disbursements for the purpose of influencing the outcome of a referendum is a political group and shall comply with s. 11.23
and other applicable provisions of this chapter.
Except as authorized in s. 11.05 (12) (b)
, prior to making any disbursement exceeding the amount specified under s. 11.23 (1)
on behalf of a political group which is promoting or opposing a particular vote at a referendum and prior to accepting any contribution or making any disbursement exceeding that amount to promote or oppose a particular vote at a referendum, a corporation or association organized under ch. 185
that becomes subject to a registration requirement under s. 11.23 (1)
shall register with the appropriate filing officer specified in s. 11.02
and appoint a treasurer. The registration form of the corporation or association under s. 11.05
shall designate an account separate from all other corporation or association accounts as a campaign depository account, through which all moneys received or expended for the adoption or rejection of the referendum shall pass. The corporation or association shall file periodic reports under s. 11.20
providing the information required under s. 11.06 (1)
Expenditures by a corporation or association to establish and administer a campaign depository account of a political group need not be made through the depository account and need not be reported.
See also s. GAB 6.04
, Wis. adm. code.
An individual illegally furnishing funds from a corporate account may be convicted under s. 11.24 (1). State v. Dreske, 88 Wis. 2d 60
, 276 N.W.2d 324
(Ct. App. 1979).
This section's prohibition against corporate political contributions and disbursements is broad and probably would bar, in most cases, purchases of advertising by a corporation in a political party publication. 65 Atty. Gen. 10.
The government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether. Federal law prohibiting corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make independent expenditures for speech defined as an "electioneering communication" or for speech expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate is unconstitutional. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310
, 130 S. Ct. 876
, 175 L. Ed. 2d 753