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HF 49

as introduced - 84th Legislature (2005 - 2006) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 01/06/2005

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to elections; establishing a voluntary clean
campaign council, a clean campaign pledge, and a clean
campaign advertising code; clarifying definitions of
campaign expenditures and independent expenditures;
clarifying requirements for disclaimers on campaign
material; amending Minnesota Statutes 2004, sections
10A.01, subdivisions 9, 18; 10A.14, subdivision 2;
10A.24, by adding a subdivision; 211B.04; proposing
coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 10A.01,
subdivision 9, is amended to read:


Subd. 9.

Campaign expenditure.

new text begin(a) new text end"Campaign
expenditure" or "expenditure" means a purchase or payment of
money or anything of value, or an advance of credit, made or
incurred for the purpose of influencing the nomination or
election of a candidate or for the purpose of promoting or
defeating a ballot question.

new text begin (b) "Expenditure" includes a cost incurred to design,
produce, or disseminate a communication if the communication
contains words such as "vote for," "reelect," "(name of
candidate) for (office)," "vote against," "defeat," or another
phrase or campaign slogan that in context can have no reasonable
meaning other than to advocate support for or opposition to the
nomination or election of one or more clearly identified
candidates.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Expenditure" is presumed to include a cost incurred to
design, produce, or disseminate a communication if the
communication names or depicts one or more clearly identified
candidates; is disseminated during the 45 days before a primary
election, during the 60 days before a general election, or
during a special election cycle until election day; and the cost
exceeds the following amounts for a communication naming or
depicting a candidate for the following offices:
new text end

new text begin (1) $500 for a candidate for governor, lieutenant governor,
attorney general, secretary of state, or state auditor; or
new text end

new text begin (2) $100 for a candidate for state senator or
representative.
new text end

new text begin An individual or association presumed under this paragraph
to have made an expenditure may rebut the presumption by an
affidavit signed by the spender and filed with the board stating
that the cost was not incurred with intent to influence the
nomination, election, or defeat of any candidate, supported by
any additional evidence the spender chooses to submit. The
board may consider any additional evidence it deems relevant and
material and must determine by a preponderance of the evidence
whether the cost was incurred with intent to influence the
nomination, election, or defeat of a candidate.
new text end

new text begin (d) new text endAn expenditure is considered to be made in the year in
which the candidate made the purchase of goods or services or
incurred an obligation to pay for goods or services.

new text begin (e) new text endAn expenditure made for the purpose of defeating a
candidate is considered made for the purpose of influencing the
nomination or election of that candidate or any opponent of that
candidate.

new text begin (f) new text endExcept as provided in clause (1), "expenditure"
includes the dollar value of a donation in kind.

new text begin (g) new text end"Expenditure" does not include:

(1) noncampaign disbursements as defined in subdivision 26;

(2) services provided without compensation by an individual
volunteering personal time on behalf of a candidate, ballot
question, political committee, political fund, principal
campaign committee, or party unit; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

(3) the publishing or broadcasting of news items or
editorial comments by the news medianew text begin, if the news medium is not
owned by or affiliated with any candidate or principal campaign
committee; or
new text end

new text begin (4) a cost incurred by an association for a communication
targeted to inform solely its own dues-paying members of the
association's position on a candidate
new text end.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 10A.01,
subdivision 18, is amended to read:


Subd. 18.

Independent expenditure.

new text begin(a) new text end"Independent
expenditure" means an expenditure deleted text beginexpressly advocating the
election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, if the
expenditure
deleted text endnew text beginthat new text endis made without the express or implied consent,
authorization, or cooperation of, and not in concert with or at
the request or suggestion of, any candidate or any candidate's
principal campaign committee or agent. An independent
expenditure is not a contribution to that candidate. deleted text beginAn
expenditure by a political party or political party unit in a
race where the political party has a candidate on the ballot is
not an independent expenditure.
deleted text end

new text begin (b) An expenditure is presumed to be not independent if,
for example:
new text end

new text begin (1) in the same election cycle in which the expenditure
occurs, the spender or the spender's agent retains the
professional services of an individual or entity that, in a
nonministerial capacity, provides or has provided
campaign-related service, including polling or other campaign
research, media consulting or production, direct mail, or
fund-raising, to a candidate supported by the spender for
nomination or election to the same office as any candidate whose
nomination or election the expenditure is intended to influence
or to a political party working in coordination with the
supported candidate;
new text end

new text begin (2) the expenditure pays for a communication that
disseminates, in whole or in substantial part, a broadcast or
written, graphic, or other form of campaign material designed,
produced, or distributed by the candidate or the candidate's
principal campaign committee or their agents;
new text end

new text begin (3) the expenditure is based on information about the
candidate's electoral campaign plans, projects, or needs that is
provided by the candidate or the candidate's principal campaign
committee or their agents directly or indirectly to the spender
or the spender's agent, with an express or tacit understanding
that the spender is considering making the expenditure;
new text end

new text begin (4) before the election, the spender or the spender's agent
informs a candidate or the principal campaign committee or agent
of a candidate for the same office as a candidate clearly
identified in a communication paid for by the expenditure about
the communication's contents; timing, location, mode, or
frequency of dissemination; or intended audience; or
new text end

new text begin (5) in the same election cycle in which the expenditure
occurs, the spender or the spender's agent is serving or has
served in an executive, policy-making, fund-raising, or advisory
position with the candidate's campaign or has participated in
strategic or policy-making discussions with the candidate's
campaign relating to the candidate's pursuit of nomination or
election to office and the candidate is pursuing the same office
as a candidate whose nomination or election the expenditure is
intended to influence.
new text end

new text begin An individual or association presumed under this paragraph
to have made an expenditure that was not independent may rebut
the presumption by an affidavit signed by the spender and filed
with the board stating that the expenditure was made without the
express or implied consent, authorization, or cooperation of,
and not in concert with or at the request or suggestion of, any
candidate or any candidate's principal campaign committee or
agent, supported by any additional evidence the spender chooses
to submit. The board may consider any additional evidence it
deems relevant and material and must determine by a
preponderance of the evidence whether the expenditure was
independent.
new text end

new text begin (c) An expenditure by anyone other than a principal
campaign committee that does not qualify as an independent
expenditure under this subdivision is deemed to be an approved
expenditure under subdivision 4.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 10A.14,
subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Form.

The statement of organization must
include:

(1) the name and address of the committee, fund, or party
unit;

(2) the name and address of the chair of a political
committee, principal campaign committee, or party unit;

(3) the name and address of any supporting association of a
political fund;

(4) the name and address of the treasurer and any deputy
treasurers;

(5) a listing of all depositories or safety deposit boxes
used; and

(6) for the state committee of a political party only, a
list of its party units.

new text begin For purposes of clause (1), the name of a principal campaign
committee must include the surname of the candidate and the name
of a political party unit must include the full name of the
political party.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 10A.24, is
amended by adding a subdivision to read:


new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Termination delayed. new text end

new text begin A political committee,
political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit that
has made independent expenditures during an election cycle may
not terminate until the end of the election cycle.
new text end

Sec. 5.

new text begin [10A.38] CLEAN CAMPAIGN COUNCIL.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Findings. new text end

new text begin (a) The legislature finds that
the political campaign process is being overwhelmed with
intensive campaign advertising attacks by candidates, political
parties, and outside interest groups, in which opponents are
attacked with misleading or even false information. The
democratic process needs an open, vigorous debate on issues and
between candidates, and criticism of candidates is necessary and
desirable as part of that vigorous debate. However, much of the
current negative advertising does not contribute to the
democratic process. These negative attacks stifle the First
Amendment, which was designed to secure "the widest possible
dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic
sources," and "to assure unfettered interchange of ideas for the
bringing about of political and social changes desired by the
people." These negative attack ads undermine democracy and the
First Amendment in the ways set out in this subdivision.
new text end

new text begin (b) Many of the attack ads provide intentionally misleading
and even false information to voters. Flooding the public with
distorted and inaccurate information from candidates and other
political organizations does not foster a vigorous debate, but
drowns out the ability of candidates, citizens, and other groups
to present accurate information on issues, visions, and
priorities.
new text end

new text begin (c) Many negative attacks are designed to prevent rebuttal,
coming too late for even the best-organized campaigns to have a
chance to respond. Others are designed to prevent rebuttal by
carefully targeted telephone calls or mailings so the candidate
being attacked is never even aware of the attack.
new text end

new text begin (d) Many negative attacks undermine public confidence in
the democratic process and political candidates, leaving many
citizens so disgusted that they do not bother to vote.
new text end

new text begin Developing a statutory means of blocking the unfair,
negative attacks that are undermining the political process
while strengthening the robust debate that is required in a
democracy is difficult at best. However, a voluntary means of
discouraging the unfair, negative attacks is desirable and
necessary for a healthy democracy. Although a voluntary means
would not contain legal sanctions for violators, it could be
successful by creating social sanctions if the media and the
public speak out against dirty ads and campaign tactics.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Purpose. new text end

new text begin This section is designed to foster the
formation of a nonpartisan, nonprofit council that would create
a voluntary code to discourage unfair, negative attacks while
encouraging a robust debate on issues and candidates.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Task force. new text end

new text begin The campaign finance and public
disclosure board must convene a task force whose goal is to
establish a clean campaign council modeled on the Minnesota news
council. The task force may include representatives from the
media, nonprofit political "watchdog" groups, former candidates,
and members of the public. The council may request
contributions from nonstate sources, such as foundations, the
media, and individuals.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Clean campaign advertising code. new text end

new text begin (a) The
council may establish a clean campaign advertising code designed
to foster fair and clean campaigns by establishing voluntary
restrictions on campaign communications to prevent smear
tactics. In addition to any other provisions of the code
developed by the council, the code may include the requirements
set out in this subdivision.
new text end

new text begin (b) A campaign communication paid for or approved by the
principal campaign committee of a candidate that is in the form
of a paid advertisement, billboard, mass mailing, leaflet, or
flyer that criticizes an opponent of a candidate must be limited
to statements by the candidate, not by a supporter of or
surrogate for the candidate.
new text end

new text begin (c) A campaign communication criticizing an opponent of a
candidate may not contain a photo or audio or video recording of
the opponent that has been distorted, retouched, or morphed in
any way. A recording must be played in real time.
new text end

new text begin (d) A campaign communication that criticizes an opponent of
a candidate may not be published in the last three weeks before
the primary or general election in a legislative race or in the
last ten days before the primary or general election in a
statewide race, except to respond to criticism of the candidate
by an opponent, or a new position taken by an opponent, during
that time.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Enforcement of code. new text end

new text begin (a) A person may submit a
campaign communication to the council to determine whether it
complies with the clean campaign advertising code. During the
nine months preceding the general election, the determination
should be made within 72 hours after the council receives the
submission. During the last three weeks before the primary or
general election, the determination should be made within 24
hours after the council receives the submission. The council
may delegate the determination to the staff of the council.
new text end

new text begin (b) If the communication is submitted before it is
published, the council may grant the publisher permission to
display with the communication a clean campaign advertising logo
approved by the council. If the communication is submitted
after it has been published and the council determines that it
violates the code, the council should notify the person
submitting it, the media, and all candidates in the race that it
violates the code and the nature of the violation.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Clean campaign pledge. new text end

new text begin (a) The council may
create a clean campaign pledge. In addition to any other
provisions of the pledge developed by the council, a candidate
who signs the pledge agrees to:
new text end

new text begin (1) abide by the clean campaign advertising code;
new text end

new text begin (2) publicly repudiate and urge voters to ignore any
campaign communication in support of the candidate, or in
opposition to an opponent of the candidate, that violates the
clean campaign advertising code or that would violate the code
if made by the principal campaign committee of the candidate;
new text end

new text begin (3) not criticize an opponent in a campaign communication
that is deceptive, misleading, or taken out of context;
new text end

new text begin (4) not disseminate any campaign communication that appeals
to hatred of or discrimination against persons in classes
protected by the Minnesota Human Rights Act;
new text end

new text begin (5) take full responsibility for campaign communications
designed, produced, or disseminated by the candidate's principal
campaign committee;
new text end

new text begin (6) not use push-polling or any other organized telephone
calling that criticizes an opponent of the candidate;
new text end

new text begin (7) publicly repudiate and urge voters to ignore any
push-polling or any other organized telephone calling that
criticizes an opponent of the candidate; and
new text end

new text begin (8) participate in at least two debates, if a candidate for
legislative office, or at least eight debates, if a candidate
for statewide office.
new text end

new text begin (b) The council may notify the media of the candidates who
have signed the clean campaign pledge.
new text end

new text begin (c) The council may consider a complaint that a candidate
has violated the clean campaign pledge and issue an opinion on
the complaint.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 211B.04, is
amended to read:


211B.04 CAMPAIGN LITERATURE MUST INCLUDE DISCLAIMER.

(a) A person who participates in the preparation or
dissemination of campaign material other than as provided in
section 211B.05, subdivision 1, that does not prominently
include the name and address of the person or committee causing
the material to be prepared or disseminated in a disclaimer
substantially in the form provided in paragraph (b) or (c) is
guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) Except in cases covered by paragraph (c), the required
form of disclaimer is: "Prepared and paid for by the ..........
committee, .........(address)" for material prepared and paid
for by a principal campaign committee, or "Prepared and paid for
by the .......... committee, .........(address), in support of
.........(insert name of candidate or ballot question)" for
material prepared and paid for by a person or committee other
than a principal campaign committee. new text beginThe committee name given
in the disclaimer for a committee that is registered with the
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board must be its full
name as registered with the board.
new text end

(c) In the case of broadcast media, the required form of
disclaimer is: "Paid for by the ............ committee."

(d) Campaign material that is not circulated on behalf of a
particular candidate or ballot question must also include in the
disclaimer either that it is "in opposition to .....(insert name
of candidate or ballot question.....)"; or that "this
publication is not circulated on behalf of any candidate or
ballot question."

(e) This section does not apply to objects stating only the
candidate's name and the office sought, fund-raising tickets, or
personal letters that are clearly being sent by the candidate.

(f) This section does not apply to an individual or
association who acts independently of any candidate, candidate's
committee, political committee, or political fund and spends
only from the individual's or association's own resources a sum
that is less than $500 in the aggregate to produce or distribute
campaign material that is distributed at least seven days before
the election to which the campaign material relates.

(g) This section does not modify or repeal section 211B.06.