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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 10A

Section 10A.20

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10A.20 Campaign reports.

Subdivision 1. First filing; duration. The treasurer of a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit must begin to file the reports required by this section in the first year it receives contributions or makes expenditures in excess of $100 and must continue to file until the committee, fund, or party unit is terminated.

Subd. 1a. If treasurer position is vacant. If the position of treasurer of a principal campaign committee, political committee, political fund, or party unit is vacant, the candidate, chair of a political committee or party unit, or association officer of a political fund is responsible for filing reports required by this section.

Subd. 2. Time for filing. (a) The reports must be filed with the board on or before January 31 of each year and additional reports must be filed as required and in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c).

(b) In each year in which the name of the candidate is on the ballot, the report of the principal campaign committee must be filed 15 days before a primary and ten days before a general election, seven days before a special primary and a special election, and ten days after a special election cycle.

(c) In each general election year, a political committee, political fund, or party unit must file reports 15 days before a primary and ten days before a general election.

Subd. 3. Contents of report. (a) The report must disclose the amount of liquid assets on hand at the beginning of the reporting period.

(b) The report must disclose the name, address, and employer, or occupation if self-employed, of each individual or association that has made one or more contributions to the reporting entity, including the purchase of tickets for a fund-raising effort, that in aggregate within the year exceed $100 for legislative or statewide candidates or ballot questions, together with the amount and date of each contribution, and the aggregate amount of contributions within the year from each source so disclosed. A donation in kind must be disclosed at its fair market value. An approved expenditure must be listed as a donation in kind. A donation in kind is considered consumed in the reporting period in which it is received. The names of contributors must be listed in alphabetical order. Contributions from the same contributor must be listed under the same name. When a contribution received from a contributor in a reporting period is added to previously reported unitemized contributions from the same contributor and the aggregate exceeds the disclosure threshold of this paragraph, the name, address, and employer, or occupation if self-employed, of the contributor must then be listed on the report.

(c) The report must disclose the sum of contributions to the reporting entity during the reporting period.

(d) The report must disclose each loan made or received by the reporting entity within the year in aggregate in excess of $100, continuously reported until repaid or forgiven, together with the name, address, occupation, and principal place of business, if any, of the lender and any endorser and the date and amount of the loan. If a loan made to the principal campaign committee of a candidate is forgiven or is repaid by an entity other than that principal campaign committee, it must be reported as a contribution for the year in which the loan was made.

(e) The report must disclose each receipt over $100 during the reporting period not otherwise listed under paragraphs (b) to (d).

(f) The report must disclose the sum of all receipts of the reporting entity during the reporting period.

(g) The report must disclose the name and address of each individual or association to whom aggregate expenditures, including approved expenditures, have been made by or on behalf of the reporting entity within the year in excess of $100, together with the amount, date, and purpose of each expenditure and the name and address of, and office sought by, each candidate on whose behalf the expenditure was made, identification of the ballot question that the expenditure was intended to promote or defeat, and in the case of independent expenditures made in opposition to a candidate, the candidate's name, address, and office sought. A reporting entity making an expenditure on behalf of more than one candidate for state or legislative office must allocate the expenditure among the candidates on a reasonable cost basis and report the allocation for each candidate.

(h) The report must disclose the sum of all expenditures made by or on behalf of the reporting entity during the reporting period.

(i) The report must disclose the amount and nature of an advance of credit incurred by the reporting entity, continuously reported until paid or forgiven. If an advance of credit incurred by the principal campaign committee of a candidate is forgiven by the creditor or paid by an entity other than that principal campaign committee, it must be reported as a donation in kind for the year in which the advance of credit was made.

(j) The report must disclose the name and address of each political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit to which contributions have been made that aggregate in excess of $100 within the year and the amount and date of each contribution.

(k) The report must disclose the sum of all contributions made by the reporting entity during the reporting period.

(l) The report must disclose the name and address of each individual or association to whom noncampaign disbursements have been made that aggregate in excess of $100 within the year by or on behalf of the reporting entity and the amount, date, and purpose of each noncampaign disbursement.

(m) The report must disclose the sum of all noncampaign disbursements made within the year by or on behalf of the reporting entity.

(n) The report must disclose the name and address of a nonprofit corporation that provides administrative assistance to a political committee or political fund as authorized by section 211B.15, subdivision 17, the type of administrative assistance provided, and the aggregate fair market value of each type of assistance provided to the political committee or political fund during the reporting period.

Subd. 3a. Repealed by amendment, 1999 c 220 s 23

Subd. 4. Period of report. A report must cover the period from the last day covered by the previous report to seven days before the filing date, except that the report due on January 31 must cover the period from the last day covered by the previous report to December 31.

Subd. 5. Preelection reports. In a statewide election any loan, contribution, or contributions from any one source totaling $2,000 or more, or in any judicial district or legislative election totaling more than $400, received between the last day covered in the last report before an election and the election must be reported to the board in one of the following ways:

(1) in person within 48 hours after its receipt;

(2) by telegram or mailgram within 48 hours after its receipt;

(3) by certified mail sent within 48 hours after its receipt; or

(4) by electronic means sent within 48 hours after its receipt.

These loans and contributions must also be reported in the next required report.

The 48-hour notice requirement does not apply with respect to a primary in which the statewide or legislative candidate is unopposed.

Subd. 6. Report when no committee. A candidate who does not designate and cause to be formed a principal campaign committee and an individual who makes independent expenditures or expenditures expressly advocating the approval or defeat of a ballot question in aggregate in excess of $100 in a year must file with the board a report containing the information required by subdivision 3. Reports required by this subdivision must be filed on the dates on which reports by committees, funds, and party units are filed.

Subd. 6a. Statement of independence. An individual, political committee, political fund, or party unit filing a report or statement disclosing an independent expenditure under subdivision 3 or 6 must file with the report a sworn statement that the disclosed expenditures were not made with the authorization or expressed or implied consent of, or in cooperation or in concert with, or at the request or suggestion of any candidate or any candidate's principal campaign committee or agent.

Subd. 6b. Independent expenditures; notice. (a) Within 24 hours after an individual, political committee, or political fund makes or becomes obligated by oral or written agreement to make an independent expenditure in excess of $100, other than an expenditure by an association targeted to inform solely its own dues-paying members of the association's position on a candidate, the individual, political committee, or political fund must file with the board an affidavit notifying the board of the intent to make the independent expenditure and serve a copy of the affidavit on each candidate in the affected race and on the treasurer of the candidate's principal campaign committee. The affidavit must contain the information with respect to the expenditure that is required to be reported under subdivision 3, paragraph (g); except that if an expenditure is reported before it is made, the notice must include a reasonable estimate of the anticipated amount. Each new expenditure requires a new notice.

(b) An individual or the treasurer of a political committee or political fund who fails to give notice as required by this subdivision, or who files a false affidavit of notice, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and is subject to a civil fine of up to four times the amount of the independent expenditure stated in the notice or of which notice was required, whichever is greater.

Subd. 7. Statement of inactivity. If a reporting entity has no receipts or expenditures during a reporting period, the treasurer must file with the board at the time required by this section a statement to that effect.

Subd. 8. Exemption from disclosure. The board must exempt a member of or contributor to an association or any other individual, from the requirements of this section if the member, contributor, or other individual demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that disclosure would expose the member or contributor to economic reprisals, loss of employment, or threat of physical coercion.

An association may seek an exemption for all of its members or contributors if it demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that a substantial number of its members or contributors would suffer a restrictive effect on their freedom of association if members were required to seek exemptions individually.

Subd. 9. Repealed, 1978 c 463 s 109

Subd. 10. Exemption procedure. An individual or association seeking an exemption under subdivision 8 must submit a written application for exemption to the board. The board, without hearing, must grant or deny the exemption within 30 days after receiving the application and must issue a written order stating the reasons for its action. The board must publish its order in the State Register and give notice to all parties known to the board to have an interest in the matter. If the board receives a written objection to its action from any party within 20 days after publication of its order and notification of interested parties, the board must hold a contested case hearing on the matter. Upon the filing of a timely objection from the applicant, an order denying an exemption is suspended pending the outcome of the contested case. If no timely objection is received, the exemption continues in effect until a written objection is filed with the board in a succeeding election year. The board by rule must establish a procedure so that an individual seeking an exemption may proceed anonymously if the individual would be exposed to the reprisals listed in subdivision 8 if the individual's identity were to be revealed for the purposes of a hearing.

Subd. 11. Renumbered 10A.36

Subd. 12. Failure to file; penalty. The board must send a notice by certified mail to any individual who fails to file a statement required by this section. If an individual fails to file a statement due January 31 within ten business days after the notice was sent, the board may impose a late filing fee of $5 per day, not to exceed $100, commencing with the 11th day after the notice was sent.

If an individual fails to file a statement due before a primary or election within three days after the date due, regardless of whether the individual has received any notice, the board may impose a late filing fee of $50 per day, not to exceed $500, commencing on the fourth day after the date the statement was due.

The board must send an additional notice by certified mail to an individual who fails to file a statement within 14 days after the first notice was sent by the board that the individual may be subject to a civil penalty for failure to file a statement. An individual who fails to file the statement within seven days after the second notice was sent by the board is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $1,000.

Subd. 13. Third-party reimbursement. An individual or association filing a report disclosing an expenditure or noncampaign disbursement that must be reported and itemized under subdivision 3, paragraph (g) or (l), that is a reimbursement to a third party must report the purpose of each expenditure or disbursement for which the third party is being reimbursed. An expenditure or disbursement is a reimbursement to a third party if it is for goods or services that were not directly provided by the individual or association to whom the expenditure or disbursement is made. Third-party reimbursements include payments to credit card companies and reimbursement of individuals for expenses they have incurred.

Subd. 14. Reports by solicitors. An individual or association, other than a candidate or the members of a candidate's principal campaign committee, that directly solicits and causes others to make contributions to candidates or a party unit in a house of the legislature, that aggregate more than $5,000 between January 1 of a general election year and the end of the reporting period must file with the board a report disclosing the amount of each contribution, the names of the contributors, and to whom the contributions were given. The report must be filed 15 days before a primary and ten days before a general election. The report for each calendar year must be filed with the board by January 31 of the following year.

Subd. 15. Equitable relief. A candidate whose opponent does not timely file the report due 15 days before the primary, the report due ten days before the general election, or the notice required under section 10A.25, subdivision 10, may petition the district court for immediate equitable relief to enforce the filing requirement. A prevailing party under this subdivision may be awarded attorney fees and costs by the court.

HIST: 1974 c 470 s 20; 1975 c 271 s 6; 1976 c 307 s 14-18; 1977 c 346 s 1; 1978 c 463 s 51-59; 1978 c 793 s 37; 1979 c 59 s 5; 1980 c 587 art 2 s 9,10; 1980 c 607 art 17 s 10,11; 1985 c 40 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 214 s 3,4; 1990 c 608 art 3 s 5-7; 1991 c 349 s 11,12; 1993 c 318 art 2 s 15-18; 1996 c 459 s 1; 1997 c 202 art 2 s 7; 1999 c 220 s 23,50; 2002 c 363 s 20-22; 2005 c 156 art 6 s 6