Individuals and organizations may choose to show their support or opposition for a candidate or ballot measure, or voice their views on an issue involving a candidate, without contributing directly to a candidate campaign or ballot measure committee.

Those activities, provided they are done completely separate from the candidate's or ballot measure committee, could qualify as independent expenditures or electioneering communications subject to PDC reporting.

To determine if you need to report, let's start with some definitions.

What qualifies as an IE or electioneering communication

Independent expenditure: An expenditure, often advertising, that supports or opposes a candidate or ballot measure and is made without the cooperation, consultation or cooperation of the campaign it benefits. To qualify as an IE, the sponsor must not have received the candidate's encouragement or approval to make the expenditure. An independent expenditure becomes reportable once it reaches $100 in value.

Be aware that if an expenditure meets the definition of contribution, it is subject to limits and it is not an independent expenditure.

Electioneering communication: A type of advertisement that clearly identifies at least one candidate for state, local, or judicial office that appears within 60 days of an election in the candidate's jurisdiction and is distributed through radio, TV, postal mailing, billboard, newspaper or periodical and, either alone, or in combination with other communications by the sponsor identifying the same candidate has a fair market value of $1,000 or more.

Independent Expenditures Electioneering Communication
Definition

· Political advertisement that supports or promotes the defeat of a clearly identified candidate for state, local, or judicial office, or a state or local ballot measure;

· Communication that clearly identifies at least one candidate for state, local, or judicial office;

· Paid for by someone other than a candidate, a candidate's committee, or agent; or in the case of a ballot measure, the committee supporting or opposing a ballot measure;

· Paid for by someone other than a candidate, a candidate's committee or agent;

· Sponsor does the advertising completely independently of any candidate supported in the ad (or the opponent of the candidate opposed), or a candidate's committee or agent;

· Sponsor does the advertising completely independently of any candidate or a candidate's committee or agent;

· Sponsor did not receive the candidate's encouragement or approval to do the ad; or the ballot measure committee's encouragement or approval to produce the ad;

· Sponsor did not receive the candidate's encouragement or approval to do the ad;

· May appear at any time, any where (note special reporting deadline when appearing within 21 days of an election and fair market value is $1,000 or more);

· Appears within 60 days of an election in the candidate's jurisdiction;

· May appear in any format or medium;

· Appears through one or more of the following media - radio, television, postal mailing, billboard, newspaper, or periodical;

· May include non-advertising expenditures, e.g., paid doorbelling supporting a candidate or ballot measure; and

· Either alone, or in combination with other communications by the sponsor identifying the candidate, has a fair market value of $1,000 or more; and

· May support or oppose just ballot measures.

· Does not include communications relating to just ballot measures.

Reporting deadline

24 hours of, or on the first working day after, the date the ad was first published, mailed, or otherwise presented to the public for ads with fair market value of $1,000 or more and appearing within 21 days of an election.

Within 5 days of making the expenditure for ads appearing more than 21 days before an election valued at $100 or more.

24 hours of, or on the first working day after, the date the ad was broadcast, mailed, erected, or published.

Report donors

Not on the C-6 form unless ad also qualifies as an electioneering communication.

Yes, if contribution was more than $250 in the aggregate.

Retro reporting

None required. File the initial report and continue reporting if additional independent expenditures of any amount are made.

Required if the $1,000 or more reporting threshold is reached by aggregating the fair market value of multiple political ads - report the triggering ad as well as each of the earlier ads whose fair market value is included in the aggregate total.