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Home > Guide to Political Activity > Coordinated Expenditures

Expenditures made in coordination with a candidate

Statutory Provision on Coordinating Expenditures with a Candidate

21-A M.R.S.A. Section 1015(5)

Other contributions and expenditures.  Any expenditure made by any person in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, a candidate's political committee or their agents is considered to be a contribution to that candidate.

Commission Rule on Coordinating Expenditures with a Candidate

Chapter 1, Section 6(9)

If an expenditure is made to promote or support the nomination or election of a candidate, or to oppose or defeat the candidate’s opponent(s), and the expenditure is made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, the candidate, the expenditure is considered to be a contribution from the spender to the candidate. As used within this subsection, the term “candidate” includes a committee authorized by the candidate to promote or support his or her election, and all agents of the candidate or the authorized committee.

A.   In cooperation, consultation or in concert with includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Discussion between the candidate and the creator, producer or distributor of a communication, or the person paying for that communication, regarding the content, timing, location, mode, intended audience, volume of distribution or frequency of placement of that communication, and
  2. Participation by the candidate in making any decision regarding the content, timing, location, mode, intended audience, volume of distribution, or frequency of placement of the communication.

B.   An expenditure is presumed to be made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of a candidate, when

  1. the expenditure is made in cooperation, consultation or in concert with any person who, during the twelve months preceding the expenditure, has been the candidate’s treasurer or an officer of the candidate’s authorized committee, has had a paid or unpaid position managing the candidate’s campaign, or has received any campaign-related compensation or reimbursement from the candidate;
  2. when the candidate has directly shared the candidate’s campaign plans, activities, or needs with the spender for the purpose of facilitating a payment by the spender on a communication to voters to promote or support the candidate; or
  3. the communication replicates, reproduces, republishes or disseminates, in whole or in substantial part, a communication designed, produced, paid for or distributed by the candidate.
The candidate or spender may rebut the presumption by submitting sufficient contrary evidence.

C.   If a candidate requests that a party committee, political action committee, or other potential spender not make any expenditure to promote or support the candidate, or oppose or defeat the candidate’s opponent(s), the request does not constitute cooperation or coordination.

D.   An expenditure will not be presumed to have been made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of a candidate, solely because:

  1. the spender has obtained a photograph, biography, position paper, press release, logo, or similar material about the candidate from a publicly available source;
  2. the person making the expenditure has previously provided advice to the candidate on suggested communication strategies, budgets, issues of public policy, or other campaign plans or activities;
  3. the person makes an expenditure in response to a general, non-specific request for support by a candidate, provided that there is no discussion, cooperation or consultation with the candidate prior to the expenditure relating to the details of the expenditure;
  4. the spender has also made a contribution to the candidate, or has discussed with the candidate his or her campaign plans or activities as part of the candidate’s solicitation for a donation;
  5. the expenditure is made by a for-profit or non-profit organization for invitations, announcements, food and beverages and similar costs associated with an event to which the candidate has been invited by the organization to make an appearance before the organization’s members, employees, shareholders and the families thereof; or
  6. the expenditure is made by an individual who spends $100 or less for costs associated with a sign that is lettered or printed individually by hand and that reproduces or replicates a candidate’s campaign-related design or graphic.