Political Activity

What Is and Is Not a Contribution 21-A M.R.S.A. Section 1012(2)

The term “contribution:”

  1. Includes:
    1. A gift, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of any person to state, county or municipal office or for the purpose of liquidating any campaign deficit of a candidate, except that a loan of money to a candidate by a financial institution in this State made in accordance with applicable banking laws and regulations and in the ordinary course of business is not included;
    2. A contract, promise or agreement, express or implied, whether or not legally enforceable, to make a contribution for such purposes;
    3. Funds received by a candidate or a political committee that are transferred to the candidate or committee from another political committee or other source; and
    4. The payment, by any person other than a candidate or a political committee, of compensation for the personal services of other persons that are provided to the candidate or political committee without charge for any such purpose; and
  2. Does not include:
    1. The value of services provided without compensation by individuals who volunteer a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate or political committee;
    2. The use of real or personal property and the cost of invitations, food and beverages, voluntarily provided by an individual to a candidate in rendering voluntary personal services for candidate-related activities, if the cumulative value of these activities by the individual on behalf of any candidate does not exceed $250 with respect to any election;
    3. The sale of any food or beverage by a vendor for use in a candidate's campaign at a charge less than the normal comparable charge, if the charge to the candidate is at least equal to the cost of the food or beverages to the vendor and if the cumulative value of the food or beverages does not exceed $100 with respect to any election;
    4. Any unreimbursed travel expenses incurred by an individual in the course of providing voluntary personal services to a candidate and paid for by that individual, if the cumulative amount of these expenses does not exceed $350 with respect to any election;
      1. Any unreimbursed campaign-related travel expenses incurred and paid for by the candidate or the candidate's spouse or domestic partner;
    5. The payment by a party's state, district, county or municipal committee of the costs of preparation, display or mailing or other distribution of a party candidate listing;
    6. Documents, in printed or electronic form, including party platforms, single copies of issue papers, information pertaining to the requirements of this Title, lists of registered voters and voter identification information, created, obtained or maintained by a political party for the general purpose of party building and provided to a candidate who is a member of that party;
    7. Compensation paid by a state party committee to its employees for the following purposes:
      1. Providing no more than a total of 40 hours of assistance from its employees to a candidate in any election;
      2. Recruiting and overseeing volunteers for campaign activities involving 3 or more candidates; or
      3. Coordinating campaign events involving 3 or more candidates;
    8. Campaign training sessions provided to 3 or more candidates;
      1. Costs paid for by a party committee in connection with a campaign event at which 3 or more candidates are present;
      2. Wood or other materials used for political signs that are found or contributed if not originally obtained by the candidate or contributor for campaign purposes;
      3. The use or distribution of any communication, as described in section 1014, obtained by the candidate for a previous election and fully paid for during that election;
    9. The use of offices, telephones, computers and similar equipment when that use does not result in additional cost to the provider;
    10. Activity or communication designed to encourage individuals to register to vote or to vote if that activity or communication does not mention a clearly identified candidate; or
    11. A purchase of apparel from a commercial vendor with a total cost of $25 or less by an individual when the vendor has received a graphic or design from the candidate or the candidate's authorized committee.