1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A; Apportionment and Elections
By: Representatives Reeves, Denny, Clark, Janus, Mitchell, Warren, Wells-Smith, Scott (80th)
House Bill 991
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT POLITICAL PARTIES, POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES OR INDIVIDUALS MAY DONATE NOT MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS TO A JUDICIAL CANDIDATE; TO PROVIDE THAT THIS IS AN ANNUAL LIMITATION; TO REQUIRE JUDICIAL CANDIDATES TO IDENTIFY ALL MAKERS OF CAMPAIGN LOANS; TO REQUIRE DISCLOSURE OF HOW THE CAMPAIGN LOANS OR OTHER EXTENSIONS OF CREDIT WERE USED, AND HOW AND WHEN THE LOANS OR OTHER EXTENSIONS OF CREDIT ARE TO BE REPAID; TO PROHIBIT AN INCUMBENT JUDGE FROM USING COURT PERSONNEL AS WORKERS IN HIS CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-15-807, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT POLITICAL COMMITTEES SHALL REPORT EXPENDITURES MADE IN SUPPORT OF A CANDIDATE, EVEN IF DONE WITHOUT CONSULTATION WITH THE CANDIDATE; TO REQUIRE JUDICIAL CANDIDATES TO FILE QUARTERLY REPORTS IN JUDICIAL ELECTION YEARS; TO REQUIRE JUDICIAL CANDIDATES TO FAX TEN DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION A STATEMENT OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES MADE WITHIN THE PREVIOUS TWENTY-FOUR HOURS; TO REQUIRE CANDIDATES FOR JUDICIAL OFFICE TO REPORT CONTRIBUTIONS IN EXCESS OF TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS; TO AMEND SECTION 23-15-811, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PRESCRIBE A PENALTY TO BE ASSESSED AGAINST CANDIDATES FOR NOT TIMELY FILING A CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. It shall be unlawful for any political party, political action committee or individual to give, donate, appropriate or furnish directly or indirectly, any money, security, funds or property in excess of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for the purpose of aiding any candidate for judicial office, or to give, donate, appropriate or furnish directly or indirectly, any money, security, funds or property in excess of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to any candidate for judicial office as a contribution to the expense of a candidate for judicial office. The limit of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for contributions to judicial candidates shall be an annual limitation applicable to each calendar year.
SECTION 2. Judicial candidates shall disclose the identity of any individual or entity from which the candidate receives a loan or other extension of credit for use in his campaign. The candidate shall disclose how the loan or other extension of credit was used, and how and when the loan or other extension of credit is to be repaid.
SECTION 3. Judicial candidates may accept or solicit campaign contributions starting on the date of the qualifying deadline and may accept or solicit campaign contributions up to ninety (90) days after the date of the general election.
SECTION 4. Any material distributed by a judicial candidate or his campaign committee, or at the request of the candidate or his campaign committee shall state that it is distributed by the candidate or that it is being distributed with the candidate's approval.
SECTION 5. An incumbent judge who is a candidate for judicial office shall not use court personnel as workers in his campaign activities.
SECTION 6. Section 23-15-807, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-807. (a) Each candidate or political committee shall file reports of contributions and disbursements in accordance with the provisions of this section. All candidates or political committees required to report may terminate its obligation to report only upon submitting a final report that it will no longer receive any contributions or make any disbursement and that such candidate or committee has no outstanding debts or obligations. The candidate, treasurer or chief executive officer shall sign each such report.
(b) Candidates who are seeking election, or nomination for election, and political committees that make expenditures for the purpose of influencing or attempting to influence the action of voters for or against the nomination for election, or election, of one or more candidates, with or without consultation with the candidates, or balloted measures at such election, shall file the following reports:
(i) In any calendar year during which there is a regularly scheduled election, a preelection report, which shall be filed no later than the seventh day before any election in which such candidate or political committee has accepted contributions or made expenditures and which shall be complete as of the tenth day before such election;
(ii) In 1987 and every fourth year thereafter, periodic reports, which shall be filed no later than the tenth day after May 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31, and which shall be complete as of the last day of each period; and
(iii) In any calendar years except 1987 and except every fourth year thereafter, a report covering the calendar year which shall be filed no later than January 31 of the following calendar year.
(iv) In judicial election years, quarterly reports shall be filed by candidates for judicial office, in addition to the preelection reports. Ten (10) days before each judicial election, the candidates for judicial office shall fax a report containing a list of all reportable expenditures made and contributions received by the candidate within the previous twenty-four (24) hours.
(c) Contents of reports. Each report under this article shall disclose:
(i) For the reporting period and the calendar year, the total amount of all contributions and the total amount of all expenditures of the candidate or reporting committee required to be identified pursuant to item (ii) of this paragraph. Such reports shall be cumulative during the calendar year to which they relate;
(ii) The identification of:
1. Each person or political committee who makes a contribution to the reporting candidate or political committee during the reporting period, whose contribution or contributions within the calendar year have an aggregate amount or value in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) when made to a political committee or to a candidate for a judicial office or an office other than statewide office or office elected by Supreme Court district, except the office of justice of the Supreme Court, or in excess of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) when made to a candidate for statewide office or office elected by Supreme Court district, except the office of justice of the Supreme Court, together with the date and amount of any such contribution;
2. Each person or organization who receives an expenditure or expenditures from the reporting candidate or political committee during the reporting period when the expenditure or expenditures to such person or organization within the calendar year have an aggregate value or amount in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) when received from a political committee or candidate for a judicial office or an office other than statewide office or office elected by Supreme Court district, except the office of justice of the Supreme Court, or in excess of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) when received from a candidate for statewide office or office elected by Supreme Court district, except the office of justice of the Supreme Court, together with the date and amount of such expenditure.
(d) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, a political committee that receives more than fifty percent (50%) of its contributions from persons or political committees domiciled outside of the State of Mississippi shall not be required to identify contributors who are domiciled outside of the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 7. Section 23-15-811, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-811. (a) Any candidate or any other person who shall wilfully and deliberately violate the provisions and prohibitions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine in a sum not to exceed Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00).
(b) In addition to the penalties provided in paragraph (a) of this section, any candidate or political committee which is required to file a statement or report which fails to file such statement or report on the date in which it is due may be compelled to file such statement or report by an action in the nature of a mandamus.
(c) No candidate shall be certified as nominated for election or as elected to office unless and until he files all reports required by this article due as of the date of certification.
(d) No candidate who is elected to office shall receive any salary or other remuneration for the office unless and until he files all reports required by this article due as of the date such salary or remuneration is payable.
(e) In the event that a candidate fails to timely file any report required pursuant to this article but subsequently files a report or reports containing all of the information required to be reported by him as of the date on which the sanctions of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section would be applied to him, such candidate shall not be subject to the sanctions of said paragraphs (c) and (d).
(f) Any candidate who fails to timely file any report required pursuant to this chapter, but subsequently files a report or reports containing all of the information required to be reported shall be assessed a civil penalty of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) per day and part of any day until a report is delivered to the Secretary of State, not to exceed a maximum of ten (10) days.
SECTION 8. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United State or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.