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H.B. 456

             1     

FAIR CAMPAIGN PLEDGE AMENDMENTS

             2     
2008 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Eric K. Hutchings

             5     
Senate Sponsor: Michael G. Waddoups

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies the Election Code by amending the voluntary pledge of fair campaign
             10      practices for candidates and by adding a voluntary pledge of fair campaign practices for
             11      political action committees and political issues committees.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This bill:
             14          .    amends the voluntary pledge of fair campaign practices by adding a provision
             15      against using a material misrepresentation in a campaign;
             16          .    provides a voluntary pledge of fair campaign practices for political action
             17      committees;
             18          .    provides a voluntary pledge of fair campaign practices for political issues
             19      committees; and
             20          .    makes technical changes.
             21      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             22          None
             23      Other Special Clauses:
             24          This bill provides an immediate effective date.
             25      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             26      AMENDS:
             27          20A-9-206, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 226


             28          20A-11-601, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 226
             29          20A-11-801, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 226
             30      ENACTS:
             31          20A-11-604, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             32          20A-11-804, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             33     
             34      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             35          Section 1. Section 20A-9-206 is amended to read:
             36           20A-9-206. Fair campaign practices -- Voluntary pledge -- Pledge is a public
             37      record -- Retention requirements.
             38          (1) Each person seeking to become a candidate for any elective office that is to be
             39      filled at the next election shall be provided with a copy of the pledge of fair campaign
             40      practices.
             41          (2) The pledge shall be in the following form:
             42          "PLEDGE OF FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES
             43          There are basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play which every candidate for
             44      public office in the State of Utah has a moral obligation to observe and uphold, in order that,
             45      after vigorously contested but fairly conducted campaigns, our citizens may exercise their right
             46      to a free election, and that the will of the people may be fully and clearly expressed on the
             47      issues.
             48          THEREFORE:
             49          I SHALL conduct my campaign openly and publicly, discussing the issues as I see
             50      them, presenting my record and policies with sincerity and frankness, and criticizing, without
             51      fear or favor, the record and policies of my opponents that I believe merit criticism.
             52          I SHALL NOT use, nor shall I permit the use of, scurrilous attacks on any candidate or
             53      the candidate's immediate family. I shall not participate in [or], nor shall I permit the use of,
             54      defamation, libel, or slander against any candidate or the candidate's immediate family. I shall
             55      not use or participate in, nor shall I permit the use of, any material misrepresentation of any
             56      fact, policy, position, or record relating to any candidate or to any candidate's immediate
             57      family. I shall not participate in, nor shall I permit the use of, any other criticism of any
             58      candidate or the candidate's immediate family that I do not believe to be truthful, provable, and


             59      relevant to my campaign.
             60          I SHALL NOT use, nor shall I permit the use of, any practice that tends to corrupt or
             61      undermine our American system of free elections, or that hinders or prevents the free
             62      expression of the will of the voters, including practices intended to hinder or prevent any
             63      eligible person from registering to vote or voting.
             64          I SHALL NOT coerce election help or campaign contributions for myself or for any
             65      other candidate from my employees or volunteers.
             66          I SHALL immediately and publicly repudiate support deriving from any individual or
             67      group which resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of an opponent, to
             68      methods in violation of the letter or spirit of this pledge. I shall accept responsibility to take
             69      firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this pledge or the laws
             70      governing elections.
             71          I SHALL defend and uphold the right of every qualified American voter to full and
             72      equal participation in the electoral process.
             73          I, the undersigned, candidate for election to public office in the State of Utah, hereby
             74      voluntarily endorse, subscribe to, and solemnly pledge myself to conduct my campaign in
             75      accordance with the above principles and practices."
             76          Name: ________________________________
             77          Signature: _____________________________ Date: _________
             78          (3) The filing officer shall print, or cause to be printed, blank forms of the pledge to be
             79      distributed to persons filing a declaration of candidacy.
             80          (4) A pledge that is submitted for filing by a candidate is a public record under Title
             81      63, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act.
             82          (5) The filing officer shall:
             83          (a) accept all signed pledges that are submitted for filing; and
             84          (b) retain each filed pledge for public inspection for 30 calendar days after the election.
             85          (6) A candidate may not be required to subscribe to, endorse, or sign the pledge of fair
             86      campaign practices.
             87          Section 2. Section 20A-11-601 is amended to read:
             88           20A-11-601. Political action committees -- Registration -- Criminal penalty for
             89      providing false information or accepting unlawful contribution.


             90          (1) (a) Each political action committee shall file a statement of organization with the
             91      lieutenant governor's office by January 10 of each year, unless the political action committee
             92      has filed a notice of dissolution under Subsection (4).
             93          (b) If a political action committee is organized after the January 10 filing date, the
             94      political action committee shall file an initial statement of organization no later than seven days
             95      after:
             96          (i) receiving contributions totaling at least $750; or
             97          (ii) distributing expenditures for political purposes totaling at least $750.
             98          (c) If January 10 falls on a weekend or holiday, the statement of organization shall be
             99      filed by the following business day.
             100          (2) Each political action committee shall designate two officers that have primary
             101      decision-making authority for the political action committee.
             102          (3) The statement of organization shall include:
             103          (a) the name and address of the political action committee;
             104          (b) the name, street address, phone number, occupation, and title of the two primary
             105      officers designated under Subsection (2);
             106          (c) the name, street address, occupation, and title of all other officers of the political
             107      action committee;
             108          (d) the name and street address of the organization, individual corporation, association,
             109      unit of government, or union that the political action committee represents, if any;
             110          (e) the name and street address of all affiliated or connected organizations and their
             111      relationships to the political action committee;
             112          (f) the name, street address, business address, occupation, and phone number of the
             113      committee's treasurer or chief financial officer; [and]
             114          (g) the name, street address, and occupation of each member of the governing and
             115      advisory boards, if any[.]; and
             116          (h) a copy of the pledge of fair campaign practices described under Section
             117      20A-11-604 , with a notice that signing the pledge is voluntary and that a signed pledge may be
             118      filed with the lieutenant governor's office.
             119          (4) (a) Any registered political action committee that intends to permanently cease
             120      operations shall file a notice of dissolution with the lieutenant governor's office.


             121          (b) Any notice of dissolution filed by a political action committee does not exempt that
             122      political action committee from complying with the financial reporting requirements of this
             123      chapter.
             124          (5) (a) Unless the political action committee has filed a notice of dissolution under
             125      Subsection (4), a political action committee shall file, with the lieutenant governor's office,
             126      notice of any change of an officer described in Subsection (2).
             127          (b) Notice of a change of a primary officer described in Subsection (2) shall:
             128          (i) be filed within ten days of the date of the change; and
             129          (ii) contain the name and title of the officer being replaced, and the name, street
             130      address, occupation, and title of the new officer.
             131          (6) (a) A person is guilty of providing false information in relation to a political action
             132      committee if the person intentionally or knowingly gives false or misleading material
             133      information in the statement of organization or the notice of change of primary officer.
             134          (b) Each primary officer designated in Subsection (2) is guilty of accepting an unlawful
             135      contribution if the political action committee knowingly or recklessly accepts a contribution
             136      from a corporation that:
             137          (i) was organized less than 90 days before the date of the general election; and
             138          (ii) at the time the political action committee accepts the contribution, has failed to file
             139      a statement of organization with the lieutenant governor's office as required by Section
             140      20A-11-704 .
             141          (c) A violation of this Subsection (6) is a third degree felony.
             142          Section 3. Section 20A-11-604 is enacted to read:
             143          20A-11-604. Fair campaign practices -- Voluntary pledge -- Pledge is a public
             144      record -- Retention requirements.
             145          (1) Each political action committee shall be provided with a copy of the pledge of fair
             146      campaign practices.
             147          (2) The pledge shall be in the following form:
             148          "PLEDGE OF FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES
             149          There are basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play which every political
             150      action committee (PAC) in the State of Utah has a moral obligation to observe and uphold, in
             151      order that, after vigorously contested but fairly conducted campaigns, our citizens may exercise


             152      their right to a free election, and that the will of the people may be fully and clearly expressed
             153      on the issues.
             154          THEREFORE:
             155          This PAC SHALL conduct its activities openly and publicly, discussing the issues as
             156      seen by the PAC, presenting its positions with sincerity and frankness, and criticizing, without
             157      fear or favor, the positions of the PAC's opponents that the PAC believes merit criticism.
             158          This PAC SHALL NOT use, nor shall it permit the use of, scurrilous attacks on any
             159      candidate or the candidate's immediate family. This PAC shall not participate in, nor shall it
             160      permit the use of, defamation, libel, or slander against any candidate or the candidate's
             161      immediate family. This PAC shall not use or participate in, nor shall it permit the use of, any
             162      material misrepresentation of any fact, policy, position, or record relating to any candidate or to
             163      any candidate's immediate family. This PAC shall not participate in, nor shall it permit the use
             164      of, any other criticism of any candidate or the candidate's immediate family that it does not
             165      believe to be truthful, provable, and relevant to its campaign.
             166          This PAC SHALL NOT use, nor shall it permit the use of, any practice that tends to
             167      corrupt or undermine our American system of free elections, or that hinders or prevents the free
             168      expression of the will of the voters, including practices intended to hinder or prevent any
             169      eligible person from registering to vote or voting.
             170          This PAC SHALL NOT coerce election help or campaign contributions for itself or for
             171      any other candidate or PAC from its employees or volunteers.
             172          This PAC SHALL immediately and publicly repudiate support deriving from any
             173      individual or group which resorts, on behalf of the PAC or in opposition to that of an opponent,
             174      to methods in violation of the letter or spirit of this pledge. This PAC shall accept
             175      responsibility to take firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this
             176      pledge or the laws governing elections.
             177          This PAC SHALL defend and uphold the right of every qualified American voter to full
             178      and equal participation in the electoral process.
             179          We the undersigned, as officers of this PAC, hereby voluntarily endorse, subscribe to,
             180      and solemnly pledge that the PAC will conduct itself in accordance with the above principles
             181      and practices."
             182          Name: ________________________________


             183          Signature: _____________________________ Date: _________
             184          Name: ________________________________
             185          Signature: _____________________________ Date: _________
             186          (3) The filing officer shall print, or cause to be printed, blank forms of the pledge to be
             187      distributed to persons filing a statement of organization for a political action committee.
             188          (4) A pledge that is submitted for filing by a political action committee is a public
             189      record under Title 63, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act.
             190          (5) The filing officer shall:
             191          (a) accept all signed pledges that are submitted for filing; and
             192          (b) retain each filed pledge for public inspection for 30 calendar days after the election.
             193          (6) A political action committee may not be required to subscribe to, endorse, or sign
             194      the pledge of fair campaign practices.
             195          Section 4. Section 20A-11-801 is amended to read:
             196           20A-11-801. Political issues committees -- Registration -- Criminal penalty for
             197      providing false information or accepting unlawful contribution.
             198          (1) (a) Each political issues committee shall file a statement of organization with the
             199      lieutenant governor's office by January 10 of each year, unless the political issues committee
             200      has filed a notice of dissolution under Subsection (4).
             201          (b) If a political issues committee is organized after the January 10 filing date, the
             202      political issues committee shall file an initial statement of organization no later than seven days
             203      after:
             204          (i) receiving political issues contributions totaling at least $750; or
             205          (ii) disbursing political issues expenditures totaling at least $50.
             206          (c) If January 10 falls on a weekend or holiday, the statement of organization shall be
             207      filed by the following business day.
             208          (2) Each political issues committee shall designate two officers that have primary
             209      decision-making authority for the political issues committee.
             210          (3) The statement of organization shall include:
             211          (a) the name and street address of the political issues committee;
             212          (b) the name, street address, phone number, occupation, and title of the two primary
             213      officers designated under Subsection (2);


             214          (c) the name, street address, occupation, and title of all other officers of the political
             215      issues committee;
             216          (d) the name and street address of the organization, individual, corporation,
             217      association, unit of government, or union that the political issues committee represents, if any;
             218          (e) the name and street address of all affiliated or connected organizations and their
             219      relationships to the political issues committee;
             220          (f) the name, street address, business address, occupation, and phone number of the
             221      committee's treasurer or chief financial officer;
             222          (g) the name, street address, and occupation of each member of the supervisory and
             223      advisory boards, if any; [and]
             224          (h) the ballot proposition whose outcome they wish to affect, and whether they support
             225      or oppose it[.]; and
             226          (i) a copy of the pledge of fair campaign practices described under Section
             227      20A-11-804 , with a notice that signing the pledge is voluntary and that a signed pledge may be
             228      filed with the lieutenant governor's office.
             229          (4) (a) Any registered political issues committee that intends to permanently cease
             230      operations during a calendar year shall file a notice of dissolution with the lieutenant governor's
             231      office.
             232          (b) Any notice of dissolution filed by a political issues committee does not exempt that
             233      political issues committee from complying with the financial reporting requirements of this
             234      chapter.
             235          (5) (a) Unless the political issues committee has filed a notice of dissolution under
             236      Subsection (4), a political issues committee shall file, with the lieutenant governor's office,
             237      notice of any change of an officer described in Subsection (2).
             238          (b) Notice of a change of a primary officer described in Subsection (2) shall:
             239          (i) be filed within ten days of the date of the change; and
             240          (ii) contain the name and title of the officer being replaced and the name, street
             241      address, occupation, and title of the new officer.
             242          (6) (a) A person is guilty of providing false information in relation to a political issues
             243      committee if the person intentionally or knowingly gives false or misleading material
             244      information in the statement of organization or the notice of change of primary officer.


             245          (b) Each primary officer designated in Subsection (2) is guilty of accepting an unlawful
             246      contribution if the political issues committee knowingly or recklessly accepts a contribution
             247      from a corporation that:
             248          (i) was organized less than 90 days before the date of the general election; and
             249          (ii) at the time the political issues committee accepts the contribution, has failed to file
             250      a statement of organization with the lieutenant governor's office as required by Section
             251      20A-11-704 .
             252          (c) A violation of this Subsection (6) is a third degree felony.
             253          Section 5. Section 20A-11-804 is enacted to read:
             254          20A-11-804. Fair campaign practices -- Voluntary pledge -- Pledge is a public
             255      record -- Retention requirements.
             256          (1) Each political issues committee shall be provided with a copy of the pledge of fair
             257      campaign practices.
             258          (2) The pledge shall be in the following form:
             259          "PLEDGE OF FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES
             260          There are basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play which every political issues
             261      committee (PIC) in the State of Utah has a moral obligation to observe and uphold, in order
             262      that, after vigorously contested but fairly conducted campaigns, our citizens may exercise their
             263      right to a free election, and that the will of the people may be fully and clearly expressed on the
             264      issues.
             265          THEREFORE:
             266          This PIC SHALL conduct its activities openly and publicly, discussing the issues as
             267      seen by the PIC, presenting its positions with sincerity and frankness, and criticizing, without
             268      fear or favor, the positions of the PIC's opponents that the PIC believes merit criticism.
             269          This PIC SHALL NOT use, nor shall it permit the use of, scurrilous attacks on any PIC
             270      opponent. This PIC shall not participate in, nor shall it permit the use of, defamation, libel, or
             271      slander against any PIC opponent. This PIC shall not use or participate in, nor shall it permit
             272      the use of, any material misrepresentation of any fact, policy, position, or record relating to any
             273      PIC opponent. This PIC shall not participate in, nor shall it permit the use of, any other
             274      criticism of any PIC opponent that it does not believe to be truthful, provable, and relevant to
             275      its campaign.


             276          This PIC SHALL NOT use, nor shall it permit the use of, any practice that tends to
             277      corrupt or undermine our American system of free elections, or that hinders or prevents the free
             278      expression of the will of the voters, including practices intended to hinder or prevent any
             279      eligible person from registering to vote or voting.
             280          This PIC SHALL NOT coerce election help or contributions for itself or for any other
             281      candidate or PIC from its employees or volunteers.
             282          This PIC SHALL immediately and publicly repudiate support deriving from any
             283      individual or group which resorts, on behalf of the PIC or in opposition to that of an opponent,
             284      to methods in violation of the letter or spirit of this pledge. This PIC shall accept responsibility
             285      to take firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this pledge or the
             286      laws governing elections.
             287          This PIC SHALL defend and uphold the right of every qualified American voter to full
             288      and equal participation in the electoral process.
             289          We the undersigned, as officers of this PIC, hereby voluntarily endorse, subscribe to,
             290      and solemnly pledge itself to conduct its campaign in accordance with the above principles and
             291      practices."
             292          Name: ________________________________
             293          Signature: _____________________________ Date: _________
             294          Name: ________________________________
             295          Signature: _____________________________ Date: _________
             296          (3) The filing officer shall print, or cause to be printed, blank forms of the pledge to be
             297      distributed to persons filing a statement of organization for a political issues committee.
             298          (4) A pledge that is submitted for filing by a political issues committee is a public
             299      record under Title 63, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act.
             300          (5) The filing officer shall:
             301          (a) accept all signed pledges that are submitted for filing; and
             302          (b) retain each filed pledge for public inspection for 30 calendar days after the election.
             303          (6) A political issues committee may not be required to subscribe to, endorse, or sign
             304      the pledge of fair campaign practices.
             305          Section 6. Effective date.
             306          If approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, this bill takes effect


             307      upon approval by the governor, or the day following the constitutional time limit of Utah
             308      Constitution Article VII, Section 8, without the governor's signature, or in the case of a veto,
             309      the date of veto override.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-11-08 1:28 PM


Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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