To run a political campaign and accept donations the follow basics are required:
- A Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) of your campaign name.
- EIN Link>>
- Register with the Campaign Spending Commission
- CSC Link >>
- Register a campaign trade name with the Department of Commerce
- DC Link >>
- To appear on the election ballot you must complete your application with the Office of Elections
- OE Link >>
This is not an exhaustive list of what can or should be done but is the basic format for setting up a campaign.
More About Campaign Finance Laws
Campaign finance laws are fairly easy to understand and on the state level and the Campaign Spending Commission (CSC) is available to answer questions. Key point to remember is missing a filing deadline, having the improper donor information, or exceeding donation limits, can result in fines of several hundred dollars or more that can compound quickly.
Of course there is a calendar of filing deadlines and the CSC sends out email alerts.
The (3) political structures to be familiar with are:
- Candidate Committee: An organization, association, or individual that
receives campaign funds, makes expenditures, or incurs financial obligations on behalf of
a candidate with the candidate’s authorization.
- Non-Candidate Committee: An organization, association, party, or individual that has the purpose of making or receiving contributions, making expenditures, or incurring financial obligations to influence the nomination for election, or the election, of any candidate to
office, or for or against any questions or issues on the ballot.
- Super Pac (Independent Expenditure Committee): These are non-candidate committees that have registered and certified with the CSC that they will only make independent expenditures. “Independent expenditures” means an expenditure expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate that is not made in *concert or cooperation* with or at the suggestion of the candidate, the candidate committee, a party, or their agents.
Therefore, there is no limit on contributions to non-candidate committees making solely independent expenditures.
* There is no Federal definition regarding “concert or cooperation” so this is essentially an opened ended political structure.