seec: FAQs Political Committees

  {SEEC}  Candidate Committees
{SEEC}  
 
 
 
Henry wants to have a house party for participating candidate Cameron, who is in the process of raising qualifying contributions and would like to fundraise at the party. Wendy and Stella will be attending the party. Can Wendy bring a $30 bottle of wine? Can Stella bring $60 worth of steaks? (rev. 8/27/10)
 
Henry can spend up to $200 on the cost of food, beverages, and invitations for the house party as the host of this event and this would not be considered a contribution to Cameron's campaign. Additionally, if Henry's spouse supports Cameron and would like to be involved, she too can spend an additional $200 on the party, for a total of $400.
 
The new exception in Public Act 10-1 does not apply to fundraising events. Since this is a fundraising event, Henry and his spouse should supply all the food and beverage, rather than having Wendy and Stella bring them.
 
 
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{SEEC}
 
 
After Cameron qualifies for a CEP grant and is no longer fundraising, Holly wants to have a house party for Cameron. Can Wendy bring a $30 bottle of wine to the party? Can Stella bring $60 worth of steaks? (rev. 8/27/10)
 
Since this is not a fundraising event, Wendy can now make use of the new exemption for food or beverage donated for consumption at a committee event that is not a fundraising affair to the extent the cumulative value of the food or beverage donated by the individual does not exceed $50. Stella cannot bring her steaks, however, since their value is over $50 and the entire $60 value would therefore be an impermissible in-kind contribution.
 
Note that in addition to the food brought by friends, Holly and her spouse may also spend up to $200 each on the cost of food, beverages, and invitations for the house party.
 
 
 
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{SEEC}
 
 
Does the $50 limit mean that the total value of all food and beverage brought by all guests to the house party must be under $50 to make use of this exemption? (rev. 8/27/10)
 
No, the exemption applies per individual, so each attendee may bring food or beverage valued at up to $50 to the party. This means that each attendee can bring food or beverages valued at $50.
 
The treasurer should keep a list of the individuals and what they brought for such events, as well any receipts they have for their purchases.
 
 
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{SEEC}
 
 
The following week, Helen wants to have a non-fundraising house party for Cameron. Can Wendy attend and bring another $30 bottle of wine after she already brought a $30 bottle of wine to Henry's party? (rev. 8/27/10)
 
Yes, the $50 food and beverage exemption passed in Public Act 10-1 applies per event, so as long as Wendy's beverage donation does not exceed $50 at any given event, she can bring a bottle of wine to each non-fundraising event.
 
 
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{SEEC}
 
 
What if Cameron was a General Assembly or Statewide Office candidate not participating in the Citizens' Election Program or a municipal candidate? Would the above answers differ? (rev. 8/27/10)
The above answers would be the same if Cameron were nonparticipating or a municipal candidate, except in cases where the attendees' food or beverage donation did not fit under the new exemption (either because the event was a fundraising event or because the value of the food or beverage donated at the event exceeded $50). Such donations would be permissible in-kind contributions to the non-participating or municipal candidate committees and would count toward that attendee's individual contribution limit.
 
Thus, for example, if Stella brought $60 worth of steaks to a fundraising event for a non-participating candidate, the entire $60 value would be considered an in-kind contribution. In other words, the exemption cannot be used to offset $50 of the value of the steaks with only $10 reported as an in-kind contribution.
 
If the candidate is in a slate committee rather than a candidate committee, the same answer holds true as the food and beverage exemption extends to both candidate committees and slate committees.
 
 
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{SEEC} How does Cameron's treasurer report all of this? (rev. 8/27/10)
The treasurer will report the event in J1 of the SEEC Form 30 (or L1 of the SEEC Form 20 for municipal candidates), answering yes to whether the event was held at a personal residence. While the section categorizes them as "fundraising events," the house party should be listed here, even though it was not a fundraiser.
 
Then, in J3 of the SEEC Form 30 (or L4 of the SEEC Form 20 in the case of municipal candidates), the treasurer will list all of the host's expenses for the party, listing the corresponding event number assigned in J1 (or L1 in the case of a municipal candidate). The treasurer will then itemize Wendy's donations in the same section, again listing the corresponding event number. If the candidate is nonparticipating or running for municipal office, then Stella's steaks would be reported as an in-kind contribution in Section K of the SEEC Form 30 (or Section M of the SEEC Form 20), listing the corresponding event number as well.
 
 
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  {SEEC}  Party Committees
{SEEC}  
 
 
Connecticut Town Committee is holding its monthly meeting and Pam would like to bring $40 worth of pizza for members to eat while they meet. Is this permissible? (rev. 8/27/10)
 
Yes, the donation of pizza can either be categorized as an in-kind contribution, counting toward Pam's individual contribution limit for the year, or she can make use of the new exemption for food or beverage donated for consumption at a committee meeting or event that is not a non-fundraising affair since the value of the pizza does not exceed $50 and the meeting is not a fundraising affair.
 
 
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{SEEC}
 
 
 
If Pam wishes to make use of the new food and beverage exemption, can she buy $40 worth of pizza for the next monthly meeting and again make use of the exemption or will it then have to be reported as an in-kind contribution? (rev. 8/27/10)
 
The $50 food and beverage exemption applies per event, so as long as Pam's pizza donation does not exceed $50 at each given meeting, she can bring pizza to every monthly meeting.
 
 
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{SEEC}
 
If Sam wants to bring $30 worth of soda for consumption at the meeting, is that okay even though Pam is already bringing $40 worth of pizza? (rev, 8/27/10)
 
Yes, the exemption applies per individual, so each individual can bring food or beverage valued at up to $50 to the meeting. This means that Pam can bring the pizza and Sam can bring the soda, for a total value of $70.
 
 
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{SEEC} How does the town committee's treasurer report such donations? (rev, 8/27/10)
 
 
 
The treasurer will report the meeting in L1 of the SEEC Form 20. While the section categorizes them as "fundraising events," the meeting should be listed here. Then, in L4, the treasurer will list the food and beverage donations by individual, listing the corresponding event number assigned to the given meeting in L1.
 
 
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{SEEC}
 
 
 
At the meeting, two members decide to give $100 contributions to the committee and give checks to the treasurer. Does this turn the meeting into a fundraising event so that Pam and Sam can no longer make use of the food and beverage exemption? (rev. 8/27/10)
 
No. The fact that a contribution was received at an event does not automatically transform the event into a fundraiser. This event was intended to be and advertised as a regular committee meeting, not a fundraising event for the town committee, so Pam and Sam can still make use of the exemption.
 
The $100 contribution is reported as is any other contribution.
 
 
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  {SEEC}  Political Committees
{SEEC}  
 
 
 
 
Connecticut Political Committee is an ongoing political committee that was established by two or more individuals. It is holding its monthly meeting and Peter would like to bring $40 worth of pizza for members to eat while they meet. Can Peter make use of the $50 food and beverage exemption?
(rev, 8/27/10)
 
No. With the exception of legislative caucus, legislative leadership, and slate committees, this exemption does not extend to events held by political committees. In other words, political committees established by two or more individuals, business entities, labor unions, or other organizations may not make use of this exemption. Therefore, Connecticut Political Committee should report the pizza as an in-kind contribution from Peter and it would count towards his contribution limits for the year.
 
 
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Content Last Modified on 9/16/2010 8:14:53 AM