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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1082         FILED ON: 1/17/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 321

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

James B. Eldridge

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to the disclosure of political spending.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

Cory Atkins

14th Middlesex

William N. Brownsberger

Second Suffolk and Middlesex

Christopher G. Fallon

33rd Middlesex

Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

Peter V. Kocot

1st Hampshire

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Thomas P. Conroy

13th Middlesex

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

Benjamin B. Downing

Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Carolyn C. Dykema

8th Middlesex

James Arciero

2nd Middlesex

Michael Barrett

Third Middlesex

Michael O. Moore

Second Worcester

Katherine M. Clark

Fifth Middlesex

Thomas M. McGee

Third Essex

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex

Bruce E. Tarr

First Essex and Middlesex

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

Cynthia S. Creem

First Middlesex and Norfolk


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1082        FILED ON: 1/17/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 321

By Mr. Eldridge, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 321) of James B. Eldridge, Cory Atkins, William N. Brownsberger, Christopher G. Fallon and other members of the General Court for legislation to disclose political spending.  Election Laws. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

_______________

 

An Act relative to the disclosure of political spending.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the “Massachusetts Disclosure Act of 2013”.

              SECTION 2. The definition of “Electioneering communication” in section 1 of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 official edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 89, the words “and (7) internet or email communications” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- (7) email communications; and (8) internet communications which are not paid advertisements.

              SECTION 3. Said section 1 of said chapter 55, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the definition of “Electioneering communication” the following definition:-

              “Electioneering communication expenditure”, any expenditure made or liability incurred by an individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity as payment for an electioneering communication including any transfer of money or anything of value to another individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity for the purpose of making an electioneering communication by the recipient or some other individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity.

              SECTION 4. Said section 1 of said chapter 55, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the definition of “Independent expenditure” and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-

              "Independent expenditure", an expenditure made or liability incurred by an individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity as payment for goods or services including any transfer of money or anything of value to another individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, which is made or incurred without cooperation or consultation with a candidate, a nonelected political committee organized on behalf of a candidate or an agent of a candidate and which is not made or incurred in concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, a nonelected political committee organized on behalf of a candidate or agent of such candidate.

              SECTION 5. Section 3 of said chapter 55, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-

              The director shall adopt regulations regarding electioneering communication expenditures and independent expenditure that involves the transfer of money or anything of value from 1 individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity to another individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity for the purpose of making an electioneering expenditure or independent expenditure to ensure that the true origin of that expenditure is disclosed in the manner and on the schedule for reports of such expenditures provided for by this chapter.

              SECTION 6. Section 8 of said chapter 55, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 22, the words “Any corporation violating any provision of this section” and inserting in place thereof the following words:-  Any such corporation violating this chapter.

              SECTION 7. Chapter 55 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 8A the following section:-

              Section 8B. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as authorizing an electioneering communication, electioneering communication expenditure or an independent expenditure by a corporation, including any requirement to report such communication or expenditure, unless such communication or expenditure is protected by the Constitution of the United States or the commonwealth.

              SECTION 8. Subsection (a) of section 18A of said chapter 55, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 1 and 9, the words “or association” and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following words:- association, corporation, labor union or other entity.

              SECTION 9. Said section 18A of said chapter 55, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “association”, in lines 16, 20 and 21 and 25, each time it appears, the following words:- , corporation, labor union, other entity.             

                            SECTION 10. Paragraph (7) of subsection (b) of section 18C of said chapter 55, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “association”, in line 36, the following words:- , corporation, labor union, other entity.

              SECTION 11. Paragraph (9) of said subsection (b) of said section 18C of said chapter 55, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 44, the words “or association” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- association, corporation, labor union or other entity.

              SECTION 12. Said chapter 55 of the General Laws is hereby further amended by striking out section 18F, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

              Section 18F. Every individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity not defined as a political committee who makes an electioneering communication expenditure, in an aggregate amount exceeding $250 during a calendar year, shall electronically file with the director, within 7 days after making that expenditure, a report stating the name and address of the individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity making the electioneering communication, the name of any candidate clearly identified in the communication, the total amount or value of the communication, the name and address of the vendor to whom the payments were made and the purpose and date of any such expenditure. In addition, any individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity not defined as a political committee who makes electioneering communication expenditures, in an aggregate amount exceeding $250 during a calendar year, who receives funds for the purpose of making such electioneering communications shall include in the electronic filing the date the funds were received and the name and address of the provider of any such funds in excess of $250, if any, and the value of the funds received. Reports required under this section shall be filed with the director, as provided in section 18C, if electioneering communications refer to any candidate who files with the director. Reports required under this section shall be filed with the city or town clerk if the electioneering communications refer to any candidate seeking public office in a city or town election who does not otherwise file with the director.

              Any person, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity that makes or contracts to make electioneering communications aggregating $1,000 or more within 7 days before the date of an election shall file a report containing the information required under this section within 48 hours after making such expenditure.

              A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 1 year.

              SECTION 13. Section 18G of said chapter 55, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the first paragraph the following paragraphs: -

              If the independent expenditure or electioneering communication is paid for by an entity that is not an individual, the advertisement or communication shall contain the words “Top Contributors” and a written statement listing the 5 persons or entities, or if less than 5 persons or entities then the total of all such persons or entities, making the largest contributions to that entity for the purpose of making an independent expenditure or electioneering communication; provided, that such contributions shall be  in excess of $5,000 reportable under this chapter during the 12-month period before the date of the advertisement or communication. If no such contribution is received by the entity making an independent expenditure or electioneering communication, then the advertisement or communication may exclude such a statement.

              An individual, corporation, group, association or other entity that makes an independent expenditure or electioneering communication shall not engage or retain an advertising firm, campaign staff member or consultant that has also been engaged or retained within the prior 6 months by the candidate or candidate's committee that is benefited by the independent expenditure or electioneering communication.

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