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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1530         FILED ON: 1/21/2011

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 304

 

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 disclosure of political spending .

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

James B. Eldridge

 

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex

Kenneth J. Donnelly

 

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Tom Sannicandro

7th Middlesex

George T. Ross

2nd Bristol

Alice K. Wolf

25th Middlesex

Linda Campbell

15th Essex

Jason M. Lewis

31st Middlesex

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

William N. Brownsberger

 

Cory Atkins

14th Middlesex

James J. Dwyer

30th Middlesex

Carolyn C. Dykema

8th Middlesex

Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex

John V. Fernandes

10th Worcester

Linda Dorcena Forry

12th Suffolk

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

Kate Hogan

3rd Middlesex

Christopher N. Speranzo

3rd Berkshire

Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire

Daniel A. Wolf

 

Charles A. Murphy

21st Middlesex


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1530        FILED ON: 1/21/2011

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 304

By Mr. Eldridge, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 304) of James B. Eldridge, Carl M. Sciortino, Jr., Kenneth J. Donnelly, Kay Khan and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to disclosure of political spending .  Election Laws. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

_______________

 

An Act relative to 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 2011”.

              SECTION 2. Section 8 of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, as amended by section 33 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph: -

              Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict independent expenditures to the extent that such expenditures are protected by the First Amendment.              

              SECTION 3. (a) Subsection (a) of section 18A of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 41 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by striking out the words “or association” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- association, corporation, labor union or other entity. 

              Paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of section 18A of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 41 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by striking out the words “or association” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- association, corporation, labor union or other entity. 

              Subsection (b) of section 18A of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 41 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “association” the following words:- , corporation, labor union, other entity. 

              Paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of section 18A of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 41 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “association” the following words:- , corporation, labor union, other entity. 

              Subsection (c) of section 18A of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 41 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “association” the following words:- , corporation, labor union, other entity.

              (b) Paragraph (7) of subsection (b) of section 18C of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 42 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “association” the following words:- , corporation, labor union, other entity.

              Paragraph (9) of subsection (b) of section 18C of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 42 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by striking out the words “or association” and inserting in place thereof the words:- association, corporation, labor union or other entity.

              (c) The first sentence of section 18F of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 43 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by striking out the words “or association”, wherever they appear, and inserting in place thereof the following words:- association, corporation, labor union or other entity.

              The second sentence of section 18F of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 43 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by striking out the words “or association” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- association, corporation, labor union or other entity.

              The second paragraph of section 18F of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 43 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by striking out the words “or association” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- association, corporation, labor union or other entity.

              SECTION 4. (a) Section 1 of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, as amended by section 24 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby 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:

              (1) as payment for an electioneering communication; or

              (2) to transfer money, or anything of value, to another individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity for the purpose that the recipient or some other individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity make an electioneering communication or independent expenditure.  A transfer of money or anything of value shall be an “electioneering communication expenditure” if:

                    (i) the transferor designates, requests or suggests that the amounts be used to make any electioneering communication or independent expenditure;

                    (ii) the transferor and the recipient of the money or thing of value engaged in written or oral discussion regarding the recipient either making, or paying for, any electioneering communication or independent expenditure, or donating or transferring the amounts to another individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity for that purpose;

                    (iii) the transferor knew or had reason to know that the recipient of the money or thing of value intended to make any electioneering communication or independent expenditure, or to donate or transfer the amounts to another individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity for that purpose.

              Provided, however, that a transfer shall not be considered an “electioneering communication expenditure” if the transfer was a commercial transaction occurring in the ordinary course of business between the transferor and the recipient of the money or thing of value, unless there is affirmative evidence that the amounts were transferred for the purpose of making an electioneering communication or independent expenditure.

              (b) Section 1 of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as so appearing, as amended by section 24 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby further amended by inserting after the words “email communications” in the definition of “electioneering communication” the following words:- which are not paid advertisements.

              (c) Section 1 of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the last sentence of the definition of “political committee” the words:- “Political committee” includes any committee, association, organization or other group of persons which solicits or receives contributions for the purpose of making any electioneering communication or that makes any electioneering communication expenditures in an aggregate amount during a calendar year equal to or greater than $10,000.

              (d) The second sentence of section 18F of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 43 of chapter 28 of the acts of 2009, is hereby amended by inserting after the words “if any” the following words: - , and the value of the funds so received.

              SECTION 5.  (a) Section 18G of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 34 of chapter 131 of the acts of 2010, is hereby amended by inserting at the end of the first paragraph the following words: - If the independent expenditure or electioneering communication is paid for by any entity that is not an individual, the advertisement or communication must contain a statement listing the five persons or entities making the largest contributions to that entity in excess of $1000 reportable under this chapter 55 during the twelve-month period before the date of the advertisement or communication, if any, with the words “Top Five Contributors”.

              (b) Section 18G of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 34 of chapter 131 of the acts of 2010, is further amended by inserting after the first paragraph the following paragraph: -

              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 six months by  the candidate or candidate's committee that is benefited by the independent expenditure or electioneering communication.

              SECTION 6.  Chapter 55 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 8A the following new section: -

              Section 8B. (a) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

              (1) "foreign national" shall mean: (i) any individual who is not a citizen of the United States and who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence; or (ii) any foreign principal, such as a government of a foreign country or a foreign political party, partnership, association, corporation, organization, or other combination of persons that has its primary place of business in or is organized under the laws of a foreign country.  "Foreign national" does not include an individual who is a citizen of the United States, who is a national of the United States, or who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence. 

              (2) “foreign-controlled domestic corporation” shall mean any corporation which is not a foreign national and:

                    (i) in which a foreign national that is a foreign country, a foreign government official or a corporation principally owned or controlled by a foreign country or foreign government official owns or controls 5 per cent or more of the voting shares;

                    (ii) in which a foreign national that is not a foreign country, a foreign government official or a corporation principally owned or controlled by a foreign country or foreign government official owns or controls 20 per cent or more of the voting shares;

                    (iii) in which two or more foreign nationals, each of whom owns or controls at least 5 per cent of the voting shares, directly or indirectly own or control 50 per cent or more of the voting shares;

                    (iv) with respect to which the majority of the members of the board of directors are foreign nationals;

                    (v) over which one or more foreign nationals has the power to direct, dictate, or control the decision-making process of the corporation with respect to its interests in the United States; or

                    (vi) over which one or more foreign nationals has power to direct, dictate, or control the decision-making process of the corporation with respect to activities in connection with the making of a contribution, expenditure, independent expenditure, or electioneering communication expenditure.

              (b) A foreign national or foreign-controlled domestic corporation shall not make a contribution, independent expenditure or electioneering communication expenditure for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate, or candidates, or of presidential and vice presidential electors, or for the purpose of opposing or promoting a charter change, referendum question, constitutional amendment, or other question submitted to the voters.

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