Do’s & Don’ts of Campaign Finance

Recently S&L asked the State Elections Enforcement Commission for some tips for registered lobbyists about what is acceptable under CT law as far as participation in campaign fundraising events. Here’s a quick summary of what we learned.


In-house and contract lobbyists are considered communicator lobbyists


1. A Communicator lobbyist (both in house and contracted) may not bundle contributions on behalf of executive and legislative branch candidates. The statute defines “bundle” as forwarding five or more contributions to a single committee by a communicator lobbyist, an agent of the lobbyist, or an immediate family member of a lobbyist.


2. A Communicator lobbyist may not raise contributions for such a committee (Executive and legislative branch candidates) at a fundraising affair hosted or sponsored by such lobbyist, lobbyist’s agent or immediate family member.


3. *A communicator lobbyist may solicit certain contributions on behalf of candidate committees and party committees. A Communicator lobbyist may not solicit contributions from individuals who serve on the board of directors of, are partners of, are employed by, or have a 5 percent or more ownership interest in any client lobbyist they represent. (* Second Circuits July 12 opinion)


4. A Communicator lobbyist may solicit campaign contributions from other legally appropriate individuals for a limited group of PACs ( but NOT a Caucus / Leadership committee; candidate committee or exploratory committee for the office of state senate or representative or Governor, Lt Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Secretary of State, Treasurer, party committee or a program ad for a town committee.)


5. A Communicator lobbyist may solicit clients and others for ad space in program book up to the ($50 per person / $250 per organization) limit per calendar year for a political committee – including leadership committees and a state central but not a town committee.


6. A Communicator lobbyist may not purchase ad space in a program


7. A Communicator lobbyist’s business entity may purchase ad space in ad books since the Office of State Ethics does not consider a communicator lobbyist is a lobbyist for this purpose.

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