< Back to H.R. 5507 (106th Congress, 1999–2000)

Text of the Informed Voter Act of 2000

This bill was introduced on October 19, 2000, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Oct 19, 2000 (Introduced).

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HR 5507 IH

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5507

To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to promote the disclosure of information on the financing of campaigns for Federal elections, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 19, 2000

Mr. KASICH introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committee on Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to promote the disclosure of information on the financing of campaigns for Federal elections, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Informed Voter Act of 2000’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSE.

    (a) FINDINGS- Congress finds as follows:

      (1) No aspect of the regulation of the financing of political campaigns has engendered such widespread support as the public disclosure of the money raised and spent to influence Federal elections.

      (2) The timely disclosure of all monies raised and spent to influence Federal elections is the least restrictive means of furthering the substantial government interest of informing the electorate and preventing corruption and the appearance of corruption.

      (3) During 1996 and subsequent election years, hundreds of millions of dollars which were never required to be disclosed are estimated to have been spent to influence Federal elections.

      (4) The growing popularity of methods to influence Federal elections outside of the framework of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 has increasingly threatened to undermine the Act’s preeminent goal of ensuring that the public is able to track the flow of money raised and spent in the political process.

    (b) PURPOSE- It is the purpose of this Act to bring into the openness of public visibility in a full and timely manner all financial activities carried out by interest groups, political parties, candidates, and elected officials which are aimed at directly or indirectly influencing Federal elections.

SEC. 3. DISCLOSURE OF ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATIONS.

    Section 304 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(d) ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS ON ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATIONS-

      ‘(1) STATEMENT REQUIRED- Each person who makes a disbursement for electioneering communications in an aggregate amount in excess of $10,000 during any calendar year shall, within 24 hours of each disclosure date, file with the Commission a statement containing the information described in paragraph (2).

      ‘(2) CONTENTS OF STATEMENT- Each statement required to be filed under this subsection shall be made under penalty of perjury and shall contain the following information:

        ‘(A) The identification of the person making the disbursement, of any entity sharing or exercising direction or control over the activities of such person, and of the custodian of the books and accounts of the person making the disbursement.

        ‘(B) The State of incorporation and the principal place of business of the person making the disbursement.

        ‘(C) The elections to which the electioneering communications pertain and the names (if known) of the candidates identified or to be identified.

        ‘(D) The amount of each disbursement equal to or greater than $500 made during the period covered by the statement and the identification of the person to whom the disbursement was made.

        ‘(E) If the disbursements were paid out of a segregated account to which only individuals could contribute, the names and addresses of all contributors who contributed an aggregate amount of $500 or more to that account during the period beginning on the first day of the preceding calendar year and ending on the disclosure date.

        ‘(F) If the disbursements were paid out of funds not described in subparagraph (E), the names and addresses of all contributors who contributed an aggregate amount of $1,000 or more to the organization or any related entity (other than any amount paid for bona fide dues charged for membership with the organization or entity) during the period beginning on the first day of the preceding calendar year and ending on the disclosure date.

        ‘(G) Whether or not any of the electioneering communications involved is made in coordination, cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate or any authorized committee, any political party or committee, or any agent of the candidate, political party, or committee and if so, the identification of any candidate, party, committee, or agent involved.

        ‘(H) The text of each of the electioneering communications involved.

      ‘(3) ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATION- For purposes of this subsection--

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- The term ‘electioneering communication’ means any public communication disseminated through mass media which--

          ‘(i) refers to a clearly identified candidate for Federal office (including an individual who has formed an exploratory committee for such an election) by name, image, or likeness, or which refers to the political party of such candidate or individual;

          ‘(ii) is made (or scheduled to be made) within--

            ‘(I) 90 days before a general, special, or runoff election for such Federal office, or

            ‘(II) 60 days before a primary or preference election, or a convention or caucus of a political party that has authority to nominate a candidate, for such Federal office, and

          ‘(iii) is disseminated to an audience which includes the electorate for such election, convention, or caucus (or any portion thereof).

        ‘(B) EXCEPTIONS- Such term does not include any of the following communications:

          ‘(i) Any communication appearing in a news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate.

          ‘(ii) Any communication designed to encourage individuals to register to vote.

          ‘(iii) Any voter guide presenting the views or voting record of a candidate in a manner which does not refer to or provide any linkage with the sponsor’s views.

        ‘(C) MASS MEDIA DEFINED- In this paragraph, the term ‘mass media’ means radio, television, newspapers or other periodicals of general circulation, billboards or other general public advertisements, direct mailing or phone bank to an audience of 500 or more, or the Internet.

      ‘(4) DISCLOSURE DATE- For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘disclosure date’ means--

        ‘(A) the first date during any calendar year by which a person has made disbursements for electioneering communications aggregating in excess of $10,000; and

        ‘(B) any other date during such calendar year by which a person has made disbursements for electioneering communications aggregating in excess of $10,000 since the most recent disclosure date for such calendar year.

      ‘(5) CONTRACTS TO DISBURSE- For purposes of this subsection, a person shall be treated as having made a disbursement if the person has contracted to make the disbursement.

      ‘(6) COORDINATION WITH OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Any requirement to report under this subsection shall be in addition to any other reporting requirement under this Act.’

SEC. 4. REQUIRING BROADCASTERS TO RETAIN AND MAKE AVAILABLE INFORMATION ON SPONSORS OF CERTAIN POLITICAL COMMUNICATIONS.

    Section 317 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 317) is amended--

      (1) by striking ‘radio station’ each place it appears and inserting ‘broadcast station’; and

      (2) by adding at the end of subsection (a) the following new paragraph:

    ‘(3)(A) Each person who provides a broadcast station with any communication described in subparagraph (E) for broadcast shall provide the station with the following information:

      ‘(i) If the person is an entity with officers or directors, the name, address, and daytime telephone number of such officers or directors.

      ‘(ii) If the person is an entity without officers or directors, the name, address, and daytime telephone number of any person responsible for the communication involved.

      ‘(iii) The identification of each person who provided funds to the person during the calendar year in an amount equal to or greater than $1,000, together with the amount the person provided.

    ‘(B) In addition to any other records required to be kept under this subsection, each broadcast station which broadcasts any communication described in subparagraph (E) shall--

      ‘(i) retain the information provided to the station pursuant to subparagraph (A);

      ‘(ii) if the station has a site on the Internet, post such information on the site;

      ‘(iii) provide the information described in clause (i) or clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) upon request to any person by telephone, electronic mail, or facsimile device; and

      ‘(iv) in addition to the methods described in clauses (ii) and (iii), make the information provided to the station pursuant to subparagraph (A) available for public inspection through such other methods as the station considers appropriate.

    ‘(C)(i) In addition to any other announcements required to be made under this subsection, each communication described in subparagraph (E) shall include, in a clearly spoken manner, the following statement: ‘XXXXXXXX is responsible for the content of this advertisement.’ (with the blank to be filled in with the name of each person responsible for the communication). If transmitted through television, the statement shall also appear in a clearly readable manner with a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background and the printed statement, for a period of at least 4 seconds.

    ‘(ii) For purposes of clause (i)--

      ‘(I) the person who provides the broadcast station with the communication shall be deemed to be a person responsible for the communication; and

      ‘(II) if 3 or fewer persons provided a portion of the funds used for the communication equal to or greater than 90 percent of the total amount used, each such person shall be deemed to be a person responsible for the communication.

    ‘(D)(i) Any person who violates subparagraph (A) or subparagraph (C) shall be subject to a civil money penalty of not more than $5,000 or the aggregate amount spent on the communication involved (whichever is greater) for each such violation.

    ‘(ii) Any person who knowingly and willfully violates subparagraph (A) or subparagraph (C) shall be subject to a civil money penalty of not more than $10,000 or 200 percent of the aggregate amount spent on the communication involved (whichever is greater) for each such violation.

    ‘(iii) The Commission may refer a knowing and willful violation of subparagraph (A) or subparagraph (C) to the Attorney General, who may bring a criminal action against the person involved. If the person is convicted in any such action, the person shall be fined not more than $25,000 or 300 percent of the aggregate amount spent on the communication involved (whichever is greater) for each such violation, imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

    ‘(E)(i) A communication described in this subparagraph is any communication which mentions a clearly identified candidate for election for Federal office (including any individual who has formed an exploratory committee for such election) or the political party of such a candidate, or which contains the likeness of such a candidate, (other than a payment which would be described in clause (i), (iii), or (v) of section 301(9)(B) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 if the payment were an expenditure under such section).

    ‘(ii) In clause (i), the term ‘Federal office’ has the meaning given such term in section 301(3) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

    ‘(F) This paragraph does not apply with respect to a communication if (prior to spending funds on the communication) the person providing the communication to the broadcast station has not spent an aggregate amount or value of $10,000 or more on all such communications during the calendar year involved.

    ‘(G) This paragraph shall apply with respect to a video programmer and a multi-channel video program distributor in the same manner as it applies to a broadcast station.’.

SEC. 5. DISCLOSURE OF CERTAIN EXEMPT ACTIVITY BY CORPORATIONS AND LABOR ORGANIZATIONS.

    (a) STATEMENTS OF DISBURSEMENTS FOR EXEMPT ACTIVITIES-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Section 316 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 441b) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(c)(1) Each corporation and labor organization which makes an aggregate amount of disbursements in excess of $50,000 during a calendar year for activities described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of subsection (b)(2) (except as provided in paragraph (3)) shall file a statement with the Commission containing the following information with respect to the reporting period involved:

        ‘(A) The aggregate amount of disbursements made.

        ‘(B) The name and address of the person or entity to whom a disbursement is made in an aggregate amount in excess of $200.

        ‘(C) The date made, amount, and purpose of the disbursement.

        ‘(D) If applicable, whether the disbursement was in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate or a political party, and the name of the candidate or the political party.

        ‘(E) Such other information regarding the disbursements as the Commission may prescribe.

    ‘(2) The statements required to be filed under this subsection shall be filed--

        ‘(A) on a monthly basis as described in section 304(a)(4)(B); or

        ‘(B) in the case of disbursements which are made within 20 days of an election, within 48 hours after the disbursements are made.

    ‘(3) For purposes of this subsection, the activities described in subparagraph (A) do not include any activity with respect to a communication which does not contain an expression of support for or opposition to a candidate for Federal office or a political party.’.

      (2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 301(9)(B)(iii) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 431(9)(B)(iii)) is amended by striking ‘, except that’ and all that follows through ‘general election’.

    (b) DISCLOSURE OF FEDERAL POLITICAL ACTIVITY TO MEMBERS AND SHAREHOLDERS- Section 316 of such Act (2 U.S.C. 441b), as amended by subsection (a), is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(d)(1) Not later than 60 days after the end of each calendar year, each labor organization described in this section shall provide each of its members and each other person who pays dues to the organization with a notice containing the aggregate amount of disbursements made by the organization for Federal political activities during the year.

    ‘(2) Not later than 60 days after the end of each calendar year, each corporation described in this section shall provide each of its shareholders with a notice containing the aggregate amount of disbursements made by the corporation for Federal political activities during the year.

    ‘(3) In this subsection, the term ‘Federal political activity’ means any activity carried out for the purpose of influencing (in whole or in part) any election for Federal office, influencing the consideration or outcome of any Federal legislation or the issuance or outcome of any Federal regulations, or educating individuals about candidates for election for Federal office or any Federal legislation, law, or regulations.’.

SEC. 6. DISCLOSURE BY STATE PARTIES OF INFORMATION REPORTED UNDER STATE OR LOCAL LAW.

    Section 304 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434), as amended by section 3, is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(e) If a political committee of a State political party is required under a State or local law, rule, or regulation to submit a report on its disbursements to an entity of

the State or local government, the committee shall file a copy of the report with the Commission at the time it submits the report to such an entity.’.

SEC. 7. DISCLOSURE OF RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS FROM NONFEDERAL ACCOUNTS OF FEDERAL COMMITTEES AND CANDIDATES.

    (a) REPORTING OF RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS FOR NONFEDERAL ACTIVITIES- Section 304(b) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434(b)) is amended--

      (1) by striking ‘and’ at the end of paragraph (7);

      (2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (8) and inserting a semicolon; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

      ‘(9) in the case of a political committee other than an authorized committee, for both the reporting period and the calendar year, the receipts and disbursements of any account of the committee whose funds are used for purposes which are not otherwise subject to the limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements of this Act; and

      ‘(10) in the case of an authorized committee of a candidate for Federal office, for both the reporting period and the election cycle--

        ‘(A) the receipts and disbursements of any accounts of the committee whose funds are used for purposes which are not otherwise subject to the limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements of this Act, and

        ‘(B) the receipts and disbursements of any organization under the direction or control of the committee or of the candidate or officeholder the committee supports which provides financial or other support for any Federal, State, or local political party, for any candidate for election for State or local office, or for the dissemination of any electioneering communication (as defined in section 304(d)(3)).’.

    (b) INFORMATION ON STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATION- Section 303(b) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 433(b)) is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (2), by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the following: ‘, including any organization under the direction or control of the committee or of the candidate or officeholder the committee supports which provides financial or other support for any Federal, State, or local political party, for any candidate for election for State or local office, or for the dissemination of any electioneering communication (as defined in section 304(d)(3));’; and

      (2) in paragraph (3), by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the following: ‘, together with a description (including the name, address, and position of the custodian) of any accounts of the committee whose funds are not otherwise subject to the limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements of this Act;’.

SEC. 8. DISCLOSURE AND REPORTS OF PUSH POLLS AND PHONE BANKS.

    Title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘DISCLOSURE AND REPORTS RELATING TO POLLING BY TELEPHONE OR ELECTRONIC DEVICE

    ‘SEC. 323. (a) IN GENERAL- Any person who conducts a Federal election poll by telephone or electronic device shall disclose to each respondent the identity of the person paying the expenses of the poll. The disclosure shall be made at the end of the interview involved.

    ‘(b) REPORTS- In the case of any Federal election poll by telephone or electronic device--

      ‘(1) if the results are not to be made public, the person who conducts the poll shall report to the Commission the total cost of the poll and all sources of funds for the poll; and

      ‘(2) the person who conducts the poll shall report to the Commission the total number of households contacted and include with such report a copy of the poll questions.

    ‘(c) DEFINITION- As used in this section, the term ‘Federal election poll’ means a survey--

      ‘(1) in which the respondent is asked to state a preference in a future election for Federal office; and

      ‘(2) in which more than 500 households are surveyed.’.

SEC. 9. RECORD KEEPING AND REPORTING OF SECONDARY PAYMENTS.

    (a) REPORTING- Section 304(b)(5)(A) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434(b)(5)(A)) is amended by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the following: ‘, and, if such person in turn makes expenditures which aggregate $5,000 or more in an election cycle to other persons (not including employees) who provide goods or services to the candidate or the candidate’s authorized committees, the name and address

of such other persons, together with the date, amount, and purpose of such expenditures;’.

    (b) RECORD KEEPING- Section 302 of such Act (2 U.S.C. 432) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(j) A person described in section 304(b)(5)(A) who makes expenditures which aggregate $5,000 or more in an election cycle to other persons (not including employees) who provide goods or services to a candidate or a candidate’s authorized committees shall provide to a political committee the information necessary to enable the committee to report the information described in such section.’.

    (c) NO EFFECT ON OTHER REPORTS- Nothing in the amendments made by this section may be construed to affect the terms of any other recordkeeping or reporting requirements applicable to candidates or political committees under title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

SEC. 10. 48-HOUR DEADLINE FOR DISCLOSURE OF CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED DURING 90-DAY PERIOD PRECEDING GENERAL ELECTION.

    Section 304(a) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ‘(12)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, each political committee which receives a contribution in an amount equal to or greater than $500 during the period which begins on the 90th day before a general election for Federal office and ends at the time the polls close for such election (determined without regard to any day preceding the primary election, convention, or caucus for the selection of the candidates for such general election) shall, with respect to any information required to be filed with the Commission under this section with respect to such contribution, file and preserve the information using electronic mail, the Internet, or such other method of instantaneous transmission as the Commission may permit, and shall file the information within 48 hours after the receipt of the contribution.

    ‘(B) The Commission shall make the information filed under this paragraph available on the Internet immediately upon receipt.’.

SEC. 11. IDENTIFICATION OF REGISTERED LOBBYISTS AND FOREIGN AGENTS.

    Section 301(13)(A) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431(13)(A)) is amended by inserting after ‘employer’ the following: ‘and a statement as to whether the individual is registered as a lobbyist under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 or registered as the agent of a foreign principal under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938’.

SEC. 12. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The amendments made by this Act shall apply with respect to elections occurring after December 31, 2000.