Table of Contents
- A - Committee Treasurer, Designated Record Keeper and Depository
- A1 - Campaign Finance Recordkeeping - Best Practices
- A2 - Information for Michigan Financial Institutions
- B - Registering a Committee With a Statement of Organization Form
- B1 - Filing Requirements
- C - The Reporting Waiver
- D - Electronic Filing of Campaign Statements (State Level Committees Only)
- E - Late Filing Fees, Waivers and Reviews
- F - Fundraisers
- G - Immediate Disclosure Reports
- 48 Hour/Late Contribution ReportsSpecial Election Independent Expenditure Reports24-Hour Reports
- H - Committee Types
- I - Use of Public Facilities, Funds, Etc, Prohibited
- J - Identification Requirements
- K - Out-of-State Groups
- K1 - Independent Expenditure Committees (IEC/Super PAC) Groups, Organizations, Corporations, Unions and Domestic Dependent Sovereigns (DDS/Indian Tribes)
- K2 - Federal Candidate Committees
- L - Independent Contractors (Media Buyers and Other Vendors Purchasing Goods for the Committee)
- M - Recount Expenses
- N - Violations and Penalties
- O - Prohibited Contributions
- O1 - Contributions Exemptions
- O2 - Contributions Received by a Partnership,LLC or PLLC
- P - Special Primary, General and Recall Elections
- Q - Individuals and the Michigan Campaign Finance Act (MCFA)
- R - Incumbent Candidates
- S - Campaign Signs - FAQs
- T - Transfers
- W - Dissolution of a Committee
- X - Declaratory Rulings and Interpretive Statements
- Y - The Complaint Process
- Z - Reference Information
Certain contributions are prohibited by the MCFA. A prohibited contribution must be returned as soon as the committee recognizes that it has received a contribution that cannot be accepted. If a prohibited contribution has been deposited in the committee’s account, an expenditure from the account must be made to return the prohibited contribution. If the prohibited contribution has not been deposited, the actual contribution must be returned.
A contribution that is returned within 30 business days of receipt is not considered to be a contribution and is, therefore, not a violation of the Act. The Michigan Campaign Finance Act prohibits the following contributions:
- Anonymous Contributions: A committee may not accept an anonymous contribution. If a contribution is received without name and address information, it must be donated to a tax-exempt charitable organization and a receipt is needed for committee records.
- Cash Contributions over $20.00: A committee may not accept contributions of $20.01 or more in cash. Cash contributions of $20.00 or less may be accepted and must be reported in detail with name, address, date and amount of each contribution. This requirement includes money received through the sale of political merchandise, fund raisers or through any other source.
- Candidate Committee to Candidate Committee: A Candidate Committee must not accept a contribution from another Candidate Committee except for the purchase of a fund raiser ticket, not to exceed $100.00 from that Candidate Committee in a calendar year.
- Earmarking: A committee may not accept a contribution with the agreement or arrangement that the committee will transfer the contribution to a particular Candidate Committee.
- Excess Contributions: A committee may not accept a contribution in excess of the contribution limits established under the MCFA. Excess contributions can be in the form or direct contributions, in-kind contributions and loans. In addition, funds received in the current election cycle can not be used to pay off debt from a previous election cycle unless all of the conditions set out is Section 52(6) are met. Committees may receive an excess contribution if the provisions of Section 52(6) are not strictly followed.
- Foreign Nationals: The Federal Election Campaign Act prohibits Foreign Nationals from making any contribution or expenditure (including independent expenditures) in connection with any U.S. elections. It is also unlawful for any person to solicit, accept or receive a contribution from a foreign national.
- Contribution in the Name of Another: A person shall not make a contribution by any name other than the name by which that person is identified for legal reasons.
- Corporations, Joint Stock Companies, Labor Organizations, Domestic Dependent Sovereigns (Indian tribes): A candidate committee, political committee, independent committee or political party committee may not accept a contribution of money from treasury funds, goods, services, discounts or free use of facilities from a corporation, a joint stock company, a labor organization, or a domestic dependent sovereign. This prohibition does not apply to ballot question committees and Super PACS which may accept contributions from these sources.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board enforces this prohibition. A person who makes a prohibited contribution is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for 10 years and/or a fine of not more than $100,000.00. The persons who are prohibited from making contributions are:
Public Act 71 of 1997 amended the Act to provide that a committee shall not knowingly maintain receipt of a contribution from a person prohibited from making a contribution during the prohibited period under Public Act 69. For purposes of this section of Public Act 71, a committee is only considered to have knowingly maintained receipt of a contribution prohibited under Public Act 69 and is subject to penalty for that violation if both of the following circumstances exist:
- The Secretary of State has, by registered mail, notified the committee that the committee has received a contribution in violation of this section and has specifically identified that contribution.
- The committee fails to return the contribution identified on or before the thirtieth business day after the date the committee receives the notification.