Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(a) Factors for determining independence. In determining whether an expenditure is independent, the Board may consider any of the factors from the following non-exhaustive list:
(i) whether the person or entity making the expenditure is also an agent of a candidate;
(ii) whether any person authorized to accept receipts or make expenditures for the person or entity making the expenditure is also an agent of a candidate;
(iii) whether a candidate has authorized, requested, suggested, fostered, or otherwise cooperated in any way in the formation or operation of the person or entity making the expenditure;
(iv) whether the person or entity making the expenditure has been established, financed, maintained, or controlled by any of the same persons or entities as those that have established, financed, maintained, or controlled a political committee authorized by the candidate;
(v) whether the candidate shares or rents space for a campaign-related purpose with or from the person or entity making the expenditure;
(vi) whether the candidate has solicited or collected funds on behalf of the person or entity making the expenditure, during the same election cycle in which the expenditure is made;
(vii) whether the candidate, or any public or private office held or entity controlled by the candidate, including any governmental agency, division, or office, has retained the professional services of the person making the expenditure or a principal member or professional or managerial employee of the entity making the expenditure, during the same election cycle in which the expenditure is made; and
(viii) whether the candidate and the person or entity making the expenditure have each consulted or otherwise been in communication with the same third party or parties, if the candidate knew or should have known that the candidate's communication or relationship to the third party or parties would inform or result in expenditures to benefit the candidate.
(b) Board determination. Upon consideration of the factors described in subdivision (a), the Board may determine by a preponderance of evidence that an expenditure was not independent. Prior to such determination, the candidate and/or the person or entity making the expenditure shall have an opportunity to provide evidence indicating that such expenditure was independent.
(c) Presumed non-independent expenditures. Financing the dissemination, distribution, or republication of any broadcast or any written, graphic, or other form of campaign materials prepared by a candidate is presumed to be a non-independent expenditure, unless the candidate can show that the activity was not in any way undertaken, authorized, requested, suggested, fostered, or otherwise cooperated in by the candidate.
(d) Non-independent expenditures are contributions and expenditures. An expenditure for the purpose of furthering or facilitating the nomination or election of a candidate which is determined not to be an independent expenditure, is a contribution to, and an expenditure by, the candidate.
(e) Expenditures made by party committees or constituted committees. Communication between, or common agents shared by, parties and their nominees will not require a conclusion that all spending by the party's constituted committees and party committees in an election is an in-kind contribution to the nominee.
(i) The following expenditures made by party committees or constituted committees are not considered in-kind contributions to a candidate unless it is demonstrated that the candidate in some way cooperated in the expenditure and that the expenditure was intended to benefit that candidate:
(A) materials or activities that promote the party, or oppose another party, by name, platform, principles, history, theme, slogans, issues, or philosophy, without reference to particular candidates in an upcoming election subject to the requirements of the Act.
(B) materials or activities in connection with candidates and elections not subject to the requirements of the Act.
(C) training, compensating, or providing materials for poll watchers appointed by the party pursuant to § 8-500 of the New York State Election Law.
(D) promoting party enrollment or voter turnout without reference to particular candidates in an upcoming election subject to Program requirements, including research, polling, recruitment of party employees and volunteers, and development and maintenance of voter and contributor lists.
(E) raising funds for the party without reference to particular candidates in an upcoming election subject to the requirements of the Act.
(F) mailing of absentee ballot applications in a special or general election in which an office not subject to the requirements of the Act is on the ballot.
(ii) The Board may require a candidate to demonstrate that expenditures made by a party committee or constituted committee for the purpose of furthering or facilitating the nomination or election of a candidate, including expenditures for the purpose of furthering or facilitating the defeat of the nomination or election of such candidate's opponent or prospective opponent, are not in-kind contributions to the candidate.
(iii) Where a candidate has, without making public disclosure of an outstanding liability in a timely manner, promised or made reimbursement or other payment to a party committee or constituted committee for an expenditure, such expenditure will be considered an in-kind contribution to the candidate during the time preceding the reimbursement or other payment by the candidate.
(f) Running as a "ticket". If candidates announce they are running together as a "ticket" for which they have chosen to join together in a broad spectrum of activities to promote each other's election, the Board will presume that expenditures made by one candidate's campaign for materials or activities that clearly identify the other candidate are in-kind contributions to the second candidate. If the expenditures are in-kind contributions, the expenditures are subject to apportionment requirements as joint expenditures. The following factors would increase the burden a candidate would have in overcoming this presumption:
(i) the campaigns have staff, consultants, office space, or telephone lines in common; and
(ii) other in-kind contributions, expenditure refunds, advances, or joint expenditures have been made between these candidates, or one of the candidates has reported a liability owed to the other candidate(s).
(g) Certain routine interactions with entities. Certain routine interactions with entities, absent other indicia of non-independence, will not in themselves lead to a determination of non-independence pursuant to 52 RCNY § 6-04(b), including:
(i) Discussions of logistics, including scheduling, regarding a non-fundraising event hosted by the entity;
(ii) Communications directly related to an entity's endorsement process, including questionnaires and interviews; and
(iii) Requesting, obtaining, or distributing publicly available materials such as a candidate's photograph, biography, position paper, or press release, but not including leaflets, posters, or other similar materials, nor video or audio materials.
(Added City Record 8/16/2019, eff. 9/15/2019)