Approved at the 4/7/18 State meeting
All candidates, at any level, endorsed by the MOGP must agree to follow these campaign finance rules.
1) Follow all campaign finance laws.
- Become familiar with and obey state and federal limits on contribution amounts per contributor.
- Become familiar with and obey state and federal limits on anonymous and cash contributions.
- Do not accept campaign contributions from for-profit corporations and unions because these contributions are illegal under both federal & state law.
- Do not accept campaign contributions from non-citizens because these contributions are illegal under state and federal law.
- Become familiar with and obey state and federal rules about moving money between campaigns, political party committees and political action committees.
- Meet all campaign finance filing deadlines.
2) Accept no contributions from “non-connected” Political Action Committees (PACs) funded by for-profit corporations or businesses.
- If a corporation or union has not set up a specific PAC or paid for that PAC’s administrative costs, then that PAC isn’t connected to that corporation or union.
- Corporations and unions can contribute to “non-connected PACs” that contribute to state candidates but not federal candidates. Federal law still prohibits corporations and unions from contributing to PACs that contribute to candidates. (See Page 18 of https://www.fec.gov/resources/cms-content/documents/nongui.pdf and also http://www.mec.mo.gov/WebDocs/PDF/CampaignFinance/MEC_ArticleVIII_Section23%205-31-17.pdf and http://mec.mo.gov/Scanned/PDF/Opinions/483.pdf)
- MOGP candidates may not accept contributions from PACs which accept money from non-connected corporations or for-profit businesses.
- MOGP candidates are free to accept contributions from PACs which accept contributions from unions and non-profit organizations whose missions align with our values. These organizations are our allies and do not represent the corporate or capitalist power that we oppose.
3) Accept no contributions from the “connected PACs” ("Separate Segregated Funds") of for-profit corporations or other for-profit businesses.
- “Connected PACs” are set up by for-profit corporations or unions primarily to receive contributions from their employees or members. Often the corporation or union will pay the adminstrative costs of the PAC. Under both State and Federal law, corporations and unions can’t contribute to their own “connected PACs.”
- These “connected PACs” can directly contribute to candidate campaigns.
- MOGP candidates may not accept contributions from corporations’ “connected PACs.”
- MOGP candidates are free to accept contributions from unions’ or aligned non-profit corporations’ “connected PACs” These organizations are our allies and do not represent the corporate or capitalist power that we oppose.
4) Accept no contributions from for-profit businesses
- It is legal for candidates to accept contributions directly from for-profit businesses other than corporations.
- MOGP candidates may not accept any contributions paid from the business accounts of for-profit businesses, even if they aren’t corporations.
- The individuals involved in the businesses are perfectly capable of contributing to campaigns on an personal basis, within legal contribution limits.
- We’re opposing not just corporate power but capitalist power. After all, the Koch brothers businesses are not corporations but a private businesses.
- Taking these kinds of contributions exposes us to accusations of pay-for-play since businesses spend money to increase their bottom line.
5) Publicly disavow all independent expenditures in support of your campaign.
- Independent expenditures are made by PACs that do not coordinate with candidate campaigns. MOGP will coordinate with its candidates’ campaigns.
- The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United vs FEC made these kinds of campaign expenditures legal for corporations, unions, and associations. The court decision in Speechnow.org vs. FEC removed limits on these expenditures. The Supreme Court subsequently limited attempts to level the playing field with increased public campaign finance in Arizona Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett (No. 10-238) and McComish v. Bennett (No. 10-239)
- These expenditures are normally made by federal independent expenditure organizations (“super-PACS”), which, under SpeechNow.org vs FEC, are allowed to receive unlimited contributions and make unlimited independent expenditures as long as they do not coordinate with candidates. https://www.fec.gov/press/resources-journalists/political-action-committees-pacs/
- MOGP candidates must disavow all independent expenditures made in support of their campaigns.
- Unlimited sums of money are distorting our political system to further empower the wealthy and corporate interests. SuperPACs have been primarily used as means for billionaires to intervene in our elections.
- Concentrations of capital should not be more empowered in our political system than they already are. The Green Party supports a constitutional amendment stating that corporations are not people and do not have a first amendment right to speak into the political process with money. The Green Party further demands full public financing of federal, state and local elections, including free and equal radio and television time on the public airwaves for all ballot-qualified candidates and parties. http://www.gp.org/democracy_2016
- We must be consistent with our positions and not seek to benefit from the fact that the practice of unlimited independent campaign expenditures is currently legal.
6) Refuse and disavow dark money
- Currently, non-profit organizations that are tax exempt under 501(c)4 of the federal tax code, can make some expenditures to influence elections and do not have to disclose the identities of their donors. While there are many legitiate 501(c)4 organizations operating, this form of organization is more frequently being used to get around campaign finance laws that require disclosure of contributors’ identities. It has become another tool of the wealthy to intervene in our political system.
- MOGP candidates will alert the state party about any suspected dark money contributions or suspected dark money independent expenditures.
- MOGP candidates will be willing to refund any of these suspected dark money direct contributions if asked by the state party.
- MOGP candidates will publicly disavow any independent expenditures from any non-profit organizations identified as such dark money groups.