state board of elections

6400 Mail Service Center ● Raleigh, NC 27699-6400

 

GARY O. BARLETT                                                                                                          Mailing Address

Director                                                                                                                                  PO Box 27255

Raleigh, NC 27611-7255

(919) 733-7173

                                                                                                                                                Fax (919) 715-1035

 

July 26, 2001

 

Ms. Becki Gray

House Minority Leader’s Office

NC House of Representatives

Raleigh, NC

 

RE: GS 163-278.13B

 

Dear Ms. Gray:

 

This letter contains an opinion of this office being reported as per GS 163-278.23.  The prohibition against fund-raising during the General Assembly session is found in GS 163-278.13B, parts of which are set below.

 

163-278.13B. Limitation on fund-raising during legislative session.

(a)  Definitions. – For purposes of this section:

(1)           "Limited contributor" means a lobbyist registered pursuant to Article 9A of Chapter 120 of the General Statutes, that lobbyist's agent, that lobbyist's principal as defined in G.S. 120-47.1(7), or a political committee that employs or contracts with or whose parent entity employs or contracts with a lobbyist registered pursuant to Article 9A of Chapter 120 of the General Statutes.

(2)           "Limited contributee" means a member of or candidate for the Council of State, a member of or candidate for the General Assembly.

(3)           The General Assembly is in "regular session" from the date set by law or resolution that the General Assembly convenes until the General Assembly either adjourns sine die or recesses or adjourns for more than 10 days.

(4)           A contribution is "made" during regular session if the check or other instrument is dated during the session, or if the check or other instrument is delivered to the limited contributee during session, or if the limited contributor pledges during the session to deliver the check or other instrument at a later time.

(5)           A contribution is "accepted" during regular session if the check or other instrument is dated during the session, or if the limited contributee receives the check or other instrument during session and does not return it within 10 days, or agrees during session to receive the check or other instrument at a later time.

(b)  Prohibited Solicitations. – While the General Assembly is in regular session, no limited contributee or the real or purported agent of a limited contributee shall:

(1)           Solicit a contribution from a limited contributor to be made to that limited contributee or to be made to any other candidate, officeholder, or political committee; or

(2)           Solicit a third party, requesting or directing that the third party directly or indirectly solicit a contribution from a limited contributor or relay to the limited contributor the limited contributee's solicitation of a contribution. It shall not be deemed a violation of this section for a limited contributee to serve on a board or committee of an organization that makes a solicitation of a limited contributor as long as that limited contributee does not directly participate in the solicitation and that limited contributee does not directly benefit from the solicitation.

(c) Prohibited Contributions. – While the General Assembly is in regular session:

(1)           No limited contributor shall make or offer to make a contribution to a limited contributee.

(2)           No limited contributor shall make a contribution to any candidate, officeholder, or political committee, directing or requesting that the contribution be made in turn to a limited contributee.

(3)           No limited contributor shall transfer any amount of money or anything of value to any entity, directing or requesting that the entity use what was transferred to contribute to a limited contributee.

(4)           No limited contributee or the real or purported agent of a limited contributee prohibited from solicitation by subsection (b) of this section shall accept a contribution from a limited contributor.

(5)           No limited contributor shall solicit a contribution from any individual or political committee on behalf of a limited contributee ………………..

It is important to note the definition of "limited contributor" and "limited contributee" which restricts the article's prohibition of giving to a registered lobbyist, that lobbyist's agent, the lobbyist's principal (who the lobbyists represents), or a political committee that employs or contracts with or whose parent entity employs or contracts with a registered lobbyist. A political committee of a legislator can not solicit funds, during a session, from a registered lobbyist or anyone that works for or has a registered lobbyist. A fundraiser that involves individuals, who are not lobbyists or work for or have hired lobbyists, during the current session, is allowable under the law.

 

                                                                                                                Sincerely,

 

 

 

                                                                                                                Gary O. Bartlett

                                                                                                                Executive Secretary-Director