Here are some guidelines for how to wrap up a campaign that has ended.
The C-4 report filed on September 10 is the final report if the campaign is done – meaning there are no outstanding debts, loans or other obligations, surplus funds have been disposed of and the campaign has been dissolved.
If the campaign does not or cannot file a final report on September 10, continue to file C-4 reports until all debts and other obligations are satisfied. These reports are filed on the 10th of each month (covering the previous calendar month, or the period since the last report) whenever expenditures made total $200 or more since the last C-4 report was filed. A final C-4 report is filed when all obligations are settled.
Candidates who are eliminated in the primary election, or withdraw their candidacy prior to the primary election and have received contributions designated for the general election, need to refund all general election contributions received as soon as possible once the primary elections are final, or not later than September 10 when the post-primary election C-4 report is due.
Donors may make primary election contributions to candidates who are subject to contribution limits up to 30 days after the date of the primary, if the candidate loses in the primary and does not have enough money to pay primary debt. These contributions count against the contributor’s overall primary limit. This means that if you lose in the primary, you will only have an additional 30 days to solicit contributions to satisfy primary debt. Contributions received in excess of the sum needed to satisfy outstanding primary debts must be returned to the original contributors.
If the candidate has debts or loans outstanding after the 30 day post primary timeframe (but insufficient campaign funds to cover these obligations), there are only three options available for raising money.
1) The candidate may contribute personal funds to his or her campaign and use these funds to pay off the debts and loans. (These contributions are also reported on C-3 reports.)
2) The candidate could receive contributions from a bona fide political party or caucus political committee so long as the contributions are made by December 31 of that election year. These contributions count against the contributor's overall limit. (The contributions are also reported on C-3 reports.)
3) The candidate decides to seek another public office and files a C-1 registration statement with PDC to that effect. A final C-4 report for the campaign just concluded is filed. A beginning C-4 report for the new campaign is also filed, showing the debt being carried forward to this new campaign. It is conceivable that there could be a cash surplus that is also carried forward; but, it is more likely that all cash remaining from the earlier campaign has been used to reduce the amount of the debt left from that campaign. (In order to use this debt payment method, the person must be a legitimate candidate in the new election, and not simply re-registering as a candidate in order to collect money to pay off the old debts or loans. All contributions received count against the contributor's limit (if any) for the new campaign, even if they are spent on debts or loans from the previous campaign.)
If there is a surplus after the election, you may
Candidates who are not subject to contribution limits may continue to accept contributions until the debt is retired. Any funds raised in excess of the amount of debt must be returned to the contributor(s).
The C-4 report filed on January 10 is the final report if the campaign is concluded, there are no outstanding debts, loans or other obligations, surplus funds have been disposed of and the campaign has been dissolved. If the campaign does not or cannot file a final report the first January after the general election, continue to file C-4 reports until all debts and other obligations are satisfied. These reports are filed on the 10th of each month (covering the previous calendar month, or the period since the last report) whenever expenditures made total $200 or more since the last C-4 report was filed. If you have a campaign surplus, but make no new expenditures, no C-4 reports are required until campaign financial activity resumes.
Candidates may continue accepting contributions, subject to contribution limits, until Dec. 31 of the election year.
If the candidate has debts or loans outstanding after the election (but insufficient campaign funds after the election to cover these obligations), there are three options:
Because of the way the law is worded, after December 31 of the election year, no one (except as discussed above) may give a candidate in that election money or anything else of value to pay off remaining campaign debts/loans. Nor may anyone else directly pay the persons who are owed the money, since those payments constitute in-kind contributions (and contributions have to be made on or before December 31). Nor may the person to whom the debt or loan is owed forgive the obligation, unless the person did so on or before December 31 (and the amount forgiven, when combined with other contributions from that contributor, does not exceed $1,000 for state legislative candidates and $2,000 for state executive office candidates).
If there is a surplus after the election, you may: