Campaign funds may only be used for expenditures that are directly related to the candidate's campaign.  Although by no means a complete list of allowable campaign expenses, the following will give you an idea of typical campaign expenses:

  • Campaign employees and consultants;
  • Campaign headquarters, office equipment and supplies;
  • Campaign fund raising activities (including candidate’s portion of joint fund raising expenditures shared with other candidates);
  • Filing fees paid when candidate files his or her Declaration of Candidacy with the county auditor or the Secretary of State;
  • Political advertising expenses (including advertising that immediately follows an election thanking contributors and voters for their support);
  • Lists of voters in the candidate's district;
  • Lists of potential contributors;
  • Polling and voter identification expenses;
  • Payments to accountants, bookkeepers, lawyers, computer consultants and the like for assistance in complying with PDC and election laws (note that this type of assistance may be provided free to the campaign without a contribution ensuing); and
  • Any other expense that is directly related to the candidate's election campaign

Further, although the law prohibits using campaign funds to make a contribution to another candidate or political committee (other than using surplus funds to give to a political party or caucus committee), it is OK for a candidate to use his or her campaign money to attend an event held by another candidate, a political party or committee so long as attending the event is directly related to the candidate's own campaign and the candidate's campaign only pays the per-person cost of consumables provided at the event.  That is, the candidate uses his or her campaign money only to pay for his or her share of the actual cost of food, beverages, preparation, catering and entertainment furnished at the event.  If the candidate wishes to pay the full admission charge, he or she must use his or her personal funds to do so.

Tracking

Expenditures may only be made, incurred or authorized by the candidate or the campaign treasurer.

Any expenditure of more than $50 in currency (actual cash dollars) may not be made unless a written receipt signed by the vendor (or the recipient of the money) and the candidate or treasurer is made part of your committee's financial records.

Every expenditure should be disclosed on the Schedule A, except for:

  1. A check cut to establish or replenish petty cash funds, because petty cash expenses are reported as they occur (see page 50 for instructions on establishing a petty cash fund in the ORCA software);
  2. An expenditure that pays for campaign fund raiser consumables if the campaign is accounting for the cost of these consumables by reducing the amount of contributions reported (see page 62 for information about deducting the cost of consumables); and
  3. Expenditures for joint fund raising activity