Summary: S.982 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.982. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (05/06/1999)

Clean Money, Clean Elections Act - Title I: Clean Money Financing of Senate Election Campaigns - Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) to add a new title V (Clean Money Financing of Senate Election Campaigns) prescribing eligibility and qualifying contribution requirements, seed money provisions, and benefits of clean money financing of Senate election campaigns. Defines the terms "qualifying contribution" and "seed money contribution."

(Sec. 102) Sets forth requirements applicable to clean money candidates regarding the following: (1) contributions and expenditures; (2) personal funds use; and (3) debates.

Directs the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to: (1) determine whether the candidate meets the eligibility requirements; and (2) certify whether or not the candidate is a clean money candidate.

Establishes in the Treasury a Senate Election Fund for the FEC to deposit unspent seed money contributions, qualifying contributions, penalty amounts, and amounts appropriated for clean money financing.

Requires the Commission to assess a certain civil penalty against a clean money candidate when such candidate makes an expenditure from funds other than clean money funds.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 103) Sets forth reporting requirements regarding certain expenditures of private money candidates.

Title II: Independent Expenditures; Coordinated Expenditures - Amends FECA to set forth requirements for reporting of certain independent expenditures.

(Sec. 202) Redefines the term "independent expenditure."

(Sec. 203) Limits expenditures that may be made by political party committees in connection with the general election campaign of a Senate election in which one or more of the candidates is a clean money candidate.

(Sec. 204) Requires a committee of a political party, before making coordinated expenditures (as defined in this Act) in excess of $5,000 for a Federal election, to certify to the Commission that it has not and will not make any independent expenditures in connection with such campaign. Prohibits a party committee that determines to make coordinated expenditures from making any transfer of funds in the same election cycle to, or receiving any transfer of funds in the same election cycle from, any other party committee that determines to make independent expenditures in connection with the same campaign for Federal office.

Title III: Voter Information - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to entitle clean money candidates to receive specified free broadcast time.

(Sec. 302) Allows clean money candidates to receive certain broadcast media rates for use of a television broadcasting station. Prohibits preemption except under circumstances beyond a station's control.

(Sec. 303) Amends FECA to revise requirements on publication and distribution of statements and solicitations, including applying the requirements to political committees (currently, applicable to any person). Sets forth: (1) political advertising provisions for print and broadcast or cablecast communications; and (2) reporting requirements for issue advertisements.

(Sec. 304) Amends Federal postal law to prohibit franked mass mailings by a Member in his or her election year (except to announce a public meeting), unless such Member will not be a candidate for any Federal office.

Title IV: Soft Money - Amends FECA with respect to soft money to: (1) prohibit a national committee of a political party (including a national congressional campaign committee of a political party but not including a State, district, or local committee of a political party) from soliciting or receiving contributions or making expenditures not subject FECA; (2) require a State, district, or local committee of a political party to make Federal election year expenditures (with exceptions) from funds subject FECA; (3) prohibit a national, State, district, or local committee from soliciting or donating funds to a tax-exempt organization; and (4) prohibit an incumbent or candidate for Federal office or an agent of a candidate or an incumbent from soliciting or receiving funds not subject to FECA, or to solicit or to receive funds for a non-Federal election in excess of certain limits or from prohibited sources (with exceptions for State or local candidates in compliance with State law).

(Sec. 402) Establishes aggregate and separate individual contribution limits to State Party Grassroots Funds and all committees established by a State committee of a political party. Increases annual individual contribution limits.

Sets forth State Party Grassroots Fund and reporting provisions. Eliminates the exception for building funds relating to the definition of "contribution."

Authorizes the filing of State reports by State committees.

(Sec. 403) Requires the reporting of all disbursements made by authorized committees.

Revises requirements for the reporting of the names and addresses of persons to whom certain expenditures are made to meet candidate or committee operating expenses, to require the reporting of the election to which the operating expenditure relates.

(Sec. 404) Prescribes reporting requirements with regard to the soft money disbursements of persons other than political parties.

Title V: Restructuring and Strengthening of the Federal Election Commission - Revises FECA requirements for the composition and terms of FEC Commissioners and replaces them with new requirements, including to require that Commissioners serve no more than one term of six years.

(Sec. 502) Authorizes the Commission to: (1) conduct random post election audits to ensure voluntary FECA compliance; (2) seek injunctions; (3) expedite its procedures for certain complaints; and (4) prescribe regulations for computer and facsimile (fax) reporting that is to be publicly available on the Internet.

Requires filing with the FEC of all designations, statements, and reports of Senate candidates.

(Sec. 504) Revises the standard for an investigation by the Commission of a violation to require the Commission to investigate a violation when it has reason to open an investigation on whether (currently, reason to believe that) a violation of FECA has been committed or is about to be committed.

(Sec. 505) Revises requirements relating to the powers of the FEC to authorize it to: (1) appeal a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court; and (2) issue a subpoena without the signature of the chairperson or the vice chairperson.

(Sec. 509) Prohibits contributions made by, or solicited, accepted or received from, individuals not qualified to register to vote in Federal elections.

(Sec. 510) Increases penalties for FECA violations, provides for automatic monetary penalties for late filings, and permits use of equitable remedies as well as community service and public education program requirements in addressing FECA violations.

Title VI: Effective Date - Sets forth the effective date of this Act.