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99-00090

99-00090

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Published by still7725
Campaign debt need not be incurred on or before election day in order to be considered campaign debt as that phrase is used in the Fair Campaign Practices Act. During the 120-day period after an election, a candidate may raise the entire amount of the threshold required for qualification as a candidate for the office to which the candidate was elected.
Campaign debt need not be incurred on or before election day in order to be considered campaign debt as that phrase is used in the Fair Campaign Practices Act. During the 120-day period after an election, a candidate may raise the entire amount of the threshold required for qualification as a candidate for the office to which the candidate was elected.

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: still7725 on Feb 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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OFFICE
OF
THE
ATTORNEYGENERAL
99-00090
A L A B A M ~
STATE
HOUSE
11
SOUTHUNIONSTREET
MONTGOMERY.
ALABAMA
36130
AREA
(334)
242·7300
Honorable
Jim
BennettSecretary
of
StateSecretary
of
State'sOffice
P.O.
Box5616
Montgomery,
AL
36103
BILL
PRYOR
ATIORNEYGENERAL
STATE
OF
ALABAMA
January
19,1999
FairCampaignPractices
Act
CampaignContributions
-
Campaign
Expenses
-
Debt
-
DisclosureRequirementsCampaign
debtneed
notbe
incurred
on
orbeforeelection
day
in
order
tobe
consideredcampaigndebt
as
that
phrase
is
used
in
the
FairCampaignPractices
Act.TheFCPA
does
not
require
fundsonhand
to
beused
to
pay
existing
debt;
rather,
the
Act
contemplatesthatcandidates
may
raise
thefundswithinthe120-day
periodafter
the
election
to
payoff
any
campaign
debt,
notwithstanding
thefact
that
the
principalcampaigncommittee
may
have
a
positive
net
worthduring
the
time
such
debt
exists.Campaign
debtmay
be
reported
in
an
addendum
to
the
5-to-l
0
day
report
or
in
theannual
report
dueon
orbeforeJanuary
31,
of
the
year
fol
lowingthe
election.
 
Honorable
Jim
Bennett
Page
2
Duringthe
120-day
periodafter
an
election,
a
candidate
may
raise
the
entireamount
of
the
threshold
required
for
qualification
as
a
candi
dateforthe
office
to
whichthe
candidate
was
elected.Dear
Mr.
Bennett:Thisopinion
of
the
AttorneyGeneral
is
issued
in
response
to
yourrequest.
QUESTIONS
1
&
2
If
the
exactamount
of
debtremainsuncertain
as
of
election
day,
must
a
debt
be
incurred
on
orbeforeelection
day
in
order
tobe
considered
"campaign
debt"
as
thatphrase
is
used
in
section17-22A-7(b)(3)?Where
a
principalcampaigncommittee
has
cash
in
excess
of
theamount
of
"campaign
debt"
identified
in
the
disclosure,
maythe
principalcampaigncommitteenonethelesscount
the
entireamount
of
the
debt
forthe
purposes
of
determin
inghow
much
the
candidate
may
raiseduring
the120-day
periodafter
the
election?
FACTS
AND
ANALYSIS
Section
17
-22A-7
of
the
FairCampaign
Practices
Act
(FCPA)provides,
in
pertinent
part:(b)
Notwithstanding
any
other
provision
of
law,
including,
butnot
limited
to,
Section13A-l0-61,
a
candidate,public
official,
orprincipalcampaigncommittee
may
onlyaccept,solicit,orreceivecontributions:
***
(3)
For
a
period
of
120
days
after
the
election
in
which
the
person
was
a
candidate,
but
only
to
the
extent
of
any
campaigndebt
of
the
candidate
or
principalcampaigncommittee
of
the
 
Honorable
Jim
BennettPage
3
candidate
as
indicated
onthe
campaignfinancial
disc
losure
form
or
to
the
extent
of
reaching
the
thresholdthat
is
required
for
qualification
as
a
candidate
forthe
office
which
he
or
she
currently
hoIds,
or
both.ALA.CODE
§
17-22A-7(b)(3)
(Supp.1998).
This
Office
recentlyconsideredtheseissues
inan
opinion
toHon
orable
SteveWindom,
Lt.
Governor-Elect,wherein
we
stated:
TheFCPA
does
not
requirethatdebt
be
"net"
campaigndebtafter
considering
cash
on
hand
which
might
be
used
to
pay
such
debt.The
statute
doesnot
prioritize
or
dictate
how
a
principalcampaigncommitteespends
itsfunds.The
restriction
is
that
the
debt
must
be
related
to
the
campaign.
So
long
as
the
debt
is
campaignrelated,
it
maybe
incurred
eitherbefore
or
after
the
election
or
in
winding
down
thecampaign
after
the
election.
TheFCPA
does
not
require
a
candidate's
principalcampaigncommittee
to
pay
obligations
accrued
either
before
orafter
the
election
by
a
certain
time,or
at
allfor
that
matter.
***
TheFCPA
does
not
require
funds
onhand
to
be
used
to
pay
existing
debt;
rather,
the
act
contemplates
thatcandidates
may
raise
thefunds
within
the120-day
period
after
the
election
to
payoff
any
campaign
debt,
notwithstanding
thefact
that
the
principalcampaigncommittee
may
have
a
positive
net
worthduringthetimesuchdebtexists.Opinion
to
Honorable
SteveWindom,
Lt.
Governor-Elect,datedDecember
10,
1998,
A.
G.
No.
99-00061
at
3
&
4.
CONCLUSIONCampaigndebt
need
notbe
incurred
on
orbefore
election
day
in
order
to
be
considered
campaigndebt
as
thatphrase
is
used
in
the
FairCampaign
Practices
Act.TheFCPA
does
not
require
fundson
hand
to
be

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