2009-07-20 - WRITTEN OPINIONS

2009-07-20. WRITTEN OPINIONS

GARY O. BARTLETT

MAILING ADDRESS:

P.O. BOX 27255

RALEIGH, NC 27611-7255

PHONE: (M9) 733-7173

July 20, 2009

The Honorable Garland E. Pierce

House of Representatives

North Carolina General Assembly

21981 Buie Street

Wagram, NC 28396

RE: Advisory Opinion Pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 163-278.23: Use of Political Committee Funds for Expenses Related to Service in Office

Dear Rep. Pierce:

You have asked for an opinion pursuant to N.C.G.S § 163-278.23 on whether, under Article 22A of Chapter 163 of the General statutes, the funds of your political committee may be spent for purchases of school supplies for children in your district. Effective October 1, 2006, "[a] candidate or candidate campaign committee may use contributions only for the following purposes" as set forth in N.C.G.S. § 163-278.16B:

1. Expenditures resulting from the campaign for public office by the candidate or candidate's campaign committee.

2. Expenditures resuIting from holding public office.

3. Contributions to an organization described in section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. § 170(c)), provided that the candidate or the candidate's spouse, children, parents, brothers, or sisters are not employed by the organization,

4. Contributions to a national, State, or district Or county committee of a political party or a caucus of the political party.

5. Contributions to another candidate or candidate's campaign committee.

6. To return all or a portion of a contribution to the contributor.

7. Payment of any penalties against the candidate or candidate's campaign committee for violation of this Artide Imposed by a board of elections or a court of competent jurisdiction.

In our conversation after you delivered your written request for an opinion, you indicated that you had been approached by education?! leaders in your district requesting that you provide funds for the purchase of school supplies for children in the public school system. You do not believe you would have been approached but for your elected office as It has not been your practice to provide school supplies in the past. Based on these assertions, this expenditure appears to fall under the statute's authorized purpose in that it is an "expenditure[] resulting from holding public office;" thus, it is a permitted expenditure for your political committee under Article 22A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes. As you are aware, any expenditure made by a political committee must be reported in accordance with the requirements of Article 22A.

This opinion is based upon the facts as stated in your letter of July 15, 2009, as elaborated upon in our subsequent conversation. If these facts change, you should evaluate whether this opinion is still applicable and binding. Finally, this opinion addresses only compliance with campaign finance statutes, particularly N.C.G.S § 163-27 &23. It will be filed with the Codifier of Rules to be published unedited in the North Carolina Register and the North Carolina Administrative Code.

Sincerely,

@#13#@

Gary O. Bartlett

Executive Director

cc: Julian Mann, III Codifier of Rules

Kim Strach

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