An advisory opinion has been requested whether the principal committee treasurer of a candidate who is defeated for nomination in a primary election and is not otherwise a candidate for election in the general election is required to file campaign finance disclosure reports thirty-two, eleven, and four days before, and twenty-seven days after, the general election. Campaign Finance Board Rule 331(b) (3); 341(b); 351(b).
Pursuant to Administrative Code §3-708(8), the Board has adopted a disclosure report filing schedule which generally follows the schedule adopted by the New York State Board of Elections. See 9 NYCRR §6200.2(a). The pre- and post-general election reporting deadlines set by the State Board do not apply to candidates who do not seek election in the general election.
The scheduled filing of disclosure reports enables the Board to efficiently monitor candidate compliance with contribution and expenditure limits applicable under the Campaign Finance Act. Candidates defeated in a primary election who are not otherwise seeking election in the general election are subject to contribution and expenditure limits in the primary election only. The completion and filing of disclosure reports according to a schedule set by the date of the general election is a burden for these candidates which does not commensurately enhance the Board's ability to monitor compliance with primary election limits.
The Board therefore concludes that principal committee treasurers are not required to file disclosure reports on behalf of defeated primary election candidates who do not seek election in the general election on the thirty-second, eleventh, and fourth day before, and the twenty-seventh day after, the general election1. These treasurers may, however, choose to file disclosure reports on these days in order to claim public fund payments for matchable contributions accepted for the primary election2. The disclosure reports due on January 15 and July 15 in the year following the election must be filed regardless whether the candidate sought election in the general election. Campaign Finance Board Rule 331(b) (2) 3.
NEW YORK CITY CAMPAIGN FINANCE BOARD
1 The Campaign Finance Board has added an additional filing date four days preceding an election in order to more thoroughly monitor candidate compliance with the requirements of the Campaign Finance Program prior to the election.
2 For the same reasons, these treasurers need not file special disclosure reports for certain contributions, loans, and expenditures in the week preceding the general election. See Campaign Finance Board Rules 332(b) (3), 342(b) (2), and 352(b) (2).
3 Treasurers may, however, file a "verification in lieu of disclosure reports" form (#V3.1), rather than a full disclosure report, for a reporting period in which no receipts were accepted or expenditures made on behalf of the candidate.