CompleteCampaigns.com Newsletter
June 7, 2006

  In this Issue:

  1. New FEC Regulations
  2. Hot Tip: Government Report Trouble Shooting
  3. E-Voter Institute Survey
  4. Fuel us with Feedback!
  5. Running A Campaign FAQ
  6. Submit to Complete Campaigns!
 

Your Guide to New FEC Regulations

On May 12, 2006 the FEC put into effect new regulations governing certain types of Internet communications. Here at CompleteCampaigns.com we do our best to stay on top of the rules and regs that affect our clients, so we've put together this short guide to how the new rules impact your life.

1.   Disclaimers required on e-mail and websites.

FEC-registered political committees are required to place disclaimers on public websites. If a committee sends more than 500 substantially similar e-mails, each message must include a disclaimer (i.e. "Paid for and Authorized by the Bob for Dog-Catcher Committee."

The specific disclaimer requirements can be found on the FEC's "Special Notices on Political Ads and Solicitations." (http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/notices.shtml) But we'll sum them up for you:

  • Messages sent and paid for by your candidate committee should have a "Paid for by..." disclaimer.

    Broadcast emails sent from BackOffice or VoterManager automatically have disclaimers appended that state, "This email was sent to voter@emailaddress.com. Paid for by Bob Sample for Congress Committee." So we've got you covered on this one.

  • If your committee is sending a message authorized by another candidate, you must add disclaimer text acknowledging this.

    For example, if the Bob Sample for Congress Committee sends a message on behalf of and authorized by Joe Example, Bob Sample would want to add disclaimer text to the bottom of his message indicating that, "Paid for by the Bob Sample for Congress Committee and authorized by the Joe Example for Congress Committee."

    This isn't automatically handled by BackOffice, so when you are sending broadcast emails on behalf of another committee, you'll want to throw that language in.

  • If you are sending a message not authorized by the party on whose behalf you are sending it, this must also be indicated.

    An example might be: "Paid for by the Bob Sample for Congress Committee (www.BobSample.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee."

    Again, this isn't automatically handled by BackOffice or VoterManager, so you should be sure to throw the language in at the bottom of your message.

2.   Individuals and online campaign activity.

Individuals may send unlimited e-mail on any political topic without identifying who they are or whether their messages have been approved by a party or campaign committee. They may also post comments to blogs and other types of discussion websites.

The condition of all of this is that the individuals cannot be compensated. People who are paid by campaigns to place content on websites (along with placing a paid advertisement on any website) is considered "general public political advertising" and are thus "public communications" under the law, and is considered a reportable contribution or expenditure.

Note: we've covered some big points that may be of interest to our clients. For full detail on all the changes to the FEC's policies on Internet communications, it is strongly recommended that you read all of the applicable materials - available at www.fec.gov.


Hot Tip - Government Report Trouble Shooting

The trickiest part of campaign finance reporting is figuring out why your report doesn't exactly match your transaction register or match up with your previously filed report. That's why we've built tools to make it easier to work out the kinks.

A. Report of Register and Government Report Discrepancies

Comparing the report to the register side by side would not only be time consuming, but a complete pain in the neck. To save you a lot of trouble finding and fixing your minor report discrepancies, we've built a report utility to automatically compare your Register to your Government Report, and tell you what the difference is!

Here's how to use it:

  1. From the Reports menu in BackOffice, select Government Reports.

  2. In the Utilities section, clisk on Report of Register & Government Report Discrepancies.

  3. Enter the beginning and ending dates of the report. (For example, a first quarter report will be from 1/1/2005 to 3/31/2005.)

  4. Clicking Generate will bring up a list of transactions on the screen, with a description of why those transactions don't appear on the report the way they do in the register.

  5. Clicking the Excel Report button generates the same list as an Excel document that you can save on your desktop.

  6. Clicking the Print button sends the list directly to your printer.

B. Changed Transaction Report

On occasions where the starting balance of your new report doesn't match the ending balance of the previous report, your key is to find out what transactions have been modified after the previous report was filed.

This is a trick you could do by hand with a well-crafted Custom Report and a Custom Exports fomat, but why build it by hand when you can use our new Changed Transaction Report!

Here's how to use it:

  1. From the Reports menu in BackOffice, select Government Reports.

  2. In the Utilities section, clisk on Changed Transaction Report.

  3. Enter the closing date of the last report you filed, and the date on which it was filed. (For example, a first quarter report would end on 3/31/2005 and might have been filed on 4/15/2005.)

  4. Clicking Generate will bring up a list of transactions on the screen, with a description of why those transactions might be related to the problem you're trying to solve.

  5. Clicking the Print button sends the list directly to your printer.

Once you've generated your handy lists, you are armed with all the information you need to correct and file your perfect report. Easy as pie!


E-Voter Institute Survey

Is the Internet a strategic part of your campaign?

Can online ads rally the base? Influence swing voters?

Are blogs effective for reaching the undecided?

Click here to take this short, confidential E-Voter Institute survey.


Fuel us with Feedback!

We love hearing about how much you enjoy using CompleteCampaigns.com. Our business is bui lt around serving our clients' needs. Your comments and concerns fuel us in serving you with outstanding products and customer service. Please send anything you have to say about CompleteCampaigns.com to support@completecampaigns.com.

Thanks for fueling us to be a better company.


Running A Campaign FAQ by Jenifer Broadbent

I Want to Run a Campaign!
(Or, How to find the help you need)

Good for you! You've already done the heavy lifting of deciding to manage a campaign. Now comes the hard part - hiring. This is not meant to serve as a "Campaign How-To", this is more of an "Campaign FAQ". We figure you've come this far and found us, you must know enough, but maybe need some guidance.

The planning sequence of running a campaign starts off with hiring the right people. All political campaigns should have the following: Political Consultant, Campaign Manager, Fundraiser, Treasurer, Volunteer Coordinator and lots and lots of volunteers.

Read more in CompleteCampaigns.com's CampaignGuide.


Submit to CampaignGuide!

We're always looking for new content and articles for our CampaignGuide. We'd love to hear from you, since we know that our clients are the most talented people in the business. If you decide to share your expertise with us, we'll include your contact info and a web link to your business with your article. Review our CampaignGuide and please, don't hold back if you have material that needs to be covered!

Please e-mail all submissions to campaignguide@completecampaigns.com.


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www.completecampaigns.com

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San Diego, CA 92102
888-217-9600

 

Sincerely,
CompleteCampaigns.com

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