Campaign Finance & Election Law in Monroe, GA
Legal Counsel to help your campaign or organization navigate Campaign Finance laws.
Federal and state campaign finance laws can be complex and difficult to navigate. We provide representation to our clients on issues related to campaign finance and election-law matters in both state and federal elections. The federal government and each state has its own campaign finance regulations and laws which govern all aspects of political campaigns. Mistakes in navigating any of these regulations and laws can have very costly consequences for your entity or candidate.
What is campaign finance?
In a society where the funding for political campaigns continues to rise year after year, necessary laws and regulations have been implemented to ensure the transparency and accountability of a party’s campaign since candidates are more and more often having to turn to the private sector for the majority of their funding. The regulation of this money from the private sector is referred to as Campaign Finance. The Federal Government requires each State to determine the best way to regulate their political candidate’s finances, which means procedure can vary from state to state, but all states have some variation of the following three regulations in place:
All 50 states require that all candidates and their party’s report and disclose every single contribution made to their campaign in order to maintain transparency; this is the most common form of financial regulation, and it requires the maintenance of campaign expenditures and contributions which are filed on mandated dates throughout the campaign, and some States require that candidates register with their State’s Election Administration Agency. The financial information that is filed, and its sources, are then published for the purpose of informing the public.
What are some common mistakes made by political candidates when running for office?
Not doing the proper pre-campaign legwork:
If you’re thinking of running for a local or State political office, it is really important to take the time to research the necessary paperwork, qualifications, and laws involved in campaigning for office. Many a potential candidate ended up not being able to run because necessary paperwork was filled out or filed incorrectly, or they submitted the paperwork to a different district from where they live and were therefore eligible. Sitting down with an Election Law attorney can mean the difference between being a contender in the next election or watching from the sidelines because of a flub in paperwork.
Appointing the wrong Treasurer to your Campaign Committee:
It is important for the State and Federal governments to have a clear understanding of where campaign money is coming from, and also where that campaign money is going, and what it’s going towards; this is why there are over 300 regulatory laws in place to ensure candidates are running ethical campaigns and that contributors (whether they are individuals, organizations, or PACs) are donating the appropriate amount of assets to a campaign. Even if you, as the candidate, feel your campaign committee is running an ethically tight ship, that doesn’t mean the contributions flowing into your campaign are on the up and up. This is where the role of your Treasurer is of vital importance; appointing someone who understands the complicated ins and outs of the campaign finance regulations can be difficult, especially if you are filling up your committee with close friends and family. Although family and friends are a great support when seeking office, it’s just as important to build the support of a highly knowledgeable team around you because what is the point of running if you end up being sidelined for something silly, like not fully understanding the rules, long before the race even begins.
Not Hiring a Lawyer:
To the point above, it’s imperative that potential candidates sit down with an Election Law lawyer to have a frank and open conversation about the vision for how your campaign is run, the rules and regulations your committee will need to operate within, and the proper filing of all necessary paperwork. Retaining legal counsel is the best way to ensure that your campaign gets off to a smooth start which will, in turn, improve your chances of actually getting elected. It doesn’t matter if you’re running for School Board Member or the State Senate, an election law attorney understands how best to maneuver your campaign through the legal red tape that stands between you and truly being able to enact change within your community.