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Legal Resources | Government Code |  GC  89519  

Political Reform; Ethics; Campaign Funds   

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(a) Upon the 90th day after leaving an elective office, or the 90th day following the end of the postelection reporting period following the defeat of a candidate for elective office, whichever occurs last, campaign funds under the control of the former candidate or elected officer shall be considered surplus campaign funds and shall be disclosed pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 84100).

(b) Surplus campaign funds shall be used only for the following purposes:

(1) The payment of outstanding campaign debts or elected officer's expenses.

(2) The repayment of contributions.

(3) Donations to a bona fide charitable, educational, civic, religious, or similar tax-exempt, nonprofit organization, where no substantial part of the proceeds will have a material financial effect on the former candidate or elected officer, any member of his or her immediate family, or his or her campaign treasurer.

(4) Contributions to a political party committee, provided the campaign funds are not used to support or oppose candidates for elective office. However, the campaign funds may be used by a political party committee to conduct partisan voter registration, partisan get-out-the-vote activities, and slate mailers as that term is defined in Section 82048.3.

(5) Contributions to support or oppose a candidate for federal office, a candidate for elective office in a state other than California, or a ballot measure.

(6) The payment for professional services reasonably required by the committee to assist in the performance of its administrative functions, including payment for attorney's fees for litigation that arises directly out of a candidate's or elected officer's activities, duties, or status as a candidate or elected officer, including, but not limited to, an action to enjoin defamation, defense of an action brought for a violation of state or local campaign, disclosure, or election laws, and an action from an election contest or recount.

(c) For purposes of this section, the payment for, or the reimbursement to the state of, the costs of installing and monitoring an electronic security system in the home or office, or both, of a candidate or elected officer who has received threats to his or her physical safety shall be deemed an outstanding campaign debt or elected officer's expense, provided that the threats arise from his or her activities, duties, or status as a candidate or elected officer and that the threats have been reported to and verified by an appropriate law enforcement agency. Verification shall be determined solely by the law enforcement agency to which the threat was reported. The candidate or elected officer shall report an expenditure of campaign funds made pursuant to this section to the Commission. The report to the Commission shall include the date that the candidate or elected officer informed the law enforcement agency of the threat, the name and the telephone number of the law enforcement agency, and a brief description of the threat. No more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) in surplus campaign funds may be used, cumulatively, by a candidate or elected officer pursuant to this subdivision. Payments made pursuant to this subdivision shall be made during the two years immediately following the date upon which the campaign funds become surplus campaign funds. The candidate or elected officer shall reimburse the surplus fund account for the fair market value of the security system no later than two years immediately following the date upon which the campaign funds became surplus campaign funds. The campaign funds become surplus campaign funds upon sale of the property on which the system is installed, or prior to the closing of the surplus campaign fund account, whichever comes first. The electronic security system shall be the property of the campaign committee of the candidate or elected officer.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 9, Sec. 3.)