The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board administers the campaign laws in Iowa Code chapter 68A. These laws apply to candidates for local office, political committees (PACs) involved in campaigns for candidates or ballot issues, and party committees.
1. The Board’s Web site allows you to view and download a variety of campaign finance information at www.iowa.gov/ethics. Click on Campaigns on the main menu and then select your committee type from the following index.
2. Contact information: local candidates and PACs contact Sue Micllef at (515) 281-4104 or email at email@example.com. County central committees contact Sandy Reier at (515) 281-4411 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may contact me at (515) 281-3489, cell phone at (515) 681-2354, or email at email@example.com.
3. A committee is registered by filing a statement of organization (DR-1). The form must be filed within 10 days of receiving contributions, making expenditures, or incurring debts in excess of $750 (a debt is incurred when an item is ordered). If you are not going to cross the $750 threshold, but want to use the shorter “paid for by” attribution (see #7 below) you can file Form DR-SFA.
4. Know your committee campaign report due dates. Once you have filed a DR-1, you must start and continue filing reports until you dissolve your committee. Reports must be filed with the Board on or before each due date as penalties are assessed for late reports. Reports may be hand-delivered, mailed, faxed, emailed as an attachment, or filed electronically via the Internet (contact the Board for help). Filed reports are available for viewing on the Board’s Web site.
5. Remember that if an organization gives your committee in excess of $750, that organization has separate filing requirements and they should immediately contact the Board for assistance.
6. Do not accept contributions from corporations, insurance companies, or financial institutions (NOTE: this prohibition does not apply to ballot issue PACs).
7. Put the words “paid for by” and the name of who paid for the material on all political materials (see Iowa Code section 68A.405 and rule 351—4.38). A “paid for by” attribution must be placed even if a committee has not yet registered (the “paid for by” must include the name and address of the person paying for the material). If the material is paid for by a registered committee, only the name of the committee needs to be placed after the words “paid for by.” Campaign signs and other items are exempt, so read the law and rules carefully.
8. Review the campaign laws in Chapter 68A and the Board’s rules on campaigning in Chapter 4.