May 1, 2017 - MONTGOMERY - The Alabama Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA) governs how local and state candidates and Political Action Committees (PACs) spend and receive money from constituents. An annual report detailing the contributions made to and funds expended from the account in the previous year must be submitted to the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office by January 31, annually. Under Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s direction, these reports have been reviewed to determine their adherence to Alabama Law.
More than 1,000 candidates and PACs were required to file their 2016 Annual Report by the January 31 deadline. As of today, 92 have not yet taken the steps necessary to reach full compliance. Prior to the publication of this release, the names on this list were released to the Attorney General’s Office and Ethics Commission.
At this time, no administrative penalties exist. Beginning with the 2018 Election Cycle, administrative penalties will be levied in the amounts of $300 (or 10% of contributions or expenditures not reported) for first time offenders, $600 (or 15% of contributions or expenditures not reported) for second time offenders, and $1,200 (or 20% of contributions or expenditures not reported) for third and subsequent offences respectively. These fines will be assessed when candidates or PACs fail to meet the filing deadline.
Since 2014, candidates and PACs that raise or spend over $1,000 in a campaign year are required to submit a report. Individuals and groups that are not in compliance with FCPA will have until June 2017 to contact the Secretary of State’s office regarding annual reports or they will face penalties in the form of fines.
“Our intention in releasing these names to the public is to further encourage candidates and PACs to bring their filings into compliance allowing the citizens of our state to review the extent of their fiscal responsibility,” said Secretary Merrill