INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATION FOR INDEPENDENT AND POLITICAL COMMITTEES
Michigan's Campaign Finance Act (MCFA), P.A. 388 of 1976, covers a “person” operating within Michigan or out-of-state as soon as it receives or spends $500.00 or more in a calendar year to influence voters for or against the nomination or election of one or more candidates in Michigan or the qualification, passage or defeat of one or more ballot questions in Michigan. The term “person” is used to mean “a business, proprietorship, firm, partnership, joint venture, syndicate, business trust, company, association or two or more individuals who act jointly”. As soon as a person reaches the $500.00 threshold, it has 10 calendar days to form and register a “committee” under the MCFA. A person that is covered by the MCFA registers a committee by filing this form with the appropriate filing official. A corporation, labor organization or domestic dependent sovereign (recognized Indian tribe) must register a committee in order to receive or spend any money to influence voters for or against the nomination or election of a candidate in Michigan.
Before registering an Independent or Political Committee, the differences between the two-committee types must be given careful consideration. Be sure you are filing as appropriate committee tpe. For further information regarding committee types please see Appendix H of the committee manual.
Independent Committees - Formed to support or oppose three or more candidates and may support or oppose ballot questions. An Independent Committee that meets the following three criteria may give a Candidate ten times the amount a Political Committee is permitted to give the candidate: (1) registers as an Independent Committee at least six months before the election, (2) received contributions from at least 25 persons and (3) in the same calendar year that the 25 contributions are received, expends funds to support or oppose three candidates for elective office. An Independent committee must adhere to contribution limits applicable to a Political Committee until the committee meets the criteria detailed above.
Political Committees - Formed to support or oppose one or more candidates and may support or oppose ballot questions. A Political Committee must observe the same contribution limits that apply to individuals.
WHERE TO FILE THIS FORM
Two copies of this form must be filed when registering a committee. If the districts of all of the candidates supported or opposed are located wholly within the same county, the committee files with the clerk of that county. If the districts of any of the candidates supported or opposed are not located wholly within the same county, the committee files with the Michigan Department of State, Bureau of Elections, Post Office Box 20126, Lansing, Michigan 48901. Exceptions apply for Recall Elections (See Appendix M). Office location: Richard H. Austin Building, 1st Floor, 430 West Allegan Street, Lansing, Michigan 48918-1700. Phone: (517)373-2540. NOTE: The information contained on the Statement of Organization must be kept up-to-date. If a change in the information takes place, an amendment to the form must be filed no later than the due date of the first Campaign Statement required of the committee after the change. The treasurer serving at the time of the change must sign an amendment.
Type or clearly print in ink all information requested on the Statement of Organization form. Each entry on the form is discussed below.
ITEM 1: On the original Statement of Organization, leave this item blank. An identification number will be assigned to the committee by the filing official. If an identification number has been assigned to the committee, enter it in Item 1.
ITEM 2: Indicate whether this is an original Statement of Organization filing or an amendment to a Statement of Organization already on file. If an amendment, list the number of the Item(s) affected and the date the change took place. If filing an amendment, complete Item 2, the item(s) affected and Items 1, 4 and 13.
ITEM 3: Check one box to indicate the type of committee being registered. See committee types above. Independent and Political Committee types also need to designate whether or not they are a Separate Segregated Fund (SSF). If they are an SSF, they need to indicate whether the sponsor forming the committee is a corporation, labor organization or a domestic dependent sovereign (DDS). They also need to enter the sponsor’s name.
ITEM 4: Enter the committee's official name. Do not use initials or abbreviations. An Independent Committee or Political Committee is required to include in the name of the committee the name of the person or persons that sponsor the committee, if any, or with whom the committee is affiliated. A person, other than an individual or a committee, sponsors or is affiliated with an Independent Committee or Political Committee if that person establishes, directs, controls, or financially supports the administration of the committee. A person does not financially support the administration of a committee by merely making a contribution to the committee. If the committee plans to use an abbreviated name or an acronym, enter it in Item 4b.
ITEM 5. Enter the committee's mailing address if different from the committee's street address. A post office box is acceptable as a mailing address. All mail from the filing official will be directed to the committee's mailing address as shown in Item 5a. Enter the committee's street address in Item 5b. A post office box is not acceptable. (List the treasurer's home address if no other address is available.)
ITEM 6 .Enter the date the committee was formed in Michigan. The original Statement of Organization form must be received by the filing official within 10 calendar days after the committee's formation date. Late filing fees are assessed at a rate of $10.00 per business day if the form is filed late.
ITEM 7. Enter the committee's area code, phone number and e-mail address.
ITEM 8. Enter the full name and mailing address of the committee's treasurer. Include a phone number where the treasurer can be reached during business hours. The committee's treasurer must be a registered to vote in Michigan if the committee conducts business through an office or facility located in Michigan. The committee treasurer does not have to be a Michigan resident if the committee does not conduct business through an office or facility located in Michigan. A committee that wishes to have a treasurer who is not a Michigan resident is required to file an "irrevocable written stipulation". The committee does this by checking the box titled OUT-OF-STATE COMMITTEE TREASURER IRREVOCABLE WRITTEN STIPULATION.
IITEM 9. List the name, mailing address, area code and phone number of the person who will be responsible for the committee's records and Campaign Statement filings. If the committee treasurer will personally handle these responsibilities, leave this item blank. A person designated in this item may sign Campaign Statements but does not have the authority to sign the Statement of Organization forms in place of the treasurer.
ITEM 10. Reporting Waiver Request
• Select “YES, I/WE WANT TO APPLY FOR THE REPORTING WAIVER” on Item 10 if the committee does not expect to receive or spend more than $1,000 for a calendar year. The committee does not owe the Pre, Post, Annual and Quarterly Campaign Statements as long as the committee does not receive or spend more than $1000 in a calendar year.
• Select “NO, I/WE DO NOT WANT TO APPLY FOR THE REPORTING WAIVER” on Item 10 if the committee expects to receive or expend in excess of $1,000 in a calendar year. This means that the committee owes Pre, Post, Annual and Quarterly Campaign Statements even if the committee does not spend or receive in excess of $1,000 in a calendar year.
ITEM 11. In Item 11a, enter the name and address of the Michigan bank, savings and loan association or credit union that the committee now uses or intends to use as its “official depository.” The committee's official depository must be located in Michigan if the committee conducts business through an office or facility located in Michigan. The committee depository does not have to be located in Michigan if the committee does not conduct business through an office or facility located in Michigan. In Item 11b, list the names and addresses of any “secondary depositories” the committee currently uses or intends to use. A secondary depository may be used only for the deposit of contributions (for example, as a temporary holding place for receipts from a joint fund raiser); it may not be used for committee expenditures.
ITEM 12. Read this section carefully and check the appropriate box. Committees filing with the county clerk’s office, skip to Item 13. NOTE: Once a committee has reached the $5,000 threshold in a calendar year, they are required to file all campaign statements and reports electronically regardless of receipts or expenditures total in the future years.
ITEM 13. Enter the treasurer's name where indicated. The form must be signed and dated by the current committee treasurer. Electronic Filers: The forms must be signed by the Treasurer and the Designated Record-keeper (if applicable) and serves as an electronic signature for electronically filing Campaign Statements and reports. NOTE: Once a committee has reached the $5,000 threshold they are required to file all campaign statements and reports electronically regardless of receipts or expenditures total in the future years. The Record Keeper needs to sign and date this form if campaign statements are to be filed electronically.