State of Alaska

Department of Administration

Alaska Public Offices Commission

Alaska Department of Administration, Alaska Public Offices Commission

Candidate Questions

  1. Can I repay myself?
  2. Can I reimburse campaign workers?
  3. Exactly what is or isn't a forum
  4. What kind of records should I keep?
  5. "Paid for by" Identifiers - Candidate Questions
  6. Do you have information for vendors?
  7. When should I use a credit card or debit card?
  8. What happens to surplus funds after an election?
  9. What is a POET account and how does it work?

Can I repay myself?

A candidate who makes campaign expenditures with personal funds may be repaid by the campaign within 72 hours after the expenditure.  If the repayment does not happen within those three days, the candidate wishing to be repaid for their expenditures or loans to the campaign must file a Candidate Reimbursement Notification within five days of the expenditure.  After the election, candidates who have timely filed Notifications may repay themselves up to a set amount which depends of the office they seek. Please see AS 15.13.078.

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Can I reimburse campaign workers?

A campaign may only reimburse registered treasurers/deputy treasurers and the amount cannot exceed $500.   In order for the reimbursement not to count as a contribution, the worker must be repaid before the end of the report cycle in which the expenditure was made.

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Exactly what is or isn’t a forum

Forums are a complex matter.  The matter of forums is being considered by the Legislature. On April 15, 2012, a bill that changes the way forums are defined awaited transmittal to the Governor. This bill has not yet been signed. At this moment, a forum is an opportunity for a candidate to provide communications to persons (including groups, businesses, organizations, et.al.). The benefit provided by, and the associated costs to organize/host such an opportunity could be considered a contribution to the campaign or expenditures made to influence the outcome of an election.

There is an exception to the definition of contribution allowing an owner of real property who does not normally receive payment for use of the space, to permit its use without charge and not have it be considered a contribution to the candidate Please see AS 15.13.040(i). This would allow for fundraisers that are held at private businesses without charge to the campaign.  But importantly, if the business does not own the property, and instead leases it, this exception would not apply. 

APOC Regulation 2 AAC 50.990(7)(C)(vii) allows the provision of a facility, but for it to not be considered a prohibited corporate contribution, the campaign must pay a commercially reasonable rate, or alternatively it must be made available to all candidates for a particular office.

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What kinds of records should I keep?

We cannot provide you with an all-inclusive list and it may vary for each campaign. Campaigns must preserve all records necessary to substantiate information required to be reported.  This includes documentation for all contributions, loans, and expenditures.  Records of expenditures for advertising, consultation, or management services must document specifically, all services rendered, including the name of each business from which goods or services were purchased or subcontracted, and media placement buys.  Please see AS 15.13.111 and 2 AAC 50.320.

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Do you have information for vendors?

We are currently working on some general guidelines for campaigns to provide to their vendors. Please check back in June.

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When should I use a credit card or debit card?

Unless you are an EXEMPT candidate, you must designate a regulated banking institution as your campaign depository. All campaign receipts must be deposited to and all campaign expenditures must be made from your designated campaign depository. You may obtain a credit card from your designated campaign depository to use for travel-related campaign expenditures such as transportation, lodging and meals.  A campaign credit card must indicate that it is a campaign account. Candidates and political groups may also use Debit cards issued by their designated campaign depository.  Most banks offer debit cards that include the MasterCard or Visa logo and may be used anywhere that accepts credit cards. Expenditures made using a Debit card may be for any campaign-related purpose as the use of a debit card is not limited by regulation. Please see 2 AAC 50.298(c).

Administrative regulation 2 AAC 50.250(a)(3)(J) provides that a candidate may use personal money or credit for an authorized campaign expenditure that will not be considered a contribution if the candidate is reimbursed from the campaign account within three days of making an expenditure.

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What happens to surplus funds after an election?

Alaska Statute 15.13.116 permits a candidate to pay for thank you gifts; repay contributors; transfer a limited amount to a future campaign; transfer a limited amount to an office allowance account; give an unlimited amount to a political party, a charity, or the government; and/or retain a limited amount of personal property.

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What is a POET account and how does it work?

Campaign Disclosure Law permits a candidate to transfer a limited amount of surplus campaign assets to a legislative or municipal Public Office Expense Term account.  The money in the account may be used only to pay expenses associated with the candidate’s serving as a legislator or municipal official and all expenditures must be disclosed in a year end P.O.E.T account report. Please see AS 15.13.116(8) and 2 AAC 50.396.