Campaign Finance Alert: Corporate Contributions to Ballot Committees


On June 14, 2011, the Minnesota Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board ("Board") considered an action that would revoke a 1997 advisory opinion issued to the Minnesota Environmental Trust Fund Coalition. The advisory opinion (AO257), addresses the requirements of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A relating to disclosure by unregistered associations in the context of ballot committees and ballot funds. Under Chapter 10A, associations that transfer dues or membership fees to a political fund must disclose the source of the money being transferred. However, AO257 expresses the opinion that the disclosure requirements for unregistered associations do not apply to corporations contributing to ballot initiatives.

As a result, two different sets of rules apply to non-personal funds used to support or defeat a statewide ballot question: corporate funds may be used with little or no disclosure while funds contributed by non-corporate entities such as partnerships or limited liability companies require disclosure.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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