(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code, it is lawful for a person, otherwise qualified to be a candidate for any public office or position to be determined by public election, to receive contributions or make expenditures, or both, personally or by another individual acting as a treasurer, to determine the advisability of becoming such a candidate or preparing to be such a candidate: Provided, That such contributions may be received and such expenditures made only during the four years immediately preceding the term for which such person may be a candidate or during the term of office immediately preceding the term for which such person may be a candidate, whichever is less: Provided, however, That no person is disqualified from receiving contributions or making expenditures as permitted under the provisions of this section solely because such person then holds a public office or position.
(b) Any person undertaking to determine the advisability of becoming or preparing to be a candidate, who desires to receive contributions before filing a certificate of candidacy, shall name himself or another individual to act as a treasurer and shall file a designation of treasurer in the manner provided in section four of this chapter before receiving any contributions permitted by this section. Any expenditures made before the filing of a designation of treasurer shall be reported in accordance with the provisions of this section, regardless of the source of funds used for such expenditures.
(c) A person who receives a contribution who is acting for and by himself or as treasurer or agent for another pursuant to the provisions of this section shall keep detailed accounts of every sum of money or other thing of value received by him, and of all expenditures and disbursements made, and liabilities incurred, in the same manner as such accounts are required by section five of this article, for the period prior to the date of filing for candidacy for the office he is considering seeking. Any person who has received contributions or made expenditures subject to the provisions of this section shall file annually on the last Saturday in March or within six days thereafter preceding the election at which the names of candidates would appear on the ballot for the public office or position which the person originally considered seeking, a detailed itemized statement setting forth all contributions received and expenditures made pursuant to the provisions of this section concerning the candidacy of that person. If the person on whose behalf such contributions are received or expenditures are made becomes a candidate for any office or position to be decided at such election then the itemized statement shall be included within the first statement required to be filed by the provisions of section five of this article. If such person does not become a candidate for any office or position to be decided at such election, then the detailed itemized statements required by this subsection shall be the only statements required to be filed by such person. Regardless of whether such person becomes a candidate as originally intended, or becomes a candidate for some office other than the office or position originally intended, or does not become a candidate, all limits on campaign contributions and campaign expenditures applicable to the candidacy of or advocacy of the candidacy of such person for the office he actually seeks, shall be applicable to and inclusive of the receipts had and expenditures made during such precandidacy period as well as after the person becomes a candidate.