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§3-8-9. Lawful and unlawful election expenses; public opinion polls and limiting their purposes; limitation upon expenses; use of advertising agencies and reporting requirements; delegation of expenditures.

(a) No financial agent or treasurer of a political committee shall pay, give, or lend, either directly or indirectly, any money or other thing of value for any election expenses, except for the following purposes:

(1) For rent, maintenance, office equipment, and other furnishing of offices to be used as political headquarters and for the payment of necessary employees;

(2) In the case of a candidate who does not maintain a headquarters, for reasonable office expenses, including, but not limited to, filing cabinets and other office equipment, and furnishings, computers, computer hardware and software, scanners, typewriters, calculators, audio visual equipment, the rental of the use of the same, or for the payment for the shared use of same with the candidate’s business and for the payment of necessary employees;

(3) For printing and distributing books, pamphlets, circulars, and other printed matter, radio and television broadcasting, and painting, printing, and posting signs, banners, and other advertisements, including contributions to charitable, educational, or cultural events, for the promotion of the candidate or the candidate’s name, or an issue on the ballot;

(4) For renting and decorating halls for public meetings and political conventions, for advertising public meetings, and for the payment of traveling expenses of speakers and musicians at such meetings;

(5) For the necessary traveling and hotel expenses of candidates, political agents, and committees and for stationery, postage, telegrams, telephone, express, freight, and public messenger service;

(6) For preparing, circulating, and filing petitions for nomination of candidates;

(7) For examining the lists of registered voters, securing copies thereof, investigating the right to vote of the persons listed therein, and conducting proceedings to prevent unlawful registration or voting;

(8) For conveying voters to and from the polls;

(9) For securing publication in newspapers and by radio and television broadcasting of documents, articles, speeches, arguments, and any information relating to any political issue, candidate, or question or proposition submitted to a vote;

(10) For conducting public opinion poll or polls. For the purpose of this section, the phrase "conducting of public opinion poll or polls" shall mean and be limited to the gathering, collection, collation, and evaluation of information reflecting public opinion, needs, and preferences as to any candidate, group of candidates, party, issue, or issues. No such poll may be deceptively designed or intentionally conducted in a manner calculated to advocate the election or defeat of any candidate or group of candidates or calculated to influence any person or persons so polled to vote for or against any candidate, group of candidates, proposition, or other matter to be voted on by the public at any election: Provided, That nothing herein may prevent the use of the results of any such poll or polls to further, promote or enhance the election of any candidate or group of candidates or the approval or defeat of any proposition or other matter to be voted on by the public at any election;

(11) For legitimate advertising agency services, including commissions, in connection with any campaign activity for which payment is authorized by subdivisions (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (9), and (10) of this subsection;

(12) For the purchase of memorials, flowers, or citations by political party executive committees or political action committees representing a political party;

(13) For the purchase of nominal noncash expressions of appreciation following the close of the polls of an election or within 30 days thereafter;

(14) For the payment of dues or subscriptions to any national, state, or local committee of any political party;

(15) For contributions to a county party executive committee, state party executive committee, or a caucus campaign committee;

(16) For transfers to any national, state, or local committee of any political party when that committee is acting in the role of a vendor: Provided, That no such transfer may involve any coordination between the candidate and the political party committee without being considered as a contribution;

(17) For payment for legal and accounting services rendered to a candidate or candidate committee if the services are solely related to the candidacy or campaign;

(18) For payment for food and drink for campaign-related purposes;

(19) For the payment of any required filing fees associated with the campaign, except that a candidate may not pay any fines assessed against the candidate or the candidate’s committee pursuant to this article; and

(20) For contributions to a candidate committee: Provided, That a candidate committee may not contribute to another candidate committee except as otherwise provided by §3-8-10 of this code.

(b) A political action committee may not contribute to another political action committee or receive contributions from another political action committee: Provided, That a political action committee may receive contributions from its national affiliate, if any.

(c) Every liability incurred and payment made shall be for the fair market value of the services rendered.

(d) Every advertising agency subject to the provisions of this article shall file, in the manner and form required by §3-8-5a of this code, the financial statements required by §3-8-5 of this code at the times required therein and include therein, in itemized detail, all receipts from and expenditures made on behalf of a candidate, financial agent, or treasurer of a political party committee.

(e) Any candidate may designate a financial agent by a writing duly subscribed by the candidate which shall be in such form and filed in accordance with §3-8-4 of this code.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2020 Regular Session
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