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Introduced Version Senate Bill 420 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
Senate Bill No. 420

(By Senators Ball, Bailey, White, Fanning, Schoonover,

Love, Snyder, Dittmar, Bowman and Hunter)

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[Introduced March 21, 1997; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
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A BILL to amend and reenact section twelve, article eight, chapter three of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to elections; regulation and control of election; circulation of written matter; requiring all printed campaign material to contain the party affiliation of the person or candidate authorizing the printing; and criminal penalty.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section twelve, article eight, chapter three of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. REGULATION AND CONTROL OF ELECTIONS.
§3-8-12. Additional acts forbidden; circulation of written matter; newspaper advertising; solicitation of contributions; intimidation and coercion of employees; promise of employment or other benefits; limitations on contributions; public contractors; penalty.
(a) No person shall may publish, issue or circulate, or cause to be published, issued or circulated, any anonymous letter, circular, placard, or other publication tending to influence voting at any election; nor may any person publish, issue or circulate, or cause to be published, issued or circulated, any printed matter either for or against the nomination or election of any candidate unless the party affiliation of the sponsor and the candidate in whose behalf it is issued is clearly indicated;
(b) No owner, publisher, editor or employee of a newspaper or other periodical shall may insert, either in its advertising or reading columns, any matter, paid for or to be paid for, which tends to influence the voting at any election, unless directly designating it as a paid advertisement and stating the name of the person authorizing its publication and the candidate in whose behalf it is published, and the party affiliation thereof;
(c) No person shall may, in any room or building occupied for the discharge of official duties by any officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision thereof, solicit orally or by written communication delivered therein, or in any other manner, any contribution of money or other thing of value for any party or political purpose, from any postmaster or any other officer or employee of the federal government, or officer or employee of the state, or a political subdivision thereof. No officer, agent, clerk or employee of the federal government, or of this state, or any political subdivision thereof, who may have charge or control of any building, office or room, occupied for any official purpose, shall may knowingly permit any person to enter the same for the purpose of therein soliciting or receiving any political assessments from, or delivering or giving written solicitations for, or any notice of, any political assessments to, any officer or employee of the state, or a political subdivision thereof.
(d) Except as provided in section eight of this article, no person entering into any contract with the state or its subdivisions, or any department or agency thereof, either for rendition of personal services or furnishing any material, supplies or equipment or selling any land or building to the state, or its subdivisions, or any department or agency thereof, if payment for the performance of such contract or payment for such material, supplies, equipment, land or building is to be made in whole or in part from public funds shall, during the period of negotiation for or performance under such contract or furnishing of materials, supplies, equipment, land or buildings, directly or indirectly make any contribution to any political party, committee or candidate for public office or to any person for political purposes or use; nor shall may any person or firm solicit any contributions for any such purpose during any such period.
(e) No person shall may, directly or indirectly, promise any employment, position, work, compensation or other benefit provided for, or made possible, in whole or in part, by act of the Legislature, to any person as consideration, favor or reward for any political activity for the support of or opposition to any candidate, or any political party in any election.
(f) No person shall may, directly or indirectly, make any contribution in excess of the value of one thousand dollars in connection with any campaign for nomination or election to or on behalf of any statewide or national elective office, or in excess of the value of one thousand dollars, in connection with any other campaign for nomination or election to or on behalf of any other elective office in the state or any of its subdivisions, or in connection with or on behalf of any committee or other organization or person engaged in furthering, advancing or advocating the nomination or election of any candidate for any such office.
(g) (1) Not withstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of this section to the contrary, the aggregate contributions made to a state party executive committee shall be permitted only pursuant to the limitations imposed by the provisions of this subsection.
(2) No person shall may, directly or indirectly, make contributions to a state party executive committee which, in the aggregate, exceed the value of one thousand dollars in any calendar year.
(h) No person shall may solicit any contribution from any nonelective salaried employee of the state government or of any of its subdivisions or coerce or intimidate any such employee into making such a contribution. No person shall may coerce or intimidate any nonsalaried employee of the state government or any of its subdivisions into engaging in any form of political activity. The provisions hereof shall may, not be construed to prevent any such employee from making such a contribution or from engaging in political activity voluntarily, without coercion, intimidation or solicitation.
(i) No person shall may solicit a contribution from any other person without informing such the other person at the time of such the solicitation of the amount of any commission, remuneration or other compensation that the solicitor or any other person will receive or expect to receive as a direct result of such a contribution being successfully collected. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to apply to solicitations of contributions made by any person serving as an unpaid volunteer.
(j) Any person violating any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or confined in jail for not more than one year or, in the discretion of the court, be subject to both such fine and confinement.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require that all campaign material and paid political advertising clearly state the party affiliation of the sponsor or the candidate in whose behalf the material is issued.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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