Campaign Policies for Candidates for LWVUS Office

The purpose of these policies is to ensure that campaigns for LWVUS office are conducted in a fair and open manner and to enable the membership to make informed decisions about the leadership of the LWVUS.

A.  Persons Covered by These Policies

A.1.  All candidates for LWVUS office are subject to the provisions of these Campaign Policies. 

A.2.  The term "candidates for LWVUS office" shall be understood to include candidates nominated by the LWVUS Nominating Committee and any alternate slate or alternate individual candidates standing for election to LWVUS office, i.e., officers, directors, and nominating committee members.  A "slate" is defined as two or more persons running or working together for election to LWVUS office.

A.3.  A staff member in the LWVUS field service division (hereinafter "the administrator") shall handle the administrative responsibilities associated with these policies, including:

•     sending a copy of these Campaign Policies and a "Fair Campaign Practices" pledge form to all LWVUS nominees and any other declared alternate candidates;

•     collecting signed copies of the pledge form;

•     distributing and collecting financial report forms for all candidates (or their respective slates);

•     providing reports at convention and following convention, as described below.

A.4.  A Campaign Oversight Committee shall be appointed to handle arrangements for a candidate forum at convention and to issue a final report to the board and the membership, as described below.

B.  The "Fair Campaign Practices" Pledge

B.1.  All candidates shall be asked to sign a "Fair Campaign Practices" pledge.  The administrator shall distribute pledge forms to the LWVUS nominees as soon as practicable following the report from the Nominating Committee to the LWVUS board and to any other candidates upon being informed of their declaration of candidacy.  Signed pledge forms shall be returned to the administrator. 

B.2.  Candidates whose names are placed in nomination from the floor and who have not declared their candidacy prior to convention shall obtain a "Fair Campaign Practices" pledge form from the administrator and shall return the signed form to the administrator by the end of the first plenary session.

B.3.  The names of the candidates who submitted signed pledge forms, as well as the names of those who did not, shall be listed in the convention bulletin distributed on the day following the first plenary session.

C.  Communications Concerning Candidates and Campaigns

C.1.  Candidates nominated by the LWVUS Nominating Committee shall be featured in the National Voter magazine and the convention workbook, on the LWVUS website and in other official announcements.  Alternate slates and alternate individual candidates will not be included in these official announcements.

C.2.  Reference to a website memo to potential alternate candidates shall be included in the pre-convention materials.  This memo shall describe the responsibilities of such candidates and the procedures to be followed.

C.3.  The costs associated with all other activities promoting the election of a candidate (e.g., mailings, phone calls, campaign websites, buttons, brochures, fliers) shall be borne by the candidate or slate incurring those costs.

C.4.  Any candidate may purchase mailing labels and/or email distribution lists for state and local League presidents at a cost determined by LWVUS office staff, according to current policy.

C.5.  Candidates, including incumbents, shall not ask LWVUS office staff to assist in any way in the promotion of their candidacies, nor shall they use LWVUS office supplies for their campaigns.  

D.  Campaign Contributions and Expenditures

D.1.  Campaign contributions may be solicited from individual League members and non-members.  State Leagues, local Leagues and Inter-League Organizations shall not contribute to any campaign.

D.2.  Individual contributions, including personal contributions from candidates to their own campaigns, shall not exceed $50 (in cash or in-kind contributions) per candidate per election.  Campaign expenditures shall not exceed $1,000 per candidate per election.

D.3.  Income and expenses for candidates running as a slate may be split evenly among those candidates.  Individual contributions to a slate shall not exceed the number of candidates multiplied by $50.  Expenditures for the slate shall not exceed the number of candidates multiplied by $1,000.

D.4.  Prior to the opening plenary session, LWVUS nominees and any declared alternate candidates (or their respective slates) shall file with the administrator a preliminary financial report listing contributors and amounts received from each and all campaign expenses incurred as of three days before convention.

D.5.  Candidates whose names are placed in nomination from the floor and who have not declared their candidacy prior to convention, and who have received and/or expended monies for their campaigns, shall file a preliminary financial report (as described above) with the administrator.

D.6.  The names of the candidates who submitted preliminary financial reports, as well as the names of those who did not, shall be listed in the convention bulletin distributed on the day following the first plenary session.  The list shall indicate whether or not the campaign contribution and expenditures limits were followed.

D.7.  The LWVUS shall pay convention expenses (e.g., registration, travel, hotel) for any candidates defined as eligible under the policies for board and off-board attendance at LWVUS Conventions/Councils.  Convention expenses for alternate candidates who are not otherwise eligible for reimbursement will not be reimbursed.

E.  Campaign Oversight Committee

E.1.   In January of convention years, the Convention Committee shall submit to the LWVUS Board of Directors the names of five potential appointees to a Campaign Oversight Committee.  The potential appointees shall be former national board members or former state League presidents, each from a different state.  The LWVUS board shall select three of these League leaders to serve on the Campaign Oversight Committee and shall designate one of these as committee chair.

E.2.   In accepting appointment to the Campaign Oversight Committee, the members agree to remain scrupulously neutral and to refrain from any activities that might be perceived as favoring one candidate over another.  Members of the Committee may not serve as convention delegates.

E.3.   The Campaign Oversight Committee shall develop a format for a candidate forum at convention, select a neutral moderator for the forum, and determine the method of questioning the candidates.  The committee will share this information with all declared candidates at least two weeks prior to convention, but reserves the right to change the format depending upon whether or not alternate candidates are nominated.

E.4.   The LWVUS shall pay convention expenses (e.g., registration, travel, and hotel) for the Chair of the Campaign Oversight Committee, in accordance with the policies for board and off-board attendance at LWVUS Conventions/Councils.

E.5.   The Campaign Oversight Committee reports to the board through the Convention Chair.

F.   Campaign Activities at Convention

F.1.   The Convention Committee shall provide time for a candidate forum in the convention schedule and make arrangements for a suitable space for the forum.  

F.2.   Any League member, including members of the Nominating Committee, may actively promote the election of the candidate(s) of his/her choice.  

F.3.   Except for the candidates themselves, campaign buttons and other campaign paraphernalia shall not be worn by those on the convention platform during plenary sessions, nor by presenters/facilitators at LWVUS workshops and Q&A sessions, nor by the moderator, the members of the Election Committee or the members of the Campaign Oversight Committee at any time.

F.4.   The Convention Committee shall provide separate tables for LWVUS nominated and alternate candidates to place their campaign materials.  Campaign signs and the distribution of campaign items shall be allowed in designated areas in accordance with the Convention Rules.  Candidates shall be responsible for removal of all campaign signs and materials by the close of convention.

F.5.   The Convention Committee shall provide separate caucus rooms for the LWVUS nominated and alternate candidates.  The caucus for the LWVUS nominated candidates shall be hosted by the Nominating Committee.

G.  After Convention

G.1.  Within 60 days following the convention, all candidates (or their respective slates) shall file with the administrator a final financial report listing contributors and amounts received from each and all campaign expenses incurred.  The administrator shall forward this information to the Campaign Oversight Committee.

G.2.  The Campaign Oversight Committee shall submit a summary report to the LWVUS board, listing for each candidate/slate the amounts received and spent and indicating whether contribution and expenditure policies were followed.  A summary of this report shall be posted on the League website, and League presidents shall be notified of its website location.

H.  Other Items

H.1.  The Campaign Oversight Committee shall issue a ruling on any dispute arising from implementation of these policies.

H.2.  These Campaign Policies apply only to candidates for LWVUS office and do not apply to issue campaigns.

H.3.  A copy of these policies shall be sent to all League presidents with the report from the LWVUS Nominating Committee.  They shall also be posted on the LWVUS website and in the plenary hall at convention, fully accessible to all convention attendees

FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES PLEDGE

As a candidate for LWVUS office, I pledge to conduct my campaign openly and fairly.

1.   I will discuss the issues and participate in fair debate with respect to my views and qualifications. 

2.   I will participate in the candidate forum at convention as requested by the Campaign Oversight Committee.

3.   I will neither engage in, nor be involved with, unfair or misleading attacks upon the character of an opponent, nor will I engage in invasion of personal privacy unrelated to fitness for office.

4.   I will not be part of any appeal to prejudice.

5.   I will neither use, nor be involved with the use of, any campaign material or advertisement that misrepresents, distorts or otherwise falsifies the facts regarding an opponent. 

6.   I will clearly identify the source of all campaign material published or distributed on my behalf.

7.   I will publicly repudiate any support deriving from an individual or group whose activities would violate the principles of this pledge.

8.   I will abide by the “Campaign Policies for Candidates for LWVUS Office.”