The Alabama Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA) governs how state and local candidates and Political Action Committees (PACs) spend and receive money from constituents. An annual report detailing the contributions made to and funds expended from the account in the preceding year must be submitted to the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office by January 31, annually. Under Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s direction, these reports have been reviewed to determine their adherence to Alabama Law.
More than 2,500 candidates and PACs were required to file their 2019 Annual Report by January 31, 2020. As of today, 111 committees have not yet taken the steps necessary to reach full compliance. Prior to the publication of this release, the names on this list were released to the Attorney General’s Office, local District Attorney Offices, and the Alabama Ethics Commission.
Since February of 2020, the Secretary of State’s Office attempted to notify each committee listed as a delinquent filer in the FCPA system. Notice was delivered to each committee by phone, mail, or email if possible.
“Our team works diligently each and every day to see that those campaigning for public office and those who are elected and responsible for spending taxpayer dollars are transparent with and accountable to the people of our state,” stated Secretary of State John H. Merrill.
Beginning with the 2018 Election Cycle, the FCPA required the Secretary of State’s Office to assess administrative penalties in the amounts of $300 (or 10% of contributions or expenditures not reported) for first time offenders, $600 (or 15% of contributions or expenditures not reported) for second time offenders, and $1,200 (or 20% of contributions or expenditures not reported) for third and subsequent offenses respectively. The collected resources from these penalties are then deposited directly into the State General Fund. As of yesterday, June 10, 2020, $216,708.71 has been paid to the State General Fund from the levied penalties since the 2018 Election Cycle.
These fines are assessed when candidates or PACs fail to meet the filing deadline.
The full list of candidates and PACs not in compliance with the annual reporting requirement can be found here.