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The 2012 Elections & the Arts: What's Happening and What You Can Do August 16, 2012 Narric Rome Sr. Director of Federal Affairs Jay H. Dick Sr. Director.

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Presentation on theme: "The 2012 Elections & the Arts: What's Happening and What You Can Do August 16, 2012 Narric Rome Sr. Director of Federal Affairs Jay H. Dick Sr. Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 2012 Elections & the Arts: What's Happening and What You Can Do August 16, 2012 Narric Rome Sr. Director of Federal Affairs Jay H. Dick Sr. Director of State & Local Government Affairs

2 Political Landscape  Presidential election year (not open seat)  House of Representatives elections (241-196)  23 D are “Lean or Toss Up”  33 R are “Lean or Toss Up”  Redistricting!  33 Senate elections (23 D, 10 R)  11 Gubernatorial elections (8 D, 3 R)

3 Presidential Outlook

4 “There are programs I would eliminate, Obamacare being one of them, but also various subsidy programs — the Amtrak subsidy, the PBS subsidy, the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities,” Romney said. “Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf.” - Gov. Mitt Romney Fortune magazine 8/15/12

5 U.S. House Primaries  MI Primary – CAC members Rep. Gary Peters (D-14) handily defeated Hansen Clarke (D-13).  CA Primary – Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman runoff in primary and general election.  IL Primary – CAC members Rep. Judy Biggert (R) and Rep. Bill Foster (D) to compete in general election.  FL Primary – Rep. Cliff Stearns (R) defeated

6 U.S. House Races of Interest  Illinois 10 - Robert Dold (R): CAC member in swing district recently rated Lean D.  New Hampshire 2 - Charlie Bass (R) is in a Toss Up  New York 19 - Chris Gibson (R) in a Toss Up  New York 25 - Louise Slaughter (D), CAC Co-Chair Lean D

7 U.S. Senate Races of Interest  Hawaii Open Seat – Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) vs. former Gov. Linda Lingle (R). Rep. Don Young (R) endorsement. Rated Toss Up.  CT Open Seat – Rep. Chris Murphy (D) wins Senate primary, to face former WWE CEO Linda McMahon (R). Rated Likely D.  NV Challenge – Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) vs. Senator Dean Heller (R). Rated Toss Up.

8 Congressional Survey

9 501(c)3s Dos and Don’ts for Elections & Ballot Initiatives

10 501(c)(3)s & Electioneering  501(c)(3)s are absolutely prohibited from supporting or opposing candidates for public office.  However, there are many allowable activities that 501(c)3s can do in an election year

11 Basic Rule Section 501(c)(3) organizations may engage in educational activities related to the electoral process as long as they do not:  participate or intervene in any political campaign  in support of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office

12 Permissible Educational Activities  Voter guides/candidate questionnaires  Candidate forums  Officeholder scorecards  Voter registration  Issue education

13 Voter Guides/Candidate Questionnaires  All candidates asked to participate  All responses published, unedited  No indication of preference  Editorial opinion  Comparison to organization’s positions  Variety of issues

14 Officeholder Scorecards  Voting records of politicians  No indication of preference  Variety of issues  Method and timing of distribution relevant

15 Candidate Forums  All candidates invited  Range of issues addressed  Equal opportunity to respond  No indication of preference  Editorial comments

16 Voter Registration/Get-Out-The-Vote  Must be nonpartisan  Not directed at voters likely to support a particular candidate

17 Issue Education  A 501(c)(3) does not lose its ability to engage in advocacy activities simply because a political campaign is in process  In fact, it is during the election season that the interest of voters in key issues may be at its highest

18 Some Helpful Factors for Issue Education During a Campaign  A history of non-electoral issue advocacy  Current events showing the need for advocacy at this time  Disclaimers of endorsements  No reference to a candidate or election

19 Ballot Initiatives & Referenda  Proposed statutory changes or constitutional amendments put on election ballots for public vote.  Not considered ‘electioneering’ – prohibition applies only to work “for or against candidates for public office.”  It’s considered Lobbying – passing laws.  501(c)(3)s can lobby. (IRS “H” election, 20% rule)

20 Ballot Initiative Work is Direct Lobbying  Public becomes the legislature.  Lobbying the public to vote for or against a legislative/constitutional measure.  Important because 501(c)(3)s can spend more on direct lobbying.

21 Examples of Prohibited Political Conduct  Endorsement of a candidate  Fundraising appeals  Rating of candidates  Contributions to candidates  Distribution of materials prepared by candidates  Establishment of a PAC

22 More Latitude for 501(c)(4)s  No restrictions or limitations on lobbying.  Can work on behalf of candidates (support or oppose) but only secondary activity.  Contributions are not tax deductible.

23 Electioneering Quiz Question: A candidate wants to use my 501(c)3 organization’s stage for an event. Can they? Answer: Yes* *Provided you rent the facility at market rate and give all other candidates the opportunity to rent the space.

24 Electioneering Quiz Question: A board member of my organization is running for city council. They want to send an email to my organization's database asking for member’s support. Can they? Answer: Yes* *Provided your organization already has an email list rental policy, charges the candidate market rates and makes the email list rental available to all candidates Legal vs. Political: While this might be legal, it might not be wise thing to do. You can always say “no.”

25 Electioneering Quiz Question: As the Executive Director of your 501(c)3 organization, a candidate asks that you be on the host committee for a fundraiser. Can you? Answer: Yes* *Provided your fiscal donation is from your private funds and you do not use office time or materials to promote the event. If your title and org is listed, then it needs to say “for identification purposes only.”

26 Electioneering Quiz Question: Your organization is asked to partner with several other 501(c)3 organizations to host a candidate forum. Can you? Answer: Yes* *Provided you invite all eligible candidates and the forum covers a range of issues.

27 Post Election “To Do” List 1. Send congratulatory letter 2. Request in person meeting 3. Invite to be a member of the Arts Caucus 4. Identify grasstops 5. Invite them to an existing holiday arts event 6. Send follow up thank you note 7. Host evening reception at Capitol 8. Set up reception for new members only 9. Set up meeting with staff 10. Ask key new members to request specific committee assignments This list is not necessarily chronological in nature. Many items will overlap.

28 Questions and Follow up Narric Rome Sr. Director of Federal Affairs Twitter: @NarricAFTA Jay H Dick Sr. Director of State and Local Government Affairs Twitter: @JayAFTA Phone: 202-371-2830

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