Election 2016: Know the Rules for Supporting Candidates

Election 2016: Know the Rules for Supporting Candidates

Ballot box February 29, 2016 By: James A. Kahl

Elections pose abundant opportunities for associations to support candidates aligned with members' interests. But the law governing election-related activities by associations has shifted drastically in recent years. Before your organization supports or opposes political candidates, be sure you know the rules.

As in past election cycles, this year many trade associations, professional membership organizations, and other tax-exempt entities will support candidates and political parties through PAC contributions and contributions from their members and by sponsoring communications promoting or opposing candidates and parties. The laws and rules governing this activity can be complex and confusing, and they have undergone dramatic changes in recent years. Now, seemingly routine election-related activities can present significant compliance challenges. If your organization is considering supporting federal, state, or local candidates in 2016, you need to know the rules that apply to your activities.  ...