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Campaign Disclosure Rules in California’s FPPC Get Revised

California’s FPPC unveils regulations for cryptocurrency donations in political campaigns, emphasizing transparency and accountability.

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Key Points

  • California’s FPPC introduces rules for cryptocurrency contributions to enhance transparency in political practices.
  • New guidelines set limits and requirements for accepting cryptocurrency contributions, barring foreign principals and anonymous sources.
  • Cryptocurrency donations must pass through U.S. payment processors, be converted to USD, and deposited within two days.
  • FPPC addresses violations by ACLU, proposes delegation of penalty settlement authority, and discusses campaign contribution amendments.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has made significant updates to its campaign disclosure manuals, including the introduction of detailed rules for cryptocurrency contributions.

These new guidelines were revealed in the FPPC’s August 2023 agenda.

About the News Rules

Under the new rules, cryptocurrency contributions are subject to applicable limits and must adhere to specific requirements. Contributions in cryptocurrencies may not be accepted from foreign principals, lobbyists, or anonymous sources.

They must be received through U.S.-based payment processors registered with the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Payment processors are required to convert cryptocurrency contributions to U.S. dollars at current exchange rates and deposit the funds into the committee’s campaign bank account within two business days.

Cryptocurrency contributions are labeled as non-monetary contributions, and any processing fee paid to the processor is not deducted from the reported amount.

In addition to addressing cryptocurrency contributions, the FPPC also addressed other matters. The ACLU of Northern California was found to have violated Government Code Sections, resulting in a proposed penalty of $6,500.

The violations included failure to disclose reportable activity and improper disclosure statements on an advertisement.

The Commission also presented Proposed Regulation 18318, which delegates the authority to the Executive Director to settle monetary penalties for a lesser sum. Guidelines on the circumstances that warrant a settlement were also outlined.

Furthermore, proposed amendments to Regulations 18531.1 and 18537.1 were discussed to address the return, transfer, or carry-over of campaign contributions when a candidate withdraws or does not run in an election.

Concluding Thoughts

Lastly, the FPPC provided an update on audit requirements, the audit process, FY 2022/23 audits, and common audit findings, reflecting the Commission’s ongoing commitment to transparency and accountability in political practices.

These updates mark a significant step in California’s efforts to regulate political contributions, including the emerging field of cryptocurrency, ensuring a more transparent and accountable political financing system.