FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 15, 1998

 

FOR INFORMATION

Jeanne Olson ‑ (612) 296‑1721

Gary Goldsmith ‑ (612) 296‑1720

           

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD ISSUES SECOND PUBLIC SUBSIDY PAYMENTS TO QUALIFYING CANDIDATES IN 1998 ELECTIONS

            Public subsidy payments totaling $2,431,260 to 12 Constitutional Office and 247 state House of Representatives candidates, were paid last week.  This represents 85% of the 304 candidates whose names appeared on the general election ballot.

            Public subsidy payments are made from the General Account and the Party Accounts of the State Elections Campaign Fund.  Money is allocated to the Fund based on taxpayer checkoffs on state tax returns.  The Fund is also supplemented by an appropriation of $1,500,000 per general election from the general fund of the state.

            General Account payments are made to eligible state House of Representatives candidates who receive at least 10% of the vote and Constitutional Office candidates who receive at least 5% of the vote in a general election.  Based on the November 3, 1998, general election vote totals, 12 Constitutional Office candidates received payments totaling $1,329,781 and 247 House of Representatives candidates received payments totaling $998,992. 

            The General Account is allocated between offices on a statutory formula and the amount available for each office is then divided by the number of candidates qualifying for the payment.  General account payments are summarized in the table on the following page:

 

 

Office

Total Available 

Number Qualified

Payment Made

Governor

930,847.06     

3

310,282.35   

Attorney General

159,573.77     

2

79,786.88   

Secretary of State

79,786.88      

3

26,595.62   

State Auditor

79,786.88      

2

39,893.44   

State Treasurer

79,786.88      

2

39,893.44   

House of Repr.

998,992.25       

244

4,094.23   

 

 

            Party Account payments totaling $102,487 were made to 259 candidates.  These are the second Party Account payments for the election year and follow initial Party Account payments totaling $1,460,300 made in September, 1998, following the primary

election.  Party account payments are made to the parties' nominees on the general election ballot regardless of percentage of vote received.  Party account payments are summarized in the following table:

 

Party

September Party Account Totals

December Party Account  Totals

 

Total

 

 

Democratic-Farmer-Labor

794,177

60,488

854,665

 

Reform

  18,176

     592

  18,768

 

Republican

647,947 

   41,265   

689,212

 

Libertarian

            0

     142

        142

1

No Grassroots Party candidates qualified for Party Account payments.

 

            Payments made from the State Elections Campaign Fund were based on Department of Revenue processing of 99% of tax returns. Constitutional Office candidate payments are based on checkoffs on state tax returns for tax years 1994 through 1997 while House candidate payments are based on returns for tax years 1996 and 1997.

            To be eligible to participate in the public subsidy programs, a candidate must sign and file a Public Subsidy Agreement with the Board in which the candidate agrees to abide by statutory campaign expenditure limits and agrees to limit contributions by the candidate to the candidate's principal campaign committee.  A candidate must also raise a specified amount in individual contributions and file an affidavit stating that this requirement has been met.

            Of the 348 candidates who filed an affidavit of candidacy for Constitutional Office or for the state House of Representatives in July, 1998, 326 registered campaign committees with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.  Of the 326 registered candidates 320, or over 98%, signed Public Subsidy Agreements.    

            A candidate who is unopposed in both the primary and general elections may not receive public subsidy.  Any amount from a Party Account which would have otherwise been available to an unopposed candidate is paid to the candidate's political party.  A total of

$21,946.99 will be paid to the Republican party for six unopposed candidates.

            Total payments to candidates in the 1998 elections from the State Elections Campaign Fund, including amounts paid in September, 1998, were approximately $3,891,560.

            Information about payments from the State Elections Campaign Fund is available from the Board office, 1st Floor South, Centennial Building, 658 Cedar Street, St. Paul.