Under California’s Political Reform Act, a person or organization that receives contributions totaling $1,000 or more in a calendar year to support or oppose state or local candidates or ballot measures qualifies as a “recipient committee” and must have a treasurer. No contributions may be accepted and no expenditures may be made without a treasurer.
— California Fair Political Practices Commission

Treasurer's Responsibilities

  • Filing the committee's statement of organization (Form 410) and termination of the committee;
  • Establishing and maintaining a recordkeeping system that ensures the committee complies with the Act's disclosure requirements;
  • Verifying and signing the committee's campaign statements and filing them on time;
  • Correcting inaccuracies or omissions that may occur.

Registration

A recipient committee must register under the Act by filing a statement of organization (Form 410) within 10 days of receiving contributions totaling $1,000 in a calendar year. The committee treasurer must sign the form and see that it is filed on time.

On the Form 410, the committee provides basic information about the committee (such as its name, address, and principal officers) and identifies the individual who will act as the committee's treasurer. If any of the information on the statement of organization changes, the treasurer must file an amendment within 10 days.

If a committee qualifies during the 16 days before an election, or if certain information about the committee (e.g., the name of the committee, the committee treasurer) changes during that period, an amendment to the statement of organization must be filed within 24 hours.

Recordkeeping and Reporting

The treasurer is responsible for the timely and accurate filing of campaign disclosure reports with the appropriate state and/or local filing officers. To accomplish this, the treasurer must see that complete and accurate records of receipts and expenditures are maintained from the very beginning of the committee's operations.

The treasurer is required to maintain the records personally or monitor committee support staff or others that actually perform the recordkeeping duties. The treasurer must also prepare the campaign statements personally or carefully review the campaign statements and records prepared by others. If required information is missing, it is the treasurer's responsibility to obtain it. The treasurer must also monitor compliance with the Act's restrictions on cash contributions, cash expenditures, and with federal and local campaign laws.

All reports and statements must be signed by the treasurer or assistant treasurer.

Candidate Controlled Committees

A candidate or officeholder who controls a committee must make sure the treasurer is adequately performing his or her required duties. If the candidate or officeholder knows or has reason to know the treasurer is not performing adequately, he or she must replace the treasurer or bring the treasurer's performance up to required standards. A controlling candidate or officeholder must sign the committee's campaign statements, verifying that the treasurer has used all reasonable diligence in preparing them.


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