state board of elections
6400 Mail Service Center
● Raleigh, NC 27699-6400
GARY O. BARTLETT Mailing
Mr. George E. Wilson, Treasurer
Sampson County Republican Party
PO Box 1325
Clinton, NC 28328
Re: Advisory Ruling issued under G.S.
Dear Mr. Wilson:
In your letter dated September
29, 1998, you state that the Sampson County Republican Party is in the process
of totally renovating the headquarters it owns. New bathrooms, kitchen area,
heat & air conditioning, new lighting, store front, ceiling, carpet, walls,
and other items have been built and paid for from the Building Fund. The
request for a ruling is to determine is whether or not building fun money can
be used to purchase appliances, desks, chairs, telephone system, and etc.
7, 1994 opinion on "Political Party Building Funds" permitted State
political parties to accept contributions from business entities, including
corporations into a separate segregated building fund. Provided district and
county executive committees strictly adhere to the provisions, district and
county executive committee building funds may accept business contributions.
The provisions are as follows:
1. Business contributions solicited and
accepted are designated for the building fund.
2. Potential business contributors are
advised that all business contributions will be exclusively for the building
A separate segregated bank account in which only business contributions
designated for the building fund will be deposited is established.
The funds deposited in that separate account will be expended only to purchase
or construct, or in payment of the mortgage, for a headquarters, or to refund
contributions if a facility is not acquired.
No business funds received will be used for the purpose of influencing Federal,
State, or local elections.
No limit, other than on a voluntary basis, is placed on the amount of the
business contributions, individual or collectively, to the building fund.
The building fund contributions and expenditures shall be disclosed to the
public in an annual report filed at the Campaign Reporting Office, no later
than the last Friday in January of the following year.
The opinion gave particular attention to the
fact that the building fund ruling does not allow either monetary or in-kind
contributions from any business entity for headquarters rent and utilities,
either as a part of a building fund or into any political party fund or bank
After careful review, and considering that
the opinion provides for a building fund to receive business contributions only
to purchase or construct or in payment of the mortgage for a headquarters, or
to refund contributions if a facility is not acquired, the response must be
no. The Building Fund cannot be used to purchase equipment and furnishings for
headquarters and should refund any business contributions that remain after reconstruction
is complete and any mortgage is paid.
I am sorry this ruling is unfavorable.
However, the Sampson County Republican Party may certainly pay for equipment
and furnishings from its treasury account holding funds contributed by
individuals from their personal funds.