§3-8-8. Corporation contributions forbidden; exceptions; penalties; promulgation of rules; additional powers of State Election Commission


Published: 2015

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WEST VIRGINIA CODE











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WVC 3 - 8 - 8

§3-8-8. Corporation contributions forbidden; exceptions;

penalties; promulgation of rules; additional powers

of State Election Commission.

(a) An officer, agent or person acting on behalf of any

corporation, whether incorporated under the laws of this or any

other state or of a foreign country, may not pay, give, lend or

authorize to be paid, any money or other thing of value belonging

to the corporation to any candidate or candidate's campaign for

nomination or election to any statewide office or any other

elective office in the state or any of its subdivisions.

(b) A person may not solicit or receive any payment,

contribution or other thing from any corporation or from any

officer, agent or other person acting on behalf of the corporation

to any candidate or candidate's campaign for nomination or election

to any statewide office or any other elective office in the state

or any of its subdivisions.

(c)(1) The provisions of this section do not prohibit a

corporation from soliciting, through any officer, agent or person

acting on behalf of the corporation, contributions to a separate

segregated fund to be used for political purposes. Any separate

segregated fund is considered a political action committee for the

purpose of this article and is subject to all reporting

requirements applicable to political action committees;

(2) It is unlawful for:

(A) A corporation or separate segregated fund to make a primary or other election contribution or expenditure by using

money or anything of value secured: (i) By physical force, job

discrimination or financial reprisal; (ii) by the threat of force,

job discrimination or financial reprisal; or (iii) as a condition

of employment;

(B) Any person soliciting a stockholder or executive or

administrative personnel and members of their families for a

contribution to a corporation or separate segregated fund to fail

to inform the person solicited of the political purposes of the

separate segregated fund at the time of the solicitation;

(C) Any person soliciting any other person for a contribution

to a corporation or separate segregated fund to fail to inform the

person solicited at the time of the solicitation of his or her

right to refuse to contribute without any reprisal;

(D) A separate segregated fund established by a corporation:

(i) To solicit contributions to the fund from any person other than

the corporation's stockholders and their families and its executive

or administrative personnel and their families; or (ii) to

contribute any corporate funds;

(E) A separate segregated fund established by a corporation to

receive contributions to the fund from any person other than the

corporation's stockholders and their immediate families and its

executive or administrative personnel and their immediate families;

(F) A corporation to engage in job discrimination or to

discriminate in job promotion or transfer because of an employee's failure to make a contribution to the corporation or a separate

segregated fund;

(G) A separate segregated fund to make any contribution,

directly or indirectly, in excess of $1,000 in connection with or

on behalf of any campaign for nomination or election to any

elective office in the state or any of its subdivisions, or in

connection with or on behalf of any committee or other organization

or person engaged in furthering, advancing, supporting or aiding

the nomination or election of any candidate for any such office;

(H) A corporation to pay, give or lend or to authorize

payment, giving or lending of any moneys or other things of value

belonging to the corporation to a separate segregated fund for the

purpose of making a contribution to a candidate or a candidate's

committee. This provision does not prohibit a separate segregated

fund from using the property, real or personal, facilities and

equipment of a corporation solely to establish, administer and

solicit contributions to the fund, subject to the rules of the

State Election Commission as provided in subsection (d) of this

section: Provided, That any such corporation shall also permit any

group of its employees represented by a bona fide political action

committee to use the real property of the corporation solely to

establish, administer and solicit contributions to the fund of the

political action committee, subject to the rules of the State

Election Commission promulgated in accordance with said subsection.

(3) For the purposes of this section, the term "executive or administrative personnel" means individuals employed by a

corporation who are paid on a salary rather than hourly basis and

who have policy-making, managerial, professional or supervisory

responsibilities.

(d) Any person or corporation violating any provision of this

section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof,

shall be fined not more than $10,000. A corporation may not

reimburse any person the amount of any fine imposed pursuant to

this section.

(e) To ensure uniform administration and application of the

provisions of this section and of those of the Federal Election

Campaign Act Amendments of 1976 relating to corporate

contributions, the State Election Commission shall propose rules

for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of

article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the

provisions of this section consistent, insofar as practicable, with

the rules and regulations promulgated by the Federal Election

Commission to carry out similar or identical provisions of 2 U.S.C.

§441b.

(f) In addition to the powers and duties set forth in article

one-a of this chapter, the State Election Commission has the

following powers and duties:

(1) To investigate, upon complaint or on its own initiative,

any alleged violations or irregularities of this article.

(2) To administer oaths and affirmations, issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses, issue subpoenas duces tecum to compel

the production of books, papers, records and all other evidence

necessary to any investigation.

(3) To involve the aid of any circuit court in the execution

of its subpoena power.

(4) To report any alleged violations of this article to the

appropriate prosecuting attorney having jurisdiction, which

prosecuting attorney shall present to the grand jury such alleged

violations, together with all evidence relating thereto, no later

than the next term of court after receiving the report.

(g) The Attorney General shall, when requested, provide legal

and investigative assistance to the State Election Commission.

(h) Any investigation, either upon complaint or initiative,

shall be conducted in an executive session of the State Election

Commission and shall remain undisclosed except upon an indictment

by a grand jury.

(i) Any person who discloses the fact of any complaint,

investigation or report or any part thereof, or any proceedings

thereon, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof,

shall be fined not less than $1,000, nor more than $5,000, and

shall be confined in jail not less than six months nor more than

one year.

(j) The amendments to this section enacted during the second

extraordinary session of 2008 are intended to conform to the

existing proscription to constitutionally permissible limits and not to create a new offense or offenses.

(k) The effective date of the amendments to this section

enacted during the second extraordinary legislative session of 2008

is October 1, 2008.


Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session

The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.