« ForrigeFortsett »
As has been the practice in past years when an election of its Members is held, the House of Representatives has this year created a Special Committee to Investigate Campaign Expenditures. This committee is directed to investigate and report to the House concerning campaign expenditures and other matters pertaining to the election of Members of the House. In addition, the committee is empowered to look into such other matters relating to the election of Members of the House, and the campaigns of the candidates therewith, which it deems to be of public interest and which in its opinion will aid the House in enacting remedial legislation or in deciding any contests that may be instituted involving the right to a seat in the House of Representatives.
This committee felt that its first duty was to attempt to inform all interested persons as to the laws and regulations which have been enacted to govern the election of Members of the House of Representatives. The committee therefore requested the American Law Section, Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress, to compile the texts of certain provisions of the United States Constitution and Federal Statutes concerning the election of Representatives in and Delegates to the Congress. Brief explanatory summaries and portions of the texts of the provisions of the United States Constitution, the Hatch Act, the Federal Corrupt Practices Act, the Pendleton Act, the Powers Act, and other provisions of the United States Code pertaining to elections are included in this print. The texts of these provisions are presented as they appear in the Constitution and United States Code, 1946 edition, and supplement V. The explanatory summaries were prepared by the American Law Section.
A summary of the soldier-voting law and pertinent sections of the postal laws and regulations and the laws regulating elections in Territories and insular possessions are also included.
Each candidate is cautioned to familiarize himself with the pertinent State law of his particular State. It is impossible in a publication of this nature to present the laws of the various States, but since each State does have laws governing offenses at elections, violations of these laws could result in criminal prosecution or denial of a seat in the House.
While all of the information contained in this print is of importance to persons in any way connected with the campaign and election of Members of the House of Representatives, there are particular provisions of the Federal law which should be specifically noted by all concerned. These are:
Reports to be filed.-Candidates, political committees, and in some cases individuals making political contributions, are required to file a statement with the Clerk of the House of Representatives as to contributions and expenditures. A form for this purpose will be furnished each candidate by the Clerk of the House. Reports required under the Federal law are distinct and are not to be confused with reports which may be required under State law or reports which may be required by the appropriate congressional committees.
An informative digest of the reports required by Federal law can be found on page 16 of this print. The State law should be consulted as to reports required by individual States.
Limitations on contributions and expenditures.—The limitations imposed by Federal legislation upon the amount that may be contributed or expended is discussed under the heading "Federal Regulation of the Use of Money at Elections,” beginning on page 12 of this print. Candidates are cautioned to consult the laws of their respective States concerning State-imposed limitations.
Publication of unsigned advertisements and circulars.—The Powers Act prohibits the publication or distribution of political literature which does not contain the name of the person or persons responsible for its publication. It should be noted that this prohibition is not limited to general elections. The text of this act can be found on page 18 of this print.
Political activity by Federal employees.—The Hatch Act restricts the political activity of Federal employees with certain exceptions. Pertinent sections of the text of this act can be found beginning on page 26 of this print and an informative digest begins on page 9. Additional information can be secured from the Civil Service Commission, Washington 25, D. C.
Political contributions by persons receiving salary or compensation from or in the service of the United States.—Title 18 of the United States Code, commonly referred to as the Pendleton Act, prohibits any Member of, or candidate for, Congress from soliciting or receiving contributions from any person receiving any salary or compensation from the Treasury of the United States. It also prohibits any person in the service of the United States from giving any money or other valuable thing on account of or to be applied to the promotion of any political objectto any other person in the service of the United States, including Members of Congress. This statute is very important to all candidates for Representative and is of particular importance to Members of Congress. It should be pointed out that, contrary to the Hatch Act, legislative employees are included in this prohibition. The text of this statute can be found on page 11 of this print.
Contributions by firms or individuals contracting with the Federal Government. It is illegal for any person or firm entering into a contract with the United States or any department or agency thereof to make or promise any political contribution of money or anything of value during the negotiation for, or performance under such contract. The text of this provision can be found on page 17.
AUTHORITY, MEMBERSHIP, AND JURISDICTION OF COMMITTEE
On March 6, 1952, following custom, the majority leader, Mr. McCormack, introduced House Resolution 558, the text of which is set forth on pages 21 and 22, infra. The resolution was referred to the Committee on Rules and reported to the House on March 20, 1952 (H. Rept. 1603, 82d Cong., 2d sess.). The resolution was considered and agreed to on May 12, 1952.
On June 16, 1952, House Resolution 691, providing funds for the expenses of conducting the investigation authorized by House Resolution 558, was introduced in the House and referred to the Committee on House Administration. The resolution as reported, authorizing the Special Committee To Investigate Campaign Expenditures, 1952, to incur expenses not exceeding $30,000, was agreed to July 2, 1952 (H. Rept. 2433, 82d Cong., 2d sess.).
The Speaker of the House on June 16, 1952, appointed the following members to the committee:
Hale Boggs, Louisiana (Second District).
William M. McCulloch, Ohio (Fourth District). The resolution creating the committee directs it to investigate and report to the House not later than January 3, 1953, with respect to the following:
1. The nature and extent of expenditures made by all candidates for the House of Representatives in connection with their campaign for nomination and election to such office;
2. The amounts subscribed, contributed, or expended by individuals or groups of individuals on behalf of each candidate in connection with such campaigns; 3. The use of any other means or influence for the
of aiding or influencing the nomination or election of such candidates;
4. Any violations of United States statutes pertaining to elections;
5. Any violations of other United States or State statutes which would affect the qualification of a candidate for membership in the House of Representatives within the meaning of article I, section 5, of the Constitution of the United States;
6. Such other matters in connection with the campaign which the committee deems to be in the public interest, and which in its opinion would aid the House of Representatives in enacting remedial legislation or in deciding any contests involving the
right to a seat in the House of Representatives. The committee is authorized to institute investigations on complaints or upon its own initiative, to hold hearings, subpena witnesses, and refer any violations found of United States or State statutes to the United States Attorney General for such official action as he deems proper.
POLICY OF THE COMMITTEE
In order to avoid the useless expenditure of funds and the loss of time by the committee and the staff, it was decided by the committee to conduct investigations of particular campaigns only upon receipt of a complaint signed by a candidate containing sufficient and definite allegations of fact to establish a prima facie case requiring investigation by the committee. However, the committee reserves the right to act upon its own motion in any matter which it believes will better enable it to carry out the duties imposed by House Resolution 558.
Information which will be of interest to the committee or which will assist the committee in carrying out these duties will be received gladly. All correspondence should be addressed to the committee at Room 162, Old House Office Building, Washington 25, D. C.
Campaign Expenditures, 1952.