CAL-ACCESS FAQs Section 1 Question 23

How do I find information about "issue advocacy communications" regarding a state candidate?

A payment or promise to make a payment of $50,000 or more for a communication that clearly identifies a state candidate, but does not expressly advocate the election or defeat of the candidate, and that is disseminated, broadcast, or otherwise published within 45 days of an election, must be reported online or electronically to the Secretary of State. The report must disclose detailed information about the filer and the payment or promised payment. (Government Code section 85310; 2 California Code of Regulations 18539.2) (See "Issue Advocacy" in "Glossary.")

In many cases, the report must also disclose detailed information regarding persons providing or promising to provide funds for the communication and the date and amount of money received or promised if the amount received or promised is $5,000 or more. (Government Code section 85310; 2 California Code of Regulations 18539.2)

The report is made using Cal-Online Form E-530. The report can be filed by visiting Secretary of State's Cal-Access website and following the links and instructions provided.

The information disclosed in the online filings regarding "issue advocacy" is posted in Cal-Access. To view this information, do the following:

  1. Go to the "Campaign Finance" page. (You may also reach this site from the Secretary of State's Home Page - by clicking on "Campaign Finance" under "Political Reform.")
  2. Click on Daily/Late/Special Filings. This will bring up the page regarding daily, late, and special filings.
  3. Under "View," click on the fourth "radio button" titled Issue Advocacy - State Candidates. This will bring up a page that displays a list of candidates affected by issue advocacy ads.
  4. Click on the name of the candidate in which you are interested. Information in reports filed by those disclosing issue advocacy payments regarding the candidate will be displayed. By clicking on the name of the filer, payments or promises made to the filer by others of $5,000 or more, if any, will be displayed.