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In every campaign, it takes two things to keep the bus moving forward. One is a message that everyone can stand behind and believe in, the other is money. The man in charge of that money is the campaign treasurer. Depending on the level of office being sought, the campaign treasurer's duties can be relatively complex.
As a campaign treasurer, before the campaign can really get going, you're going to need some money. Most importantly you're going to need someone to keep track of how that money is spent and where it comes from. According to the Federal Election Commission, there are many rules and regulations that must be considered when accepting campaign contributions. Contribution limits vary according to whether or not the contribution is coming from an individual or a committee. They range from $2,400 an election from an individual to $5,000 an election from the National Committee. Contributions from corporations, labor organizations and national banks are not permitted. It's important that the treasurer keep an up to date and accurate record of all contributions received so that these can be filed and reported to the FEC.
Tracking the Money
Anyone can be a campaign treasurer but, with the various accounting related responsibilities that come with the position, it is recommended that a treasurer have either a degree in, or a strong knowledge of, accounting practices. In a national level campaign, it's important that every cent that is spent be accounted for. It's the treasurer's responsibility to make sure that all receipts are filed at the designated bank or credit union within ten days. The treasurer is also responsible for authorizing the spending of any money by either the campaign or committee. The treasurer must file records and other financial forms in a timely manner with federal and state governments.
Registering and Regulations
Before the money can be raised, and the files can be formed, the campaign must register with the FEC and qualify as a political committee. You must file your official Statement of Organization within ten days of being recognized as a political committee by the FEC. In this include the details of both who your candidate is and staff positions that have been filled. This form must be filed and signed by the Treasurer. Under FEC regulations a committee or its treasurer can be fined heavily for not filing reports on time or for violating the FEC laws. The level and amount of a fine is calculated based on a number of factors including when the form was due and what sort of campaign you're running.
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