CHAPTER 3. ELECTIONS.

§3-8-9a. Coordinated expenditures.

(a) Except as provided in §3-8-9b of this code, a coordinated expenditure is considered to be a contribution and is subject to all requirements for contributions contained in this article.

(b) An expenditure made in concert with, in cooperation with, or at the request or suggestion of a candidate or candidate’s committee is a coordinated expenditure if the communication resulting from the expenditure is paid for, in whole or in part, by a person other than the candidate, candidate committee, or party committee, and one of the following circumstances exists:

(1) The communication is created, produced, distributed, or undertaken at the request or suggestion of a candidate, candidate committee, or party committee.

(2) The candidate, candidate committee, or party committee is involved in the creation, production, or distribution of the communication, or has had discussions about the communication with any person or the agents of a person who has paid for or played a role in the creation, production, or distribution of the communication: Provided, That this paragraph does not apply if the information or materials used in the creation, production, distribution, or undertaking of the communication was obtained from a publicly available source.

(3) Any person involved in the creation, production, or distribution of the communication has, in the four months preceding the date on which the expenditure is made, been an employee or vendor of campaign services for the candidate, candidate committee, or party committee.

(c) An expenditure is not a coordinated expenditure, based solely on any of the following circumstances:

(1) A candidate committee or a political party committee responds to an inquiry about the candidate’s or political party committee’s positions on legislative or policy issues, including substantive discussion of the legislative or policy issues, but not including a discussion of campaign plans, projects, activities, or needs;

(2) A candidate endorses another candidate;

(3) A candidate solicits funds for another candidate, a political committee, a party committee, or organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible donations under 26 U. S. C. §170 (or any successor provision) and regulations of the U. S. Department of Treasury; or

(4) A candidate is clearly identified only in his or her capacity as the owner or operator of a business that existed prior to the candidacy, if the communication does not refer to an election or another candidate who seeks the same office as that candidate.

(d)(1) An expenditure otherwise meeting the description of a coordinated expenditure contained in subdivision (3), subsection (b) of this section, is not a coordinated expenditure if the commercial vendor, former employee, or political committee at issue has established and implemented a firewall that meets the following requirements:

(A) The firewall is designed and implemented to prohibit the flow of information between employees or consultants providing services for the person paying for the communication and those employees or consultants currently or previously providing services to a candidate, or a committee supporting or opposing a candidate, clearly identified in the communication; and

(B) The firewall is described in a written policy that is distributed to all relevant employees, consultants, and clients affected by the policy.

(2) A communication does not qualify for the exemption contained in this subsection if, despite the firewall, information subject to the firewall concerning a candidate, candidate’s committees, or a party committee’s campaign plans, projects, activities, or needs that are material to the creation, production, or distribution of the communication is used or conveyed to the person paying for the communication.

(e) Any communication that results from a coordinated expenditure must contain a disclaimer that clearly identifies that the expenditure is coordinated with the candidate, the candidate committee, or the party committee with which it was coordinated.