ADVISORY OPINION NO.
Issued May 29, 1992
The Arkansas Ethics Commission has met with and fielded inquiries from public officials, candidates, lobbyists, and political action committee officials to determine what practical concerns are of the most urgent need for guidance during this, the first full political campaign cycle. The Commission, on its own initiative is issuing interpretive opinions to frequently raised questions.
One of the most urgent questions is:
Is a candidate required to maintain records of contributions, whether by cash or checks, if the individual contribution amount is one hundred dollars ($100) or less?
Yes. Arkansas law §7-6-206 requires that each candidate and political party "shall keep records of all contributions and expenditures in a manner sufficient to evidence compliance with ACA §7-6-207 - 7-6-212".*
Although our law sets specific minimums before disclosure is required, this Commission views the requirement to disclose contributors and the amount of their contributions as wholly separate and apart from the requirement to maintain accurate records of contributors and amounts of contributions. We interpret ACA §7-6-206 as requiring that each candidate maintain complete and accurate records of all contributions received, regardless of the amount of such contributions.
*ACA §7-6-207 through ACA §7-6-212 covers the campaign finance reporting required by state, district, county, municipal, and township candidates for public office.
Jack R. Kearney