Campaign Finance and Election Law
Political activity at the federal and state levels is highly regulated and constantly changing. In North Carolina, violations of campaign finance laws, lobbying disclosure rules, legislative and executive branch ethics codes have significant civil and criminal consequences. Individuals, corporations and political committees seeking to influence the government, candidates and officeholders must adhere to a myriad of reporting and disclosure rules as violations include potential felony jeopardy.
New laws, federal and state court decisions, most notably Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, caused seismic change to campaign finance law and regulation of political activities. Established laws and rules outlining acceptable methods of promoting public policy, issues and legislative changes have experienced radical change. The manner in which independent expenditures must be structured to comply with current rules, the way political parties can finance their activities, the support organizations can give to voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts, and fundraising for candidates, parties and other political organizations require significant and thoughtful legal advice.
Bailey & Dixon's Political Law group is the most experienced group in North Carolina. Some have run for political office, others have held senior positions in the executive and legislative branches. Still others drafted the North Carolina laws now being enforced. Supporting these attorneys is a team of experienced compliance specialists who help our clients with various state and federal filing requirements.
We provide a diverse group of clients, including individuals, non-profit organizations, political committees, party committees, foundations, advocacy groups, candidates, political consulting and government relations firms, labor unions and trade associations, vendors of services for the political and non-profit markets and major contributors to political and non-profit groups with a wide range of services, including:
- Advising on federal and state campaign finance law and regulation including independent expenditures, candidate committee and PAC compliance;
- Establishment of, and advice and services with respect to, the formation, operation and tax treatment of non-profit and tax-exempt organizations including registration of such organizations under state charitable solicitation laws and applications to the IRS for recognition of tax-exempt status;
- Provide corporate formation and start-up advice on operation of small and closely-held businesses, particularly firms operating in the political, non-profit and advocacy markets;
- Counseling on lobbying disclosure and governmental ethics statutes and rules at the federal, state, and local level;
- Designing, documenting and implementing internal compliance and training programs to ensure compliance with state and federal campaign finance, lobbying and ethics laws and rules;
- Advising tax-exempt organizations on compliance with rules governing IRS Code Section 501(c) and 527 organizations;
- Litigating in Federal and state courts matters relating to political activity and expression;
- Providing representation before federal and state agencies in public corruption and criminal campaign finance investigations;
- Advice and representation in enforcement matters, rulemakings, advisory opinion requests and other matters and proceedings before the North Carolina State Board of Elections and the Federal Election Commission, as well as before other state election authority equivalents;
- Providing representation before other administrative agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Internal Revenue Service;
- Representing clients in recounts and contested elections; and
- Advising clients regarding redistricting matters including conducting litigation.
Bailey & Dixon is one of North Carolina's oldest firms providing a wide array of corporate, commercial and regulatory matters, including administrative law proceedings and litigation and commercial litigation, for our clients.