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Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Political Campaign Advertisements

§ 24.2-955.2 Publications not to receive compensation for advocating candidacy; penalties

Overview of Statute

Publications are not to receive compensation for advocating candidacy, and this section offers penalties for violating this section. However, “Paid Advertisements” are allowed if they follow the requirements laid out in this section.

Statute

A. It shall be unlawful for any owner, proprietor, editor, manager, officer, clerk, agent, reporter, or employee of any newspaper, magazine, or periodical printed or published in this Commonwealth to accept or receive or agree to accept or receive, for himself or another, any money or other valuable consideration for such newspaper, magazine, or other periodical supporting or advocating the election or defeat of any candidate. But nothing in this section shall prevent any person, firm, or corporation engaged in the publication of any newspaper, magazine or periodical from receiving from any person compensation for printing and publishing any matter, article or articles advocating the election or defeat of any candidate, if a statement, “Paid Advertisement,” appears in plain type in boldface Roman capitals in a conspicuous place at the beginning of the matter or article and the matter or article otherwise complies with the provisions of this chapter.

B. The person accepting a “Paid Advertisement” for the newspaper, magazine or periodical shall require, and for one year shall retain a copy of, proof of the identity of the person who submits the advertisement for publication when the authorization statement on the advertisement is made pursuant to this chapter by an individual or entity other than a candidate, candidate campaign committee, political party committee, or political action committee. Proof of identity shall be submitted either (i) in person and include a valid Virginia driver’s license, or any other identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States, or (ii) other than in person, in which case, the person submitting the advertisement shall provide a telephone number and the person accepting the advertisement may phone the person to verify the validity of the person’s identifying information before publishing the advertisement. Any candidate clearly identified in the advertisement is entitled to the name of the person who submitted the advertisement after the publication of the advertisement in the newspaper, magazine, or periodical.

C. Any such owner, proprietor, editor, manager, officer, clerk, agent, reporter, or employee violating the provisions of subsection A or B shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $50; and, in the case of a willful violation, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The procedure to enforce the civil penalty provided in this section shall be as stated in Article 8 (§ 24.2-953 et seq.) of Chapter 9.3.

Code 1950, § 24-406; 1952, c. 4; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-276; 1991, c. 709; 1993, c. 641, § 24.2-1013; 2001, c. 747; 2002, c. 487; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2008, c. 825.

Definition [Conspicuous]

So written, displayed, or communicated that a reasonable person ought to have noticed it.

See § 24.2-955.1.

Definition [United States]

Used in the territorial sense, means the several states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

See § 24.2-452.

Definition [Authorization]

Express approval or express consent by the candidate, the candidate’s campaign committee, or an agent of the candidate or his campaign committee after coordination.

See § 24.2-945.1.

Definition [Advertisement]

Any message appearing in the print media, on television, or on radio that constitutes a contribution or expenditure under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.). “Advertisement” shall not include novelty items authorized by a candidate including, but not limited to, pens, pencils, magnets, and buttons to be attached to wearing apparel.

See § 24.2-955.1.

Definition [Political party]

An organization of citizens of the Commonwealth which, at either of the two preceding statewide general elections, received at least 10 percent of the total vote cast for any statewide office filled in that election. The organization shall have a state central committee and an office of elected state chairman which have been continually in existence for the six months preceding the filing of a nominee for any office.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Campaign committee]

The committee designated by a candidate to receive all contributions and make all expenditures for him or on his behalf in connection with his nomination or election.

See § 24.2-945.1.

Definition [Political party committee]

Any state political party committee, congressional district political party committee, county or city political party committee, other election district political party committee, or organized political party group of elected officials. This definition is subject to the provisions of § 24.2-950.1. See § 24.2-945.1.

The term shall not include any other organization or auxiliary associated with or using the name of a political party. See § 24.2-955.1.

Definition [Political action committee]

Any organization, person, or group of persons, established or maintained to receive and expend contributions for the primary purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate. The term shall not include a campaign committee, federal political action committee, out-of-state political committee, political party committee, referendum committee, or inaugural committee.

See § 24.2-945.1.

Definition [Candidate campaign committee]

The committee designated by a candidate to receive all contributions and make all expenditures for him or on his behalf in connection with his nomination or election.

See § 24.2-955.1.

Definition [Party]

An organization of citizens of the Commonwealth which, at either of the two preceding statewide general elections, received at least 10 percent of the total vote cast for any statewide office filled in that election. The organization shall have a state central committee and an office of elected state chairman which have been continually in existence for the six months preceding the filing of a nominee for any office.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

See § 24.2-452.

Definition [Person]

Any individual or corporation, partnership, business, labor organization, membership organization, association, cooperative, or other like entity.

For the purpose of applying the filing and reporting requirements of this chapter, the term “person” shall not include an organization holding tax-exempt status under § 501(c) (3), 501(c) (4), or 501(c) (6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code which, in providing information to voters, does not advocate or endorse the election or defeat of a particular candidate, group of candidates, or the candidates of a particular political party.

See § 24.2-945.1.

Definition [Election]

A general, primary, or special election.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Candidate]

A person who seeks or campaigns for an office of the Commonwealth or one of its governmental units in a general, primary, or special election and who is qualified to have his name placed on the ballot for the office. “Candidate” shall include a person who seeks the nomination of a political party or who, by reason of receiving the nomination of a political party for election to an office, is referred to as its nominee. For the purposes of Chapters 8 (§ 24.2-800 et seq.), 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.), and 9.5 (§ 24.2-955 et seq.), “candidate” shall include any write-in candidate. However, no write-in candidate who has received less than 15 percent of the votes cast for the office shall be eligible to initiate an election contest pursuant to Article 2 (§ 24.2-803 et seq.) of Chapter 8. For the purposes of Chapters 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) and 9.5 (§ 24.2-955 et seq.), “candidate” shall include any person who raises or spends funds in order to seek or campaign for an office of the Commonwealth, excluding federal offices, or one of its governmental units in a party nomination process or general, primary, or special election; and such person shall be considered a candidate until a final report is filed pursuant to Article 3 (§ 24.2-947 et seq.) of Chapter 9.3.

See § 24.2-101.

Cases

Virginia Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: Virginia Soc. for Human Life, Inc. v. Caldwell

Citation: 906 F. Supp. 1071

Federal District Court: Western District of Virginia

Year: 1995

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/27512b32f8938b586f9a2aaeb6c9eaea

Case Summary: Holding that provision of Virginia’s Campaign Finance Disclosure Act requiring writing to plainly identify person responsible for it if writing concerns potential nominee or candidate violates First Amendment, because the author’s decision to remain anonymous is part of freedom of speech.