Main menu:


Subscribe by email:

Delivered by FeedBurner



Site search

Campaign Nuts and Bolts

As I’m sure you remember, I’m running for Selectman.

There’s not a lot of definitive guidance I’ve found about running a legal campaign for municipal campaign.  I’ve slogged my way through a fair amount of it the last few weeks, so I figured I’d write it up here for future interested candidates.

  1. The first is easiest – walk down to the Town Clerk’s office and pull papers.
  2. Create a committee.  There are a few campaigns where you don’t need a committee, but it looks to me like you really should do this.  Appoint yourself chairman, find a treasurer, and fill out the forms.  The CPF M 101 form is found here. Fill it out and turn it in to the Town Clerk.
  3. Then you need to get a EIN (tax ID number) from the IRS.  This took me forever to figure out, but finally found the magic quote: “A political organization must have its own employer identification number (EIN), even if it does not have any employees.”  Read it here, then request your EIN.  What makes it easier, by the way, is when you click the interview option that you’re doing this only for bank purposes – it’s a short application then.
  4. Open a bank account.  My regular bank, Cambridge Savings, won’t do campaign accounts anymore, so I went to Central Bank on Broadway.  I brought my treasurer, too.  We signed things that said we were neither terrorists nor online gamblers (what a waste of time and money. . .).  We deposited checks.  And we were in business.
  5. Next up is filing statements by January 20.  That’s the year-end statement for 2010.  To do that you need CPF M 102.  Again, file that one with the Town Clerk.

Hope that helps someone.


Comment from David pitkin
Time: January 9, 2011, 8:29 pm

What is the criteria, is it any fundraising at all or some $ amount spent on the campaign that triggers these rules?

Comment from dunster
Time: January 9, 2011, 8:54 pm

David, I think the answer is all candidates, no matter what, have to file the CPF M 102, the actual money in-and-out report. The 101 is not required if you don’t actually have a committee.

Also, there is a CPF M 102-0 if you are reporting just zeroes. I’m basing my answer on my reading of this doc, so your mileage may vary:

Comment from Quantum Mechanic
Time: January 9, 2011, 9:36 pm

(1) Didn’t you have to do all this when you ran for state rep?

(2) Consider downloading the “Reporter” program from the state OPF website. It’ll generate all the necessary reports for you and will also let you generate a number of useful-to-campaign reports.

Comment from Quantum Mechanic
Time: January 9, 2011, 9:38 pm

And remember to designate any “contributions” from yourself to the campaign as “loans from candidate” and NOT as contributions. That way should you be lucky enough to have some money left at the end, you can get the money (to the extent of what you loaned). If you designate it as a contribution you can never get the money back should there be money left at the end.

Comment from dunster
Time: January 9, 2011, 9:49 pm

Quantum – When I did state rep, the banking requirements were much easier. I don’t recall 100%, but I’m pretty sure I just used my personal SSN. The banking laws have gotten much tighter since then.

Also, one big difference is that these reports are all filed with the Town Clerk, but all the state rep reports were filed with the state OCPF.

I’ll take a look at Reporter. I’ve only used the web version before.

Pingback from A Week In the Campaign | Dan Dunn for Selectman
Time: March 11, 2011, 12:56 am

[…] I know some people are interested in the nuts-and-bolts of the campaign (I got good feedback on this post).  So here are some notes on the last […]