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October 8 2007 - CAMPAIGN FINANCE CYCLE 5 INFORMATION and SMART CLIENT SOFTWARE NEWS

Who must file: SECOND FRIDAY PRE-ELECTION REPORTS (Cycle 5) are required to be filed by all candidates appearing on the ballot and all political committees and lobbyists who have made expenditures to influence the election of such candidates. In 2007, offices on the ballot include:

 

ALL LOCAL/MUNICIPAL OFFICES
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
JUDGE OF THE COMMONWEALTH COURT (Municipal Election)
JUDGE OF THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS


 

For information on filing requirements, contact the Philadelphia Ethics Board at (215) 686-9450.


Filing deadline: The deadline for filing Campaign Finance reports for Cycle 5 is the close of business on Friday, October 26th, 2007.


Smart Client news: Last spring the Records Department released a free campaign finance management software application for filers called Campaign Finance Smart Client. The software is intended to allow campaign finance administrators to maintain contribution and expense databases easily during the periods leading to filing deadlines and then file their required campaign finance records quickly and efficiently. The software can be downloaded from the Records Department's Campaign Finance web page.

 

Since initial release, the Smart Client software contained many features to support campaign finance filing, such as the ability to maintain records from cycle to cycle and print reports for filing with the City Commissioners office. Based on suggestions made by users, enhancements have been made to the Campaign Finance Smart Client software. The improvements move the software toward being a seamless, all-in-one records management utility and filing system for campaign finance administrators.

 

Here's a summary of the new features available for filers in the Smart Client software:

  • Easy electronic filing of Campaign Finance Statements and Reports
  • Electronic validation of Filer ID
  • Transaction Report
  • One-key shortcut for "Philadelphia" city value
  • New Filer types: Individual and Nonpolitical Organization
  • Improved Filing status and Amendment handling
  • Filer address requirements to match Campaign Finance web site
  • 24-Hour Contribution/Expenditure and Independent Expenditure Reports with easy electronic filing option
  • Printable Affidavit

Campaign Finance filing group training sessions: To introduce the Smart Client enhancements, group training sessions will be held on Thursday, October 11th and Tuesday, October 16th.

 

Thursday, October 11th Campaign Finance Group Training Session
One Parkway Building
1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor
Room 18-022
Time: 2 PM
 
Tuesday, October 16th Campaign Finance Group Training Session
City Hall
Conversation Hall, 2nd Floor
[Enter at Northeast Entrance]
Time: 6 PM

 

Other supported filing methods: Electronic filing is required. Philadelphia accepts submission of campaign finance reports using the following methods:

  • Smart Client filing software;
  • submission of text files via the Philadelphia Campaign Finance filing website;
  • submission of individually-entered records via the Campaign Finance filing website;
  • submission of text files on CD delivered to the Campaign Finance customer service filing headquarters (see below) or Department of Records main office in Room 156, City Hall. (Please note that CDs must be labeled with the following: Name of filer; Cycle; Contact name; Contact phone number; Alternate phone number);
  • submission of reports using spreadsheet template available via the website.

 
Campaign finance customer service headquarters: For the fall election cycle campaign finance filing periods, a temporary filing headquarters will be available for the convenience of Philadelphia filers. The filing headquarters will be located in the Marriott Residence Inn, One East Penn Square (corner of Market and Juniper, across the street from City Hall). The room will be identified on the hotel's information board, labeled "City of Philadelphia Campaign Finance Filing Center" and easily-accessible from the lobby.

 

Filers wishing to enter their records using city computers or needing assistance with any method of electronic filing are urged to come to the filing headquarters during filing week.
 
The filing headquarters will be open and customer service staff available Monday (Oct. 22nd), Tuesday (Oct. 23rd), Wednesday (Oct. 24th), Thursday (Oct. 25th) and Friday (Oct. 26th) from 8 AM until 7 PM each day. Computer workstations will be available for those filers wishing to input campaign finance records onsite.

 

For additional information:
For information about Pennsylvania' campaign finance filing legal requirements, please contact the Campaign Finance Division at (717) 787-5280 or via e-mail at ra-bcel@state.pa.us, or visit their website (http://www.campaignfinance.state.pa.us/).

 

For questions about Philadelphia's campaign finance laws and reporting requirements, please contact the Philadelphia Board of Ethics website (http://www.phila.gov/ethicsboard/) or call (215) 686-9450.

 

For information about acceptable electronic filing methods and procedures, please call the Records Department at (215) 686-2225. Check the Philadelphia Records Department's Campaign Finance website regularly for updates.