One of the most challenging aspects of running for office is navigating campaign finance laws. One mistake can doom a campaign and ruin a reputation.

Whether it is a federal, state or local campaign, there’s a good chance the opposition, media or a public watchdog are carefully scrutinizing campaign finance reports. Just in the past few months, dozens of allegations of missteps have been raised around the country:

New York Campaign Finance Law

In New York, every election season forces candidates to navigate complex sets of election laws and deal with entities such as the Federal Election Commission, New York State Board of Elections and the New York City Campaign Finance Board, as well as New York county boards of elections. Maintaining compliance with those law is an arduous task for even seasoned candidates.

New York City offers a unique high-stakes challenge. The city provides matching funds to city candidates – a record $127 million in the 2021 election season. That’s extra incentive to stay in compliance.

In the age of acrimonious and highly partisan politics, campaign finance is a high-stakes arena with massive amounts of money changing hands. A successful campaign must avoid the public allegations, hefty fines and contentious litigation that can result from finance missteps. One way for candidates to avoid running afoul of stringent laws is to consult trusted, seasoned election attorneys experienced in navigating the labyrinth of campaign finance laws at the federal, state and local level.

This alert is not a substitute for advice of counsel on specific legal issues.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York state, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Uniondale and White Plains, as well as Washington D.C., New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.