Your Legislator Site Visit And The Law

Your visit should be comfortable for everyone and fairly low-key. There are some things the law says you can't do. Here are some basics:

  • You must take steps to ensure that you indicate no support or opposition to the candidate at the event.
  • No political fundraising should occur at the event.
  • 501(c)(3)s are allowed to try to persuade candidates to agree with them on issues and to take a public stand, but that is as far as you may go. You may not ask the candidate to sign a pledge of support for your position on those issues; such action would imply that you favor candidates who make the pledge.
  • You may provide candidates with the same research materials they distribute to educate the general public. However, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) considers providing valuable issue research to certain candidates exclusively, and not to others, to be an illegal "in-kind contribution" (and it's also a violation of IRS Section 501(c)(3)). So if some candidates decline your invitation to visit, consider sending them a packet including the information you provide to the candidates that accept.

More lobbying guidelines are available on the web at

For more information:

Sara Grafstrom,
Director of Advocacy and Community Relations
651-291-1086, ext. 8