Political Activity Reminder

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Political Activity Reminder

To: UA Employees

From:

Laura Todd Johnson, UA Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel

Tim Bee, UA Vice President for Government and Community Relations

Subject: Political Activity Reminder

Date: March 3, 2016

With the Arizona legislature now in session, and in the midst of an election year, we want to remind the University of Arizona community that Arizona law (Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) §15-1633) and Arizona Board of Regents Policy (ABOR Policy 6-905) PROHIBIT the use of University resources (including personnel or equipment) to influence the outcome of elections or to advocate support for or opposition to pending or proposed legislation.

As a University of Arizona employee, what CAN you do?

  • University employees may, on their own time and as private citizens, engage in any lawful political activities provided that no public resources are used to support those activities and provided that it is made clear that they are acting in their individual capacities and not on behalf of the University. Expressing your view in your individual capacity means you may not use your University job title in any communications, verbal or written, intended to influence proposed legislation or other electoral process.
  • You may, on your own time and as a private citizen using your personal resources, volunteer on campaigns, express opinions, place bumper stickers on your personal vehicle, circulate and sign ballot measure petitions, solicit contributions, vote, or participate in any other lawful political activity.
  • You may communicate your opinions and viewpoints to designated University staff. If you, as a University employee, have concerns about pending legislation, ballot measures, propositions, or elections, please contact the University’s Government and Community Relations Office, to whom you may express your opinions. The Government and Community Relations Office coordinates all lobbying and government relations activities, and welcomes your concerns and feedback regarding proposed legislation that may affect the University.

As a University of Arizona employee, what CAN’T you do?

  • You CANNOT use University personnel, money, facilities, postage, telecommunications, computer hardware and software, web pages, equipment, materials, buildings, or any other thing of value to:
    • Support or oppose proposed legislation, a ballot measure, question, or proposition, or circulate a petition for a ballot measure, question, or proposition in any manner that is not impartial or neutral.
    • Influence the outcome of an election or advocate support for or opposition to pending or proposed legislation.
  • You CANNOT submit a letter supporting or opposing proposed legislation using your University job title, work address, or work telephone number, or use University letterhead, postage, computers, etc.
  • You CANNOT use the authority of your position to influence the vote or political activities of any subordinate employee.

As a University of Arizona employee, what happens if you engage in unlawful political activity?

  • An individual who violates this law is subject to a personal sanction of up to $5,000 per violation, and must reimburse the University for any misused funds or resources.  (A.R.S. §15-1633(H)). The sanction CANNOT be paid by the University.

Any questions?

If you have questions about political activities, please contact your department head, dean, or director before engaging in any legislative activity or communication.  Department heads, deans, and directors should seek guidance from the Government and Community Relations Office or the Office of the General Counsel.

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