NFDA Individual Members seeking the position of At-large Representative to the Board of Directors shall adhere to the following rules and guidelines. The intent of the guidelines is to encourage fair and open campaigning by: (1) specifying permitted and prohibited election-related activities; (2) informing voters about candidates’ experiences and views; and (3) minimizing the cost of campaigning.
An Individual Member is considered to be a declared candidate only if he/she is included on the list of qualified candidates released by the NFDA Leadership Development Committee no later than March 1, or if he/ she is not included on the list of qualified candidates, but submits to the NFDA Secretary prior to April 1 a petition signed by a minimum of 250 Individual Members nominating the candidate.
- Definition of Campaigning. Campaigning is defined as any attempt to influence a potential voter’s vote. It includes announcing publicly one’s candidacy or making any statement that might be interpreted as a position statement reflecting what actions the candidate would take if elected. It does not include appearances made as part of one’s normal work activities.
- Campaign Period. Declared candidates may engage in allowable campaign-related activities between the time the Leadership Development Committee releases the list of qualified candidates and the time the election of at-large representatives takes place at the summer Policy board meeting held in conjunction with the NFDA Leadership Conference.
- Contact with NFDA Staff. A candidate may not contact directly or indirectly, or through any other person, any NFDA employee or consultant in regard to the election, other than to inquire about the rules and procedures.
- Restriction on Endorsements. Members of the Board of Directors and the Leadership Development Committee may not endorse a candidate nor publicly express support of a particular candidate.
- Restriction on Campaigning. There shall be no campaigning whatsoever inside a room during the hours in which an NFDA meeting or function is taking place.
- Campaign Materials. Campaign materials may only be distributed inside an NFDA meeting or function room prior to a session by placing them on the chairs. Distribution of campaign material outside the meeting or function room must be at least thirty-five (35) feet from the main entrance. Brochures or any other literature or material may not be affixed to any permanent surface in or about any of the hotels used by NFDA during any of its meetings or functions. A candidate will be held directly responsible for the distribution of campaign materials and it shall be deemed that any distribution by others has been done with the candidate’s approval.
- Removal of Campaign Materials. All campaign materials distributed must be gathered up by the candidate immediately after any NFDA meeting or function.
- Restriction on Gifts/Trinkets. The distribution of small gifts/campaign trinkets is prohibited.
- Restrictions on Social Functions. Candidates may not sponsor, sanction, promote or participate in any campaign rally, social function or hospitality suite whose purpose is to promote the election of the candidate. This restriction is not intended to prohibit candidates from meeting with Policy Board Representatives on an individual basis to promote their candidacy.
- NFDA Meet the Candidates Opportunities. NFDA will acknowledge and introduce any declared candidates for at-large representative present at the Policy Board meeting held in conjunction with the NFDA Advocacy Summit. NFDA will designate a social function prior to the Policy Board Meeting held in conjunction with the Leadership Conference so that At-large Representative candidates have an opportunity to meet with Policy Board representatives and promote their candidacy. All individuals attending NFDA meetings and social functions will be prohibited from displaying signage, playing music, using decorations, distributing gifts or campaign paraphernalia, or sponsoring any prize giveaways. Campaign paraphernalia such as buttons and t-shirts may not be worn by individuals attending NFDA meetings and social functions.
- Professional Presentations. There are no restrictions on professional presentations, defined as events where no campaigning occurs and a candidate participates. Running for an elected position should not inhibit or prohibit candidates from conducting their usual professional business.
- NFDA Website. The NFDA Website will include information on all candidates, including photos, biographies, the videos submitted by the candidates, campaign statements and links to any candidate campaign social media sites on the internet. NFDA reserves the right to review the content of all materials to be posted to the NFDA Website and not to post any materials deemed indecent or otherwise in violation of these Campaign Guidelines. NFDA will provide At-large Representative candidates with names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers (if on file) for Policy Board representatives, state association executive directors and state association presidents. NFDA will provide email addresses for Policy Board representatives only.
- Signs. Campaign signs will be provided by NFDA. Signs other than those provided by NFDA are not permitted.
- Electronic Messages (e.g., emails). There are no limits on the number of campaign messages sent electronically. Candidates are advised to exercise restraint with electronic messaging to help insure that voters stay engaged in the election process and do not become irritated and disenchanted by the sheer number of electronic messages they receive.
- Social Media Sites, Blogs and Websites (e.g., Facebook and Twitter). Candidates may use social media sites, blogs, and websites for campaign purposes.
- Phone. Campaign-related phone calls (including calls made through services such as Skype) may be made from candidates and/or supporters. Use of automatic calling services (robocalls) or hiring personnel to make such calls is prohibited.
- Letters, Brochures and Handouts. There are no restrictions on the number of campaign letters, brochures, postcards, faxes or handouts a candidate distributes.
- Negative Campaigning. Candidates and their supporters may not make personal attacks against other candidates.
Potential violations of campaign guidelines should be reported to the Chair of the NFDA Leadership Development Committee. The Leadership Development Committee is charged with monitoring candidate compliance with campaign and election rules and guidelines. The committee shall investigate potential violations and determine the appropriate action to be taken, up to and including informing the electorate about the nature of the violation. The committee shall report any infractions and resulting sanctions to the Board of Directors.
Questions regarding the scope or interpretation of these candidate guidelines should be directed to NFDA General Counsel, Scott Gilligan (513-871-6332). The decision of NFDA regarding the interpretation of any provision of these Candidate Guidelines shall be final.