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Florida > The Florida Election Code > Campaign Financing

§ 106.0701 Solicitation of contributions on behalf of s. 527 or s. 501(c)(4) organizations; reporting requirements; civil penalty; exemption.

Overview of Statute

This statute governs the reporting of independent expenditures of, in the aggregate, $5,000 or more. The statute also states that political advertisements paid for with independent expenditures must say that they were paid for independently of a candidate.

Statute

(1) The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, members of the Cabinet, state legislators, or candidates for such offices who directly or indirectly solicit, cause to be solicited, or accept any contribution on behalf of an organization that is exempt from taxation under s. 527 or s. 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, which such individuals, in whole or in part, establish, maintain, or control, shall file a statement with the division within 5 days after commencing such activity on behalf of the organization. The statement shall contain the following information:

(a) The name of the person acting on behalf of the organization.
(b) The name and type of the organization.
(c) A description of the relationship between the person and the organization.
(2) Failure to timely file the statement shall subject the person to a civil penalty of $50 per day for each late day, payable from the personal funds of the violator.
(3) Upon filing a statement with the division, an individual subject to the requirements of subsection (1) shall promptly create a public website that contains a mission statement and the names of persons associated with the organization. The address of the website shall be reported to the division within 5 business days after the website is created.
(4) All contributions received shall be disclosed on the website within 5 business days after deposit, together with the name, address, and occupation of the donor. All expenditures by the organization shall be individually disclosed on the website within 5 business days after being made.
(5) The filing requirements of subsection (1) do not apply to an individual acting on behalf of his or her own campaign, a political party, or an affiliated party committee of which the individual is a member.

History:

s. 6, ch. 2006-300; ss. 10, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session.

Definition [Expenditure]

(a) A purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, transfer of funds by a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer between a primary depository and a separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, or gift of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election or making an electioneering communication. However, “expenditure” does not include a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, or gift of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election when made by an organization, in existence before the time during which a candidate qualifies or an issue is placed on the ballot for that election, for the purpose of printing or distributing such organization’s newsletter, containing a statement by such organization in support of or opposition to a candidate or issue, which newsletter is distributed only to members of such organization.

(b) As used in chapter 106, an “expenditure” for an electioneering communication is made when the earliest of the following occurs:

1. A person enters into a contract for applicable goods or services;

2. A person makes payment, in whole or in part, for the production or public dissemination of applicable goods or services; or

3. The electioneering communication is publicly disseminated. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(10).

Definition [Contribution]

(a) A gift, subscription, conveyance, deposit, loan, payment, or distribution of money or anything of value, including contributions in kind having an attributable monetary value in any form, made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election or making an electioneering communication.

(b) A transfer of funds between political committees, between electioneering communications organizations, or between any combination of these groups.

(c) The payment, by a person other than a candidate or political committee, of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to a candidate or political committee without charge to the candidate or committee for such services.

(d) The transfer of funds by a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer between a primary depository and a separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, and the term includes interest earned on such account or certificate.

Notwithstanding the foregoing meanings of “contribution,” the term may not be construed to include services, including, but not limited to, legal and accounting services, provided without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate or political committee or editorial endorsements. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(5).

Definition [Person]

An individual or a corporation, association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, club, organization, estate, trust, business trust, syndicate, or other combination of individuals having collective capacity. The term includes a political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(14).

Definition [Candidate]

Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:

(a) Any person who seeks to qualify for nomination or election by means of the petitioning process.
(b) Any person who seeks to qualify for election as a write-in candidate.
(c) Any person who receives contributions or makes expenditures, or gives his or her consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures, with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to, or retention in, public office.
(d) Any person who appoints a treasurer and designates a primary depository.
(e) Any person who files qualification papers and subscribes to a candidate’s oath as required by law.
This definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(6).

Regulations & Guidance

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 103, Campaign treasurers; depositories

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 111, Reports by person making independent expenditure

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 222, Offenses relating to campaign literature and political advertisements

  • Constitutionality, Construction, and Application of Statute or Regulatory Action Respecting Political Advertising-Print Media Cases

  • Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:81, Who may make contributions or expenditures-individuals

  • Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:84, Limits on contributions or expenditures-PACs, corporations, lobbyists’ principals, etc.

  • Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:91, Contributions or expenditures to political parties; issue advocacy; corporate activity on referenda; independent expenditures

  • Top 10 Things You Should Know Before You Run for Public Office, 85-OCT Fla. B.J. 45