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§ 106.143 Political advertisements circulated prior to election; requirements.

Overview of Statute

This statute provides an overview of the requirements needed to publish/display/circulate a political advertisement paid for by a candidate. It provides similar requirements for advertisements paid for by write-in candidates.

Statute

(1)

(a) Any political advertisement that is paid for by a candidate, except a write-in candidate, and that is published, displayed, or circulated before, or on the day of, any election must prominently state:

1. “Political advertisement paid for and approved by   (name of candidate)  ,   (party affiliation)  , for  (office sought)  ”; or
2. “Paid by   (name of candidate)  ,   (party affiliation)  , for   (office sought)  .”

(b) Any political advertisement that is paid for by a write-in candidate and that is published, displayed, or circulated before, or on the day of, any election must prominently state:

1. “Political advertisement paid for and approved by   (name of candidate)  , write-in candidate, for  (office sought)  ”; or
2. “Paid by   (name of candidate)  , write-in candidate, for   (office sought)  .”

(c) Any other political advertisement published, displayed, or circulated before, or on the day of, any election must prominently:

1. Be marked “paid political advertisement” or with the abbreviation “pd. pol. adv.”
2. State the name and address of the persons paying for the advertisement.
3. State whether the advertisement and the cost of production is paid for or provided in kind by or at the expense of the entity publishing, displaying, broadcasting, or circulating the political advertisement.
(d) Any political advertisement made pursuant to s. 106.021(3)(d) must prominently state the name and address of the political committee or political party paying for the advertisement.
(2) Political advertisements made as in-kind contributions from a political party must prominently state: “Paid political advertisement paid for in-kind by   (name of political party)  . Approved by   (name of person, party affiliation, and office sought in the political advertisement)  .”
(3) Any political advertisement of a candidate running for partisan office shall express the name of the political party of which the candidate is seeking nomination or is the nominee. If the candidate for partisan office is running as a candidate with no party affiliation, any political advertisement of the candidate must state that the candidate has no party affiliation. A political advertisement of a candidate running for nonpartisan office may not state the candidate’s political party affiliation. This section does not prohibit a political advertisement from stating the candidate’s partisan-related experience. A candidate for nonpartisan office is prohibited from campaigning based on party affiliation.

(4) It is unlawful for any candidate or person on behalf of a candidate to represent that any person or organization supports such candidate, unless the person or organization so represented has given specific approval in writing to the candidate to make such representation. However, this subsection does not apply to:

(a) Editorial endorsement by any newspaper, radio or television station, or other recognized news medium.
(b) Publication by a party committee advocating the candidacy of its nominees.
(5)
(a) Any political advertisement not paid for by a candidate, including those paid for by a political party or affiliated party committee, other than an independent expenditure, offered on behalf of a candidate must be approved in advance by the candidate. Such political advertisement must expressly state that the content of the advertisement was approved by the candidate, unless the political advertisement is published, displayed, or circulated in compliance with subparagraph (1)(a)2., and must state who paid for the advertisement. The candidate shall provide a written statement of authorization to the newspaper, radio station, television station, or other medium for each such advertisement submitted for publication, display, broadcast, or other distribution.
(b) Any person who makes an independent expenditure for a political advertisement shall provide a written statement that no candidate has approved the advertisement to the newspaper, radio station, television station, or other medium for each such advertisement submitted for publication, display, broadcast, or other distribution. The advertisement must also contain a statement that no candidate has approved the advertisement.
(6) No political advertisement of a candidate who is not an incumbent of the office for which the candidate is running shall use the word “re-elect.” Additionally, such advertisement must include the word “for” between the candidate’s name and the office for which the candidate is running, in order that incumbency is not implied. This subsection does not apply to bumper stickers or items designed to be worn by a person.
(7) Political advertisements paid for by a political party or an affiliated party committee may use names and abbreviations as registered under s. 103.081 in the disclaimer.
(8) This section does not apply to novelty items having a retail value of $10 or less which support, but do not oppose, a candidate or issue.
(9) Any political advertisement which is published, displayed, or produced in a language other than English may provide the information required by this section in the language used in the advertisement.

(10) This section does not apply to any campaign message or political advertisement used by a candidate and the candidate’s supporters or by a political committee if the message or advertisement is:

(a) Designed to be worn by a person.
(b) Placed as a paid link on an Internet website, provided the message or advertisement is no more than 200 characters in length and the link directs the user to another Internet website that complies with subsection (1).
(c) Placed as a graphic or picture link where compliance with the requirements of this section is not reasonably practical due to the size of the graphic or picture link and the link directs the user to another Internet website that complies with subsection (1).
(d) Placed at no cost on an Internet website for which there is no cost to post content for public users.
(e) Placed or distributed on an unpaid profile or account which is available to the public without charge or on a social networking Internet website, as long as the source of the message or advertisement is patently clear from the content or format of the message or advertisement. A candidate or political committee may prominently display a statement indicating that the website or account is an official website or account of the candidate or political committee and is approved by the candidate or political committee. A website or account may not be marked as official without prior approval by the candidate or political committee.
(f) Distributed as a text message or other message via Short Message Service, provided the message is no more than 200 characters in length or requires the recipient to sign up or opt in to receive it.
(g) Connected with or included in any software application or accompanying function, provided that the user signs up, opts in, downloads, or otherwise accesses the application from or through a website that complies with subsection (1).
(h) Sent by a third-party user from or through a campaign or committee’s website, provided the website complies with subsection (1).
(i) Contained in or distributed through any other technology-related item, service, or device for which compliance with subsection (1) is not reasonably practical due to the size or nature of such item, service, or device as available, or the means of displaying the message or advertisement makes compliance with subsection (1) impracticable.
(11) Any person who willfully violates any provision of this section is subject to the civil penalties prescribed in s. 106.265.

History:

s. 8, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 61-145; s. 21, ch. 65-379; s. 57, ch. 71-136; s. 30, ch. 73-128; s. 52, ch. 77-175; s. 30, ch. 81-304; s. 16, ch. 89-256; s. 35, ch. 90-315; s. 16, ch. 91-107; s. 646, ch. 95-147; s. 17, ch. 97-13; s. 18, ch. 99-318; s. 5, ch. 2004-252; s. 46, ch. 2007-30; s. 18, ch. 2010-167; ss. 17, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 66, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 9, ch. 2012-5.

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 [Nonpartisan Office]

An office for which a candidate is prohibited from campaigning or qualifying for election or retention in office based on party affiliation. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(22).

Definition [Political Committee]

1. A combination of two or more individuals, or a person other than an individual, that, in an aggregate amount in excess of $500 during a single calendar year:

a. Accepts contributions for the purpose of making contributions to any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party;

b. Accepts contributions for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue;

c. Makes expenditures that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue; or

d. Makes contributions to a common fund, other than a joint checking account between spouses, from which contributions are made to any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party;

2. The sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment by initiative who intends to seek the signatures of registered electors.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the following entities are not considered political committees for purposes of this chapter:

1. National political parties, the state and county executive committees of political parties, and affiliated party committees regulated by chapter 103.

2. Corporations regulated by chapter 607 or chapter 617 or other business entities formed for purposes other than to support or oppose issues or candidates, if their political activities are limited to contributions to candidates, political parties, affiliated party committees, or political committees or expenditures in support of or opposition to an issue from corporate or business funds and if no contributions are received by such corporations or business entities.

3. Electioneering communications organizations as defined in subsection (9). Fla. Stat. § 106.11(16).

 

Definition [Independent Expenditure]

(a) An expenditure by a person for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate or the approval or rejection of an issue, which expenditure is not controlled by, coordinated with, or made upon consultation with, any candidate, political committee, or agent of such candidate or committee. An expenditure for such purpose by a person having a contract with the candidate, political committee, or agent of such candidate or committee in a given election period is not an independent expenditure.

(b) An expenditure for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate which is made by the national, state, or county executive committee of a political party, including any subordinate committee of the political party, an affiliated party committee, a political committee, or any other person is not considered an independent expenditure if the committee or person:

1. Communicates with the candidate, the candidate’s campaign, or an agent of the candidate acting on behalf of the candidate, including a pollster, media consultant, advertising agency, vendor, advisor, or staff member, concerning the preparation of, use of, or payment for, the specific expenditure or advertising campaign at issue;

2. Makes a payment in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, at the request or suggestion of, or pursuant to a general or particular understanding with the candidate, the candidate’s campaign, a political committee supporting the candidate, or an agent of the candidate relating to the specific expenditure or advertising campaign at issue;

3. Makes a payment for the dissemination, distribution, or republication, in whole or in part, of a broadcast or a written, graphic, or other form of campaign material prepared by the candidate, the candidate’s campaign, or an agent of the candidate, including a pollster, media consultant, advertising agency, vendor, advisor, or staff member;

4. Makes a payment based on information about the candidate’s plans, projects, or needs communicated to a member of the committee or person by the candidate or an agent of the candidate, provided the committee or person uses the information in any way, in whole or in part, either directly or indirectly, to design, prepare, or pay for the specific expenditure or advertising campaign at issue;

5. After the last day of the qualifying period prescribed for the candidate, consults about the candidate’s plans, projects, or needs in connection with the candidate’s pursuit of election to office and the information is used in any way to plan, create, design, or prepare an independent expenditure or advertising campaign, with:

a. An officer, director, employee, or agent of a national, state, or county executive committee of a political party or an affiliated party committee that has made or intends to make expenditures in connection with or contributions to the candidate; or

b. A person whose professional services have been retained by a national, state, or county executive committee of a political party or an affiliated party committee that has made or intends to make expenditures in connection with or contributions to the candidate;

6. After the last day of the qualifying period prescribed for the candidate, retains the professional services of a person also providing those services to the candidate in connection with the candidate’s pursuit of election to office; or

7. Arranges, coordinates, or directs the expenditure, in any way, with the candidate or an agent of the candidate.

Definition [Political Advertisement]

A paid expression in a communications medium prescribed in subsection (4), whether radio, television, newspaper, magazine, periodical, campaign literature, direct mail, or display or by means other than the spoken word in direct conversation, which expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate or the approval or rejection of an issue. However, political advertisement does not include:

(a) A statement by an organization, in existence before the time during which a candidate qualifies or an issue is placed on the ballot for that election, in support of or opposition to a candidate or issue, in that organization’s newsletter, which newsletter is distributed only to the members of that organization.

(b) Editorial endorsements by a newspaper, a radio or television station, or any other recognized news medium.

Definition [Issue]

A proposition that is required by the State Constitution, by law or resolution of the Legislature, or by the charter, ordinance, or resolution of a political subdivision of this state to be submitted to the electors for their approval or rejection at an election, or a proposition for which a petition is circulated in order to have such proposition placed on the ballot at an election. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(13).

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 [Election]

Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).

Definition [Software]

As used in the Electronic Voting Systems Act, software means the programs and routines used to employ and control the capabilities of data processing hardware, including, without limitation, operating systems, compilers, assemblers, utilities, library routines, maintenance routines, applications, and computer networking programs. Fla. Stat. § 101.5603(7).

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).

Cases

Florida Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Case State: florida

Case Name: Guetzloe v. Florida Elections Commission

Citation: 927 So.2d 942

Year: 2006

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/3720cf373fc22b417668a0a04812c8e0

Case Summary: Guetzloe v. Florida Elections Commission held that in order to comply with the First Amendment, the last sentence in s. 106.071 had to be read as: "Any political advertisement paid for by an independent expenditure shall prominently state 'Paid political advertisement.'" However, the advertiser at issue here violated Florida campaign finance law by failing to state that no candidate had approved of the advertisement.

Case State: florida

Case Name: Diaz de la Portilla v. Florida Elections Commission

Citation: 857 So.2d 913

Year: 2003

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/3b277af35230dd0ab70ba5e41d70ec7a

Case Summary: Diaz de la Portilla v. Florida Elections Commission held that the standard for chapter 106 cases is clear and convincing evidence, not a preponderance of the evidence. Also, candidates are allowed to rely on their campaign treasurers to maintain campaign records and prepare treasurer's reports, as long as all contributions and expenditures are routed through the campaign depository and the treasurer is actually qualified.

Case State: florida

Case Name: Doe v. Mortham

Citation: 708 So.2d 929

Year: 1998

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/909f01e907fe34a00adc05c96b6f9452

Case Summary: Doe v. Mortham held that several sections of Florida campaign finance law (106.071, 106.143, and 106.144) were not substantially overboard and as such were facially constitutional.

Federal Cases

Case Name: Let’s Help Florida v. McCrary

Citation: 621 F.2d 195

Federal Circuit Court: 5th Circuit Court

Year: 1980

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/b861df45a936966dae5928059adf5f43

Case Summary: Let's Help Florida v. McCrary held that statutory restrictions on the size of contributions to political committees in a referendum elections are unconstitutional because they abridged contributors' right to freedom of association under the 1st Amendment and the state had no compelling interest in abridging that right.

Regulations & Guidance

Administrative Decisions

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Courts and Judges s 292, Nonpartisanship requirement

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Courts and Judges s 332, Political activity

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 99, Generally

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 101, Advertising

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 102, Advertising-Constitutionality of statutory provisions

  • 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