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Florida > The Florida Election Code > Campaign Financing

§ 106.353 Candidates voluntarily abiding by election campaign financing limits but not requesting public funds; irrevocable statement required; penalty.

Overview of Statute

This statute states that candidates who did not request public funds, but who wish to follow the public financing restrictions can do so through an irrevocable statement. Candidates who file the irrevocable statement but who violate the restrictions have to pay the Trust Fund an amount equalling the amount of the excess expenditures or contributions.

Statute

(1) Not later than qualifying for office, each candidate for the office of Governor or member of the Cabinet who has not made a request to receive contributions from the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund, but who wishes to voluntarily abide by the applicable expenditure limit set forth in s. 106.34 and the contribution limits on personal and party funds set forth in s. 106.33, shall file an irrevocable statement to that effect with the Secretary of State.

(2) Any candidate who files such a statement and subsequently exceeds such limits shall pay to the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund an amount equal to the amount of the excess contributions or expenditures. Such penalty shall not be an allowable campaign expense and shall be paid from personal funds of the candidate. However, if a nonparticipating candidate exceeds the expenditure limit as described in s. 106.355, a candidate signing the statement pursuant to this section may exceed the applicable expenditure limit to the extent the nonparticipating candidate exceeded the limit without being subject to a penalty.

History:

s. 23, ch. 91-107.

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).

Cases

florida Cases

Case Name: Smith v. Crawford

Citation: 645 So.2d 513

Year: 1994

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/2648dd00396b3b7d0dde069c6a0bfbd7

Case Summary: Smith v. Crawford held that the incumbent Commissioner of Agriculture was not required to pursue administrative remedies before bringing action against the other Commissioner of Agriculture candidate, who had withdrawn from the gubernatorial race, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief based on his challenge to the other candidate’s eligibility to be party nominee. However, the candidate who had withdrawn from the gubernatorial race was not prohibited from qualifying as the party’s nominee for Commissioner of Agriculture, since a candidate who withdraws from one race can become a candidate for a newly designated office for which he or she can qualify.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 113, Generally; eligibility requirements