Topics
Code Section
florida > The Florida Election Code > Campaign Financing

§ 106.36 Penalties; fines.

Overview of Statute

This statute states that candidates participating in the Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund system who violate the requirements and restrictions are subject to fines equalling three times the amount at issue, to be deposited into the Trust Fund.

Statute

In addition to any other penalties which may be applicable under the election code, any candidate who receives contributions from the Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund and who exceeds the applicable expenditure limit, except as authorized in ss. 106.353 and 106.355, or falsely reports qualifying matching contributions and thereby receives contributions from the Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund to which the candidate was not entitled shall be fined an amount equal to three times the amount at issue, which shall be deposited in the Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund.

History:

s. 1, ch. 86-276; s. 11, ch. 90-338; s. 25, ch. 91-107; s. 655, ch. 95-147.

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 [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 [Election]

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

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

Case Name: Scott v. Roberts

Citation: 612 F.3d 1279

Federal Circuit Court: 11th Circuit Court

Year: 2010

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/7987469d469c0ce131f9427442e87308

Case Summary: Scott v. Roberts held that because the candidate not participating in the state's public financing scheme established that he was entitled to a preliminary injunction, since his claim regarding the state's public financing system was likely to be successful on the merits, the state was preliminarily enjoined from releasing public funds to the participating candidate.

Additional Resources

Further Reading

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

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 100, Political committees

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

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 106, Disposition of surplus funds

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

  • Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:111, Public financing-Overview