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Campaign Practices Law and Penalties 

Section 8-13-1300, etal. 

SECTION 8-13-1300.   Definitions.

As used in this article:

(1) "Appropriate supervisory office" means:

(a) the State Ethics Commission for all candidates for public office in this State except for members of or candidates for the office of State Senator or State Representative;

(b) the Senate Ethics Committee for members of or candidates for the office of State Senator, and the House of Representatives Ethics Committee for members of or candidates for the office of State Representative;

(c) the State Ethics Commission for all committees, except legislative caucus committees, supporting or opposing a ballot measure or supporting or opposing a candidate;

(d) the Senate Ethics Committee for all legislative caucus committees affiliated with the Senate, the House of Representatives Ethics Committee for all legislative caucus committees affiliated with the House of Representatives, and both ethics committees for all legislative caucus committees affiliated with both houses.

(2) "Ballot measure" means a referendum, proposition, or measure submitted to voters for their approval.

(3) "Business" means a corporation, partnership, proprietorship, firm, an enterprise, a franchise, an association, organization, or a self-employed individual.

(4) "Candidate" means: (a) a person who seeks appointment, nomination for election, or election to a statewide or local office, or authorizes or knowingly permits the collection or disbursement of money for the promotion of his candidacy or election; (b) a person who is exploring whether or not to seek election at the state or local level; or (c) a person on whose behalf write-in votes are solicited if the person has knowledge of such solicitation. "Candidate" does not include a candidate within the meaning of Section 431(b) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1976.

(5) "Charitable organization" means an organization described in Title 26, Section 170(c) of the United States Code as it currently exists or as it may be amended.

(6) "Committee" means an association, a club, an organization, or a group of persons which, to influence the outcome of an elective office, receives contributions or makes expenditures in excess of five hundred dollars in the aggregate during an election cycle. It also means a person who, to influence the outcome of an elective office, makes:

(a) contributions aggregating at least twenty-five thousand dollars during an election cycle to or at the request of a candidate or a committee, or a combination of them; or

(b) independent expenditures aggregating five hundred dollars or more during an election cycle for the election or defeat of a candidate.

"Committee" includes a party committee, a legislative caucus committee, a noncandidate committee, or a committee that is not a campaign committee for a candidate but that is organized for the purpose of influencing an election.

(7) "Contribution" means a gift, subscription, loan, guarantee upon which collection is made, forgiveness of a loan, an advance, in-kind contribution or expenditure, a deposit of money, or anything of value made to a candidate or committee to influence an election; or payment or compensation for the personal service of another person which is rendered for any purpose to a candidate or committee without charge, whether any of the above are made or offered directly or indirectly. "Contribution" does not include (a) volunteer personal services on behalf of a candidate or committee for which the volunteer or any person acting on behalf of or instead of the volunteer receives no compensation either in cash or in-kind, directly or indirectly, from any source; or (b) a gift, subscription, loan, guarantee upon which collection is made, forgiveness of a loan, an advance, in-kind contribution or expenditure, a deposit of money, or anything of value made to a committee, other than a candidate committee, and is used to pay for communications made not more than forty-five days before the election to influence the outcome of an elective office as defined in Section 8-13-1300(31)(c). These funds must be deposited in an account separate from a campaign account as required in Section 8-13-1312.

(8) "Corporation" means an entity organized in the corporate form under federal law or the laws of any state.

(9) "Election" means:

(a) a general, special, primary, or runoff election;

(b) a convention or caucus of a political party held to nominate a candidate; or

(c) the election of delegates to a constitutional convention for proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of this State.

(10) "Election cycle" means the period of a term of office beginning on the day after the general election for the office, up to and including the following general election for the same office, including a primary, special primary, or special election; however, the contribution limits under Sections 8-13-1314 and 8-13-1316 apply only to elections occurring on or after January 1, 1992, and are for each primary, runoff, or special election in which a candidate has opposition and for each general election. If the candidate remains unopposed during an election cycle, one contribution limit shall apply.

(11) "Elective office" means an office at the state, county, municipal or political subdivision level. For the purposes of this article, the term 'elective office' does not include an office under the unified judicial system except for purposes of campaign practices, campaign disclosure, and disclosure of economic interests. "Elective office" includes the office of probate judge.

(12) "Expenditure" means a purchase, payment, loan, forgiveness of a loan, an advance, in-kind contribution or expenditure, a deposit, transfer of funds, gift of money, or anything of value for any purpose.

(13) "Expenditures incurred" means an amount owed to a creditor for purchase of delivered goods or completed services.

(14) "Family member" means an individual who is:

(a) the spouse, parent, brother, sister, child, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild; or

(b) a member of the individual's immediate family.

(15) "Gift" means anything of value, including entertainment, food, beverage, travel, and lodging given for pay to a public official or public employee to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received. A gift includes a rebate or discount on the price of anything of value unless it is made in the ordinary course of business without regard to that person's status. A gift does not include campaign contributions accepted pursuant to this article.

(16) "Immediate family" means:

(a) a child residing in a candidate's, public official's, public member's, or public employee's household;

(b) a spouse of a candidate, public official, public member, or public employee; or

(c) an individual claimed by the candidate, public official, public member, or public employee or the candidate's, public official's, public member's, or public employee's spouse as a dependent for income tax purposes.

(17) "Independent expenditure" means:

(a) an expenditure made directly or indirectly by a person to advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or ballot measure; and

(b) when taken as a whole and in context, the expenditure made by a person to influence the outcome of an elective office or ballot measure but which is not:

(i) made to;

(ii) controlled by;

(iii) coordinated with;

(iv) requested by; or

(v) made upon consultation with a candidate or an agent of a candidate; or a committee or agent of a committee; or a ballot measure committee or an agent of a ballot measure committee.

Expenditures by party committees or expenditures by legislative caucus committees based upon party affiliation are considered to be controlled by, coordinated with, requested by, or made upon consultation with a candidate or an agent of a candidate.

(18) "Individual" means one human being.

(19) "Individual with whom he is associated" means an individual with whom the person or a member of his immediate family mutually has an interest in a business of which the person or a member of his immediate family is a director, an officer, owner, employee, a compensated agent, or holder of stock worth one hundred thousand dollars or more at fair market value and which constitutes five percent or more of the total outstanding stock of any class.

(20) "In-kind contribution or expenditure" means goods or services which are provided to or by a person at no charge or for less than their fair market value.

(21) Legislative caucus committee means:

(a) a committee of either house of the General Assembly controlled by the caucus of a political party or a caucus based upon racial or ethnic affinity, or gender; however, each house may establish only one committee for each political-, racial-, ethnic-, or gender-based affinity.

(b) a party or group of either house of the General Assembly based upon racial or ethnic affinity, or gender.

(22) "Loan" means a transfer of money, property, guarantee, or anything of value in exchange for an obligation, conditional or not, to repay in whole or in part.

(23) "Noncandidate committee" means a committee that is not a campaign committee for a candidate but is organized to influence an election or to support or oppose a candidate or public official, which receives contributions or makes expenditures in excess of five hundred dollars in the aggregate during an election cycle. "Noncandidate committee" does not include political action committees that contribute solely to federal campaigns.

(24) "Party committee" means a committee established by a political party.

(25) "Person" means an individual, a proprietorship, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, syndicate, business trust, an estate, a company, committee, an association, a corporation, club, labor organization, or any other organization or group of persons acting in concert.

(26) "Political party" means an association, a committee, or an organization which nominates a candidate whose name appears on the election ballot as the candidate of that association, committee, or organization.

(27) "Public employee" means a person employed by the State, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision thereof.

(28) "Public official" means an elected or appointed official of the State, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision thereof, including candidates for the office. However, "public official" does not mean a member of the judiciary except for purposes of campaign financing. A probate judge is considered a public official and must meet the requirements of this article.

(29) "Statewide office" means an elective office other than a federal office eligible to be voted upon by all electors of the State.

(30) "Transfer" means the movement or exchange of funds or anything of value between committees and candidates except the disposition of surplus funds or material assets by a candidate to a party committee, as provided in this article.

(31) "Influence the outcome of an elective office" means:

(a) expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate using words including or substantially similar to "vote for", " elect", "cast your ballot for", "Smith for Governor", "vote against", " defeat", or "reject";

(b) communicating campaign slogans or individual words that, taken in context, have no other reasonable meaning other than to urge the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate including or substantially similar to slogans or words such as "Smith"s the One", "Jones 2000", "Smith/Jones" , "Jones!", or "Smith-A man for the People!"; or

(c) any communication made, not more than forty-five days before an election, which promotes or supports a candidate or attacks or opposes a candidate, regardless of whether the communication expressly advocates a vote for or against a candidate. For purposes of this paragraph, "communication" means (i) any paid advertisement or purchased program time broadcast over television or radio; (ii) any paid message conveyed through telephone banks, direct mail, or electronic mail; or (iii) any paid advertisement that costs more than five thousand dollars that is conveyed through a communication medium other than those set forth in subsections (i) or (ii) of this paragraph. "Communication" does not include news, commentary, or editorial programming or article, or communication to an organization's own members.

(32) "Ballot measure committee" means:

(a) an association, club, an organization, or a group of persons which, to influence the outcome of a ballot measure, receives contributions or makes expenditures in excess of two thousand five hundred dollars in the aggregate during an election cycle;

(b) a person, other than an individual, who, to influence the outcome of a ballot measure, makes contributions aggregating at least fifty thousand dollars during an election cycle to or at the request of a ballot measure committee; or

(c) a person, other than an individual, who, to influence the outcome of a ballot measure, makes independent expenditures aggregating two thousand five hundred dollars or more during an election cycle.

(33) "Coordinated with" means discussion or negotiation between a candidate or a candidate's agent and: (a) a person; (b) an agent of a person; (c) any other agent of a candidate; or (d) any combination of these concerning, but not limited to, a political communication's:

(1) contents, including the specific wording of print, broadcast, or telephone communications; appearance of print or broadcast communications; the message or theme of print or broadcast communications;

(2) timing, including the proximity to general or primary elections, proximity to other political communications, and proximity to other campaign events;

(3) location, including the proximity to other political communications, or geographical targeting, or both;

(4) mode, including the medium (phone, broadcast, print, etc.) of the communication;

(5) intended audience, including the demographic or political targeting, or geographical targeting; and

(6) volume, including the amount, frequency, or size of the political communication.

(34) "Operation expenses" means expenditures for salaries and/or fringe benefits for part-time, full-time, temporary and/or contract employees; meeting expenses, travel, utilities, communications and/or communications equipment whether leased or purchased, printing or printing services, postage, food and/or beverage, advertising, consulting services, and/or any other expenditures which are not an authorized contribution to a candidate, committee, or ballot measure committee.

    

SECTION 8-13-1302.   Maintenance of records of contributions, contributors, and expenditures.

(A) A candidate, committee, or ballot measure committee must maintain and preserve an account of:

(1) the total amount of contributions accepted by the candidate, committee, or ballot measure committee;

(2) the name and address of each person making a contribution and the amount and date of receipt of each contribution;

(3) the total amount of expenditures made by or on behalf of the candidate, committee, or ballot measure committee;

(4) the name and address of each person to whom an expenditure is made including the date, amount, purpose, and beneficiary of the expenditure;

(5) all receipted bills, canceled checks, or other proof of payment for each expenditure; and

(6) the occupation of each person making a contribution.

(B) The candidate, committee, or ballot measure committee must maintain and preserve all receipted bills and accounts required by this article for four years.

    

SECTION 8-13-1304.   Committees receiving and spending funds to influence elections required to file statement of organization.

(A) A committee, except an out-of-state committee, which receives or expends more than five hundred dollars in the aggregate during an election cycle to influence the outcome of an elective office must file a statement of organization with the State Ethics Commission no later than five days after receiving the contribution or making the expenditure. An out-of-state committee which expends more than five hundred dollars in the aggregate during an election cycle to influence the outcome of an elective office must file a statement of organization with the State Ethics Commission no later than five days after making the expenditure.

(B) A ballot measure committee, except an out-of-state ballot measure committee, which receives or expends more than two thousand five hundred dollars in the aggregate during an election cycle to influence the outcome of a ballot measure must file a statement of organization with the State Ethics Commission no later than five days after receiving the contribution or making the expenditure. An out-of-state ballot measure committee which expends more than two thousand five hundred dollars in the aggregate during an election cycle to influence the outcome of a ballot measure must file a statement of organization with the State Ethics Commission no later than five days after making the expenditure.

   

SECTION 8-13-1306.   Contents of statement of organization.

(A) The statement of organization of a committee or a ballot measure committee must include:

(1) the full name of the committee or ballot measure committee;

(2) the complete address and telephone number of the committee or ballot measure committee;

(3) the date the committee or ballot measure committee was organized;

(4) a summary of the purpose of the committee or ballot measure committee;

(5) the name and address of a corporation or an organization that sponsors the committee or ballot measure committee or is affiliated with the committee or ballot measure committee. If the committee or ballot measure committee is not sponsored by or affiliated with a corporation or an organization, the committee or ballot measure committee must specify the trade, profession, or primary interest of contributors to the committee or ballot measure committee;

(6) the full name, address, telephone number, occupation, and principal place of business of the chairman and treasurer of the committee or ballot measure committee;

(7) the full name, address, telephone number, occupation, and principal place of business of the custodian of the books and accounts, if the custodian is not one of the designated officers;

(8) the full name and address of the depository in which the committee or ballot measure committee maintains its campaign account and the number of the account; and

(9) a certification of the statement by the chairman and the treasurer.

(B) The name of the committee or ballot measure committee designated on the statement of organization must incorporate the full name of the sponsoring entity, if any. An acronym or abbreviation may be used in other communications if the acronym or abbreviation commonly is known or clearly recognized by the general public.

(C) The chairman must notify the State Ethics Commission in writing of a change in information previously reported in a statement of organization no later than ten business days after the change.

    

SECTION 8-13-1308.   Filing of certified campaign reports by candidates and committees.

(A) Upon the receipt or expenditure of campaign contributions or the making of independent expenditures totaling an accumulated aggregate of five hundred dollars or more, a candidate or committee required to file a statement of organization pursuant to Section 8-13-1304(A) must file an initial certified campaign report within ten days of these initial receipts or expenditures. However, a candidate who does not receive or expend campaign contributions totaling an accumulated aggregate of five hundred dollars or more must file an initial certified campaign report fifteen days before an election.

(B) Following the filing of an initial certified campaign report, additional certified campaign reports must be filed within ten days following the end of each calendar quarter in which contributions are received or expenditures are made, whether before or after an election until the campaign account undergoes final disbursement pursuant to the provisions of Section 8-13-1370.

(C) Campaign reports filed by a candidate must be certified by the candidate. Campaign reports filed by a committee must be certified by a duly authorized officer of the committee.

(D)(1) At least fifteen days before an election, a certified campaign report must be filed showing contributions of more than one hundred dollars and expenditures to or by the candidate or committee for the period ending twenty days before the election. The candidate or committee must maintain a current list during the period before the election commencing at the beginning of the calendar quarter of the election of all contributions of more than one hundred dollars and expenditures. The list must be open to public inspection upon request.

(2) A committee immediately shall file a campaign report listing expenditures if it makes an independent expenditure or an incurred expenditure within the calendar quarter in which the election is conducted or twenty days before the election, whichever period of time is greater, in excess of:

(a) ten thousand dollars in the case of a candidate for statewide office; or

(b) two thousand dollars in the case of a candidate for any other office.

(3) In the event of a runoff election, candidates or committees are not required to file another campaign report in addition to the reports already required under this section. However, records must remain open to public inspection upon request between the election and the runoff.

(E) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (B) and (D), if a pre-election campaign report provided for in subsection (D) is required to be filed within thirty days of the end of the prior quarter, a candidate or committee must combine the quarterly report provided for in subsection (B) and the pre-election report and file the combined report subject to the provisions of subsection (D) no later than fifteen days before the election.

(F) Certified campaign reports detailing campaign contributions and expenditures must contain:

(1) the total of contributions accepted by the candidate or committee;

(2) the name and address of each person making a contribution of more than one hundred dollars and the amount and date of receipt of each contribution;

(3) the total expenditures made by or on behalf of the candidate or committee;

(4) the name and address of each person to whom an expenditure is made from campaign funds, including the date, amount, purpose, and beneficiary of the expenditure.

(G) Notwithstanding any other reporting requirements in this chapter, a political party, legislative caucus committee, and a party committee must file a certified campaign report upon the receipt of anything of value which totals in the aggregate five hundred dollars or more. For purposes of this section, "anything of value" includes contributions received which may be used for the payment of operation expenses of a political party, legislative caucus committee, or a party committee. A political party also must comply with the reporting requirements of subsections (B), (C), and (F) of Section 8-13-1308 in the same manner as a candidate or committee.

   

SECTION 8-13-1309.   Certified campaign reports; filing; contents.

(A) Upon the receipt or expenditure of campaign contributions or the making of independent expenditures totaling, in an accumulated aggregate, two thousand five hundred dollars or more, a ballot measure committee required to file a statement of organization pursuant to Section 8-13-1304(B) must file an initial certified campaign report within ten days of these initial receipts or expenditures.

(B) Following the filing of an initial certified campaign report, additional certified campaign reports must be filed within ten days following the end of each calendar quarter in which contributions are received or expenditures are made, whether before or after a ballot measure election until the campaign account undergoes final disbursement pursuant to the provisions of Section 8-13-1370(C).

(C) At least fifteen days before a ballot measure election, a certified campaign report must be filed showing contributions of more than one hundred dollars and expenditures to or by the ballot measure committee for the period ending twenty days before the ballot measure election. The ballot measure committee must maintain a current list during the period before the ballot measure election commencing at the beginning of the calendar quarter of the election of all contributions of more than one hundred dollars. The list must be open to public inspection upon request.

(D) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (B) and (C), if a pre-election campaign report provided for in subsection (C) is required to be filed within thirty days of the end of the prior quarter, a ballot measure committee must combine the quarterly report provided for in subsection (B) and the pre-election report and file the combined report subject to the provisions of subsection (C) no later than fifteen days before the ballot measure election.

(E) Certified campaign reports detailing campaign contributions and expenditures must contain:

(1) the total amount of contributions accepted by the ballot measure committee;

(2) the name and address of each person making a contribution of more than one hundred dollars and the amount and date of receipt of each contribution;

(3) the total amount of expenditures made by or on behalf of the ballot measure committee; and

(4) the name and address of each person to whom an expenditure is made from campaign funds, including the date, amount, purpose, and beneficiary of the expenditure.

   

SECTION 8-13-1310.   Recipients of certified campaign reports and copies thereof; State Ethics Commission review.

(A) All persons required to file certified campaign reports pursuant to the provisions of this article must file those reports with the appropriate supervisory office.

(B) The Ethics Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives must forward a copy of each statement filed with them to the State Ethics Commission within five business days of receipt.

(C) Within five days of receipt, a copy of all campaign reports received by the State Ethics Commission must be forwarded to the clerk of court in the county of residence of the person required to file.

(D) As provided in Section 8-13-1372, the State Ethics Commission must review all statements for inadvertent and unintentional errors or omissions.

   

SECTION 8-13-1312. Campaign bank accounts.

Except as is required for the separation of funds and expenditures under the provisions of Section 8-13-1300(7), a candidate shall not establish more than one campaign checking account and one campaign savings account for each office sought, and a committee shall not establish more than one checking account and one savings account unless federal or state law requires additional accounts. For purposes of this article, certificates of deposit or other interest bearing instruments are not considered separate accounts. A candidate's accounts must be established in a financial institution that conducts business within the State and in an office located within the State that conducts business with the general public. The candidate or a duly authorized officer of a committee must maintain the accounts in the name of the candidate or committee. An acronym must not be used in the case of a candidate's accounts. An acronym or abbreviation may be used in the case of a committee's accounts if the acronym or abbreviation commonly is known or clearly recognized by the general public. Except as otherwise provided under Section 8-13-1348(C), expenses paid on behalf of a candidate or committee must be drawn from the campaign account and issued on a check signed by the candidate or a duly authorized officer of a committee. All contributions received by the candidate or committee, directly or indirectly, must be deposited in the campaign account by the candidate or committee within ten days after receipt. All contributions received by an agent of a candidate or committee must be forwarded to the candidate or committee not later than five days after receipt. A contribution must not be deposited until the candidate or committee receives information regarding the name and address of the contributor. If the name and address cannot be determined within seven days after receipt, the contribution must be remitted to the Children's Trust Fund.

    

SECTION 8-13-1314.   Campaign contribution limits and restrictions.

(A) Within an election cycle, no candidate or anyone acting on his behalf shall solicit or accept, and no person shall give or offer to give to a candidate or person acting on the candidate's behalf:

(1) a contribution which exceeds:

(a) three thousand five hundred dollars in the case of a candidate for statewide office; or

(b) one thousand dollars in the case of a candidate for any other office;

(2) a cash contribution from an individual unless the cash contribution does not exceed twenty-five dollars and is accompanied by a record of the amount of the contribution and the name and address of the contributor;

(3) a contribution from, whether directly or indirectly, a registered lobbyist if that lobbyist engages in lobbying the public office or public body for which the candidate is seeking election;

(4) contributions for two elective offices simultaneously, except as provided in Section 8-13-1318.

(B) The restrictions on contributions in subsections (A)(1) and (A)(2) do not apply to a candidate making a contribution to his own campaign.

    

SECTION 8-13-1316.   Restrictions on campaign contributions received from political parties.

(A) Notwithstanding Section 8-13-1314(A)(1), within an election cycle, a candidate may not accept or receive contributions from a political party through its party committees or legislative caucus committees, and a political party through its party committees or legislative caucus committees may not give to a candidate contributions which total in the aggregate more than:

(1) fifty thousand dollars in the case of a candidate for statewide office; or

(2) five thousand dollars in the case of a candidate for any other office.

(B) The recipient of a contribution given in violation of subsection (A) may not keep the contribution, but within seven days must remit the contribution to the Children's Trust Fund.

   

SECTION 8-13-1318.   Acceptance of contributions to retire campaign debt; limits; reporting requirements.

If a candidate has a debt from a campaign for an elective office, the candidate may accept contributions to retire the debt, even if the candidate accepts contributions for another elective office or the same elective office during a subsequent election cycle, as long as those contributions accepted to retire the debt are:

(1) within the contribution limits applicable to the last election in which the candidate sought the elective office for which the debt was incurred; and

(2) reported as provided in this article.

   

SECTION 8-13-1320.   Contributions within specified period after primary, special, or general election attributed to that primary or election.

For purposes of this article:

(1) A contribution made on or before the seventh day after a primary or primary runoff is attributed to the primary or primary runoff, respectively.

(2) A contribution made on or before the end of the quarter immediately following a general election or special election is attributed to the general election or special election, respectively.

   

SECTION 8-13-1322.   Dollar limits on contributions to committees.

(A) A person may not contribute to a committee and a committee may not accept from a person contributions aggregating more than three thousand five hundred dollars in a calendar year.

(B) A person may not contribute to a committee and a committee may not accept from a person a cash contribution unless the cash contribution does not exceed twenty-five dollars for each election and is accompanied by a record of the amount of the contribution and the name and address of the contributor.

    

SECTION 8-13-1324.   Anonymous campaign contributions.

(A) A person shall not make an anonymous contribution to a candidate, committee, or ballot measure committee, and a candidate, committee, or ballot measure committee shall not accept an anonymous contribution from an individual except at a ticketed event where food or beverages are served or where political merchandise is distributed and where the price of the ticket is twenty-five dollars or less and goes toward defraying the cost of food, beverages, or political merchandise in whole or in part.

(B) The recipient of an anonymous contribution given in violation of subsection (A) or the recipient of any other anonymous contribution shall not keep the contribution but within seven days must remit the contribution to the Children's Trust Fund.

    

SECTION 8-13-1326.   Loans to candidates considered contributions; limitations; exceptions.

(A) A loan is considered a contribution from the maker or the guarantors of the loan and is subject to the contribution limitations of this article.

(B) A loan to a candidate must be by written agreement.

(C) The proceeds of a loan made to a candidate under the following conditions are not subject to the contribution limits of this article:

(1) by a commercial lending institution;

(2) in the regular course of business;

(3) on the same terms ordinarily available to members of the public; and

(4) secured or guaranteed upon which collection is not made.

   

SECTION 8-13-1328.   Limits on repayment of loans from candidate or family members to campaign.

(A) A candidate for statewide office or the candidate's family member must not be repaid, for a loan made to the candidate, more than twenty-five thousand dollars in the aggregate after the election.

(B) A candidate for an elective office other than those specified in subsection (A) or a family member of a candidate for an elective office other than those specified in subsection (A) must not be repaid, for a loan made to the candidate, more than ten thousand dollars in the aggregate after the election.

   

SECTION 8-13-1330.   Contributions by spouses or parent and child.

Contributions by each spouse are considered separate contributions and are not attributable to the other spouse. Contributions by unemancipated children under eighteen years of age are considered contributions by their parents. Fifty percent of the contributions are attributed to each parent, or in the case of a single custodial parent, the total amount is attributed to the custodial parent.

    

SECTION 8-13-1332.   Unlawful contributions and expenditures.

It is unlawful for:

(1) a committee or ballot measure committee to make a contribution or expenditure by using:

(a) anything of value secured by physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisals, or threat of the same;

(b) dues, fees, or other monies required as a condition of membership in a labor organization, or as a condition of employment; or

(c) monies obtained by the committee or the ballot measure committee in a commercial transaction;

(2) a person to solicit an employee for a contribution and fail to inform the employee of the political purposes of the committee or ballot measure committee and of the employee's right to refuse to contribute without any advantage or promise of an advantage conditioned upon making the contribution or reprisal or threat of reprisal related to the failure to make the contribution;

(3) a corporation or committee of a corporation to solicit contributions to the corporation or committee from a person other than its shareholders, directors, executive or administrative personnel, and their families, except as provided in Section 8-13-1333.

   

SECTION 8-13-1333.   Soliciting contributions from the general public.

(A) Not-for-profit corporations and committees formed by not-for-profit corporations may solicit contributions from the general public.

(B) An organization or a committee of an organization may solicit contributions from the general public.

    

SECTION 8-13-1334.   Certain solicitation of contributions by corporations and organizations from employees not unlawful.

Notwithstanding Section 8-13-1332, a corporation or organization and their committees may through biannual seminars or at the time of hiring nonexecutive and nonadministrative personnel provide educational materials to such personnel explaining their organization, purposes, and operation and also may request contributions to their committees if the committees certify in their reports, as required under Section 8-13-1308, that the requirements of Section 8-13-1332 are met.

   

SECTION 8-13-1336.   Accepting or soliciting contributions on State Capitol grounds or in official residence prohibited; exception for contributions by mail.

(A) No public official, candidate, public employee, or committee may accept or solicit campaign contributions on the State Capitol grounds, including the office complexes located on them, or in any building which houses the principal office of a statewide officer.

(B) No public official, candidate, public employee, or committee may accept or collect campaign contributions on the grounds of or in any building which houses the official residence of a statewide officer.

(C) Contributions delivered by mail are excluded from the provisions of this section.

   

SECTION 8-13-1338.   Persons prohibited from soliciting contributions.

(A) The following persons personally may not solicit, verbally or in writing, a contribution to a candidate:

(1) a law enforcement officer while in uniform;

(2) a judge or candidate for judicial office;

(3) a solicitor, an assistant solicitor, or an investigator in a solicitor's office;

(4) the Attorney General, a deputy attorney general, an assistant attorney general, or an investigator in the Attorney General's office.

(B) The restrictions of subsection (A) on solicitation of contributions do not apply to:

(1) a candidate soliciting a contribution to his own campaign; or

(2) a part-time assistant solicitor.

(C) A law enforcement officer while in uniform may not solicit a contribution to any political party or candidate.

   

SECTION 8-13-1340.   Restrictions on contributions by one candidate to another; committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a candidate.

(A) Except as provided in subsections (B) and (E), a candidate or public official shall not make a contribution to another candidate or make an independent expenditure on behalf of another candidate or public official from the candidate's or public official's campaign account or through a committee, except legislative caucus committees, directly or indirectly established, financed, maintained, or controlled by the candidate or public official.

(B) This section does not prohibit a candidate from:

(1) making a contribution from the candidate's own personal funds on behalf of the candidate's candidacy or to another candidate for a different office; or

(2) providing the candidate's surplus funds or material assets upon final disbursement to a legislative caucus committee or party committee in accordance with the procedures for the final disbursement of a candidate under Section 8-13-1370 of this article.

(C) Assets or funds which are the proceeds of a campaign contribution and which are held by or under the control of a public official or a candidate for public office on January 1, 1992, are considered to be funds held by a candidate and subject to subsection (A).

(D) A committee is considered to be directly or indirectly established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a candidate or public official if any of the following are applicable:

(1) the candidate or public official, or an agent of either, has signature authority on the committee's checks;

(2) funds contributed or disbursed by the committee are authorized or approved by the candidate or public official;

(3) the candidate or public official is clearly identified on either the stationery or letterhead of the committee;

(4) the candidate or public official signs solicitation letters or other correspondence on behalf of the entity;

(5) the candidate, public official, or his campaign staff, office staff, or immediate family members, or any other agent of either, has the authority to approve, alter, or veto the committee's solicitations, contributions, donations, disbursements, or contracts to make disbursements; or

(6) the committee pays for travel by the candidate or public official, his campaign staff or office staff, or any other agent of the candidate or public official, in excess of one hundred dollars per calendar year.

(E) The provisions of subsection (A) do not apply to a committee directly or indirectly established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a candidate or public official if the candidate or public official directly or indirectly establishes, finances, maintains, or controls only one committee in addition to any committee formed by the candidate or public official to solely promote his own candidacy and one legislative caucus committee.

(F) No committee operating under the provisions of Section 8-13-1340(E) may:

(1) solicit or accept a contribution from a registered lobbyist if that lobbyist engages in lobbying the public office or public body for which the candidate is seeking election; or

(2) transfer anything of value to any other committee except as a contribution under the limitations of Section 8-13-1314(A) or the dissolution provisions of Section 8-13-1370.

  

SECTION 8-13-1342.   Restrictions on contributions by contractor to candidate who participated in awarding of contract.

No person who has been awarded a contract with the State, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision thereof, other than contracts awarded through competitive bidding practices, may make a contribution after the awarding of the contract or invest in a financial venture in which a public official has an interest if that official was in a position to act on the contract's award. No public official or public employee may solicit campaign contributions or investments in exchange for the prior award of a contract or the promise of a contract with the State, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision thereof.

   

SECTION 8-13-1344.   Contributions by public utilities; seeking endorsement in return for contribution; discrimination by employers based on contributions; reimbursement for contributions.

(A) A public utility may not include in its operating expenses a contribution or expenditure to influence an election or to operate a political action committee.

(B) A person may not solicit from a candidate, committee, political party, or other person, money or other property as a condition or consideration for an endorsement, article, or other communication in the news media promoting or opposing a candidate, committee, or political party.

(C) An employer may not provide an advantage or disadvantage to an employee concerning the employee's employment or conditions of employment based on the employee's contribution, promise to contribute, or failure to contribute to a candidate, committee, or political party.

(D) A person may not, directly or indirectly, reimburse a person, except for the person's immediate family, for a contribution to a candidate, committee, or political party.

   

SECTION 8-13-1346.   Use of public funds, property, or time to influence election prohibited; exceptions.

(A) A person may not use or authorize the use of public funds, property, or time to influence the outcome of an election.

(B) This section does not prohibit the incidental use of time and materials for preparation of a newsletter reporting activities of the body of which a public official is a member.

(C) This section does not prohibit the expenditure of public resources by a governmental entity to prepare informational materials, conduct public meetings, or respond to news media or citizens' inquiries concerning a ballot measure affecting that governmental entity; however, a governmental entity may not use public funds, property, or time in an attempt to influence the outcome of a ballot measure.

   

SECTION 8-13-1348.   Use of campaign funds for personal expenses; certain expenditures to be in writing; expenditures not to exceed fair market value; petty cash funds.

(A) No candidate, committee, public official, or political party may use campaign funds to defray personal expenses which are unrelated to the campaign or the office if the candidate is an officeholder nor may these funds be converted to personal use. The prohibition of this subsection does not extend to the incidental personal use of campaign materials or equipment nor to an expenditure used to defray any ordinary expenses incurred in connection with an individual's duties as a holder of elective office.

(B) The payment of reasonable and necessary travel expenses or for food or beverages consumed by the candidate or members of his immediate family while at, and in connection with, a political event are permitted.

(C) An expenditure of more than twenty-five dollars must be made by a written instrument drawn upon the campaign account containing the name of the candidate or committee and the name of the recipient. Expenditures of twenty-five dollars or less that are not made by a written instrument containing the name of the candidate or committee and the name of the recipient must be accounted for by a written receipt or written record.

(D) An expenditure may not be made that is clearly in excess of the fair market value of services, materials, facilities, or other things of value received in exchange.

(E) A candidate or a duly authorized officer of a committee may not withdraw more than one hundred dollars from the campaign account to establish or replenish a petty cash fund for the candidate or committee at any time, and at no time may the fund exceed one hundred dollars. Expenditures from the petty cash fund may be made only for office supplies, food, transportation expenses, and other necessities and may not exceed twenty-five dollars for each expenditure.

   

SECTION 8-13-1350.   Prohibition of use of funds for campaign for one office to further candidacy of same person for different office.

(A) A candidate for elective office may use or permit the use of contributions solicited for or received by the candidate for that office to further the candidacy of the individual for a different office as long as the contributions have been received on or before December 31, 1992, and have been transferred to a campaign account for the different office on or before December 31, 1992. A contribution solicited for or received on behalf of the candidate is considered solicited or received for the candidacy for which the individual is then a candidate if the funds or contributions are solicited or received before the general election for which the candidate is a nominee or is unopposed. The prohibition on the use or solicitation of funds does not limit in any way a candidate from retaining funds for use in a subsequent race for the same elective office.

(B) Any assets or funds which are:

(1) the proceeds of a campaign contribution which are held by or under the control of a public official or a candidate for public office on January 1, 1993; and

(2) which continue to be held by or under the control of a public official or a candidate for public office on January 1, 1993; are subject to the provisions of subsection (A).

    

SECTION 8-13-1352.   Exception to prohibition of use of funds for campaign for one office to further candidacy of same person for different office.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 8-13-1350, a candidate may use or permit the use of contributions solicited for or received by the candidate to further the candidacy of the individual for an elective office other than the elective office for which the contributions were received if:

(1) the person originally making the contribution gives written authorization for its use to further the candidacy of the individual for a specific office which is not the office for which the contribution was originally intended; and

(2) the contribution is otherwise permitted by law.

   

SECTION 8-13-1354.   Identification of person independently paying for election-related communication; exemptions.

A candidate, committee, or other person which makes an expenditure in the distribution, posting, or broadcasting of a communication to voters supporting or opposing a public official, a candidate, or a ballot measure must place his name and address on the printed matter or have his name spoken clearly on a broadcast so as to identify accurately the person and his address. Campaign buttons, balloons, yard signs, or similar items are exempt from this requirement.

   

SECTION 8-13-1356.   Filing of statement of economic interests by candidates for public office.

(A) This section does not apply to a public official who has a current disclosure statement on file with the appropriate supervisory office pursuant to Sections 8-13-1110 or 8-13-1140.

(B) A candidate must file a statement of economic interests for the preceding calendar year at the same time and with the same official with whom the candidate files a declaration of candidacy or petition for nomination.

(C) The official with whom the candidate files a declaration of candidacy or petition for nomination, no later than five business days after candidacy books close, must file a copy of the statement with the appropriate supervisory office.

(D) An individual who becomes a candidate other than by filing must, no later than fifteen business days after becoming a candidate, file a statement of economic interests for the preceding calendar year with the appropriate supervisory office.

(E) An officer authorized to receive declarations of candidacy and petitions for nominations under the provisions of Chapter 11 of Title 7 may not accept a declaration of candidacy or petition for nomination unless the declaration or petition is accompanied by a statement of economic interests. If the candidate's name inadvertently appears on the ballot, the officer authorized to receive declarations of candidacy or petitions for nomination must not certify the candidate subsequent to the election.

(F) If the candidate files for office before January first of the year in which the election is held, he must file a supplementary statement covering the preceding calendar year no later than April first of the year in which the election is held.

(G) A candidate who is not a public official otherwise filing a statement has the same disclosure requirements as a public official with the exception of reporting gifts.

(H) The State Ethics Commission must furnish to each clerk of court in the State forms on which the statement of economic interests shall be filed.

  

SECTION 8-13-1358.   Format of certified campaign reports.

Except as provided in Section 8-13-365, certified campaign reports must be filed on a format specified by the State Ethics Commission. The reports filed must be typed or printed in ink on forms supplied by the commission. A report may be filed with the commission on a computerized printout if the commission approves the proposed format and style.

   

SECTION 8-13-1360.   Contribution and expenditure reporting form; contents.

(A) The State Ethics Commission shall develop a contribution and expenditure reporting form which must include:

(1) a designation as a pre-election or quarterly report and, if a pre-election report, the election date;

(2) the candidate's name and address or, in the case of a committee, the name and address of the committee;

(3) the balance of campaign accounts on hand at the beginning and at the close of the reporting period and the location of those campaign accounts;

(4) the total amount of all contributions received during the reporting period; the total amount of contributions of one hundred dollars or less in the aggregate from one source received during the reporting period; and the name and address of each person contributing more than one hundred dollars in the aggregate during the reporting period, the date and amount of the contribution, and the year-to-date total for each contributor. Written promises or pledges to make a contribution must be reported separately in the same manner as other monetary contributions;

(5) the total amount of all loans received during the reporting period and the total amount of loans for the year to date. The report also must include the date and amount of each loan from one source during the reporting period, the name and address of each maker or guarantor of each loan, the year-to-date total of each maker or guarantor, and the terms of the loan, including the interest rate, repayment terms, loan payments, and existing balances on each loan;

(6) the date and amount of any in-kind contributions of more than one hundred dollars in the aggregate by one person during the reporting period, and the contributor's name, address, and year-to-date total;

(7) the total amount of all refunds, rebates, interest, and other receipts not previously identified during the reporting period, and their year-to-date total; the total amount of other receipts received of one hundred dollars or less in the aggregate from one source during the reporting period; the date and amount of each refund, rebate, interest, or other receipt not previously identified of more than one hundred dollars in the aggregate from one source, the name and address and the year-to-date total for each source;

(8) the aggregate total of all contributions, loans, and other receipts during the reporting period and the year-to-date total; the amount, date, and a brief description of each expenditure made during the reporting period, the name and address of the entity to which the expenditure was made, and the year-to-date total of expenditures to that entity. Credit card expenses and candidate reimbursements must be itemized so that the purpose and recipient of the expenditure are identified;

(9) the total amount of all loans made during the reporting period and the year-to-date total. The report also must include the date and amount of each loan to one entity during the reporting period, the name and address of each recipient of the loan, and the terms of the loan, including the interest rate, repayment terms, purpose of the loan, the year-to-date total, and existing balances.

(B) A candidate or committee must disclose all information required on the form developed under this section.

  

SECTION 8-13-1362.   Filing of statement of inactivity by candidate or committee having no contributions or expenditures to report.

(A) If a candidate or committee has not accepted any contributions and has not made any expenditures during a reporting period, the candidate or a duly authorized officer of the committee must file a statement of inactivity.

(B) A statement of inactivity must include the candidate's or committee's name and address; the type of report, pre-election or quarterly; and a statement by the candidate or a duly authorized officer of the committee verifying that no contributions were received and no expenditures were made during the reporting period. For the purpose of this report, interest earned is not a contribution.

  

SECTION 8-13-1364.   Sending of notice of obligation to report and forms.

The appropriate supervisory office must send a notice of obligation to report and reporting forms by first class mail no less than thirty days before the filing date for each reporting period. A candidate or committee is not relieved of reporting responsibilities if the notice or forms are not sent or if the candidate or committee does not receive a notice or forms.

   

SECTION 8-13-1366.   Public availability of certified campaign reports.

Certified campaign reports must be made available for public inspection at the office of the State Ethics Commission, the Senate Ethics Committee, the House of Representatives Ethics Committee, and the county clerk of court within two business days of receipt. The commission, ethics committees, and county clerks of court shall not require any information or identification as a condition of viewing a report or reports. The commission, ethics committees, and the county clerks of court must ensure that the reports are available for copying or purchase at a reasonable cost.

   

SECTION 8-13-1368.   Termination of campaign filing requirements; dissolution of committees; final report.

(A) A candidate is not exempt from the campaign filing requirements as provided in this article until after an election in which the candidate is a candidate or is defeated and after the candidate no longer accepts contributions, incurs expenditures, or pays for expenditures incurred.

(B) Committees and ballot measure committees may dissolve only after no longer accepting contributions, incurring expenditures, or paying for expenditures incurred.

(C) If a committee or a ballot measure committee owes or is owed money, the committee or a ballot measure committee may dissolve, but must report the status of the debt annually on the same schedule as active committees or ballot measure committees until all debts are resolved. The method of resolution to eliminate these debts, including contributions accepted and payment for expenditures incurred, must be stated on the report.

(D) A final report may be filed at the time or before a scheduled filing is due. The form must be marked "final" and include a list of the material assets worth one hundred dollars or more and state their disposition.

   

SECTION 8-13-1370.   Use of unexpended contributions by candidate after election; distribution of unexpended funds of committee.

(A) Contributions received by a candidate that are in excess of expenditures during an election cycle must be used by the candidate upon final disbursement:

(1) to defray ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in connection with his duties in his public office;

(2) to be contributed to an organization exempt from tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, a political party, or a committee;

(3) to be maintained in the campaign account for a subsequent race for the same elective office;

(4) to further the candidacy of the individual for a different elective office. However, after December 31, 1992, the funds must be used in a campaign for a different elective office only as provided for in Section 8-13-1352;

(5) to be returned pro rata to all contributors;

(6) to be contributed to the state's general fund; or

(7) to be distributed using a combination of these options.

(B) No candidate may expend contributions for personal use.

(C) A committee required to file reports under this article which has an unexpended balance of funds upon final disbursement not otherwise obligated for expenditures incurred to further the committee's purposes must designate how the surplus funds are to be distributed. The surplus funds must be:

(1) contributed to the state's general fund;

(2) returned pro rata to all contributors;

(3) contributed to a political party or to another committee;

(4) contributed to an organization exempt from tax pursuant to the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or

(5) distributed using a combination of these options.

(D) A ballot measure committee required to file reports under this article which has an unexpended balance of funds upon final disbursement not otherwise obligated for expenditures incurred to further the ballot measure committee's purposes must designate how the surplus funds are to be distributed. The surplus funds must be:

(1) contributed to the state's general fund;

(2) returned pro rata to all contributors;

(3) contributed to another ballot measure committee;

(4) contributed to an organization exempt from tax pursuant to the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or

(5) distributed using a combination of these options.

   

SECTION 8-13-1371.   Use of contributions for unintended purposes by ballot measure committee; written authorization; distribution of seized funds.

(A) A ballot measure committee must not use or permit the use of contributions solicited for or received by the ballot measure committee for any purpose other than the purpose for which the ballot measure committee was originally created, unless the person making the contribution gives written authorization for a different use other than for which the contribution was originally intended.

(B) The State Ethics Commission has jurisdiction to seize all funds in a ballot measure committee's account and distribute them in accordance with subsection (D) of this section when the ballot measure committee violates any provision of this section.

(C) Within sixty days after the election or referendum at which the ballot measure committee attempted to influence the outcome of the election or referendum, the funds remaining in the ballot measure committee's account after the election or referendum must be distributed in accordance with subsection (D) of this section.

(D) The seized funds must be:

(1) contributed to the state's general fund;

(2) contributed to an organization exempt from tax pursuant to the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

(3) returned pro rata to all contributors; or

(4) distributed using a combination of these options.

    

SECTION 8-13-1372.   Technical violations of rules on campaign reports.

(A) The State Ethics Commission, in its discretion, may determine that errors or omissions on campaign reports are inadvertent and unintentional and not an effort to violate a requirement of this chapter and may be handled as technical violations which are not subject to the provisions of this chapter pertaining to ethical violations. Technical violations must remain confidential unless requested to be made public by the candidate filing the report. In lieu of all other penalties, the State Ethics Commission may assess a technical violations penalty not to exceed fifty dollars.

(B) A violation other than an inadvertent or unintentional violation must be referred to the appropriate supervisory office for appropriate action.

   

SECTION 8-13-1373.   Budget and Control Board to defend State after refusal by Attorney General; selection of counsel; management of litigation.

If the Attorney General, after request by the State or any of its political subdivisions, refuses to defend an action brought in a court of competent jurisdiction challenging any provision of this chapter, the Budget and Control Board, using funds appropriated to the civil contingency fund, must defend the action brought against the State or the political subdivision. In cases where the Attorney General refuses to defend such an action, the Budget and Control Board must consult with the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the selection of counsel and in other matters relating to the management of the litigation.

  

SECTION 8-13-1374.   Richland County designated as site of failure to file.

The failure to file a report or statement with the appropriate supervisory office, as required under the provisions of this chapter, is deemed to have occurred in Richland County.

   
ARTICLE 15.
PENALTIES

SECTION 8-13-1510.   Penalty for late filing of or failure to file report or statement required by this chapter.

(A) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, a person required to file a report or statement under this chapter who files a late statement or report or fails to file a required statement or report must be assessed a civil penalty as follows:

(1) a fine of one hundred dollars if the statement or report is not filed within five days after the established deadline provided by law in this chapter; and

(2) after notice has been given by certified or registered mail that a required statement or report has not been filed, a fine of ten dollars per calendar day for the first ten days after notice has been given, and one hundred dollars for each additional calendar day in which the required statement or report is not filed, not exceeding five thousand dollars.

(B) After the maximum civil penalty has been levied and the required statement or report has not been filed, the person is:

(1) for a first offense, guilty of a misdemeanor triable in magistrates court and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days;

(2) for a second offense, guilty of a misdemeanor triable in magistrates court and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than two thousand five hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not less than a mandatory minimum of thirty days;

(3) for a third or subsequent offense, guilty of a misdemeanor triable in magistrates court and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

   

SECTION 8-13-1520.   Violation of chapter constitutes misdemeanor; violation not necessarily ethical infraction.

(A) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, a person who violates any provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(B) A person who violates any provision of this Article 13 is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred percent of the amount of contributions or anything of value that should have been reported pursuant to the provisions of this Article 13 but not less than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(C) A violation of the provisions of this chapter does not necessarily subject a public official to the provisions of Section 8-13-560.