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The Florida Statutes

The 2000 Florida Statutes

Title IX
ELECTORS AND ELECTIONS
Chapter 106
Campaign Financing
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Section 106.08, Florida Statutes 2000

106.08  Contributions; limitations on.--

(1)(a)  Except for political parties, no person, political committee, or committee of continuous existence may, in any election, make contributions in excess of $500 to any candidate for election to or retention in office or to any political committee supporting or opposing one or more candidates. Candidates for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket are considered a single candidate for the purpose of this section.

(b)1.  The contribution limits provided in this subsection do not apply to contributions made by a state or county executive committee of a political party regulated by chapter 103 or to amounts contributed by a candidate to his or her own campaign.

2.  Notwithstanding the limits provided in this subsection, an unemancipated child under the age of 18 years of age may not make a contribution in excess of $100 to any candidate or to any political committee supporting one or more candidates.

(c)  The contribution limits of this subsection apply to each election. For purposes of this subsection, the first primary, second primary, and general election are separate elections so long as the candidate is not an unopposed candidate as defined in s. 106.011(15). However, for the purpose of contribution limits with respect to candidates for retention as a justice or judge, there is only one election, which is the general election. With respect to candidates in a circuit holding an election for circuit judge or in a county holding an election for county court judge, there are only two elections, which are the first primary election and general election.

(2)(a)  A candidate may not accept contributions from national, state, including any subordinate committee of a national, state, or county committee of a political party, and county executive committees of a political party, which contributions in the aggregate exceed $50,000, no more than $25,000 of which may be accepted prior to the 28-day period immediately preceding the date of the general election.

(b)  Polling services, research services, costs for campaign staff, professional consulting services, and telephone calls are not contributions to be counted toward the contribution limits of paragraph (a). Any item not expressly identified in this paragraph as nonallocable is a contribution in an amount equal to the fair market value of the item and must be counted as allocable toward the $50,000 contribution limits of paragraph (a). Nonallocable, in-kind contributions must be reported by the candidate under s. 106.07 and by the political party under s. 106.29.

(3)(a)  Any contribution received by a candidate with opposition in an election or by the campaign treasurer or a deputy campaign treasurer of such a candidate on the day of that election or less than 5 days prior to the day of that election must be returned by him or her to the person or committee contributing it and may not be used or expended by or on behalf of the candidate.

(b)  Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c), any contribution received by a candidate or by the campaign treasurer or a deputy campaign treasurer of a candidate after the date at which the candidate withdraws his or her candidacy, or after the date the candidate is defeated, becomes unopposed, or is elected to office must be returned to the person or committee contributing it and may not be used or expended by or on behalf of the candidate.

(c)  With respect to any campaign for an office in which an independent or minor party candidate has filed as required in s. 99.0955 or s. 99.096, but whose qualification is pending a determination by the Department of State or supervisor of elections as to whether or not the required number of petition signatures was obtained:

1.  The department or supervisor shall, no later than 3 days after that determination has been made, notify in writing all other candidates for that office of that determination.

2.  Any contribution received by a candidate or the campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer of a candidate after the candidate has been notified in writing by the department or supervisor that he or she has become unopposed as a result of an independent or minor party candidate failing to obtain the required number of petition signatures shall be returned to the person, political committee, or committee of continuous existence contributing it and shall not be used or expended by or on behalf of the candidate.

(4)  Any contribution received by the chair, campaign treasurer, or deputy campaign treasurer of a political committee supporting or opposing a candidate with opposition in an election or supporting or opposing an issue on the ballot in an election on the day of that election or less than 5 days prior to the day of that election may not be obligated or expended by the committee until after the date of the election.

(5)  A person may not make any contribution through or in the name of another, directly or indirectly, in any election. Candidates, political committees, and political parties may not solicit contributions from or make contributions to any religious, charitable, civic, or other causes or organizations established primarily for the public good. However, it is not a violation of this subsection for a candidate, political committee, or political party executive committee to make gifts of money in lieu of flowers in memory of a deceased person or for a candidate to continue membership in, or make regular donations from personal or business funds to, religious, political party, civic, or charitable groups of which the candidate is a member or to which the candidate has been a regular donor for more than 6 months. A candidate may purchase, with campaign funds, tickets, admission to events, or advertisements from religious, civic, political party, or charitable groups.

(6)  A political party may not accept any contribution which has been specifically designated for the partial or exclusive use of a particular candidate. Any contribution so designated must be returned to the contributor and may not be used or expended by or on behalf of the candidate.

(7)(a)  Any person who knowingly and willfully makes no more than one contribution in violation of subsection (1) or subsection (5), or any person who knowingly and willfully fails or refuses to return any contribution as required in subsection (3), commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. If any corporation, partnership, or other business entity or any political party, political committee, or committee of continuous existence is convicted of knowingly and willfully violating any provision punishable under this paragraph, it shall be fined not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000. If it is a domestic entity, it may be ordered dissolved by a court of competent jurisdiction; if it is a foreign or nonresident business entity, its right to do business in this state may be forfeited. Any officer, partner, agent, attorney, or other representative of a corporation, partnership, or other business entity or of a political party, political committee, or committee of continuous existence who aids, abets, advises, or participates in a violation of any provision punishable under this paragraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b)  Any person who knowingly and willfully makes two or more contributions in violation of subsection (1) or subsection (5) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. If any corporation, partnership, or other business entity or any political party, political committee, or committee of continuous existence is convicted of knowingly and willfully violating any provision punishable under this paragraph, it shall be fined not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000. If it is a domestic entity, it may be ordered dissolved by a court of competent jurisdiction; if it is a foreign or nonresident business entity, its right to do business in this state may be forfeited. Any officer, partner, agent, attorney, or other representative of a corporation, partnership, or other business entity, or of a political committee, committee of continuous existence, or political party who aids, abets, advises, or participates in a violation of any provision punishable under this paragraph commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(8)  Except when otherwise provided in subsection (7), any person who knowingly and willfully violates any provision of this section shall, in addition to any other penalty prescribed by this chapter, pay to the state a sum equal to twice the amount contributed in violation of this chapter. Each campaign treasurer shall pay all amounts contributed in violation of this section to the state for deposit in the General Revenue Fund.

(9)  This section does not apply to the transfer of funds between a primary campaign depository and a savings account or certificate of deposit or to any interest earned on such account or certificate.

History.--s. 8, ch. 73-128; s. 6, ch. 74-200; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 48, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 78-403; s. 9, ch. 79-365; s. 5, ch. 79-378; s. 7, ch. 85-226; s. 4, ch. 86-134; s. 12, ch. 89-256; ss. 33, 46, ch. 90-315; s. 9, ch. 90-338; s. 11, ch. 91-107; s. 642, ch. 95-147; s. 3, ch. 97-13; s. 8, ch. 99-355.