§ 105.08 Campaign contribution and expense; reporting.
Overview of Statute
This statute governs contributions in nonpartisan elections. Candidates for judicial office and school board are allowed to accept contributions, and can incur expenses that are authorized by law. All nonpartisan candidates must keep accurate records of their contributions and expenses, and are also required to file reports. Candidates for retention who have not received contributions or made expenditures are allowed to file statements when they qualify that they do not anticipate receiving contributions or making expenditures. These candidates must file reports by 90 days after the general election. These candidates who then receive contributions or make expenditures have to file statements and must file reports as opposed candidates.
(1) A candidate for judicial office or the office of school board member may accept contributions and may incur only such expenses as are authorized by law. Each such candidate shall keep an accurate record of his or her contributions and expenses, and shall file reports pursuant to chapter 106.
s. 8, ch. 71-49; s. 38, ch. 77-175; s. 3, ch. 89-152; s. 634, ch. 95-147; s. 8, ch. 99-326; s. 6, ch. 99-355.
1. Definition for 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).
2. Definition for 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).
3. Definition for Judicial Office
Includes the office of:
(a) Justice of the Supreme Court.
(b) Judge of a district court of appeal.
(c) Judge of a circuit court.
(d) County court judge.
A judicial office is a nonpartisan office, and a candidate for election or retention thereto is prohibited from campaigning or qualifying for such an office based on party affiliation. Fla. Stat. § 105.011(2).
4. Definition for General Election
An election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in the even-numbered years, for the purpose of filling national, state, county, and district offices and for voting on constitutional amendments not otherwise provided for by law. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(16).
5. Definition for Ballot
As used in the Electronic Voting Systems Act, ballot means the card, tape, or other vehicle upon which the elector’s choices are recorded. Fla. Stat. § 101.5603(2).
6. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
7. Definition for Candidate
Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:
Case Name: Adams v. Askew
Citation: 511 F.2d 700
Federal Circuit Court: 5th Circuit Court
Case Summary: Adams v. Askew held that the Florida statutes imposing filing fees were constitutional.
Case Name: Zeller v. The Florida Bar
Citation: 909 F.Supp. 1518
Federal District Court: Northern District of Florida
Case Summary: Zeller v. The Florida Bar held that defendants were preliminarily enjoined from enforcing the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct Canon that prohibited candidates for judicial office from making campaign expenditures, since the harm to defendants in enjoining the limitations was outweighed by the more serious harm to plaintiffs and by the public interest in protecting political speech/expression.
Fla. Jur. 2d Courts and Judges s 292, Nonpartisanship requirement
“Merit Appointment Versus Popular Election: A Reformer’s Guide to Judicial Selection Methods in Florida” 43 Fla. L. Rev. 529
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