§ 163-278.18. Normal commercial charges for political advertising.
Overview of Statute
Section assigns fair market price to media materials, newspaper, magazine, or other advertising medium to a candidate, treasurer, political party, affiliated party committee, or individual in support of or in opposition to any candidate, political committee, or political party.
(a) No media and no supplier of materials or services shall charge or require a candidate, treasurer, political party, affiliated party committee, or individual to pay a charge for advertising, materials, space, or services purchased for or in support of or in opposition to any candidate, political committee, or political party that is higher than the normal charge it requires other customers to pay for comparable advertising, materials, space, or services purchased for other purposes.
(b) A newspaper, magazine, or other advertising medium shall not charge any candidate, treasurer, political committee, political party, or individual for any advertising for or in support of or in opposition to any candidate, political committee or political party at a rate higher than the comparable rate charged to other persons for advertising of comparable frequency and volume; and every candidate, treasurer, political party or individual, with respect to political advertising, shall be entitled to the same discounts afforded by the advertising medium to other advertisers under comparable conditions and circumstances.
(1973, c. 1272, s. 1; 1977, c. 856; 2015-258, s. 3(n); 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)
- Campaign Media Expenditure
1. Definition for individual
The term “individual” means a single individual or more than one individual.
2. Definition for political party
The term “political party” means any political party organized or operating in this State, whether or not that party is recognized under the provisions of G.S. 163A-950. A special definition of “political party organization” that applies only in Part 2 of this Article is set forth in G.S. 163A-1475. An affiliated party committee is deemed a political party for this Article as set forth in G.S. 163A-1416 and G.S. 163A-1417.
3. Definition for political committee
The term “political committee” means a combination of two or more individuals, such as any person, committee, association, organization, or other entity that makes, or accepts anything of value to make, contributions or expenditures and has one or more of the following characteristics:
a. Is controlled by a candidate;
b. Is a political party or executive committee of a political party or is controlled by a political party or executive committee of a political party;
c. Is created by a corporation, business entity, insurance company, labor union, or professional association pursuant to G.S. 163A-1436(d); or
d. Has the major purpose to support or oppose the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates; [or]
e. Is an affiliated party committee. Supporting or opposing the election of clearly identified candidates includes supporting or opposing the candidates of a clearly identified political party. If the entity qualifies as a “political committee” under sub-subdivision a., b., c., or d. of this subdivision, it continues to be a political committee if it receives contributions or makes expenditures or maintains assets or liabilities. A political committee ceases to exist when it winds up its operations, disposes of its assets, and files its final report. The term “political committee” includes the campaign of a candidate who serves as his or her own treasurer. Special definitions of “political action committee” and “candidate campaign committee” that apply only in Part 2 of this Article are set forth in G.S. 163A-1475.
4. Definition for affiliated party committee
The term “affiliated party committee” means a General Assembly affiliated party committee as established by G.S. 163A-1416 or Council of State affiliated party committee as established by G.S. 163A-1417.
5. Definition for media
The term “communications media” or “media” means broadcasting stations, carrier current stations, newspapers, magazines, periodicals, outdoor advertising facilities, billboards, newspaper inserts, and any person or individual whose business is polling public opinion, analyzing or predicting voter behavior or voter preferences. Special definitions of “print media,” “radio,” and “television” that apply only in Part 2 of this Article are set forth in G.S. 163A-1475.
6. Definition for person
The term “person” means any business entity, corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association.
7. Definition for candidate
The term “candidate” means any individual who, with respect to a public office listed in G.S. 163A-1411(80), has taken positive action for the purpose of bringing about that individual’s nomination, retention, or election to public office. Examples of positive action include any of the following:
a. Filing a notice of candidacy, filing a notice to be retained, or a petition requesting to be a candidate.
b. Being certified as a nominee of a political party for a vacancy.
c. Otherwise qualifying as a candidate in a manner authorized by law.
d. Making a public announcement of a definite intent to run for public office in a particular election.
e. Receiving funds or making payments or giving the consent for anyone else to receive funds or transfer anything of value for the purpose of bringing about that individual’s nomination or election to office. Transferring anything of value includes incurring an obligation to transfer anything of value. Status as a candidate for the purpose of this Article continues if the individual is receiving contributions to repay loans or cover a deficit or is making expenditures to satisfy obligations from an election already held. Special definitions of “candidate” and “candidate campaign committee” that apply only in Part 2 of this Article are set forth in G.S. 163A-1475.
8. Definition for treasurer
The term “treasurer” means an individual appointed by a candidate, political committee, or referendum committee as provided in G.S. 163A-1412 or G.S. 163A-1496. (1973, c. 1272, s. 1; 1975, c. 798, ss. 5, 6; 1979, c. 500, s. 1; c. 1073, ss. 1-3, 19, 20; 1981, c. 837, s. 1; 1983, c. 331, s. 6; 1985, c. 352, ss. 1-3; 1997-515, ss. 4(a)-(c), 7(b)-(d); 1999-31, ss. 1(a), (b), 2(a)-(c), 3, 4(a); 1999-424, s. 6(a), (b); 2002-159, s. 55(n); 2003-278, s. 5; 2004-125, s. 3; 2004-127, s. 15; 2004-203, s. 12(b); 2005-430, s. 10; 2006-264, s. 23; 2007-391, s. 3; 2008-150, s. 6(a); 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2009-534, ss. 1, 3(a), (b); 2010-170, s. 1; 2011-31, s. 20; 2013-381, s. 50.1; 2015-66, s. 8(a); 2015-258, ss. 3(b), (b1); 2015-264, ss. 81(c), (d); 2017-6, s. 3.)
9. Definition for Committee
Committee. – The Legislative Ethics Committee as created in Part 3 of Article
14 of Chapter 120 of the General Statutes.
10. Definition for Candidate
“Candidate” means any individual who, with respect to a public office listed in G.S. 163A-1411(80), has filed a notice of candidacy, notice of retention, or a petition requesting to be a candidate, or has been certified as a nominee of a political party for a vacancy, or has otherwise qualified as a candidate in a manner authorized by law, or has filed a statement of organization under G.S. 163A-1412 and is required to file periodic financial disclosure statements under G.S. 163A-1418.