Chapter 111:2-2 Independent Expenditures; Personal Funds

111:2-2-01 Independent expenditures.

Independent expenditure means an expenditure by a person for a communication advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or ballot issue which is not made with the cooperation or with the prior consent of or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or any agent or authorized committee of such candidate.

For purposes of this definition, "person" has the same meaning of "person" as defined in division (C)(7)(a) of section 3517.01 of the Revised Code.

Notwithstanding any part of this rule, any expenditure by a political party for the purpose of financing communications advocating the election or defeat of a candidate for judicial office shall be deemed to be an independent expenditure.

A "communication advocating election or defeat" means a communication that includes, but is not limited to, expressions such as "vote for," "elect," "support," "cast your ballot for," or "vote against," "defeat," or "reject."

"Clearly identified candidate" means that the name of the candidate appears, a photograph or drawing of the candidate appears, or the identity of the candidate is otherwise apparent.

"Made with cooperation or with the prior consent of, or with the consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of a candidate or any agent or authorized committee of the candidate" means any arrangement, coordination, or direction by the candidate or his or her agent prior to the publication, distribution, display or broadcast of the communication. An expenditure will be presumed to be so made when it is:

(A) Based on information about the candidate's plans, projects, or needs provided to the person making the expenditure by the candidate or by the candidate's campaign committee or agent, with a view toward having an expenditure made; or

(B) Made by or through any person who is or has been authorized to raise or expend funds, who is or has been an officer of the candidate's committee or who is or has been, receiving any form of compensation or reimbursement from the candidate, the candidate's committee, or agent;

(C) Made by a political party in support of a candidate, unless the expenditure is made by a political party to conduct voter registration or voter education efforts.

"Made with cooperation or with prior consent of, or in consultation with or at the request or suggestion of" does not include providing to the expending person upon request Ohio elections commission or secretary of state guidelines on independent expenditures.

"Agent" means any person who has actual oral or written authority, either express or implied, to make or to authorize the making of expenditures on behalf of a candidate, or means any person who has been placed in a position within the campaign organization where it would reasonably appear that in the ordinary course of campaign-related activities he or she may authorize expenditures.

An expenditure not qualifying under this section as an independent expenditure shall be an in-kind contribution to the candidate.

The financing of the dissemination, distribution, or republication, in whole or in part, of any broadcast or any written, graphic or other form of campaign materials prepared by the candidate, the candidate's campaign committee, or authorized agents thereof shall be considered a contribution for the purpose of contribution limits and reporting responsibilities by the person making the expenditure but shall not be considered an expenditure by the candidate or the candidate's authorized committee unless made with the cooperation or with the prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or any authorized agent or committee thereof. The value of an individual's time in the door-to-door distribution or handing out of written campaign materials by that individual is not a contribution or expenditure for purposes of this rule.

No expenditure by an authorized committee of a candidate on behalf of that candidate shall qualify as an independent expenditure.

Replaces: 111-3-02

Effective: 1/25/2016
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 01/15/2021
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3417.10, 3417.105, 3599.03
Prior Effective Dates: 9/6/74, 11/21/95, 7/13/98 (Emer.), 9/24/98, 1/1/02, 1/1/06

111:2-2-02 Reporting independent expenditures.

(A) Every person or entity who makes an independent expenditure shall file a signed statement with the secretary of state or the board of elections, as appropriate, on a form prescribed by the secretary of state, which shall include:

(1) The reporting person's or entity's name and street address;

(2) The name and street address of the person or entity to whom the expenditure was made;

(3) The amount, date, and purpose of each expenditure;

(4) A statement that indicates whether such expenditure was in support of or in opposition to a candidate, together with the candidate's name and office sought or in support of or opposition to any ballot issue together with the ballot issue number, whether it was a state or local issue, and if a local issue, the county or district it covered;

(5) A signed certification under penalty of election falsification that such expenditure was not made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of any candidate, ballot issue committee or any authorized committee or agent thereof.

(6) This statement is not required from any individual, partnership or other entity that is not a corporation, labor organization, campaign committee, legislative campaign fund, political action committee, political contributing entity, or political party that makes one or more independent expenditures totaling of one hundred dollars or less in support of or in opposition to any ballot issue or question.

(B) Statements required to be filed under section 3517.105 of the Revised Code shall be filed:

(1) At the same time and place as the person or entity files a statement required by section 3517.10 of the Revised Code and as part of that statement; or

(2) If no statement is required by section 3517.10 of the Revised Code, the individual, partnership, or other entity shall file with the secretary of state in the case of a statewide candidate or issue, or with the board of elections in the county in which the affected candidate files the candidate's petitions or declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for nomination or election for district or local office.

Replaces: 111-3-03

Effective: 1/25/2016
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 01/15/2021
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.10, 3517.105
Prior Effective Dates: 9/6/74, 8/23/95 (Emer.), 11/21/95, 7/13/98 (Emer.), 9/24/98, 1/1/02

111:2-2-03 Use of the candidate's personal funds.

The contribution limits found in section 3517.102 of the Revised Code do not apply to contributions, in-kind contributions or loans made to the candidate's own campaign committee when made from the candidate's own personal funds. Likewise there is no limit on the amount of debt a candidate may incur on behalf of the candidate's own campaign committee. Contributions, in-kind contributions and loans made from any other family member including the candidate's spouse are subject to the contribution limits found in section 3517.102 of the Revised Code. Any debts incurred on behalf of the candidate's campaign committee by any other family member including the candidate's spouse are subject to the contribution limits found in section 3517.102 of the Revised Code.

Any funds or assets held jointly by the candidate and his or her spouse shall be considered to be the candidate's own personal funds.

Any gift or loan given to the candidate by a family member such as parents or in-laws when given specifically for the purpose of use by the candidate's campaign committee shall be considered a contribution or loan to the candidate's campaign committee by the family member and should be reported as such.

If a candidate uses personal funds to purchase an item or service on behalf of the candidate's committee, the activity should be reported in one of the following ways:

(A) An in-kind contribution if the candidate does not wish to be reimbursed by the campaign committee.

(B) An expenditure if the candidate is reimbursed by the campaign committee

(C) An outstanding debt if the candidate wishes to be reimbursed by the campaign committee but is not.

The use by a candidate of the candidate's personal funds should not be reported as a monetary contribution or a loan received unless the funds are deposited directly into the campaign committee's bank account.

Replaces: 111-3-04

Effective: 1/25/2016
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 01/15/2021
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.103
Prior Effective Dates: 8/23/95 (Emer.), 11/21/95, 1/1/02

111:2-2-04 Use of the funds or property of a corporation, nonprofit corporation, or labor organization to advocate the election or defeat of a candidate.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 3599.03 of the Revised Code, a corporation, a nonprofit corporation, or a labor organization may use its funds or property to advocate the election or defeat of an identified candidate or candidates to be nominated or elected at any election, provided that the use of funds or property is not made with the consent of, in coordination, cooperation, or consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of any candidate or candidates, the campaign committee or agent of the candidate or candidates, or any legislative campaign fund or political party or agent of a legislative campaign fund or political party.

(A) "Identified candidate" means that the name of the candidate appears, a photograph or drawing of the candidate appears, or the identity of the candidate is otherwise apparent by unambiguous reference in the communication advocating the election or defeat of an identified candidate or candidates to be nominated or elected at any election.

(B) "Made with the consent of, in coordination, cooperation, or consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of any candidate or candidates, the campaign committee or agent of the candidate or candidates, or any legislative campaign fund or political party or agent of a legislative campaign fund or political party" means made pursuant to any arrangement, coordination, or direction by the candidate, the candidate's campaign committee, a legislative campaign fund or a political party, or agent of a candidate, candidate's campaign committee, legislative campaign fund, or political party prior to the publication, distribution, display, or broadcast of the communication. The use of funds or property is presumed to be so made when it is any of the following:

(1) Based on information about the candidate's plans, projects, or needs provided to the person making the expenditure by the candidate, by the candidate's campaign committee, a legislative campaign fund, or a political party, or an agent of the candidate, campaign committee, legislative campaign fund, or political party with a view toward having an expenditure made;

(2) Made by or through any person who is, or has been, authorized to raise or expend funds, who is, or has been, an officer of the candidate's campaign committee, a legislative campaign fund, or a political party or who is, or has been, receiving any form of compensation or reimbursement from the candidate or the candidate's campaign committee, a legislative campaign fund or a political party or any of their agents;

(3) "Agent" means any person who has actual oral or written authority, either express or implied, to make or to authorize the making of expenditures on behalf of a candidate, candidate's campaign committee, legislative campaign fund, or political party or means any person who has been placed in a position with the candidate's campaign committee or organization, or a legislative campaign fund or political party such that it would reasonably appear that in the ordinary course of campaign-related activities the person may authorize expenditures.

Replaces: 111-3-05

Effective: 1/25/2016
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 01/15/2021
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3599.03
Prior Effective Dates: 01/07/2011