Chapter 111-1 Political Campaign Finances and Committees; Reporting Requirements

111-1-01 Scope.

The rules set forth in Chapters 111-1 to 111-6 of the Administrative Code are issued by the Ohio secretary of state to implement Ohio's campaign finance laws.

The rules set forth in Chapters 111-1 to 111-6 of the Administrative Code shall apply to the nomination or election of candidates or support for or opposition to ballot issues in state and local elections. Nothing in these rules shall be construed as limiting or regulating federal elections, and those committees, parties, candidates, or funds when they participate in such federal elections.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/02/2010 and 07/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.10 , 3517.102 , 3517.105
Prior Effective Dates: 8/23/95(Emer), 11/21/95, 7/13/98 (Emer), 9/24/98, 1/1/02

111-1-02 Definitions.

(A) In-kind contribution includes the provision of goods or services without charge or at a charge which is less than the usual and normal charge for such goods or such services. If goods or services are provided at less than the usual and normal charge, the amount of the in-kind contribution is the difference between the usual and normal charge for the goods or services at the time of the contribution and the amount charged the committee, party or fund.

(B) "Usual and normal charge for goods" means the price of those goods in the market from which they ordinarily would have been purchased at the time of the contribution; and "usual and normal charge for services", other than those provided by an unpaid volunteer, means the hourly or piecework charge for the services at a commercially reasonable rate prevailing at the time the services were rendered.

(C) "Membership association" means a membership organization, trade association, cooperative, corporation without capital stock, political contributing entity, or a local, national or international labor organization that has all or a majority of the following characteristics:

(1) Is composed of members, some or all of whom are vested with the power and authority to operate or administer the association, pursuant to the association's articles, bylaws, constitution, or other formal organizational documents;

(2) Expressly states the qualifications and requirements for membership in its articles, bylaws, constitution, or other formal organizational documents;

(3) Makes its articles, bylaws, constitution, or other formal organizational documents available to its members upon requests;

(4) Expressly solicits persons to become members;

(5) Expressly acknowledges the acceptance of membership, such as by sending a membership card or including the member's name on a membership newsletter list.

(D)

(1) "Member" means all persons who are currently satisfying the requirements for membership in a membership association, affirmatively accept the membership association's invitation to become a member, and who do any of the following:

(a) Have some significant financial attachment to the membership association, such as a significant investment or ownership stake;

(b) Pay membership dues, at least annually, of a specific amount predetermined by the association;

(c) Have a significant organizational attachment to the membership association which includes affirmation of membership on at least an annual basis and direct participatory rights in the governance of the association. For example, such rights could include the right to vote directly or indirectly for at least one individual on the membership association's highest governing board, the right to vote on policy questions where the highest governing body of the association is obligated to abide by the results, the right to approve the association's annual budget, or the right to participate directly in similar aspects of the association's governance.

(2) Notwithstanding the above requirements for establishing membership, members of a local labor union are considered to be members of any national or international labor union of which the local labor union is a part and of any federation with which the local, national, or international labor union is affiliated.

(3) In the case of a membership association that has a national federation structure or has several levels, including for example, national, state, regional, and/or local affiliates, a person who qualifies as a member of any entity within the federation or of any affiliate by meeting the above requirements for establishing membership shall also qualify as a member of all affiliates.

(4) Notwithstanding the above requirements for establishing membership, the Ohio elections commission may determine, on a case-by-case basis, that persons who do not precisely meet those requirements but have a relatively enduring and independently significant organizational or financial attachment to the membership may be considered members. For example, student members who pay a lower amount of dues while in school, long term dues-paying members who qualify for lifetime membership status with little or no dues obligation, and retired members may be considered members of the organization.

(E) "Stockholder" or "shareholder" means a person who has a vested beneficial interest in stock, has the power to direct how that stock shall be voted, if it is voting stock, and has the right to receive dividends.

(F) "Occupation" means the principal job title or position of an individual and whether or not self-employed.

(G) "Employer" means the organization or person by whom an individual is employed, and not the name of his or her supervisor.

(H)

(1) "Affiliation" means with respect to all political action committees and political contributing entities:

(a) Political action committees, established, financed, maintained or controlled by the same corporation, organization, labor organization, continuing association or other person, including any parent, subsidiary, branch, division, or department, of that corporation, organization, labor organization, continuing association or other person.

(b) Political contributing entities established, financed, maintained or controlled by, or that are the same, corporation, organization, labor organization or other person, including any parent, subsidiary, branch, division, or department, of that corporation, organization, labor organization or other person.

(c) Political action committees and political contributing entities established, financed, maintained or controlled by, or that are the same, corporation, organization, labor organization, continuing association or other person, including any parent, subsidiary, branch, division, or department, of that corporation, organization, labor organization, or other person.

(2) "Affiliation" means for purposes of sharing a single contribution limit under section 3517.102 of the Revised Code with respect to political action committees and political contributing entities:

(a) Political action committees sharing a single contribution limit under section 3517.102 of the Revised Code include all political action committees, established, financed, maintained, or controlled by:

(i) A single corporation and its subsidiaries;

(ii) A single national or international labor union and its local labor unions or other subordinate organizations;

(iii) An organization of national or international labor unions and all its state and local central bodies;

(iv) A membership association, other than a political action committee, including trade or professional associations, and related state and local entities of that organization or group;

(v) The same person or group of persons;

(vi) A continuing association;

(vii) The same political contributing entity.

(b) Political contributing entities sharing a single contribution limit under section 3517.102 of the Revised Code include all political contributing entities established, financed maintained, or controlled by:

(i) A single corporation and its subsidiaries;

(ii) A single national or international labor union and its local labor unions or other subordinate organizations;

(iii) An organization of national or international labor unions and all its state and local central bodies;

(iv) A membership association, other than a political action committee, including trade or professional associations, and related state and local entities of that organization or group; or

(v) The same person or group of persons

(3) The Ohio elections commission and the secretary of state for purposes of referral to the Ohio elections commission may examine the relationship between organizations, entities, committees, or funds that sponsor committees, between the committees themselves, or between one sponsoring entity or organization and a committee established by another entity or organization to determine whether committees or entities are affiliated.

(4) In determining whether committees or entities not described in paragraph (H)(2) of this rule are affiliated, the Ohio elections commission and the secretary of state will consider the following circumstantial factors in the context of the overall relationship between committees or sponsoring organizations or entities:

(a) Whether a sponsoring organization owns controlling interest in the voting stock or securities of the sponsoring organization of another committee;

(b) Whether a sponsoring organization, committee, or entity has the authority or ability to direct or participate in the governance of another sponsoring organization, committee, or entity through provisions of constitutions, by-laws, contracts, or other rules, or through formal or informal practices, or procedures;

(c) Whether a sponsoring organization, committee or entity has the authority or ability to hire, appoint, demote, or otherwise control the officers, or other decision making employees or members of another sponsoring organization, committee, or entity;

(d) Whether a sponsoring organization, committee, or entity has a common membership with another sponsoring organization, committee, or entity;

(e) Whether a sponsoring organization, committee, or entity has common officers or employees with another sponsoring organization, committee, or entity;

(f) Whether a sponsoring organization, committee, or entity provides funds in a significant amount or on an ongoing basis to another sponsoring organization, committee, or entity, such as through direct or indirect payments for administrative, fund-raising, or other costs, but not including the transfer to a committee of its allocated share of proceeds jointly raised;

(g) Whether a sponsoring organization, committee, or entity causes or arranges for funds in a significant amount or on an ongoing basis to be provided to another sponsoring organization, committee, or entity, but not including the transfer to a committee of its allocated share of proceeds jointly raised; or

(h) Whether the sponsoring organization, committee, or entity have similar patterns of contributions or contributors which indicate a formal or ongoing relationship between the sponsoring organization, committee, or entity. The Ohio elections commission and the secretary of state for purposes of referral to the Ohio elections commission will examine these factors in the context of the overall relationship between committees, sponsoring organizations, or entities to determine whether the presence of any factor or factors is evidence of one committee, sponsoring organization, or entity having been established, financed, maintained, or controlled by another committee or sponsoring organization.

(I) "Solicitation" for purposes of sections 3517.082 , 3517.09 , 3517.092 and 3599.031 of the Revised Code shall mean an oral or written request for a contribution. Examples of a solicitation include directly or indirectly asking a person for a monetary or an in-kind contribution.

(J) "Political contributing entity" means any entity, including a corporation or labor organization, that may lawfully make contributions and expenditures and that is not an individual or a political action committee, continuing association, campaign committee, political party, legislative campaign fund, designated state campaign committee, or state candidate fund. In addition, "political contributing entity" does not include professional associations under section 1702.01 of the Revised Code, limited liability companies under section 1705.01 of the Revised Code or partnerships as defined in Chapters 1775. to 1783. of the Revised Code.

(K)

(1) In determining whether a purpose is a "primary or major purpose" as used in the definition of "political action committee" under section 3517.01 of the Revised Code, the following shall be considered:

(a) Whether the combination of two or more persons receives money or any other thing of value in a common account for the specific purpose of supporting or opposing any candidate, political party, legislative campaign fund, political action committee, political contributing entity, or ballot issue;

(b) Whether the combination of two or more persons has or will make a continuing pattern of expenditures from a common account to support or oppose any candidate, political party, legislative campaign fund, political action committee, political contributing entity, or ballot issue;

(c) Whether the combination of two or more persons constitutes an entity that was not in existence prior to supporting or opposing any candidate, political party, legislative campaign fund, political action committee, political contributing entity, or ballot issue;

(d) Whether the total dollar value of the combination of two or more persons' activity described in paragraphs (K)(1)(a), (K)(1)(b) and (K)(1)(c) of this rule during a calendar year exceeds one hundred dollars.

(2) As used in this paragraph, "combination of two or more persons" does not include two or more persons making individual contributions to any campaign committee, political party, legislative campaign fund, political action committee, political contributing entity, or ballot issue.

(L) As provided in division (B)(8)(b) of section 3517.01 of the Revised Code, a political club that is formed primarily for social purposes and that meets the following criteria, is not a "political action committee" as defined by division (B)(8) of section 3517.01 of the Revised Code:

(1) Consists of one hundred members or less; and

(2) Has officers; and

(3) Periodic meetings; and

(4) Has less than two thousand five hundred dollars in its treasury at all times; and

(5) Makes aggregate total contribution(s) of one thousand dollars or less per calendar year.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/08/2013 and 07/31/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.01 , 3517.08 , 3517.082 , 3517.10 , 3517.102 , 3599.03
Prior Effective Dates: 8/23/1995 (Emer.), 11/21/95, 7/13/98 (Emer.), 9/24/98, 1/1/02, 1/1/06

111-1-03 Loan.

(A) The term "loan" includes a guarantee, endorsement, and any other form of security.

(B) A loan is a contribution at the time it is made and is a contribution to the extent that it remains unpaid. The aggregate amount loaned to a candidate or committee by a contributor, when added to other contributions from that individual to that candidate or committee, shall not exceed the contribution limit set forth in section 3517.102 of the Revised Code. A loan, to the extent that it is repaid, is no longer a contribution.

(C) If an individual, political action committee, political contributing entity, political party, campaign committee, or legislative campaign fund makes a loan to any candidate or committee, such loan shall be subject to the limitations set forth in section 3517.102 of the Revised Code. Repayment of the principal amount of such loan to any committee, fund, or party shall not be a contribution by the debtor to the lender, committee, fund, or party. The payment of interest to such committee, fund or party by the debtor shall be a contribution only to the extent that the interest paid exceeds a commercially reasonable rate prevailing at the time the loan is made.

(D) Except as otherwise provided in divisions (I)(6) and (J)(5) of section 3517.992 of the Revised Code, a loan that exceeds the contribution limits of section 3517.102 of the Revised Code shall be unlawful whether or not it is repaid.

(E) Except as provided in this rule, a loan is a contribution by each endorser or guarantor. Each endorser or guarantor shall be deemed to have contributed that portion of the total amount of the loan for which he or she agreed to be liable in a written agreement. Any reduction in the unpaid balance of the loan shall reduce proportionately the amount endorsed or guaranteed by each endorser or guarantor in such written agreement. In the event that such agreement does not stipulate the portion of the loan for which each endorser or guarantor is liable, the loan shall be considered a loan by each endorser or guarantor in the same proportion to the unpaid balance that each endorser or guarantor bears to the total number of endorsers or guarantors. If a third party other than the endorser or guarantor repays all or part of any loan the amount of any or all payments made by that third party constitutes a contribution by that third party.

(F) A candidate may obtain a loan on which his or her spouse's signature is required when joint assets are used as collateral or security for the loan. The spouse shall not be considered a contributor to the candidate's campaign if the value of the candidate's share of the property used as collateral equals or exceeds the amount of the loan which is used for the candidate's campaign.

(G) A loan obtained by a candidate's spouse, parents, children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers, sisters, grandparents, mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, or grandparents by marriage for the benefit of a statewide, senate or house candidate's campaign committee shall be considered a contribution from the person or persons who guaranteed the loan and thereby subject to any limitations of section 3517.102 of the Revised Code.

(H) A loan of money by a state bank, a federally chartered depository institution (including a national bank), or a state chartered depository institution whose deposits and accounts are insured is not a contribution by the lending institution if such loan is made in accordance with applicable banking laws and regulations and is made in the ordinary course of business. A loan will be deemed to be made in the ordinary course of business if it:

(1) Bears the usual and customary interest rate of the lending institution for the category of loan involved;

(2) Is made on a basis which assures repayment;

(3) Is evidenced by a written instrument; and

(4) Is subject to a due date or amortization schedule.

(I) Such loans shall be reported by the committee, party, or fund in accordance with division (B)(4)(e) of section 3517.10 of the Revised Code. For purposes of Chapter 3517. of the Revised Code, an overdraft made on a checking or savings account shall be considered a contribution by the bank or institution unless:

(1) The overdraft is made on an account which is subject to automatic overdraft protection;

(2) The overdraft is subject to immediate repayment; or

(3) There is a definite repayment schedule.

Effective: 01/17/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/02/2010 and 07/15/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.10 , 3517.102
Prior Effective Dates: 8/23/95 (Emer), 11/21/95, 7/13/98(Emer), 9/24/98, 1/1/02

111-1-04 Name of the committee.

(A) In accordance with division (D) of section 3517.10 of the Revised Code, the name of each candidate's campaign committee shall include on the designation of treasurer form at least the last name of the candidate who authorized such committee. No committee, other than the candidate's campaign committee, shall include the name of any candidate in its name. For purposes of this definition, name includes any name under which a committee conducts activities, such as solicitations or other communications.

(B) The campaign committee authorized by the pair of candidates jointly seeking the offices of governor and lieutenant governor shall include at least the last name of each candidate authorizing the campaign committee.

(C) The name of a political action committee formed pursuant to Ohio law shall include the name of its sponsoring organization, if any. Such committee may use a clearly recognized abbreviation or acronym by which the sponsoring organization is commonly known. However, both the full names and such abbreviation or acronym shall be included on the committee's designation of treasurer form. The committee may not make contributions solely in its acronym or abbreviated name. A committee established by a corporation or labor organization which has a number of subsidiaries need not include the name of each subsidiary in its name. Similarly, a committee established by a subsidiary need not include in its name the name of its parent or another subsidiary of its parent. For purposes of this rule, sponsoring organization means a corporation, nonprofit corporation, or labor organization that establishes or administers a political action committee or a separate segregated fund pursuant to section 3517.082 of the Revised Code.

Replaces: 111-1-04

Effective: 01/17/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 07/15/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.10
Prior Effective Dates: 8/23/95 (Emer), 11/21/95, 1/1/02

111-1-05 Best efforts.

When the treasurer of a candidate's campaign committee, political action committee, political contributing entity or separate segregated fund shows that best efforts have been used to obtain, maintain, and submit the information required by Chapter 3517. of the Revised Code, any report of such committee or fund shall be considered in compliance with such chapter. The treasurer shall make a notation on the form prescribed by the secretary of state, in lieu of the missing or incomplete information, that best efforts have been made to obtain that information.

With regard to reporting the identification of each person whose contribution(s) to the committee or fund and its affiliated committees or funds exceeds one hundred dollars, the treasurer and the committee or fund will be deemed to have exercised best efforts to obtain, maintain and report the required information if:

(A) All written solicitations for contributions in excess of one hundred dollars include a clear request for the contributor's full name, street address, name of employer, or occupation if self-employed.

(B) For each contribution received in excess of one hundred dollars which lacks required contributor information such as the contributor's full name, street address, name of employer, or occupation if self-employed, the treasurer makes at least one effort after the receipt of the contributions to obtain the missing information. Such effort shall consist of either a written request sent to the contributor or an oral request to the contributor documented in writing.

(C) The treasurer reports all contributor information not provided by the contributor, but in the campaign committee's possession; and

(D) If any of the contributor information is received after the contribution has been disclosed on a regularly scheduled report, the campaign committee files, before its next regularly scheduled reporting date, an amendment to the report disclosing the contributions including the contributor's identification together with the dates and amounts of the contributions.

(E) In accordance with division (L) of section 3517.10 of the Revised Code, this rule does not apply to contributions received by a political contributing entity from the dues, membership fees, or other assessments of its members or from its officeholders, shareholders, or employees to the extent that dues, membership fees, or other assessments may be aggregated for reporting purposes.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/02/2010 and 07/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.20 , 3599.031
Prior Effective Dates: 8/23/95 (Emer), 11/21/95, 7/13/98 (Emer), 9/24/98, 1/1/02

111-1-06 Computation of time.

In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by agency 111 of the Administrative Code or Chapter 3517. of the Revised Code, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday.

Effective: 01/24/2014
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/08/2013 and 01/12/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 1.14 , 3517.10 , 3517.108 , 3517.109
Prior Effective Dates: 8/23/95 (Emer.), 11/21/95

111-1-08 Limitations pertaining to federal committees.

Any federal political committee that makes a contribution or contributions to a statewide or general assembly candidate, political action committee, political contributing entity, legislative campaign fund, or political party shall be subject to the limits on contributions that may be made by political action committees as set forth in section 3517.102 of the Revised Code.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/08/2013 and 07/31/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.102
Prior Effective Dates: 8/23/95 (Emer.), 11/21/95, 1/1/02

111-1-09 Local candidate waiver of reporting requirements.

The campaign committee of a candidate that files a "Local Candidate Waiver" in addition to a designation of treasurer is not required to file any campaign finance reports pursuant to section 3517.10 of the Revised Code including any pre-election, post election or annual report.

For purposes of determining if a "Local Candidate Waiver" is appropriate, election period is defined as the period of time beginning when the candidate files his or her candidacy petition through election day. The "Local Candidate Waiver" must be filed not later than ten days after the candidate's petition has been filed.

Candidates for an elected municipal office that pays an annual salary of five thousand dollars or less, candidates for member of a board of education (including educational service centers) except for state board of education, and candidates for township trustee and clerk may qualify to file a "Local Candidate Waiver" if all of the following apply: The campaign committee will not accept during an election period more than two thousand dollars of aggregate contributions; will not accept more than one hundred dollars from any one individual contributor; and will not make aggregate expenditures during an election period greater than two thousand dollars. For purposes of this paragraph, "individual" does not include the candidate whose campaign committee has filed a "Local Candidate Waiver."

If the campaign committee of a candidate that has filed a "Local Candidate Waiver" subsequently accepts any contributions in excess of the amounts set out above or spends more than two thousand dollars, the waiver is void and the candidate must report all contributions and expenditures received or made from the time the candidacy petition was filed to the date when the excess amount was received or spent.

The waiver covers activity accruing through the postgeneral reporting period of the year in which the waiver is filed. After that time, the campaign committee must either terminate or begin filing the statements required under section 3517.10 of the Revised Code.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/02/2010 and 07/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.10
Prior Effective Dates: 7/13/98 (Emer), 9/24/98, 1/1/02

111-1-10 County Population.

(A) Pursuant to division (B)(6)(c) of section 3517.102 and division (T) of 3517.13 of the Revised Code, a county political party in a county having a population of one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) or more must establish a State Candidate Fund to make a contribution to any of the following:

(1) A state candidate fund;

(2) A legislative campaign fund;

(3) A campaign committee of a candidate for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor of state, treasurer of state, attorney general, member of the state board of education, or member of the general assembly.

(B) As used in division (B)(6)(c) of section 3517.102 and division (T) of 3517.13 and paragraph (A) of this rule, "population" shall be determined by the latest of the two following data sets as published by the United States Census Bureau:

(1) Decennial census;

(2) Annual State and County Characteristic population estimate

(C) When the data referenced in paragraph (B) of this rule is published and indicates that a county, the population of which had been under one hundred fifty thousand (150,000), has, as of the latest population data set as referenced in paragraph (B) of this rule, a population of one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) or more, a political party within that county must establish a state candidate fund to make a contribution to any of the following:

(1) A state candidate fund;

(2) A legislative campaign fund;

(3) A campaign committee of a candidate for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor of state, treasurer of state, attorney general, member of the state board of education, or member of the general assembly.

(D) The secretary of state shall notify each county political party located in a county that has experienced a shift from less than one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) in population to one hundred fifty thousand or more, according to the published information as detailed in paragraph (B) of this rule.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/02/2010 and 07/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.102 , 3517.13
Prior Effective Dates: 01/01/2006