Chapter 111-4 Political Action Committees (PAC's)

111-4-01 Establishment of separate segregated fund.

A corporation or labor organization may establish, administer and solicit contributions to a separate segregated fund (SSF) or political action committee (PAC) of the corporation or labor organization for Ohio state and local elections or for both federal elections and Ohio state or local elections. The former shall be known as an Ohio corporate or labor organization political action committee (Ohio corporate/labor PAC) and the latter as a combined federal, state and local political action committee (FSL PAC).

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/02/2010 and 07/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.082
Prior Effective Dates: 7/16/88, 8/23/95 (Emer), 11/21/95, 1/1/02

111-4-02 Which laws govern Ohio corporate/labor PACs and FSL PACs.

(A) All Ohio laws and regulations with respect to political action committees apply to Ohio corporate/labor PACs.

(B) An FSL PAC is established and governed by federal laws and regulations, except that an FSL PAC shall file such reports and statements required by sections 3517.082 , 3517.10 , 3517.105 and 3517.107 of the Revised Code and this rule to the extent that an FSL PAC is participating in Ohio elections, and not otherwise governed by federal law, it shall be governed by Ohio law.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/02/2010 and 07/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.082
Prior Effective Dates: 3/7/88, 8/23/95(Emer), 11/21/95, 1/1/02

111-4-03 FSL corporate/labor PAC must file statement of organization; Ohio corporate/labor PAC must disclose sponsoring corporation.

(A) An FSL PAC must file with the Ohio secretary of state a copy of its most recent federal statement of organization prior to making expenditures in connection with Ohio state or local elections. Thereafter, a copy of any amended statement of organization must be filed at the same time it is filed with the federal election commission. No other form of registration is required.

(B) An Ohio corporate/labor PAC must provide the name of its sponsoring corporation or labor organization on its "Designation of Treasurer" form and on all finance reports filed pursuant to sections 3517.10 and 3517.105 of the Revised Code.

(C)

(1) An Ohio corporate/labor PAC formed by a corporation must state on its "Designation of Treasurer" form the names of any other PACs, including FSL PACs, of its sponsoring corporation, wholly owned subsidiaries of its sponsoring corporation, and the parent organization of its sponsoring corporation, which receive contributions or make expenditures in connection with Ohio state or local elections.

(2) An Ohio corporate/labor PAC formed by a labor organization must state on its "designation of treasurer" form the names of any other PACs, including FSL PACs, of its sponsoring labor organization and the international, national, or state organization of its sponsoring labor organization which receive contributions or make expenditures in connection with Ohio state or local elections.

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: 3517.082
Prior Effective Dates: 3/7/88, 8/23/95 (Emer.), 11/21/95

111-4-04 Reports to be filed by FSL PACs.

An FSL PAC that makes a contribution, expenditure or independent expenditure in connection with Ohio state or local elections shall file with the secretary of state a copy of the relevant portions of each report that it files with the federal election commission which reflect any disbursement made for the purpose of influencing Ohio state and local elections regardless of amount. The relevant portions of each such report shall include the summary page that contains the total amount of expenditures, contributions or independent expenditures made in connection with Ohio state and local elections, the detailed summary page, and those pages of itemized contributions, expenditures and independent expenditures made in connection with Ohio state or local elections. The copy of the relevant portions of any such report shall be filed with the secretary of state not later than the date the full report is required to be filed with the federal election commission.

If during a federal reporting period, an FSL PAC made disbursements related to both federal and state or local elections in Ohio, it may file with the secretary of state a single copy of the portions of its report required to be filed under Ohio and federal law. If an FSL PAC had no disbursements during a federal reporting period related to state or local elections in Ohio, then it is not required to file a copy of its report with the secretary of state.

An FSL PAC that makes a contribution or contributions to a state or local PAC with which it is affiliated shall file a statement of Ohio contributors with the secretary of state on or before the last business day of January of the year following the year in which the contribution was made by the FSL PAC. Such statement need only contain the name and address of each contributor to the FSL PAC who is or was, at the time of making the contribution, a resident of Ohio and, for each name listed, the aggregate total amount contributed by each contributor during the reporting period.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/02/2010 and 07/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.107
Prior Effective Dates: 3/7/88, 8/23/95 (Emer.), 11/21/95, 7/13/98 (Emer.), 9/24/98, 1/1/02

111-4-06 Reporting of establishment, administrative and solicitation costs by Ohio corporate/labor PACs and FSL corporate PACs.

(A) A corporation or labor organization may directly pay the establishment, administrative and solicitation expenses of its Ohio PAC or it may transfer funds to an administrative account of the PAC, or both. Funds in the administrative account may not be commingled with funds in the PAC. An Ohio corporate/labor PAC may also pay its expenses directly from the PAC. However, in such event, the PAC may not be reimbursed by the corporation or labor organization.

(B) The establishment, administrative and solicitation expenses required to be reported by a corporation or labor organization to its Ohio PAC and FSL PAC, pursuant to division (C) of section 3517.082 of the Revised Code, include those which have been paid A labor organization or affiliated organizations, or by a corporation, its wholly owned subsidiaries or its parent organization or from the administrative account of the PAC or FSL PAC. In the case of an Ohio corporate/labor PAC, all reportable expenses paid during the reporting period of each report filed pursuant to division (A) of section 3517.10 of the Revised Code shall be reported to the PAC. An Ohio corporate/labor PAC must report such expenses at the time it files a campaign finance report.

(C) For purposes of divisions (C) (2) and (C) (3) of section 3517.082 of the Revised Code, a corporation or labor organization may use any reasonably accurate method of determining whether an employee's time or the use of equipment relate to establishing, administering and soliciting contributions to its Ohio PAC or FSL PAC exceeds fifty per cent.

(D) As used in division (C)(3) of section 3517.082 of the Revised Code, the term equipment includes, but is not limited to, typewriters, word processors, computers, computer software, internet service, photocopies and photocopiers, adding machines, desks, files, telephones, postage meters, motor vehicles, and any other equipment necessary to meet the requirements of section 3517.106 of the Revised Code. The cost of pens, pencils and similar office supplies and electricity to operate equipment are not reportable. As used in division (C)(4) of section 3517.082 of the Revised Code, professional fees include, but are not limited to, fees paid for the following services: legal; accounting; fund-raising; printing; graphic, mail; computer; catering, and golf greens. Professional fees do not include salaries or wages paid to the corporation's or labor organization's employees.

(E) Equipment costs, employee wages and salaries, professional fees and solicitation expenses required to be reported by a corporation or labor organization to its FSL PAC or Ohio corporate/labor PAC shall be reported as follows: those which are attributable exclusively to Ohio state and local elections are reported in full; those which can not be attributed exclusively to Ohio state or local elections may be reported in full or may be prorated based on the proportion that expenditures of the PAC or disbursements of the FSL PAC in connection with Ohio state and local elections bear to total expenditures or disbursements in connection with all elections during the same period, as described in paragraph (A) of this rule. An activity which related to the PAC or FSL PAC as a whole, such as soliciting contributions, is attributable to all elections influenced during the reporting period. For purposes of determining if the fifty per cent threshold set forth in divisions (C)(2) and (C)(3) of section 3517.082 of the Revised Code is exceeded, all of an employee's time and all of an equipment's use related to the PAC or FSL PAC shall be taken into consideration. Proration may be used to determine only the amount of a cost to be reported.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/02/2010 and 07/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.082
Prior Effective Dates: 3/7/88, 8/23/95 (Emer), 11/21/95, 7/13/98 (Emer), 9/24/98, 1/1/02

111-4-07 Social or fund-raising events; gifts, prizes, or other things of value in exchange for contributions.

(A) A corporation, nonprofit corporation, or labor organization may not use its money or property for a social fund-raising event for its Ohio PAC, if an employee's or labor organization member's right to attend the event is predicated on the employee or member contributing or having contributed or agreeing to contribute to the PAC. An informational meeting concerning the PAC is not a social event for purposes of this rule, so long as any provision of food and beverages at the event is insignificant and merely incidental thereto. An Ohio corporate PAC may charge employees or members to attend a social fund-raising event if the corporation's money or property is not used in connection with the event.

(B) A corporation including a nonprofit corporation, may not pay for a thing of value, such as a prize or gift, in exchange for a contribution to its Ohio PAC. Lapel pins, plaques, certificates, coffee cups, T-shirts, caps and like items of insignificant cost evidencing contributor status in the PAC are not things of value for purposes of this rule. An Ohio corporate PAC may pay for a prize, gift or other thing of value from its political action committee or separate segregated fund in exchange for a contribution to the fund.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/02/2010 and 07/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3599.03
Prior Effective Dates: 3/7/88, 8/23/95 (Emer), 11/21/95, 1/1/02

111-4-08 Solicitation of contributions for a particular candidate prohibited; administrative expenses which may and may not be paid by a connected corporation.

(A) A corporation, nonprofit corporation, or labor organization may not solicit contributions to its Ohio PAC or FSL PAC for a particular Ohio state or local candidate or a political party. However, an Ohio PAC or FSL PAC may permit their contributors to voluntarily earmark their contributions for any particular candidate, political action committee, political contributing entity, legislative campaign fund, or political party of their choice.

(B) Except as provided in paragraph (D) of this rule, expenses associated with activities of an Ohio PAC or FSL PAC, which aid Ohio state or local candidates, any legislative campaign fund, or any political party, are not administrative expenses under section 3517.082 of the Revised Code, and a corporation including a nonprofit corporation may not use its money or property for such activities. Such activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Nonmonetary (in-kind) contributions to Ohio state or local candidates, political parties, and legislative campaign funds;

(2) Receptions or other social events for state or local candidates, political parties, and legislative campaign funds; and

(C) An Ohio corporate PAC or FSL corporate PAC may conduct the activities specified in paragraphs (B)(1) and (B)(2) of this rule if the PAC pays all associated expenses from its political action committee or separate segregated fund established under section 3517.082 of the Revised Code.

(D) A corporation, nonprofit corporation, or labor organization may use its money and property for the following activities of its Ohio PAC or FSL PAC in connection with Ohio state or local elections, but only if such activities are designed so as not to aid any particular candidate or political party:

(1) Voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities;

(2) Candidate debates and other functions at which candidates are permitted to address or meet voters, but only if each candidate for the same office is offered the same opportunity to appear and speak at such function. No effort may be made at such functions to express support for a candidate or to solicit contributions for a candidate;

(3) Printed material intended to educate voters as to the qualifications, records and positions of candidates consisting of questions directed to all candidates for the same office and their verbatim responses to such questions, provided that the number of words per response may be limited at the time the questions are sent.

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: 3517.082
Prior Effective Dates: 3/7/88, 1/1/02

111-4-09 Corporation and labor organization communications.

(A) As provided by section 3599.03 of the Revised Code, the placement of a campaign sign on the property of a corporation, nonprofit corporation or labor organization is not a use of property in violation of division (A) of section 3599.03 of the Revised Code. A corporation, nonprofit corporation or labor organization may not produce a campaign sign for placement or pay for the production or placement or erection of a campaign sign on the corporation, nonprofit corporation or labor organization's property unless the production or payment for the production and placement or erection of the campaign sign 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, and is made subject to the disclosure and identification requirements of section 3517.105 of the Revised Code.

(B) For the purpose of division (F)(3) of section 3599.03 of the Revised Code, "communicating information" by a corporation or labor organization shall include all of the following:

(1) Written communication, including communication and information produced and paid for by a candidate's campaign committee, political party or legislative campaign fund, that is distributed exclusively to members, employees, officers, or trustees of the labor organization or shareholders, employees, officers, or directors of the corporation or to members of the immediate families of any such individual or is unintentionally sent as well to a de minimis number of other individuals by:

(a) Mail either as an individual piece or part of a multi-piece package;

(b) E-mail;

(c) Memoranda;

(d) Reports

(2) Designing, producing or posting, or the permitted posting of a sign or other material, including a sign or other information produced and paid for by a candidate's campaign committee, political party or legislative campaign fund, that is posted in a place viewable exclusively by the members, employees, officers, or trustees of the labor organization or shareholders, employees, officers, or directors of a corporation or to members of the immediate families of any such individual or is unintentionally viewable as well to a de minimis number of other individuals.

(3) Audible speech or the permitted audible speech on the property or through the facilities of the labor organization or corporation so long as such speech or permitted speech is delivered exclusively to the members, employees, officers, or trustees of the labor organization or shareholders, employees, officers, or directors of the corporation or to members of the immediate families of any such individual or is unintentionally delivered as well to a de minimis number of other individuals.

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: 3599.03
Prior Effective Dates: 01/01/2006

111-4-10 Electioneering Communication.

(A) As prohibited by 3517.1011(H) of the Revised Code, no person shall make, during the thirty days preceding a primary election or during the thirty days preceding a general election, an electioneering communication using any contributions received from a corporation or labor organization. For the purpose of this prohibition, "make" means the airing or running of any electioneering communication.

(B) Division (H) of 3517.1011 does not preclude an individual, partnership or unincorporated association from making, within the 30 days prior to a primary or general election, an electioneering communication so long as no corporation or labor organization has contributed anything of value toward the making of the electioneering communication.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/02/2010 and 07/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.1011
Prior Effective Dates: 01/01/2006

111-4-11 Statewide ballot issue political action committees.

(A) As used in divisions (A) and (C) of section 3517.12 of the Revised Code and this rule, "contribution" shall mean a loan, gift, deposit, forgiveness of indebtedness, donation, advance, payment, or transfer of funds or anything of value, including a transfer of funds from an inter vivos or testamentary trust or decedent's estate, and the payment by any person other than the person to whom the services are rendered for the personal services of another person, which contribution is made, received, or used for the purpose of influencing the results of an election. All contributions shall be included on a statement of contributions filed under those divisions and this rule.

(B) For the purpose of divisions (A) and (C) of section 3517.12 of the Revised Code and this rule, "contribution" does not include any of the following:

(1) Services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time to the creating, copying, distributing or circulating of the issue petitions or the gathering of petition signatures;

(2) Ordinary home hospitality;

(3) The personal expenses of a volunteer paid for by that volunteer.

(C) As used in divisions (A) and (C) of section 3517.12 of the Revised Code and this rule, "expenditure" shall mean the disbursement or use of a contribution for the purpose of:

(1) Influencing the results of an election, or;

(2) Making a charitable donation under division (G) of section 3517.08 of the Revised Code.

(D) As used in this rule, the filing by the circulator or committee in charge of an initiative or referendum petition, or supplementary petition for additional signatures, for the submission of a constitutional amendment, proposed law, section, or item of any law of the appointment of a treasurer as required by division (A) of section 3517.12 of the Revised Code and detailed in paragraph (E) of this rule, creates a "Ballot Issue Political Action Committee." A "ballot issue political action committee" consists of all of the following:

(1) The treasurer appointed pursuant to division (A) of section 3517.12 of the Revised Code, and;

(2) The circulator or committee member signing the designation of treasurer appointing the treasurer, and;

(3) Any committee member engaged in the creating, copying, distributing or circulating the initiative or referendum petition, or supplementary petition for additional signatures, for the submission of a constitutional amendment, proposed law, section or item of any law.

(E) As required by division (A) of section 3517.12 of the Revised Code, prior to receiving a contribution or making an expenditure, the circulator or committee in charge of an initiative or referendum petition, or supplementary petition for additional signatures, for the submission of a constitutional amendment, proposed law, section, or item of any law shall appoint a treasurer and shall file with the secretary of state, on a form prescribed by the secretary of state, a designation of that appointment, including the full name and address of the treasurer and of the circulator or committee.

(1) For the purpose of paragraph (E) of this rule, the form used to appoint the treasurer and disclose the full name and address of the treasurer and of the circulator or committee is the designation of treasurer, form 30-D.

(2) The circulator or committee filing form 30-D shall indicate on the designation of treasurer form that the filing is being made for or on behalf of a ballot issue political action committee. The designation of treasurer form, as prescribed by the secretary of state, shall include an area whereby a circulator or committee may make this indication.

(F) As required by division (C) of section 3517.12 of the Revised Code, the designated treasurer of a ballot issue political action committee shall file statements of contributions and expenditures in accordance with section 3517.10 of the Revised Code regarding all contributions made or received and all expenditures made by that treasurer, the circulator, or committee in connection with the initiative or referendum petition supplementary petition for additional signatures, for the submission of a constitutional amendment, proposed law, section, or item of any law.

(1) For the purpose of paragraph (F) of this rule, all forms used to compile the required statements shall be those prescribed by the secretary of state pursuant to division (C)(6) of section 3517.10 of the Revised Code.

(2) A ballot issue political action committee shall file the statements required by division (A)(1) and (A)(2) of section 3517.10 of the Revised Code if:

(a) In the case of the pre-election statement required by division (A)(1) of that section, the initiative, referendum or constitutional amendment issue will appear on the election ballot and if either contributions received or expenditures made by the ballot issue political action committee for the reporting period are more than one thousand dollars;

(b) In the case of the post-election statement required by division (A)(2) of that section, the initiative, referendum or constitutional amendment issue did appear on the election ballot.

(G) A ballot issue political action committee formed pursuant to division (A) of section 3517.12 of the Revised Code and in compliance with this rule is created to support or oppose a ballot issue or question and makes no contributions to or expenditures on behalf of a political party, campaign committee, legislative campaign fund or political action committee.

(H) Pursuant to division (D)(2) of section 3517.102 of the Revised Code, a ballot issue political action committee is not subject to the limitations specified in divisions (B)(1)(a)(vii), (B)(3)(d), (B)(4), and (C)(7) of section 3517.102 of the Revised Code.

(I) Nothing in section 3517.12 of the Revised Code or this rule restricts or limits the creation of a political action committee that is organized to support or oppose a certified ballot issue or a proposed ballot issue.

(J) The filing and disclosure requirements of divisions (A) and (C) of section 3517.12 of the Revised Code, as amplified by this rule, are separate and distinct from the filing and disclosure requirements of division (B) of section 3517.12 of the Revised Code.

(K) As used in this rule, "influencing the results of an election" shall include creating, copying, distributing or circulating the initiative or referendum petition, or supplementary petition for additional signatures, for the submission of a constitutional amendment, proposed law, section or item of any law.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/08/2013 and 07/31/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3517.23
Rule Amplifies: 3517.107
Prior Effective Dates: 3/7/88, 8/23/95 (Emer.), 11/21/95, 7/13/98 (Emer.), 9/24/98, 1/1/02