#EthicsMatters | Political Contributions

Happy Friday Friends, Clients & Colleagues,

As always, I hope this new #EthicsMatters note finds you all well.

Political campaign season is in full swing, with candidates qualifying for State and County offices this week.

Many have reached out with questions about campaign contribution limits and regulations.

This #EthicsMatters issue analyzes the latest in Florida Elections Laws and the most common contribution pitfalls.

It is vitally important to follow these regulations carefully and always verify before you contribute — for your own protection and the protection of the candidate.

Read before you contribute

Contribution limits are strictly based on the elected office sought by the candidate. The table below provides a breakdown of contribution limits — please note that these limits place a cap on the amount that any individual, corporation, party, or political committee can give to any one candidate in any given election:

Federal Office

(11 CFR §§ 110.1110.2110.3)

Statewide Office 

(Fla. Stat. § 106.08 (1)(a))

Local Office 

(Fla. Stat. § 106.08 (1)(a))
President, Congress, SenateGovernor, Supreme Court, Judge, etc.Legislator, District Court Judge, County Office, Municipal Officer, etc.
$2,700$3,000$1,000

Another common way to contribute to a campaign is through a Political Committee (PC) or an Electioneering Communications Organization (ECO).

Note, there are important rules that differentiate the two. When contributing to PCs or ECOs, please consider the following:

Political Committee (PC)

(Fla. Stat. § 106.011 (16)(a))
Electioneering Communication Organization (ECO)

(Fla. Stat. § 106.011 (9))
Pros:

May accept unlimited contributions

May communicate with public

May expressly advocate

May make electioneering communications, which are not considered contributions to the candidate

Cons:

Cannot coordinate with candidate when making independent expenditure

Pros:

May accept unlimited contributions

May communicate with public

May coordinate with candidates

Electioneering communication not considered a contribution to candidate

(Fla. Stat. § 106.011(18)(c))

Cons:

May not expressly advocate

May not contribute to candidates, political parties, affiliated party committees, or political committees

While there are limits on what PCs and ECOs can do, there is no limit on the amount an individual, corporation or committee may contribute to either type of organization.
 
I hope that this information has been helpful and that you will keep it in mind as we kick off what are sure to be an exciting August 18th primary elections.
 
For more information visit the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust and the Florida Division of Elections website.
 
We are 1000% committed to providing you with timely and relevant information for you to succeed in your business.

We want to hear from you — let us know what you think about our #EthicsMatters newsletters. Your feedback makes us better!

Warmest personal regards,

Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq.
Governmental Affairs Attorney

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