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Chapter 189-3 DISCLOSURE REPORTS

Rule 189-3-.01 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports

(1) Contributions. Contributions of more than $100.00, including contributions of lesser amounts when the aggregate amount from a contributor is more than $100.00 for the calendar year in which the report is filed, shall be listed on each report as follows:
(a) For contributions by any individual list:
1. the individual's name in alphabetical order by last name;
2. the individual's occupation;
3. the complete mailing address of the individual;
4. the amount of the contribution;
5. the date of receipt of the contribution,
6. the individual's employer; and,
7. the election for which the contribution has been accepted and allocated.
(b) For contributions by any corporation, labor union, political action committee, or other organization or entity list:
1. the contributor's name in alphabetical order;
2. the contributor's complete mailing address;
3. the corporate, labor union, or other affiliation of any political action committee if applicable;
4. the amount of the contribution,
5. the date of receipt of the contribution; and,
6. the election for which the contribution has been accepted and allocated.
(c) When a contribution consists of a loan, advance, or other extension of credit, the report shall also list:
1. The name of the lending institution or party making the loan, advance, or extension of credit;
2. The names, mailing addresses, occupations, and places of employment of all persons having any liability for the repayment of the loan, advance, or extension of credit; and,
3. The fiduciary relationship, any such person has with the lending institution or party making the loan, advance, or extension of credit.
(2) Common Source Contributions $100.00 or Less.
(a) Unless otherwise reported individually, separate contributions of $100.00 or less which are knowingly received from a common source (members of the same family, firm, or partnership, or employees of the same company, firm, corporation or other association or group are considered a common source) must be aggregated and listed on campaign contribution disclosure reports.
(b) The purchase of tickets for not more than $25.00 each and for attendance at a fundraising event by members of the same family, firm, or partnership or employees of the same person shall not be considered to be contributions from a common source except to the extent that tickets are purchased as a block.
(3) Expenditures. Expenditures of more than $100.00, including expenditures of lesser amounts when the aggregate amount to a recipient is more than $100.00 for the calendar year in which the report is filed, shall be listed on each report as follows:
(a) the name of each recipient in alphabetical order by last name or by company name;
(b) the complete mailing address of the recipient;
(c) if recipient is an individual, list the occupation and place of employment;
(d) the amount of the expenditure;
(e) the general purpose of the expenditure with such detail as shows the expenditure is for a purpose lawfully authorized for campaign funds; and,
(f) the date of the expenditure.
(4) Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports by Candidates who file a Declaration of Intention to Accept Campaign Contributions but do not qualify to run for office. If a person files a declaration of intention to accept campaign contributions but does not qualify to run for office, the following campaign contribution disclosure reports are required:
(a) Persons who would have been in a primary election must file: (1) The June 30 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report, and (2) the January 31 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report immediately following the election referred to in the declaration of intention to accept campaign contributions. Any person who has excess contributions from the campaign must file a December 31 supplemental campaign contribution disclosure report each year thereafter until all contributions are expended as provided in the Act.
(b) Persons who would have been in a general or special election must file:
(1) the October 25 and December 31 reports if the person would have been in a general election, and
(2) the fifteen days before special election report and December 31 report if the person would have been in a special election.

Candidates who file a declaration of intention to accept campaign contributions and an Exemption Affidavit, but who do not qualify to run for office may file a Final Report and Termination Statement within 10 days of the dissolution of their campaign.

(5) Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports by Candidates who file an Exemption Affidavit. A candidate who files an Exemption Affidavit but exceeds the $2,500 contribution threshold for either contributions or expenditures during the election cycle must file the next regularly scheduled Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report. Such a candidate must report all contributions and expenditures from January 1 to the date of the report.
(6) Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports by Candidates with contributions or expenditures greater than $2,500 but less than $5,000. Candidates with contributions or expenditures greater than $2,500 but less than $5,000 must file an amendment to their October 25 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report which reports all contributions and expenditures made between the October 25 report and December 31.
(7) Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports by Local Candidates with contributions or expenditures greater than $2,500 but less than $5,000 in special or run-off election or in non-election year. Local candidates with contributions or expenditures greater than $2,500 but less than $5,000 are only required to file the June 30 and October 25 reports required by O.C.G.A. § 21-5-34(c)(2). Such candidates are not required to file the reports required by O.C.G.A. § 21-5-34(c)(1),(c)(3), or (c)(4).
(8) Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports by Candidates in Special Elections. Except as provided above, candidates in special elections must file a December 31 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report.
(9) Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports by Non-Candidate Campaign Committees.
(a) Contributions made to political parties or political action committees must be disclosed on campaign contribution disclosure reports the same as if those contributions had been made directly to candidates.
(b) There are three instances in which a contributor is not required to file campaign contribution disclosure reports: (1) if the contributor's total contributions and expenditures to or on behalf of all candidates for the calendar year does not exceed $25,000 in the aggregate; or, (2) if, regardless of the dollar amount involved, the contributor makes contributions to only one candidate during the calendar year, or (3) if the contributor is an individual who makes aggregate contributions of $25,000.00 or less directly to candidates or the candidates' campaign committees in one calendar year.
(c) A Recall Committee which supports or opposes a recall election shall files campaign contribution disclosure reports as prescribed by O.C.G.A. § 21-5-34(g).
(d) A Committee which supports or opposes a proposed constitutional amendment or state-wide referendum shall files campaign contribution disclosure reports if any contributions are received or any expenditures are made and shall register with the Commission and file campaign contribution disclosure reports as prescribed by O.C.G.A. § 21-5-34(h).
(e) Any Campaign Committee which accepts contributions which total more than $500 or makes expenditures which total more than $500 designed to bring about the approval or rejection by the voters of any proposed question which is to appear on the ballot in a county or municipal election, shall register and file campaign contribution disclosure reports with the same officials as prescribed by O.C.G.A. § 21-5-34(a)(3) or O.C.G.A. § 21-5-34(a)(2)(A).
(f) Campaign contribution limits on contributions to candidates do not apply to independent expenditures made to influence candidate elections. An independent expenditure is an expenditure for a communication which expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate but which is made independently of any candidate's campaign. However, an expenditure is "independent" only if it meets certain conditions. It must not be made with the cooperation or consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of any candidate or any of his or her agents or authorized committees. An expenditure which does not meet the above criteria for independence is considered a contribution which is subject to limits.

Rule 189-3-.02 Expenditures on Behalf of a Candidate or Campaign Committee

When a person pays for or provides goods, services, a gift, subscription, membership, loan, forgiveness of debt, extension of credit, advance or deposit of money, or anything of value on behalf of a candidate or a campaign committee for the purpose of influencing an election, it is a "contribution" and is subject to the contribution limits (except as otherwise provided in O.C.G.A. §§ 21-5-41 and 21-5-42). The contribution shall be reported on the campaign contribution disclosure report for the time period in which it occurs.

Rule 189-3-.03 Deferred Expenditures

Anything of value which is received by, provided to, furnished to, or conveyed to or on behalf of a candidate or a campaign committee is required to be reported on the campaign contribution disclosure report for the time period in which the thing of value is provided. If the goods or services have not been paid for at the time the report is filed, an explanatory note so stating shall be prominently set forth on the report. All extensions or advancements of credit are subject to contribution limits except as otherwise provided in O.C.G.A. §§ 21-5-41 and 21-5-42.

Rule 189-3-.04 Expenses Incurred Through or By Third Parties

(1) Payments by Credit Card.
(a) If a candidate or campaign committee pays for goods or services directly or indirectly by using a credit card merely as a conduit through which funds are paid to an end-recipient, the expenditure must be itemized and shall be shown on the campaign contribution disclosure report in the time period it is incurred.
(b) The campaign contribution disclosure report shall identify the name of the person to whom the credit card was issued, the name of the credit card company, as well as each end-recipient, and shall include the following:
1. name of the person to whom the credit card was issued;
2. name of the credit card company and complete mailing address;
3. lump sum amount paid to the credit card company;
4. name of each end-recipient and occupation if an individual;
5. complete mailing address of each end-recipient;
6. amount of the payment to each end-recipient;
7. description of the goods or services provided by each end-recipient with sufficient detail to identify it as a lawfully authorized use of campaign funds.
(2) Payments Through or By a Third Party.
(a) Campaign expenditures made by a third party on behalf of a candidate or campaign committee must be itemized to identify the actual end recipient of the expenditure and shall be reported on the campaign contribution disclosure report for the time period during which the expense is incurred when the third party making the expenditure or the actual end recipient of the expenditure is under the management, direction or control of the candidate or campaign committee regarding the performance of its work.

Campaign expenditures made by third parties on behalf of a candidate or campaign committee need not be itemized to identify the actual end recipient of the expenditure but shall be reported as otherwise required when such third parties as well as the actual end recipients of the expenditure are independent contractors or otherwise not under the management, direction or control of the candidate or campaign committee. An individual or corporation shall be considered an independent contractor for the purposes of this section when it is retained by a candidate or campaign committee and, while the individual or corporation may follow the candidate's or campaign committee's desires as to results of work, the candidate or campaign committee does not manage, director of control such individual's or corporation's performance of their work. If the third party is a consulting firm, media placement firm, or advertising agency, the disclosure shall include the name of at least one principal in the firm. Where applicable, the principal so disclosed shall be the individual most responsible for the provision of services to the candidate or campaign committee.

(b) The campaign contribution disclosure report shall identify the third party, as well as, each end-recipient and shall include the following:
1. name of the third party and occupation if an individual;
2. complete mailing address of the third party;
3. lump sum amount paid to the third party;
4. name of each end-recipient and occupation if an individual;
5. complete mailing address of each end-recipient;
6. amount paid to each end-recipient;
7. description of the goods or services provided by each end-recipient with sufficient detail to identify it as a lawfully authorized use of campaign funds.

Rule 189-3-.05 Reimbursement of Expenses

(1) If a candidate or a campaign committee reimburses a person directly or indirectly for goods, services, or anything of value which was paid for on behalf of the candidate or campaign committee, it must be itemized and shall be reported as an expenditure on the campaign contribution disclosure report for the time period in which the reimbursement is made. All extensions or advancements of credit are subject to the contribution limits except as otherwise provided in O.C.G.A. §§ 21-5-41 and 21-5-42.
(2) The campaign contribution disclosure report shall identify the person receiving reimbursement, as well as, each end-recipient and shall include:
(a) name, and occupation if an individual, of the person receiving reimbursement;
(b) complete mailing address;
(c) lump sum amount paid;
(d) name, and occupation if an individual, of each end-recipient;
(e) complete mailing address of each end-recipient;
(f) amount paid to each end-recipient;
(g) description of the goods or services provided by each end-recipient with sufficient detail to identify it as a lawfully authorized use of campaign funds.

Rule 189-3-.06 Flight on Noncommercial Aircraft by a Candidate, Public Officer, or Person Traveling on Behalf of a Candidate or Committee, for Campaign Purposes

(1) Definitions. The following words and terms as used in this rule shall have the meaning hereinafter ascribed to them:
(a) "Campaign traveler" - any candidate, public officer, staff member traveling on behalf of a campaign, person traveling on behalf of a candidate or public officer in connection with a campaign for public office, or person traveling on behalf of a committee for campaign purposes.
(b) "Fair market value of a noncommercial flight" - the value set by the Commission for flight on noncommercial aircraft.
(c) "Noncommercial aircraft" - aircraft owned and operated for noncommercial purposes, including but not limited to fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.
(d) "Service provider" - the owner of an aircraft, or a person who leases an aircraft from the owner or otherwise obtains a legal right to the use of an aircraft, and who uses the aircraft to provide transportation to a campaign traveler.
(e) "Unreimbursed value" - the difference between the value of noncommercial flight as set by the Commission and the payment made for such flight by a candidate or public officer for campaign purposes. Any such unreimbursed value is an in-kind contribution.
(2) Fair market value. The fair market value of a noncommercial flight on noncommercial aircraft will be set by the Commission on a yearly basis and will apply until next revised by the Commission. The fair market value shall be based on:
(a) The number and type of the aircraft's engines, e.g., one propeller, two propellers, or two jet engines;
(b) The seating capacity of the aircraft; and
(c) The mileage of the flight.
(3) Calculation of apportionment and pro rata values.
(a) A candidate may apportion the fair market value of flight(s) on noncommercial aircraft for mixed-use purposes as follows:
1. If a trip involves both campaign and non-campaign related stops, any expenditure for a noncommercial flight arriving at, or departing from, a campaign related stop must be disclosed in accordance with this rule. Campaign-related activity shall not include any incidental contacts.
2. If a stop consists of both an official event that is in furtherance of a public officer's fulfillment of office and an event that is for campaign purposes in the public officer's role as a candidate, then the public officer need not disclose the value of the arrival and departure flights so long as the official event would have occurred regardless of any campaign event and the public officer has not paid for the flight with campaign funds.
(b) The pro rata share of a flight on noncommercial aircraft with campaign travelers from different campaigns or committees, or campaign travelers and non-campaign travelers, shall be as follows:
1. If the entire use of the noncommercial aircraft is by one campaign or committee, then no pro rata calculation shall be made.
2. If more than one campaign or committee has campaign travelers on a flight, or if there is a mix of campaign travelers and non-campaign travelers, then a candidate's pro rata share shall be calculated by either:
i. multiplying the fair market value of the flight by the number of campaign travelers for that candidate's campaign, and then dividing this number by the total number of passengers, or
ii. dividing the fair market value by the number of campaigns and committees represented on the flight, minus any share of the value of the flight attributable to non-campaign travelers.
(4) Non-Commercial Travel
(a) For non-commercial travel by a candidate on an aircraft owned or leased by that candidate or an immediate family member of that candidate that is conducted in connection with such candidate's campaign for elective office:
(1) The candidate, campaign, or other person/entity shall utilize the formulas delineated in Advisory Opinion 2012-04 and 2012-06 at Line 83 to Line 113 in order to properly calculate the expenses associated with non-commercial travel by a candidate on aircraft owned or leased by a candidate or an immediate family member of that candidate.
(5) Disclosure. Reporting of flights on noncommercial aircraft for campaign purposes by a candidate, public officer or member of a committee shall be as follows:
(a) The candidate, public officer, or committee that makes an expenditure for a flight (or that records an in-kind contribution for a flight) must disclose on the Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report due for the reporting period in which the flight occurred the departure and arrival airport(s) of the flight and the Commission mileage rate applicable to the aircraft used and by which the value of the flight is being assessed.
(b) A candidate or committee shall reimburse the service provider of the aircraft the pro rata share of the fair market value of a noncommercial flight as set by the Commission, not including the receipt of an in-kind contribution in the form of unreimbursed value, if applicable.
(c) A public officer may expend campaign funds for flight(s) on noncommercial aircraft if such flight is an ordinary and necessary expense incurred in connection with the public officer's fulfillment or retention of office. Any such expenditure must be valued in accordance with Rule 189-3-.06(2), must be disclosed in accordance with Rule 189-3-.06(4), and must be documented in accordance with Rule 189-3-.06(5).
(6) Recordkeeping. The candidate, public officer or committee on whose behalf the flight is conducted shall maintain documentation for inspection by the Commission which includes the following information:
(a) The service provider and the size, model, make and tail number of the aircraft used; and
(b) An itinerary showing the departure and arrival cities and the date(s) of departure and arrival, the number of passengers on each leg of a flight, along with a confirmation of how many passengers are, and are not, campaign travelers.

Rule 189-3-.07 Provision of Aircraft to a Public Officer by a Lobbyist

Lobbyists must disclose the fair market value of the provision of noncommercial aircraft, as defined by 189-3-.06, to public officers or their staff members if the purpose of such provision is for lobbyist activities. Such disclosure must be in accordance with Rule 189-3-.06 and disclosed on the Lobbyist Disclosure Report due for the reporting period in which the flight occurred.

Rule 189-3-.08 Assistance By Local Filing Entities

Local filing entities and their staff may render assistance to local filers if such assistance is ordinary and in the course of performing their regular duties. However, local filing entities and their staff shall not give advice or opinions in connection with any assistance provided to local filers, nor shall the local filing entities assist filers with the completion of the filings unless such assistance is only clerical in nature.

Rule 189-3-.09 Electronic Filing of Two Business Day Report With Local Filing Entity

Local candidates who file a Two Business Day Report via facsimile with their local filing entity must file within five (5) business days thereafter the Two Business Day Report electronically pursuant to the local filing entities' own rules.

Rule 189-3-.10 Transmission of Declaration of Intention at Local Level

Local filing entities must transmit a candidate's Declaration of Intention to the Commission within ten (10) days of it being filed with the local filing entity.

Rule 189-3-.11 Lobbying Expenditures Made to or for the Family Members of Public Officials and Public Employees

Anything that would qualify as a "lobbying expenditure" under O.C.G.A. § 21-5-70(4.1) if made by a lobbyist to or for a public official or public employee shall constitute a "lobbying expenditure" if made by a lobbyist to or for a family member of a public official or public employee. For purposes of this Rule,"a family member" means the spouse, parents, and dependent children of the respective public official or public employee.

Rule 189-3-.12 Acceptance of Facsimile Signatures on Lobbyist Renewals and Registration

(1) The signature requirement for the renewal of a lobbyist registration may be satisfied by the transmittal of a facsimile, copy, or reproduction of the lobbyist signature, and the transmittal by an applicant of a signature in such a format shall constitute a representation that the statements on the application are true to the same extent an original signature would do so.
(2) The signature requirement of O.C.G.A. § 21-5-71(b)(5) may be satisfied by the provision of copy of the authorizing agent's signature.