2014 Georgia Code
Title 21 - ELECTIONS
Chapter 5 - ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT
Article 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 21-5-3 - Definitions

GA Code § 21-5-3 (2014) What's This?

As used in this chapter, the term:

(1) "Business entity" means any corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, professional corporation, enterprise, franchise, association, trust, joint venture, or other entity, whether for profit or nonprofit.

(2) "Campaign committee" means the candidate, person, or committee which accepts contributions or makes expenditures designed to bring about the nomination or election of an individual to any elected office. The term "campaign committee" also means any person or committee which accepts contributions or makes expenditures designed to bring about the recall of a public officer holding elective office or to oppose the recall of a public officer holding elective office or any person or any committee which accepts contributions or makes expenditures designed to bring about the approval or rejection by the voters of any proposed constitutional amendment, a state-wide referendum, or a proposed question which is to appear on the ballot in this state or in a county or a municipal election in this state.

(3) "Campaign contribution disclosure report" means a report filed with the commission by a candidate or the chairperson or treasurer of a campaign committee setting forth all expenditures of more than $100.00 and all contributions of more than $100.00, including contributions and expenditures of lesser amounts when the aggregate amount thereof by or to a person is more than $100.00 for the calendar year in which the report is filed. Such report shall also include the total amount of all individual contributions received or expenditures made of less than $100.00 each. The first report required in the calendar year of the election shall contain all such expenditures made and all such contributions received by the candidate or the committee in prior years in support of the campaign in question.

(4) "Candidate" means an individual who seeks nomination for election or election to any public office, whether or not such an individual is elected; and a person shall be deemed to seek nomination or election if such person has taken necessary action under the laws of this state to qualify such person for nomination for election or election or has received any contributions or made any expenditures in pursuit of such nomination or election or has given such person's consent for such person's campaign committee to receive contributions or make expenditures with a view to bringing about such person's nomination for election or election to such office.

(5) "Commission" means the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission created under Code Section 21-5-4.

(6) "Connected organization" means any organization, including any business entity, labor organization, membership organization, or cooperative, which is not a political action committee as defined in this Code section, but which, directly or indirectly, establishes or administers a political action committee or which provides more than 40 percent of the funds of the political action committee for a calendar year.

(7) "Contribution" means a gift, subscription, membership, loan, forgiveness of debt, advance or deposit of money or anything of value conveyed or transferred for the purpose of influencing the nomination for election or election of any person for office, bringing about the recall of a public officer holding elective office or opposing the recall of a public officer holding elective office, or the influencing of voter approval or rejection of a proposed constitutional amendment, a state-wide referendum, or a proposed question which is to appear on the ballot in this state or in a county or a municipal election in this state. The term specifically shall not include the value of personal services performed by persons who serve without compensation from any source and on a voluntary basis. The term "contribution" shall include other forms of payment made to candidates for office or who hold office when such fees and compensation made can be reasonably construed as a campaign contribution designed to encourage or influence a candidate or public officer holding elective office. The term "contribution" shall also encompass transactions wherein a qualifying fee required of the candidate is furnished or paid by anyone other than the candidate.

(8) "Direct ownership interest" means the holding or possession of good legal or rightful title of property or the holding or enjoyment of real or beneficial use of the property by any person and includes any interest owned or held by a spouse of such person if such interest is held jointly or as tenants in common between the person and spouse.

(9) "Election" means a primary election; run-off election, either primary or general; special election; or general election. The term "election" also means a recall election.

(10) "Election cycle" means the period from the day following the date of an election or appointment of a person to elective public office through and including the date of the next such election of a person to the same public office and shall be construed and applied separately for each elective office.

(11) "Election year" shall be construed and applied separately for each elective office and means for each elective office the calendar year during which a regular or special election to fill such office is held.

(12) "Expenditure" means a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or any transfer of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the nomination for election or election of any person, bringing about the recall of a public officer holding elective office or opposing the recall of a public officer holding elective office, or the influencing of voter approval or rejection of a proposed constitutional amendment, a state-wide referendum, or a proposed question which is to appear on the ballot in this state or in a county or a municipal election in this state. The term specifically shall not include the value of personal services performed by persons who serve without compensation from any source and on a voluntary basis. The term "expenditure" shall also include the payment of a qualifying fee for and on behalf of a candidate.

(13) "Fiduciary position" means any position imposing a duty to act primarily for the benefit of another person as an officer, director, manager, partner, guardian, or other designation of general responsibility of a business entity.

(14) "Gift" means any gratuitous transfer to a public officer or any member of the family of the public officer or a loan of property or services which is not a contribution as defined in paragraph (7) of this Code section and which is more than $100.00.

(15) "Independent committee" means any committee, club, association, partnership, corporation, labor union, or other group of persons, other than a campaign committee, political party, or political action committee, which receives donations during a calendar year from persons who are members or supporters of the committee and which expends such funds either for the purpose of affecting the outcome of an election for any elected office or to advocate the election or defeat of any particular candidate.

(16) "Intangible property" means property which is not real property and which is held for profit and includes stocks, bonds, interest in partnerships, choses in action, and other investments but shall not include any ownership interest in any public or private retirement or pension fund, account, or system and shall not include any ownership interest in any public or private life insurance contract or any benefit, value, or proceeds of such life insurance contract.

(16.1) "Investment" means the investment of money or capital to gain interest or income.

(17) "Member of the family" means a spouse and all dependent children.

(17.1) "Nonelection year" shall be construed and applied separately for each elective office and means for each elective office any calendar year during which there is no regular or special election to fill such office.

(17.2) "Nonprofit organization" means a corporation, foundation, or other legal entity, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual holding an interest in such entity.

(18) "Ordinary and necessary expenses" shall include, but shall not be limited to, expenditures made during the reporting period for qualifying fees, office costs and rent, lodging, equipment, travel, advertising, postage, staff salaries, consultants, files storage, polling, special events, volunteers, reimbursements to volunteers, repayment of any loans received except as restricted under subsection (i) of Code Section 21-5-41, contributions to nonprofit organizations, flowers for special occasions, which shall include, but are not limited to, birthdays and funerals, attorney fees connected to and in the furtherance of the campaign, and all other expenditures contemplated in Code Section 21-5-33.

(19) "Person" means an individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, trust, professional corporation, or other business entity recognized in the State of Georgia, labor organization, or any other organization or group of persons.

(20) "Political action committee" means:

(A) Any committee, club, association, partnership, corporation, labor union, or other group of persons which receives donations during a calendar year from persons who are members or supporters of the committee and which contributes funds to one or more candidates for public office or campaign committees of candidates for public office; and

(B) A "separate segregated fund" as defined in Code Section 21-5-40.

Such term does not include a candidate campaign committee.

(21) "Public employee" means every person employed by the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of state government, or any department, board, bureau, agency, commission, or authority thereof.

(22) "Public officer" means:

(A) Every constitutional officer;

(B) Every elected state official;

(C) The executive head of every state department or agency, whether elected or appointed;

(D) Each member of the General Assembly;

(E) The executive director of each state board, commission, council, or authority and the members thereof;

(F) Every elected county official and every elected member of a local board of education; and

(G) Every elected municipal official.

(23) "Qualifying officer" means a person who qualifies a candidate for an election.

(24) "Reporting period" means the period of time beginning the day after the last report due date, excluding any grace period, through the due date of the next report.

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