Skip to code content (skip section selection)
As used in the Open and Ethical Elections Code:
(A) APPLICANT CANDIDATE. A candidate, but not a write-in candidate, running for a Covered Office and who is seeking to be a Participating Candidate.
(B) CLERK. The City Clerk.
(C) CONTESTED ELECTION. A regular municipal election in which there is more than one candidate for a City Council or Mayor position.
(D) COVERED OFFICE. City Council or Mayor.
(E) ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATION. Any communication broadcasted by television or radio, printed in a newspaper or on a billboard, directly mailed or delivered by hand to personal residences or otherwise distributed that:
(1) unambiguously refers to any candidate; and
(2) is broadcasted, printed, mailed, delivered or distributed within thirty days before a regular municipal election; and
(3) is broadcasted to, printed in a newspaper distributed to, mailed to, delivered by hand to or otherwise distributed to an audience that includes members of the electorate for a Covered Office.
(4) ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATION does not include:
(a) any news articles, editorial endorsements, opinion or commentary, writings or letters to the editor printed in a newspaper, magazine or other periodical not owned or controlled by a candidate or political party;
(b) any editorial endorsements or opinions aired by a broadcast facility not owned or controlled by a candidate or political party;
(c) any communication by Persons made in the regular course and scope of their business or any communication made by a membership organization solely to members of such organization and their families; or
(d) paid for by a candidate or candidate’s campaign committee.
(F) EXPENDITURE. The payment or furnishing of money or anything of value or the incurring or repayment of indebtedness or obligation, by or on behalf of any Person, candidate or political committee in consideration for any services, supplies, equipment or other thing of value performed or furnished for any reason, including support of or opposition to a candidate, political committee or measure for or for reducing the debt of a Participating Candidate for nomination or election to a Covered Office.
(G) EXPLORATORY PERIOD.
(1) For Mayoral Applicant Candidates, the exploratory period begins 246 days before the election, and ends 200 days before the election; and
(2) For Council Applicant Candidates, the exploratory period begins 191 days before the election, and ends 156 days before the election.
(H) EXPRESS ADVOCACY. An Expenditure made by a Person or group, other than a candidate or a candidate’s committee, that advocates the election or defeat of a candidate, including all costs of designing, producing or disseminating a communication that contains phrases such as “vote for”, “re-elect”, “support”, “cast your ballot for”, “[name of candidate] for [name of office]”, “[name of candidate] in [year]”, “vote against”, “defeat”, “reject” or similar phrases.
(I) FUND. The Open and Ethical Elections Fund.
(J) INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE. Any funds spent on Express Advocacy or Electioneering Communications that are not coordinated with any candidate’s campaign. The Clerk shall adopt regulations to determine whether funds spent on Express Advocacy or Electioneering Communications are coordinated Expenditures. Coordinated Expenditures on Express Advocacy or Electioneering Communications are treated as contributions.
(K) IN-KIND CONTRIBUTION. A good or service, other than money, having monetary value not to exceed more than $2,500.00, but not including an individual who volunteers his own personal service. Professional services, including legal services, accounting services, consulting services and similar services provided directly from the professional to the Applicant Candidate or Participating Candidate are permitted, provided no single In-Kind Contributor exceeds the $2,500.00 limitation herein and provided the total value of all In-Kind Contributions does not exceed 10% of the applicable spending limit per regular or run-off election. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an Applicant Candidate or Participating Candidate may accept unlimited In-Kind Contributions in the following areas: 1) legal services provided directly from attorneys for the purpose of providing legal advice to comply with election laws and public financing laws. 2) professional services provided directly from the professional, including attorneys, experts and consultants, for the sole purpose of participating in a proceeding under the Code of Ethics, the Election Code, the Open and Ethical Elections Code, or the rules and regulations of the Board of Ethics and/or City Clerk, and 3) office space. Such In-Kind Contributions shall be reported as required by Article XIII. Section 4.
(L) NONPARTICIPATING CANDIDATE. A candidate running for a Covered Office who does not choose to participate in the Open and Ethical Elections Code or a candidate running for a Covered Office who declares an intent to participate in the Open and Ethical Elections Code, but who fails to become a Participating Candidate.
(M) OPPOSING FUNDS. Funds spent opposing a Participating Candidate. The amount of Opposing Funds is calculated by determining the opponent of the Participating Candidate who has the highest total of Expenditures and supportive Independent Expenditures; the amount of Opposing Funds is calculated by totaling the Expenditures made by that opponent, the amount spent on Independent Expenditures in support of that opponent and the amount spent on Independent Expenditures in opposition to the Participating Candidate. No Independent Expenditure may be counted as both opposing a Participating Candidate and in support of that candidate’s opponent.
(N) PARTICIPATING CANDIDATE. A candidate running for a Covered Office who chooses to obtain financing pursuant to the Open and Ethical Elections Code and who is certified to participate as an Open and Ethical Elections Code Candidate.
(1) a City resident;
(2) a labor organization, club, association or organization who have members who are City residents; or
(3) a corporation, limited liability company, firm, partnership, joint stock company or other entity conducting business in the City.
(P) QUALIFYING CONTRIBUTION. A donation of $5.00 in the form of cash, check, debit card, credit card or money order payable to the Fund in support of an Applicant Candidate that:
(1) for the Mayoral race is made by a registered City voter and for a Council race is made by a registered City voter residing in the district in which the Applicant Candidate desires to represent;
(2) is made during the designated Qualifying Period and obtained through efforts made with the knowledge and approval of the Applicant Candidate;
(3) is acknowledged by a receipt that identifies the contributor's name and residential address on forms provided by the Clerk and that is signed by the contributor, one copy of which is attached to the list of contributors and sent to the City Clerk; and
(4) identifies which Applicant Candidate the City resident supports.
(Q) QUALIFYING PERIOD.
(1) For Mayoral Applicant Candidates the Qualifying Period begins 199 days before the election, and ends 136 days before the election; and
(2) For Council Applicant Candidates, the Qualifying Period begins 155 days before the election, and ends 120 days before the election.
(R) SEED MONEY. A contribution in support of an Applicant Candidate of no more than $250.00 per Person, except for the Applicant Candidate who can contribute up to $2,500.00, raised for the primary purpose of enabling Applicant Candidates to collect Qualifying Contributions and petition signatures the aggregate amount of which may not exceed 20% of the applicable spending limit.
(S) ELECTION CYCLE. The period beginning on the day after the regular or run-off election for any municipal office and ending on the day of the next regular election for that office.
(T) CANDIDATE. "Candidate" has the same definition that is provided in Article XIII, Section 2 of the Election Code, with the addition that "Candidate" also includes any individual who has filed a declaration of intent to seek public financing.
(Amended at Regular Municipal Election, November 5, 2019.) (Amended by Ordinance No. 2019-019; Am. Ord. 2020-028)