Skip to code content (skip section selection)
The following definitions shall apply to this chapter:
(a) "Candidate" means an individual who has filed a statement of organization as a committee for election to Elective County Office, a declaration of intent for election to Elective County Office or a declaration of candidacy to Elective County Office, whichever occurs first. An individual person shall not be deemed a candidate for purposes of this chapter (1) after he or she is sworn into Elective County Office, or (2) if the individual lost the election, after the individual has terminated his or her campaign statement filing obligation for Elective County Office pursuant to Government Code section 84214 or after certification of the election results, whichever is earlier.
(b) (1) "Contribution" means a payment, a forgiveness of a loan, a payment of a loan by a third party, or an enforceable promise to make a payment except to the extent that full and adequate consideration is received, unless it is clear from the surrounding circumstances that it is not made for political purposes.
(2) A payment made at the behest of a Controlled Committee is a Contribution to the Controlled Committee unless full and adequate consideration is received from the Controlled Committee for making the payment.
(3) A payment made at the behest of a Candidate is a Contribution to the Candidate unless the criteria in either subparagraph (A) or (B) are satisfied:
(A) Full and adequate consideration is received from the Candidate.
(B) It is clear from the surrounding circumstances that the payment was made for purposes unrelated to his or her candidacy for Elective County Office. The following types of payments are presumed to be for purposes unrelated to a Candidate's candidacy for Elective County Office.
(i) A payment made principally for personal purposes, in which case it may be considered a gift.
(ii) A payment made by a state, local, or federal governmental agency or by a nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(iii) A payment not covered by clause (i) made principally for legislative, governmental, or charitable purposes, in which case it is neither a gift nor a contribution.
(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B), a payment is made for purposes related to a Candidate's candidacy for Elective County Office if all or a portion of the payment is used for election-related activities. For purposes of this subparagraph, "election-related activities" shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) Communications that contain express advocacy of the nomination or election of the Candidate or the defeat of his or her opponent.
(ii) Communications that contain reference to the Candidate's candidacy for Elective County Office, the Candidate's election campaign, or the Candidate's or his or her opponent's qualifications for Elective County Office.
(iii) Solicitation of Contributions to the Candidate or to third persons for use in support of the Candidate or in opposition to his or her opponent.
(iv) Arranging, coordinating, developing, writing, distributing, preparing, or planning of any communication or activity described in clauses (i), (ii), or (iii) above.
(v) Recruiting or coordinating campaign activities of campaign volunteers on behalf of the Candidate.
(vi) Preparing campaign budgets.
(vii) Preparing campaign finance disclosure statements.
(viii) Communications directed to voters or potential voters as part of activities encouraging or assisting individuals to vote if the communication contains express advocacy of the nomination or election of the Candidate or the defeat of his or her opponent.
(D) A Contribution made at the behest of a Candidate for a different candidate or to a committee not controlled by the behesting Candidate is not a Contribution to the behesting Candidate.
(4) "Contribution" includes the purchase of tickets for events such as dinners, luncheons, rallies, and similar fundraising events; the Candidate's own money or property used on behalf of his or her candidacy other than personal funds of the Candidate used to pay either a filing fee for a declaration of candidacy or a candidate statement prepared pursuant to section 13307 of the Elections Code; the granting of discounts or rebates not extended to the public generally or the granting of discounts or rebates by television and radio stations and newspapers not extended on an equal basis to all Candidates for the same office; the payment of compensation by any person for the personal services or expenses of any other person if the services are rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of a Candidate or Controlled Committee without payment of full and adequate consideration.
(5) "Contribution" further includes any transfer of anything of value received by a Controlled Committee from another committee, unless full and adequate consideration is received.
(6) "Contribution" does not include amounts received pursuant to an enforceable promise to the extent those amounts have been previously reported as a Contribution. However, the fact that those amounts have been received shall be indicated in the appropriate campaign statement.
(7) "Contribution" does not include a payment made by an occupant of a home or office for costs related to any meeting or fundraising event held in the occupant's home or office if the costs for the meeting or fundraising event are $500 or less.
(8) Notwithstanding the foregoing, Contribution does not include volunteer personal services or payments made by any individual for his or her own travel expenses if the payments are made voluntarily without any understanding or agreement that they shall be, directly or indirectly, repaid to him or her.
(9) "Contribution" for purposes of this chapter, also does not include a contribution to support or oppose a ballot measure.
(c) "Controlled Committee" means a committee which is controlled directly or indirectly by a Candidate or which acts jointly with a Candidate in connection with the making of expenditures. A Candidate controls a committee if the Candidate, his or her agent or any other committee he or she controls has a significant influence on the actions or decisions of the Controlled Committee.
(d) "County Decision" means a decision or recommendation (other than the making of a ministerial decision), concerning a legislative, administrative, or quasi-judicial matter, pending before or which may be submitted to:
(1) The Board of Supervisors or any County board, commission, committee or officer;
(2) The Board of Supervisors acting as the governing body of a special district; or
(3) Any board, commission, committee or officer of a special district for which the Board of Supervisors acts as the governing body.
(e) "County Officer or Employee" means any Elected Officer and any County employee listed in section 23.102.
(f) "Elected Officer" means an individual who holds Elective County Office or has been elected to Elective County Office but has not yet taken office.
(g) "Elective County Office" means the Board of Supervisors, the Assessor/Recorder/ County Clerk, the District Attorney, the Sheriff, and the Treasurer/Tax Collector.
(h) "Firm" includes a partnership and joint venture, but does not include an individual operating as a sole proprietorship under a fictitious name.
(i) (1) "Gift" means, except as provided in subsection (2) below, any payment that confers a personal benefit on the recipient, to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received and includes a rebate or discount in the price of anything of value unless the rebate or discount is made in the regular course of business to members of the public without regard to official status. Any person, other than a defendant in a criminal action, who claims that a payment is not a gift by reason of receipt of consideration has the burden of proving that the consideration received is of equal or greater value.
(2) "Gift" does not include the following:
(A) Informational material such as books, reports, pamphlets, calendars, or periodicals. No payment for travel or reimbursement for any expenses shall be deemed "informational material."
(B) Gifts which are not used and which, within 30 days after receipt, are either returned to the donor or delivered to a nonprofit entity exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code without being claimed as a charitable contribution for tax purposes.
(C) Gifts from an individual's spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grand child, brother, sister, parent-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle, or first cousin or the spouse of any such person; provided that the gift from any such person shall be considered a gift if the donor is acting as an agent or intermediary for any person not covered by this paragraph.
(D) Campaign contributions required to be reported under the Political Reform Act, as amended.
(E) Any devise or inheritance.
(F) Personalized plaques and trophies with an individual value of less than $250.
(Added by Ord. No. 4098 (N.S.), effective 5-31-73; amended by Ord. No. 8966 (N.S.), effective 10-20-98; amended by Ord. No. 9889 (N.S.), effective 10-26-07; amended by Ord. No. 10579 (N.S.), effective 12-13-18)
Cross reference(s)--Definitions, § 12.101 et seq.