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12-27-1 Definitions.
     12-27-1.   Definitions. Terms used in this chapter mean:
             (1)      "Ballot question," any referendum, initiative, proposed constitutional amendment, or other measure submitted to voters at any election;
             (2)      "Ballot question committee," a person or organization that raises, collects, or disburses contributions for the placement of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question. A ballot question committee is not a person, political committee, or political party that makes a contribution to a ballot question committee. A ballot question committee is not an organization that makes a contribution to a ballot question committee from treasury funds;
             (3)      "Candidate campaign committee," any entity organized by a candidate to receive contributions and make expenditures for the candidate. Only one candidate campaign committee may be organized for each candidate;
             (4)      "Candidate," any person who seeks nomination for or election to public office, and for the purpose of this chapter a person is deemed a candidate if the person raises, collects, or disburses contributions in excess of five hundred dollars; has authorized the solicitation of contributions or the making of expenditures; or has created a candidate campaign committee for the purpose of obtaining public office. The person is also deemed a candidate if the person has taken all actions required by state law to qualify for nomination for or election to public office;
             (5)      "Clearly identified," the appearance of the name, nickname, a photograph or a drawing of a candidate or public office holder, or the unambiguous reference to the identity of a candidate or public office holder;
             (6)      "Contribution," any gift, advance, distribution, deposit, or payment of money or any other valuable consideration, or any contract, promise or agreement to do so; any discount or rebate not available to the general public; any forgiveness of indebtedness or payment of indebtedness by another person; or the use of services or property without full payment made or provided by any person, political committee, or political party whose primary business is to provide such services or property for the purpose of influencing:
             (a)      The nomination, election, or re-election of any person to public office; or
             (b)      The placement of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question submitted.
                  The term does not include services provided by a person as a volunteer for or on behalf of any candidate, political committee, or political party, including the free or discounted use of a person's residence or office. A contribution does not include administration and solicitation of a contribution for a political action committee established by an organization and associated expenses, nor the use of an organization's real or personal property located on its business premises for such purposes. A contribution does not include nominal use of a candidate's real or personal property or nominal use of resources available at a candidate's primary place of business;
             (7)      "County office," any elected office at a county in this state;
             (8)      "Election," any election for public office; any general, special, primary, or runoff election; and any election on a ballot question;
             (9)      "Expenditure," includes: any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value, made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election, office or ballot initiative, measure, or question; and The term includes a written contract, promise, or agreement to make an expenditure. However, the term "expenditure" does not include:
             (a)      A communication appearing in a news story, commentary, or editorial or letter to the editor distributed through the facility of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless the facility is owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate;
             (b)      Any communication by a person made in the regular course and scope of the person's business or ministry or any communication made by a membership organization solely to members of the organization and the members' families; or
             (c)      Any communication that refers to any candidate only as part of the popular name of a bill or statute;
             (10)      "Expressly advocate," any communication which:
             (a)      In context has no other reasonable meaning than to urge the election or defeat of one or more clearly identified candidates, public office holders, or the placement of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question by use of explicit words of advocacy of election or defeat. The following are examples of words that convey a message of express advocacy: vote, re-elect, support, cast your ballot for, reject, and defeat; or
             (b)      If taken as a whole and with limited reference to external events, such as the proximity to the election, may only be interpreted by a reasonable person as containing advocacy of the election or defeat of one or more clearly identified candidates, public office holders, or the placement of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question because:
             (i)      The electoral portion of the communication is unmistakable, unambiguous, and suggestive of only one meaning; and
             (ii)      Reasonable minds could not differ as to whether it encourages actions to elect or defeat one or more clearly identified candidates, public office holders, or the placement of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question or encourages some other kind of action;
             (11)      "Independent expenditure," the payment of money or exchange of other valuable consideration or promise, for a communication by a person, organization, political committee, or political party which is not a contribution and which:
             (a)      Refers to a clearly identified candidate for state or local elective office or the placement of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question; and
             (b)      Is made without arrangement, cooperation, or consultation between any candidate or any authorized committee or agent of a candidate and the person making the expenditure or any authorized agent of that person, and is not made in concert with or at the request or suggestion of any candidate or any authorized committee or agent of the candidate; and
             (c)      Satisfies at least one of the following standards: Contains express advocacy, or its functional equivalent, of the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate for office; or is disseminated, broadcast or otherwise published within sixty days of the election sought by a candidate, mentions a candidate and targets the candidate's relevant electorate;
                  The term "independent expenditure" does not include: a communication appearing in a news story, commentary, or editorial or letter to the editor distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate; a communication by a person made in the regular course and scope of the person's business or ministry or any communication made by a membership organization solely to members of the organization and the members' families; or any communication that refers to any candidate only as part of the popular name of a bill or statute;
             (12)      "In-kind contribution," the value of a good or service provided at no charge or for less than its fair market value. The term does not include the value of services provided by a person as a volunteer for or on behalf of any candidate, political committee, or political party, including the free or discounted use of any person's residence or office;
             (13)      "Legislative office," the Senate and the House of Representatives of the South Dakota Legislature;
             (14)      "Loan," a transfer of money, property, guarantee, or anything of value in exchange for an obligation, conditional or not, to repay in whole or part. The outstanding amount of a loan not made in the ordinary course of business and at a usual and normal interest rate is a contribution until repaid;
             (15)      "National political party," the organization which is responsible for the day-to-day operation of a political party at the national level, as determined by the Federal Election Commission;
             (16)      "Organization," any business corporation, limited liability company, nonprofit corporation, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, partnership, cooperative, trust except a trust account representing or containing only a contributor's personal funds, business trust, association, club, labor union, collective bargaining organization, local, state, or national organization to which a labor organization pays membership or per capita fees, based upon its affiliation and membership, trade or professional association that receives its funds from membership dues or service fees, whether organized inside or outside the state, any entity organized in a corporate form under federal law or the laws of this state, or any group of persons acting in concert which is not defined as a political committee or political party in this chapter;
             (17)      "Person," a natural person;
             (18)      "Political action committee," a person or organization that raises, collects or disburses contributions and who is not a candidate, candidate campaign committee, ballot question committee, or a political party. A political action committee is not any:
             (a)      Person that makes a contribution to a political committee or political party from that person's own funds; or
             (b)      Organization that makes a contribution to a ballot question committee from treasury funds;
             (19)      "Political committee," any candidate campaign committee, political action committee, or ballot question committee;
             (20)      "Political party," any state or county political party qualified to participate in a primary or general election, including any auxiliary organization of such political party. An auxiliary organization is any organization designated as an auxiliary organization in the political party's bylaws or constitution except any auxiliary organization that only accepts contributions to support volunteer activities of the organization and does not make monetary or in-kind contributions or any independent expenditures to any political committee;
             (21)      "Public office," any statewide office, legislative office, or county office;
             (21A)      "Qualified contribution," a contribution made by a natural person resident of the state that is not, in the aggregate, in excess of two hundred and fifty dollars to a candidate for legislative office or in excess of five hundred dollars to a candidate for statewide office;
             (22)      "Recognized business entity," any:
             (a)      Domestic corporation, limited liability company, nonprofit corporation, limited liability partnership, or cooperative duly registered with the secretary of state as of the first day of January of the current calendar year, and which is currently in good standing;
             (b)      Foreign corporation, limited liability company, nonprofit corporation, limited liability partnership, or cooperative duly registered with the secretary of state as of the first day of January of the current calendar year, and which is currently in good standing; or
             (c)      Entity organized in a corporate form under federal law.
                  The term "recognized business entity" does not include a political committee or political party or an organization which was established by or is controlled, in whole or in part, by a candidate, political committee, or agent of a candidate or political committee;
             (23)      "Statewide office," the offices of Governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer, commissioner of school and public lands, and public utilities commissioner;
             (23A)      "Treasury funds," funds of an organization that were not raised or collected from any other source for the purpose of influencing a ballot question;
             (24)      "Volunteer," a person who provides person's own personal services free of charge.

Source: SL 2007, ch 80, § 1; SL 2008, ch 67, § 1; SL 2009, ch 67, § 3; SL 2010, ch 76, §§ 1, 4, 5, eff. Mar. 25, 2010; Initiated Measure 22, § 4, eff. Nov. 16, 2016.


Chapter 12-27

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