Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 2: Elections

Chapter 10: Campaign Finances

Part 1: Financial Disclosure

TCA 2-10-102: Chapter definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Affiliated political campaign committees" means political campaign committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by any corporation, labor organization, or any other person, including any parent, subsidiary, branch, division, department, or local unit of such corporation, labor organization, or any other person, or by any group of such persons;

(A) All committees established, financed, maintained or controlled by a single corporation and/or its subsidiaries shall be affiliated political campaign committees;

(B) All committees established, financed, maintained or controlled by a single national or international union and/or its local unions or other subordinate organizations shall be affiliated political campaign committees;

(C) All committees established, financed, maintained or controlled by an organization of national or international unions and/or all its state and the local central bodies shall be affiliated political campaign committees, but such committees shall not be affiliated with the political campaign committees established, financed, maintained or controlled by any union that is a member of the organization;

(D) All committees established, financed, maintained or controlled by a membership organization, other than political party committees, including trade or professional associations and/or related state and local entities of that organization or group shall be affiliated political campaign committees;

(E) All committees established, financed, maintained or controlled by the same person or group of persons shall be affiliated political campaign committees;

(F) Owners, officers, employees, members or other individuals associated with any corporation, labor organization, membership organization, or any other person or group of persons that has established, financed, maintained or controlled a political campaign committee shall not be considered affiliated with such political campaign committee;

(2) "Attorney general and reporter" means the attorney general and reporter of Tennessee;

(3) "Candidate" means an individual who has made a formal announcement of candidacy or who is qualified under the law of this state to seek nomination for election or elections to public office, or has received contributions or made expenditures except for incidental expenditures to determine if one shall be a candidate, or has given consent for a campaign committee to receive contributions or make expenditures with a view to bringing about the individual's nomination for election or election to state public office;

(4) "Contribution" means any advance, conveyance, deposit, distribution, transfer of funds, loan, loan guaranty, personal funds of a candidate, payment, digital currency, gift, or subscription of money or like thing of value, and any contract, agreement, promise or other obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, made for the purpose of influencing a measure or nomination for election or the election of any person for public office or for the purpose of defraying any expenses of an officeholder incurred in connection with the performance of the officeholder's duties, responsibilities, or constituent services. "Contribution" shall not be construed to include the following:

(A) Services, including expenses provided without compensation by a candidate or individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time, on behalf of a candidate or campaign committee;

(B) Any news story, commentary or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned wholly or in part, or controlled by any political party, political committee or candidate;

(C) Nonpartisan activity designed to encourage individuals to register to vote or to vote;

(D) Any written, oral or electronically transmitted communication by any membership organization or corporation to its members or stockholders, if such membership organization or corporation is not organized primarily for the purpose of influencing the nomination for election, or election, of any person to public office;

(E) The use of real or personal property and the cost of invitations, food and beverages not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100), voluntarily provided on an individual's residential premises for candidate related activities; or

(F) For a county executive committee that has annual receipts and expenditures of less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), receipts and expenditures, including a reasonable amount for rent, by a state or county executive committee or primary board when performing the duties imposed upon them by law; provided, that such receipts and expenditures are segregated from and maintained in a fund separate and apart from any funds used by the party as a political campaign committee, it being the legislative intent that if no separate fund is maintained, all receipts and expenditures of the committee or board shall be subject to the disclosure provisions of this part;

(5) "Election" means any general, special or primary election or run-off election, held to approve or disapprove a measure or nominate or elect a candidate for public office;

(6) (A) "Expenditure" means a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit or gift of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing a measure or the nomination for election or election of any person to public office;

(B) "Expenditure" also includes the use of campaign funds by an officeholder for the furtherance of the office of the officeholder;

(7) "File" or "filed" means the date actually deposited with or received by the appropriate office or the date of the postmark if postmarked and sent by registered or certified mail of the United States postal service;

(8) "Measure" means any proposal submitted to the people of the entire state, or any political subdivision of the state, for their approval or rejection at an election, including any proposed law, act or part of an act of the general assembly, or revision of or amendment to the constitution;

(9) "Multicandidate political campaign committee" means a political campaign committee to support or oppose two (2) or more candidates for public office or two (2) or more measures;

(10) (A) "Person" means an individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization or any other organization or group of persons;

(B) Any limited liability company or limited liability partnership created under title 48 shall be considered a person for the purpose of this subdivision (10) and subdivision (1);

(11) "Personal funds" means:

(A) Any assets which the candidate had legal right of access to or control over at the time the candidate became a candidate and with respect to which the candidate had either:

(i) Legal and rightful title; or

(ii) An equitable interest;

(B) Salary and other earned income from bona fide employment;

(C) Dividends and proceeds from the sale of the candidate's stocks or other investments;

(D) Bequests to the candidate; income from trusts established before candidacy;

(E) Income from trusts established by bequest after candidacy of which the candidate is the beneficiary;

(F) Gifts of a personal nature which had been customarily received prior to candidacy; and

(G) That portion of assets jointly owned with the candidate's spouse which is the candidate's share under the instruments of conveyance or ownership. If no specific share is indicated by such instrument, the value of one-half of the property used shall be considered as personal funds;

(12) "Political campaign committee" means:

(A) A combination of two (2) or more individuals, including any political party governing body, whether state or local, making expenditures, to support or oppose any candidate for public office or measure, but does not include a voter registration program;

(B) Any corporation or any other organization making expenditures, except as provided in subdivision (4), to support or oppose a measure; or

(C) Any committee, club, corporation, association or other group of persons which receives contributions or makes expenditures to support or oppose any candidate for public office or measure during a calendar quarter in an aggregate amount exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250);

(13) "Public office" means any state public office or local public office filled by the voters;

(A) "Local public office" means any state, county, municipal, school or other district or precinct office or position, including general sessions and juvenile court judges, that is filled by the voters, with the exception that "local public office" does not include any state public office as defined in subdivision (13)(B); and

(B) "State public office" means the offices of governor, member of the general assembly, delegate to a Tennessee constitutional convention, trial judge, chancellor, district attorney general, district public defender, judge of the court of criminal appeals, judge of the court of appeals and supreme court judge; and

(14) "Secretary of state" means the secretary of state or the secretary of state's designee.

History: Acts 1980, ch. 861, § 3; 1982, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1984, ch. 683, §§ 5, 7; 1990, ch. 1048, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 519, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 988, § 8; 1995, ch. 305, § 59; 1995, ch. 531, §§ 2, 3; 1996, ch. 1005, § 1; 1999, ch. 455, § 33; 2000, ch. 756, § 12; 2006 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 5; 2011, ch. 389, § 1; 2012, ch. 789, §§ 1, 2; 2015, ch. 379, § 1.