Florida Libertarian Party Files Financial Report with Wrong Office, Gets a Fine of $70,000

The Florida Secretary of State has fined the Florida Libertarian Party $70,000 because the party’s financial report was a week late. The party treasurer filed the report on time, but he filed it with the Federal Election Commission instead of the Florida Elections office. The party is appealing the fine. An administrative hearing is being held February 20. The party is being assisted in this matter by an attorney.

A previous blog post here mentioned the Florida Green Party’s fine of $10,000. Also the Florida Secretary of State has cancelled the Objectivist Party’s ballot status because that party failed to keep the Secretary of State advised of the names of its current officers. And the Florida Secretary of State is threatening the Justice Party and Americans Elect because their financial reports still haven’t been filed. Thanks to Jim Riley for the news about the Libertarian Party.


Florida Libertarian Party Files Financial Report with Wrong Office, Gets a Fine of $70,000 — No Comments

  1. I think the Green and Libertarian parties may have had to file immediately before the general election because they had candidates for the legislature. That is, it had nothing to do with the recent regulations of minor parties, since no other parties got the November $10,000 fine.

    The state treasurer of the Objectivist Party sent an e-mail to the Florida Elections office saying that he was now a registered Republican. He enclosed an e-mail from another party officer saying that he couldn’t quit, and he was personally responsible for any fines received by the party. The SOS objection in this case is pretty legitimate. The Objectivist Party does not have a Treasurer.

    The Justice Party and Americans Elect parties hadn’t filed their annual finance reports, and would only be subject to a $1,000 per day fine up to 25% of contributions. But if the contributions/expenditures were less than $500 they don’t qualify under the SOS regulation for “limited activity”.

    The statute requires a party to demonstrate “limited activity”, but left it to the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations as to what “limited activity” was. It is the regulations that define $500 in annual contributions/expenditures as satisfying the “limited activity” provision of statute. The other requirements for party qualification, such as having officers, rules, and campaign finance reporting are directly from statute. Personally, I would have required a biennial state convention, with a quorum based on the size of party registration.

  2. Wow, if the Florida Elections office could put in the effort to actually assisting voters and elections in Florida like they go after parties for extremely minor administrative infractions Florida could actually get something done.

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