An independent expenditure is defined by statute as follows: The expenditure of money or other things of value for a communication which expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or slate of candidates, and which is made without any coordination, consultation, or cooperation with any candidate or slate of candidates, campaign committee, or any authorized person acting on behalf of them, and which is not made in concert with or at the request or suggestion of any candidate or slate of candidates, campaign committee, or any authorized person acting on behalf of any of them.
Independent expenditures are not subject to any limits, but are subject to reporting requirements. Individuals, committees and other groups who make independent expenditures exceeding $500 in the aggregate in any one election are required to report directly to the Registry. KRS 121.015(12)
A "contributing organization" is a group of individuals that merely contributes to a candidate from time to time, from funds derived solely from within the group and not solicited or received from sources outside the group itself. Contributing organizations must report to the Registry when any contributions made by the group exceed $100. KRS 121.015(4)
Candidates for an office in a jurisdiction containing in excess of 200,000 residents and candidates for statewide offices should be aware of the laws regarding persons who act as fundraisers. A "fundraiser" is a person who acts as a fundraiser by directly soliciting and receiving contributions for the aforementioned election campaigns. When a fundraiser directly solicits and receives contributions for a candidate in excess of $3,000 in an election, he or she is required to register with the Registry as a fundraiser and must file finance reports. KRS 121.170
Pursuant to the administrative regulations promulgated by the Registry, the following activities will not qualify a person as a fundraiser required to register:
- Acting as a campaign treasurer
- Performing clerical functions such as receiving contributions or preparing and filing campaign finance reports
- Communicating an endorsement of a candidate or slate of candidates which indirectly results in the receipt of contributions, provided that the communication is not followed by one-on-one direct oral or written solicitation of contributions by the person making the endorsement; or
- Acting as host of a social event at one's residence or place of business, provided that the host does not directly solicit and receive contributions in excess of $3,000.