TO Donald C. Brey
Chester, Willcox & Saxbe
You have requested an advisory opinion based on the circumstances in three different hypothetical fact patterns as outlined in your letter.
The three separate fact patterns are summarized as follows:
1. Attorney Able hosts a fundraising event for a candidate at an Athletic
Club for which Able is billed by the club for the $2000 cost of the event. The event takes place in year 2. Able pays the bill and is then subsequently reimbursed by the candidate's campaign committee in full within 30 days of the event. Is Able or the firm with which Able is associated precluded from receiving a contract by 3517.13(I), (J), (K), (L), (M), or (N) of the Revised Code in year 3?
2. Attorney Baker makes a loan of $2000 to the Campaign committee of a candidate in year l . The full amount of the loan is repaid in year 2. Is Baker or the firm with which Baker is associated precluded from receiving a contract by 3517.13(1), (J), (K), (L), (M), or (N) of the Revised Code in year 3?
3. Attorney Charlie makes a contribution of $2000 to the campaign committee of a candidate in year 1? in year 2 the campaign committee refunds the entire amount of the contribution to Charlie, who had no expectation that the refund was to have been made. Is Charlie or the firm with which Charlie is associated precluded from receiving a contract by 53517.13(1), (J), (K), (L), (M), or (N) of the Revised Code?
SYLLABUS: A refund of a contribution does not negate the fact that a contribution was made and is only recognized in conjunction with the newly adopted contribution limits under 3517.102 of the Revised Code. A loan is a contribution under R. C. 3517.102. If a person hosts a fundraising event, makes a payment for facility rental on behalf of the campaign committee, and is not reimbursed by the campaign committee within 90 days of the date of payment to the club by the host, it is an advance and a contribution within the meaning of R. C. 3517.05(B). In addition, the terms of 3517.13(I), (J), (K), (L), (M), or (N), which state the parameters in which the contract bar applies, are applicable in any situation in which an action fits within the meaning of the word contribution as defined in 3517.05(B).