Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cheating Widespread in State Campaign Financing

Max Brantley emphasizes the Republican angle, but even his report shows that office holders from both parties are guilty of violating state campaign finance law.   Specifically the law which prevents one candidate from giving money to the campaign of another.   The loophole?   If they can prove it helps their own campaign, they can purchase a ticket to a ticketed event.   When the candidates doing the donating don't even have an opponent, its kind of hard to make that claim with a straight face, but some of them have the skill and audacity required to pull that off.

The way it works is that an old veteran who may not even have an opponent buys a ticket to a fundraiser for a candidate who is in a tough race.   Heck, it could even be money that came from a donor that has already maxed out contributions to the candidate in the tough race, effectively end-running campaign contribution limits as well.   In many cases, they don't even attend the events they gave the contribution to "in order to help their own campaign."   It's clearly breaking the law.    It's a end-run on campaign limits and the ban on one candidate using his campaign stash to buy influence.    Both parties are guilty of using the practice to send money to funnel extra money to candidates who can't seem to get it by following the law.

Between that and the policy of pocketing their "office expense" money without ever having an actual office, it seems like we have a lot of unethical practices going on from the men and the women who write our laws.


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