Bills Introduced To Curb Misuse Of Campaign Finances

Apr 9, 2015

Two bills meant to discourage the misuse of campaign accounts have cleared an initial hurdle at the General Assembly.  Efforts to restore the state Ethics Commission’s oversight of the legislature continue to languish.

Lawmakers hope to stem misuse of campaign finance with the introduction of two new bills.
Credit RIPR FILE

Legislative committees have passed a bill requiring candidates to have a separate bank account for their campaign money. Another bill would make public officeholders file an annual bank statement to back up the information in their campaign spending reports.

The legislation is meant to discourage wrongdoing involving money collected to run campaigns. In the most flagrant recent example, former House speaker Gordon Fox has pleaded guilty to using more than $100,000 in campaign money to pay his personal bills.

Meanwhile, the legislature shows little interest in restoring the Ethics Commission’s oversight of the General Assembly. That power was stripped by a 2009 state Supreme Court decision.

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