Politicos beware: Court ruling could prompt more transparent campaign spending

The Federal Election Commission could begin demanding more information about the vendors and consultants political committees pay, thanks to a federal appeals court decision Friday. The impact of the decision — which could have implications for how precisely political committees such as President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee have to detail their spending — will rest…

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Mississippi Outlaws Personal Use of Campaign Funds

Legislation that would prohibit politicians from using their campaign finance funds for personal use was signed into law by Gov. Phil Bryant Tuesday in his state Capitol office.

When the 2017 session began in January, the bill was labeled as a priority by both House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who presides over the Senate.

Efforts were made to pass similar legislation during the 2016 session, but it was killed in the House. Mississippi was one of a handful of states where politicians could spend their campaign finance funds on personal items.

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Documenting political influence

From NFOIC: COLUMBIA, Mo – Do you know which industries spend the most to influence politics in your state?

If not, or even if you think you have an idea, you might be in interested in a report by Mother Jones staffers Alex Jones and Tasneem Raja. Using data on political contributions during the 2012 election cycle that was compiled by Followthemoney.org, the pair produced an interesting report and state-by-state map.

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Dear Michigan officeholder: A letter from campaign finance expert during Sunshine Week

From mLive.com:

“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” — Luke 12: 48

Dear State Officeholder:

Please set aside the archaic sexism of the verse I’ve quoted to introduce this letter. Our world has evolved, I know, but I thought this bit of scripture was superbly eloquent in capturing much of the reason we’re observing Sunshine Week.

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Ruth Johnson offers Sunshine Week push for more election transparency in Michigan

From Detroit Free Press:

LANSING — Michigan’s top elections official wants to require political campaigns to report financial contributions within 48 hours after they receive them, one of several proposals aimed at giving voters nearly real-time information about the money behind the candidates.

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Chatham Commissioner paid for campaign travel, others unaware of policy change they approved

From Savannah Morning News:

Commissioner Helen Stone has refunded $110 after a Savannah Morning News Open Records request revealed she was reimbursed by Chatham County for using her personal vehicle to drive to campaign events — including her own re-election announcement and fundraisers.

Taxpayer funds are prohibited by law from being used for election campaigns.

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