Over the last several weeks we’ve seen two more state government high ranking officials resign over alleged campaign finance abuse and other ethics violations. Near the end of November, Utah’s then attorney general, John Swallow, announced his resignation from office effective December 3. Mark Darr, Arkansas’s current lieutenant governor, recently announced his resignation effective February 1.
Former Attorney General John Swallow was accused of failing to disclose business conflicts of interest, giving preferential treatment to donors, and violating attorney-client privilege while serving in the attorney general’s office. On January 11, 2013, businessman Jeremy Johnson accused Swallow of being part of a plan to bribe a U.S. senator to derail a Federal Trade Commission probe into an internet marketing company owned by Johnson. Continue reading
Posted in Money in Politics
Tagged Attorney General John Swallow, business conflicts of interest, businessman Jeremy Johnson, businessman Jonnie Williams, campaign finance abuse, ethics violations, Governor Bob McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr, McDonnell Scandal, misuse of government funds, money in politics, quid pro quo, Senator Paul Bookout, State Treasurer Martha Shoffner
Recent movement on campaign finance reform by Republicans began with state legislatures in 2013. Republican state lawmakers from Texas to Oregon have seen a need for change. Although not as much as many would hope, some change is now making its way to the U.S. House of Representatives. There have been 3 bills introduced by Republicans in the House in recent months that would reform campaign finance.
In October, three Republican legislators (Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, Rep. Mark Amodei of Nevada, and Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama) introduced a bill that would prohibit members of Congress from using political contributions received from certain types of PACs (leadership PACs) to pay for personal expenses. Another Republican, Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina, went even further by introducing another piece of legislation to close the personal use loophole for political contributions from any PAC.
In November, Rep. Thomas Petri (R-Wisconsin) introduced the Citizens Involvement in Campaigns (CIVIC) Act. Continue reading
Posted in campaign finance reform
Tagged Campaign Finance Institute, Citizens Involvement in Campaigns Act, CIVIC Act, Lawrence Lessig, leadership PACs, personal use loophole for political contributions, Rep. Andy Harris, Rep. Mark Amodei, Rep. Mo Brooks, Rep. Thomas Petri, Rep. Walter Jones, Richard Painter, Rootstrikers