HomeEssential Ethics / January 20, 2023

Essential Ethics

January 20, 2023

Latest Developments:

  • The Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance issued “Updated Campaign Contribution Limits for 2023-2024, Effective Immediately.” Persons may now give up to $4,900 per election to candidates for statewide office and $1,800 per election to legislative candidates. Corporate PACs may now give up to $14,400 per election to candidates for statewide office. Corporate PAC limits also increased for legislative and other state and local candidates.
  • The Bureau also announced a Gift Limit Increase, effective January 16, 2023.  The exception to the prohibition on gifts to officials is increased to $73 per event for lobbyists, lobbyists employers, and interested persons. The annual limit aggregate limit is also increased to $147 per official.

In Case You Missed It:

  • Arizona Inaugural Haul: According to KAWC, the Governor’s inauguration “event cost only about $207,000 to put on.” But the Governor “collected nearly $1.5 million in donations from corporations and other special interests to cover the cost of her inauguration.” The article asserts “that’s going to leave her with a bunch of money she can spend on everything from gifts to visiting dignitaries to trying to flip control of the Arizona Legislature to Democrat in 2024.”
  • No Funding, No EnforcementThe Oklahoman reports on the lack of funding for the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. According to the article, the “agency has the evidence needed to prosecute multiple violations of the state’s campaign finance laws… . Just one trial case can cost one-third of the agency’s budget,” according to the Commission’s Executive Director. The “Commission has consistently requested more funding, but state lawmakers have not shown an interest in increasing the agency’s budget.”
  • On-Air Disclosure Draws Complaint: We previously reported on the congressional candidate who “described live on the radio a self-funded scheme to inflate his campaign fundraising numbers” in which he distributed money to relatives to make contributions to his campaign and then paid himself a salary from the campaign. VT Digger reveals that “attorneys from the Campaign Legal Center ask that the FEC investigate (the candidate) and ‘seek appropriate sanctions for any and all violations’…” The CLC “told VTDigger that the maneuver was ‘so blatantly illegal’ and fit the ‘textbook definition’ of a straw donor scheme.”