Wednesday, January 11, 2017

House passes campaign finance reform

Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn issued the following statement:

Speaker Philip Gunn and MS House Pass Campaign Finance Bill
Tighter Guidelines, Reporting Prohibit Personal Usage of Campaign Finance Money by Elected Officials and Candidates
Jackson, MS—Today, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and members of the MS House of Representatives passed House Bill 479 by a bipartisan vote of 102-13. HB479 outlines definitions and usage guidelines for campaign contributions by any elected official or candidate. A push for similar legislation died at the last minute during conference weekend of the 2016 Legislative Session.

“The issue of campaign finance reform has been very important to me for a long time,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, the principal author of the bill. “I have put a lot of time and work into crafting this legislation to make it is as tight and clear as possible. Passing this legislation was the right thing to do.
“The people who elect us expect us to behave with integrity and honor,” he continued. “This legislation effectively outlines the proper procedures for all elected officials and candidates in the handling and reporting of campaign contributions.”
Personal Use
Personal use is defined as any use, other than expenditures related to gaining, holding, or performing functions of public office, for which the candidate or public official would have to report as gross income to the IRS. Enactment of this legislation would prohibit using the funds for: 1) Residential or household items, supplies or expenditures including mortgage, rent, or utility payments for any residential property of a candidate, officeholder or family member; 2) Similar payments for nonresidential property used for campaign purposes if owned by a candidate, officeholder, or family member; 3) funeral expenses for themselves and family members; 4) clothing; 5) automobiles; 6)  tuition payments; 7) country club fees, dues, gratuities; 8) salary payments to family members; 9) admission to entertainment events; 10) non-documented loans; 11) travel expenses; 12) payment of fines, fees or penalties issued under MS law.

Exceptions are allowed for: 1) payments for residences at the seat of government not to exceed difference between rental/mortgage amount and earned per diem; 2) a family-owned nonresidential property used for campaign purposes only if fair market value (FMV) is paid; 3) clothing of minimal value related to campaign/officeholder activity; 4) automobile rental expenses and related expenses related to campaign or officeholder activity; 5) country/health club, recreational facility fees, dues, and gratuities if a fundraiser is held there; 6) salary payments to family if they are providing bona fide services and paid FMV; 7) entertainment events if related to campaign or officeholder activity; 8) travel expenses for campaign or officeholder activity.

Conclusion of Service/Campaign
Once an official files a termination report, any unused campaign contributions will be: 1) maintained in campaign account; 2) donated to political organization, PAC, or another candidate; 3) transferred to a new PAC or ballot question advocate; 4) donated to 501(c)(3) organization; 5) donated to the State of Mississippi; 6) returned to donor(s), not including the candidate.

Special Notes
The Governor, Lt. Governor, legislators and candidates for such offices are barred from soliciting or receiving cash contributions or holding political fundraisers during a regular or special legislative session.
Credit card payments must be itemized for expenditures greater than $200.

Enforcement of this legislation will be overseen by the Mississippi Ethics Commission (MSEC). Those found to be in violation of the personal use section of this legislation will be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1,000 and a state assessment equal to the misappropriated funds. A penalty up to $5,000 may be imposed by the MSEC on any political committee that fails to file information on contributions, expenditures, officers and other information required. The Secretary of State shall compile and provide a list of candidates and political committees that fail to comply with the disclosure requirements of this legislation to the MSEC who shall levy a $50 fine per day (max of 10 days) until the party complies. The MSEC is authorized to issue anonymous advisory opinions to candidates and officeholders regarding the requirements of this legislation.

This bill would go into effect January 1, 2018.


Anonymous said...

Be interesting to look up the nays. Crooks.

Anonymous said...

Meaningless. Just as meaningless as the 'equal pay' thing Feel and Fitch are touting which has been federal law for 45 years.

Anonymous said...

That's done, not how about that Internet Sales Tax and funds for these sorry roads.

Anonymous said...

Love the comment of that's done. Now how about the internet sales tax and funds for the sorry roads. So this is what the speaker spent all summer working on. Okkkkkkkkkk!

Anonymous said...

It's "done" when Wyatt Emerick tells me it's done. Fill us in Wyatt.

Anonymous said...

Uhhhh, I think the Senate and Deputy Phil still have to approve. Shall we review our civics? This won't be done for a while if at all. Me thinks it will be watered down significantly before the end, if it passes at all.

Anonymous said...

Meaningless, I agree with yourpost.

A better question would be which state agencies comply with the federal law?

*Note....there are about 30 that's under this Governor...go figure

Anonymous said...

7:14 & 7:55,I should have qualified that statement, the house has done it's part on this issue.

Let's Compare.. said...

9:05, please state an agency that has two comparable jobs, same title, tenure, qualifications and duties, and one sex makes more than the other for what appears to be a discriminatory reason.

Anonymous said...

I would have liked the law to read that no candidate for public office or his family members can receive campaign contributions or monies for personal use from any source or person that doesn't have legal residence within the geographical area he will represent.

One man/one vote has lost it's meaning when men who live outside the district or state outnumber the voters in that district or state in their ability to " support" and "influence" a candidate.

As far as I'm concerned, we have taxation without representation if a candidate can be supported by people who don't work and live in his district or State. Those people lost their ability to have control over the quality of their lives.

I'm a bit concerned that the living expenses section will exclude those who don't have personal wealth from running for office. They will have to rent that which does not exist in abundance in Jackson...furnished space that includes utilities and provides those things one needs to prepare food or else they'll be eating out all the time which gets expensive .

But, maybe there is a developer already who will build a hostel for legislators in walking distance of the Capitol.

In the end, this bill can be used as a hammer if it's selectively enforced. And, when you have all the control within one party and no balance of power, you won't have any enforcing body with the power to go after those in the party in control unless the party wants to get rid of a renegade. They will only eliminate their opposition.

I'd also like laws to control gerrymandering by requiring that no area represented by an elected official can be drawn that crosses an established city, town or county boundary unless that boundary exists in another State, city, town or county. We have a better chance of knowing who the hell we are electing if they are our neighbor or live within the areas we frequent so that they are using our barbers, eating at our restaurants, going to our churches. It'd be nice if those who represent us have to face us occasionally. Some of you wouldn't recognize the guy you voted for if he walked past you on the street. You voted party.

There really isn't much difference between an oligarchy ,monarchy or dictatorship. Those who control the wealth determine how prosperous the people will be. You are only as well off as their benevolence. Right now 50 men control half the worlds wealth.

In this country, it's less than 1%. They live like kings and have their " princes" and "dukes". They are , through campaign monies and lobbying and PACS determining what protections you do or don't have under the law. They are controlling the flow of information as well with the help or hindrance of those outside our boundaries. You didn't get past page 2 of the Intelligence Report or you'd know that Russia has been an equal opportunity hacker and information manipulator for a very long time. Russia wanted to have as much control over the success or failure of whichever candidate emerged as the likely winner as they could muster. They wanted to sow as many seeds of distrust and divisiveness in our society as they could. Boy , did they ever succeed. And, we know all our enemies enjoy the manipulating us as well. But, you are reading the declassified report. You are letting someone else tell you what it says. You'll be surprised if you read it ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

But, it's I suspect it's too late. Revolutions aren't going to work like they did in past centuries. The advances in weapons have changed everything as well as the flow of information. Your revolution is another country's opportunity if you can't control it. The world got smaller and more complex while you weren't paying attention. But, human behavior didn't change.

Anonymous said...

This would gut deputy dog's retirement plan. IF, and that's a long-shot, Phil signs it, it will be a clear indication that he's got his eye on a self-appointed term in DC. He's otherwise unemployable unless one of the knuckleheads on Supertalk keels over.

bill said...

This bill is a step in the right direction, but until campaign account bank statements are required to be submitted with the periodic financial reports, candidates will be able to spend their campaign money on pretty much anything they want. It's easy for an incumbent to accumulate lots of money in that bank account and only report what's spent on the campaign, and no one will be the wiser for what's spent elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Will their current treasure chests be exempt or grandfathered in? Feel has a huge amount stashed away. Will they have time to empty the current coffers? It says federal tax must be paid but what about state income tax?

Has the Department of Revenue audited any statewide officials for payment of state income tax? Pickering for one. Also Jim Hood. I mention these because of the large amount of undocumented "campaign" expenses.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, so those drones on SuperTalk are living beings with actual brains?

Watchu Need 2 No At The 3 Oclock Hour.. said...

That woman on Supertalk reading the news who sounds like a man can NOT be a real being!

Anonymous said...

Seems to me it would be cheaper to provide meals and lodging.Same thing is done for every freshman at a 4 year university. I'm sure some of the local hotels would jump at a chance to have their rooms filled!

174 members x $140 per diem = $24,360 per day

Per diem funds come from the taxpayer, not donations. Why should per diem funds be used to even subsidize a mortgage? Unless they are going to kick back an equivalent percentage of the funds to the state after the property in question is sold.

Anonymous said...

Yall don't want to piss off Gallo and his puppy, they will start calling JJ Fake News

Anonymous said...

9:05 -- I call bull on your math. Name 30 agencies that report to the Governor. (P.S. You won't need your toes to get the right answer.)

Anonymous said...

Sorry 8:05, your whole theory of 'what you would like" just doesn't hold water. To say that a candidate can't raise money except from those he/she represents ignores the concept of a republican democracy, and also free speech if you want to go there. My representative absolutely doesn't represent me - our opinions of government are about on the opposite poles of the spectrum. But there are several legislators that I do support their candidacies and their policies and philosophies. Why should I be restricted to either contributing to the legislator or candidate that is a polar opposite, or not contributing at all? What about when my business is located in a district other than where I live? What about groups of people freely associated - be it a business association, common cause, ACLU, NAACP, or my family trust? Can they not be involved at all, or can they contribute to anybody that a member of the group lives in? A ridiculous recommendation overall.

Just like your 'districting/gerrymandering' recommendation. You must not understand the law you reference - one man/one vote. That has nothing to do with your contribution theory, but everything to do with drawing district lines. Because the districts much equalize population within certain parameters, there is absolutely no way you can draw the lines to come close to your 'ideal concept'. City lines, county lines, etc have no relationship to population groupings.

But, you were only 'hoping' and thinking of your ideal. Glad you aren't trying to be a legislator or supervisor, or anybody in charge. Get back up front and take that guys order for some fries.

Anonymous said...

Per diem can be paid for lodging, whether it is in an apartment, a condo, a house, a hotel, or a trailer parking lot. Why does it matter? As long as the per diem is used for paying for the condo, rather than going in the members pocket while campaign accounts pay the mortgage, it doesn't matter.

This bill deals with the problem. If a legislator wants to buy a condo that costs $1,000 a month, and the legislator receives $800 in per diem - using the per diem for the condo mortgage is no problem. But the difference - $200 - should come from personal funds, not a campaign account. The ownership interest is not a campaign cost.

The problem, though, was a different issue. Members using campaign accounts to pay for the condo/apartment/whatever while pocketing the per diem as pocket change. This bill attempts to correct that personal robbery.

Anonymous said...

Except your using per disk to public equity in private property at the taxpayers expense. By your example, the tax payer has footed 80% of the mortgage payment. If they want a condo, then pay for it with their salary. Otherwise, the state should be entitled to a fair percentage of the sale price. I formally worked in state govenment. We only got around $30 per day for meals. Lodging was reimbursed at actual cost.

Anonymous said...

When I worked for the state we got $2.75 per diem per meal and had to spend a night away from the work area and produce a receipt. But that's neither here nor there. What's important to note here is these boys are not about to pass anything into law that would affect their pocketbook. It's all for show. Next?

Anonymous said...

Sorry 6:49 pm But, I do know the " is" law.
Laws change as society changes.
You have forgotten or never knew that once upon a time , people in a community knew their candidates and elected representatives because of long time proximity and because those candidates came to civic groups, churches and schools to speak for free regularly. Indeed, once elected they still came and even spoke to high school students in the auditoriums about how government works and the issues we would likely face in the future.
They weren't fund raising ( though after hearing such speeches, my father might decide to contribute ), they were talking to us and answering questions that weren't pre-selected. There were "real" town halls.
As a result, this little pitcher with big ears heard grown ups talking about differences and concerns they had with issues, and there was never yelling and name calling . They listened to one another and exchanged points of view without rancor and often came to some sort of consensus both sides could tolerate. They could do this because they actually understood why their fellow American held a different view and while they didn't think their concerns were the definitive ones, they understood and knew their fellow American wasn't their enemy.

You know as well as I do that gerrymandering is to dilute the vote so that one party or the other gets to retain power. I'm suggesting to you that there has been a very negative consequence. It has resulted in a breakdown in communication and lack of trust and confidence on the part of the voter . And, a feeling that they lack meaningful access to government.

It's why now, I am reminded constantly of some old song lyrics " Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep". Well the paranoia we are hearing on tv every day comes from a lack of trust and confidence in our systems of government. We think these people in government are in their own bubble and our bubble isn't the same. And, that is actually becoming more true.

The system needs adjusting if it's going to work. People need to have confidence in those they elect.

It shouldn't be your way or my way but our way together. We both want the systems to work and it should be clear they are not.

I grew up knowing who represented my parents and had met them multiple times.

Anonymous said...

Why in the hell are they getting per diem for in the first place? They have to eat no matter where they are. Let them do like other people do, pay for their meals themselves.

2016 Hottest Reporter Poll

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?


Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS