Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Leg passes campaign finance bill.

Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves issued the following statement.


SENATE SENDS CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW TO GOVERNOR

JACKSON – The Mississippi Senate today sent a plan to reform the state’s campaign finance laws to Gov. Phil Bryant’s desk for review.

Senate Bill 2689, by Sen. Sally Doty, R-Brookhaven, brings more transparency to political expenses and places restrictions on spending to campaign-related needs. The bill includes a prohibition on personal expenses, payments to relatives and loans to candidates.

“This common sense reform requires full disclosure of activity and clarifies that spending on personal items is not allowable,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. “Supporters of political candidates expect their resources to be spent on political activity, and voters deserve to know that is actually happening.”

The bill requires candidates to disclose credit card expenditures. It also states that once a campaign account has been closed, the candidate can return the funds to donors, donate the funds to another political cause or charity, or send to state coffers. The Ethics Commission will oversee enforcement.

Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn issued this statement as well

Speaker Philip Gunn Congratulates Senate on Passage of Campaign Finance Bill

Tighter Guidelines, Reporting of Campaign Finance Money by Elected Officials and Candidates

Jackson, MS—Today, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn congratulated the Senate on passing the Campaign Finance Bill that passed the House earlier this month by a bipartisan vote of 102-12.

Senate Bill 2689 outlines definitions and usage guidelines for campaign contributions by any elected official or candidate. Speaker Gunn authored a similar bill earlier in the Session.

“I am grateful that we have come to an agreement on the Campaign Finance Bill,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. “We have worked hard to make this legislation as tight and as clear as possible. The entire Legislature should be commended on doing the right thing by passing this measure.

“We are expected, by those who elect us, to uphold certain expectations of integrity,” 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 other than those associated with training of staff or themselves; 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.

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

Contributions accruing to a candidate’s campaign account before January 1, 2018, shall be exempt from the new provisions.

Credit card payments must be itemized for expenditures greater than $200.

Enforcement

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.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

The "Special Notes" will allow Guv to keep his retirement fund and, thus, is the only thing that gives this long-needed legislation a shot.

Anonymous said...

Actually, @ 11:22 I saw here and in the traditional media that per his 2016 CFR (filed in January 2017) the Governor had donated nearly all of his campaign funds to the creation of a new PAC.

Anonymous said...

All donations made before Jan. 1, 2018, are exempt from the new rules.
According to news article. So many with "lots of cash" get to keep their retirement account.
Same old bull sh.., watching out for each other!

Anonymous said...

Like a hundred lawyers at the bottom of the ocean.

Anonymous said...

@12:54- to use against the dicTATEr?

Anonymous said...

So, Jim Hood's brother is in charge of enforcement??
HUH?

Marcel Ledbetter said...

Anytime a politician passes a bill on campaign finance, beware! They ain't George Washington. New laws just create black markets.

Keep On Whining! said...

Every bill passed into law, 1:56, has to have an effective date and can't be retroactive. So, what are you actually bitching about?

Anonymous said...

10:28 pm That's hasn't true in this Nation's history. Some bills have been "grandfathered" and some have not. Has this legislature mucked up law that existed for good reason yet again?

Anonymous said...

The January '18 effective date is a joke. The majority of the new laws become effective July '17. This just gives some people time to cash out or spend before the new law takes effect.

Anonymous said...

Can you still donate campaign funds to a PAC or to another candidate? The PAC is a giant loophole because nobody reads those reports.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of time to load up on contributions.

Anonymous said...

The PAC is a giant loophole because nobody reads those reports.

That is bullshit. Nobody reads any of the reports, period.

You f'ing idiots (meaning you JJ Democrat harpies) should be happy with this major improvement in the law. It is a substantial step forward. It would have NEVER happened with McCoy.

Rick Ward said...

This bill began as HB 479 presented by the Speaker himself. When I read it and saw that the enforcement tasking would go to the Ethics Commission, I smelled a rat.

The Secretary of State's office (not just Hoseman), has done a fantastic job in past years at holding public officials and candidates responsible. There is no reason he shouldn't continue, instead of the Ethics Commission.

When I read that bill I contacted some members of the committee and told them that Ethics has only a tiny office with 6 people compared to over 110 in the SOS's 3 offices statewide. The SOS has a history that would fill a hard bound book or set of books at holding officials and candidates accountable. Additional responsibilities of this nature for Ethics would require increased manpower and money at a time when the Governor is cutting all budgets.

I sent a brief to all members of the committee and people started to listen. I received an email from a member of the House Committee who said that it was by then a half and half vote between giving it to the SOS or Ethics.

Then it went to the Senate and Doty's bill was written as a replacement with Ethics only having the authority to issue advisory opinions. The SOS would retain all enforcement authority. But then I am confident that "Tater" got involved. I started hearing from members of the House and Senate that my brief had touched all bases and made sense...but the new(and only) argument was that the Legislature didn't want to give that much authority to an elected official like Hoseman because he could go on political witch hunts at a time when state elections are coming up and maybe tarnish another competing candidate.

I then made the point (on deaf ears) that the AG is an elected official with much power of enforcement over state officials and that hasn't seemed to be a problem. I further noted that Judges are elected officials with plenty enforcement power over public officials so why was the SOS being singled out when his record of holding people accountable speaks for itself? The record of Ethics holding people accountable speaks for itself also, but in a negative way.

Two very high public officials (both with top level political aspirations) in charge of our state houses wanted this bill and purposely wanted a "Tiger with no Teeth" to have oversight. This no more than an attempt to keep the brothers in arms out of trouble but make it look like to the public they were doing something about campaign finance reform.

Ethics has no money, manpower or gonads to pursue these potential violators. They have no history of success at anything other than school teacher hand-slapping at best. The director Tom Hood (AG Jim Hood's brother) has no authority to do anything without the vote of the entire commission (all of whom are political appointees).

The third section, last paragraph of the Senate amendment gives a violator a way out. It talks about charges that could be made against a violator for late reports and fines assessed and so on. Then it is followed up by a statement that if the person subsequently files a report, he cannot be held accountable to the previous statement.

Remember, not as much in the House but in the Senate, nothing gets passed or quashed unless the "Tater" himself wants it to happen. And if you are a Senator and get on his bad side, you will never get another piece of legislation passed. Do we want a dictator in the Governor's mansion?

Please view this brief by clicking on the link below.

https://www.scribd.com/document/342833201/SOS-v-Ethics

I welcome responses and I don't speak anonymously .

Rick Ward (601) 665 6088 rickward47@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Rick Ward, I was going to read your latest book above, but once I got past the second sentence I couldn't quit laughing.

To say that the SOS has done a good job at anything, much less at any accountability in campaign finance reporting does nothing but show your total ignorance of anything about the subject. The group at the SOS office that oversees this whole area of elections is nothing but a joke; and the finance reports section is the worst of the worse.

The very last place the enforcement of this new bill should be placed there and that's not just related to the current SOS. Once you get past the incompetent group that can't shoot straight under Gilbert, you don't want an elected official to oversee other elected officials business on campaigns. I don't know that the Ethics Commission is much better under the ED Hood, but at least there is a COMMISSION there that consists of several quality people - not some self-annointed egotistical narcasist like you are suggesting is doing a good job.

But thanks anyway. Putting that sentence at the beginning of your tome saved me a lot of time I would have wasted reading the rest of your nonsense.

Anonymous said...

6:40 a.m.: We're not talking here about 'this nation's history'. We're talking about the Mississippi legislature. Name the last time a bill became law in this state, retroactively, regarding money held legally by persons or institutions.

Anonymous said...

7:21, The legislature took money from some of the vocational boards that came from dues. That is a retroactive active seizure of funds.

Anonymous said...

5:24, you come off as a small-minded enabler trying to defend dodgy behavior by throwing shade at the SOS. Your bullsh*t "aww shucks" brand of cynicism covers the ass of politicians who would turn us into a banana republic with their corruption and brazen greed.
I don't even like Delbert. To me, he looks like he's always impatiently waiting in a lunch line for his damn sandwich. Nevertheless, that Hosemann's office is less effective than you'd like does not disarm Rick's argument that his people are better equipped than the single-digit staff over in Tom Hood's office at handling these types of issues.
Frankly, your dismissive tone is that of a politician clutching for even more immunity.

Kingfish said...

Tom Hood's office is indeed understaffed and has had its budget cut over the last few years. They do their best but they are simply overwhelmed.

Wow said...

Well said 8:49 AM

Anonymous said...

Um....just donate the funds to a PAC you control and then hire yourself and your wife and kids. Very common in other states.

Rick Ward said...

Hey Anonymous (from the comment on March 23 at 5:24), I didn't catch your name but would welcome a personal discussion on this issue with you if you would quit hiding behind an assumed name. You know its rude to not introduce yourself after somebody else has to you. At any rate, I doubt you quit reading when you got to the issue about Hoseman. You would just like readers to know how big you are by dumb ass comments. I am not a friend or fan of Hoseman either but I am not an enemy either. I am talking about the Office not the man. If you weren't so ignorant, you could make yourself less ignorant by reading the brief on the link. You would see the statistics of each office and only a moron could conclude afterwards that the Ethics Commission is more capable of handling it. The SOS (office) has a much stronger history of taking action against public officials. Most of the thieves will get their money out and spend it on what they want this year because the Legislature is making the law effective next year. HEY, PHIL BRYANT, IF YOU ARE READING THIS, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A VETO OF THIS BILL! Rick Ward

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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.


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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.

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