KAIT-TV reports that Democratic Sen. David Burnett has amended campaign finance reports to refund some $2,700 in contributions that came from seven corporate contributors, now prohibited by a constitutional amendment.
Burnett said the contributions were oversights. He said they came from farm-related businesses and people in that business like to make their contributions from their companies. It’s more convenient, he said.
Too bad. Corporate money is corporate money. If you want to support a candidate, write a personal check.
The amendment is likely in response to a complaint to the Ethics Commission about the corporate contributions that were reported. Under the get-our-jail-free rule adopted by the legislature, lawmakers may correct illegalities in campaign finance report after they are called to their attention without penalty.
There is an easy way around the corporate money limit. As most incumbents do these days, get your corporate friends to give corporate money to a PAC, which can launder the corporate contribution into a legal PAC contribution. It is called a loophole.
Meanwhile, Burnett’s Republican challenger, Rep. David Wallace has loaned his campaign more than $122,000. He makes a healthy living doing disaster cleanup work for the federal government (though he’s otherwise a foe of big government spending.) The Democratic Party has been suspicious about his reported loans and questioned whether he’s used an unreported line of credit. He responded to my question on the issue by saying he had taken out no loans for his campaign and that all loans to his campaign were from his personal funds.