Where does the money go?

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Campaign contributions have been a topic of debate recently in Mississippi.
In February the Clarion Ledger reported that several Mississippi politicians have spent their campaign contributions on things that may not be seen as a qualifying campaign expense.
And this week the Associated Press reported that former Lt. Governor Amy Tuck took home a nice chunk of change when she left office in 2013. The amount? Only the $158,342 left in the account when she left office three years ago.
She’s not the only one. The story states that close to 100 other elected officials brought home what could only be seen as a bonus from their campaign contribution account when they left office.
While it may sound illegal, it’s not. We live in one of five states where there’s no law against taking these funds and using them for personal reasons when leaving office. All they have to do is pay taxes on them.
The kicker is there’s no stipulation on how those funds are to be used once the account is closed.
For the uninitiated, campaign contributions typically come from those supporting a particular candidate, many times from business owners, hospitals, electric companies and insurers, the AP story states.
With so much collected in taxes and many unaware of where this money goes, to see that state politicians are able to profit from their time in office is a bit disconcerting.
Many of us work day-to-day to keep bills paid and food on the table.
So what can be done about this? Probably nothing considering that story states that proposals to end the practice never get so much as a vote in committee.
Alternately we could all stop providing contributions to politicians, but I doubt that will happen considering most of those contributions don’t come from the general public.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox