It would play a serious position within the fundraising wars for subsequent yr’s governor’s race.
ATLANTA — Earlier this month, Gov. Brian Kemp signed a new law that radically modifications how just a few choose officeholders or occasion nominees elevate cash for his or her campaigns.
The legislation, SB 221, will take impact this summer time, and can play a serious position within the fundraising wars for subsequent yr’s governor’s race.
Its been scrutinized for creating what critics characterize as a two-tiered system of marketing campaign finance – one by which the standard guidelines apply, and one the place a carve-out for sure key races will enable limitless spending.
So how does it truly work?
The textual content of SB 221 gives for a brand new type of marketing campaign fundraising car, referred to as a “management committee,” that facilitates the modifications.
They are often shaped by the governor or lieutenant governor, or “the nominee of a political occasion for Governor chosen in a main election within the yr by which she or he is nominated, or the nominee of a political occasion for Lieutenant Governor chosen in a main election within the yr by which she or he is nominated.”
The second half is essential, as a result of whereas by the letter of the legislation it extends equal consideration to the opposition occasion, in follow a celebration does not select its nominee for these workplaces till just a few months earlier than the election – leaving that candidate far much less time to lift funds by their “management committee” than the sitting governor or lieutenant governor, who successfully would be capable to use their committee to lift funds year-round.
How a lot can they elevate?
Beneath pre-existing legislation, there are marketing campaign contribution limits in Georgia that, according to the state ethics commission, quantity to $7,000 for a main and $7,000 for a common election (with smaller quantities allowed for runoffs) in statewide races – similar to these for governor and lieutenant governor.
The a part of the legislation outlining these limits is Section 21-5-41 of the Georgia Code. SB 221 makes these new “management committees” a transparent exception to that legislation:
“The contribution limits in Code Part 21-5-41 shall not apply to contributions to a management committee or expenditures made by a management committee in help of a candidate or a bunch of named candidates,” the brand new legislation states.
Marketing campaign finance legislation is advanced, and there have all the time been exceptions to the foundations which have allowed candidates to lift greater than the max from people or organizations. However this legislation does not apply even a nominal different fundraising restrict, leaving a management committee free to lift all of the money it needs.
What else is affected?
The brand new legislation additionally extends to the Republican and Democratic leaders within the Georgia Home and Senate – legislative races which can be topic underneath current legislation to even smaller marketing campaign contribution maximums than the statewide races, and that Home Speaker David Ralston, as an illustration, will now be capable to bypass.
The legislation has additionally raised objections from third events. The Georgia Libertarian Party has said Georgia legislation solely classifies “political events” because the Republican and Democratic Celebration, and that different events are formally deemed “political our bodies.”
So in writing the legislation to particularly apply to events, the Libertarians and different third-party teams get neglected.