WWL ran a story about campaign finance reporting and the fines that go with the system we have in place.
I ran for the Kenner City Council. I had to leave town during the campaign to visit my mother in the hospital who had just had her thyroid removed. She was near death. Fortunately, she survived. However, because I was out of town I missed a reporting deadline.
I was fined. The fine was $40 a day. Fortunately, I was only one day late. I appealed the fine. I told them my story. They couldn’t have cared less. They still applied the fine. How “ethical” is that?
There are other campaigns that only loan money to themselves during the campaign and then get reimbursed afterwards. I am sure those campaigns were promised funds afterwards so nobody could say “look who this campaign is connected to”.
Finally, you have candidates (like our own Governor) who used federal campaign funds to run for Governor. He did so by sending fundraising mailers all over the State even though he was only campaigning in LA01. He circumvents the rules by jumping through loopholes and not only does nobody bat an eyelash but he then runs on a platform of ethics and people actually believed him! Now we have laws that make it harder to convict people of unethical behavior, except for those who file reports late.
I have no problem with requiring people to show who is contributing to their campaign. I think that is vital to know who is supporting candidates financially. However, there must be a better way to accomplish the reporting without the ridiculous fines and there are so many loopholes in the entirety of our system of campaign rules that the system places absurd punishment on those who have not been elected while allowing elected officials to get away with actual unethical behavior that is technically legal (because it is the elected officials who write the rules).
So, instead of going after politicians who are no longer running with these absurd fines, how about we start demanding that our elected politicians actually behave in an ethical way.