May Local Candidates Loan Themselves Money for their Campaign?

From the editor: A reader recently noted that City Commission candidates Ben Neece and Joe Munguia had loaned themselves money for their campaigns for city commissioner.  He was confident this represented an ethics violation. The Texas Ethics Commission website below indicates otherwise:

TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION

Campaign Finance Guide for Candidates and Officeholders Who File With Local Filing Authorities

Revised May 4, 2016

This guide is for candidates for and officeholders in the following positions:
county offices;
precinct offices;
single-county district offices;
city offices; and
offices of other political subdivisions such as school districts.

REIMBURSEMENT FOR POLITICAL EXPENDITURES FROM PERSONAL FUNDS

If a candidate or officeholder makes political expenditures from personal funds, he or she may use political contributions to reimburse himself or herself if the expenditures are properly reported either on the reporting schedule for loans or on the reporting schedule for political expenditures from personal funds. In order for a candidate or officeholder to use political contributions to reimburse his or her personal funds, the political expenditure from personal funds must be properly reported on the report covering the period in which the expenditures are made. A filed report may not be later corrected to indicate an intention to reimburse personal funds from political contributions.

If a candidate or officeholder deposits personal funds in an account in which political contributions are held as permitted by section 253.0351(c) of the Election Code, the deposited amount must be reported as a loan and reimbursements to the candidate or officeholder may not exceed the amount reported as a loan. See “Campaign Expenditures From Personal Funds” in this guide for additional information.

Comments

  1. I always wonder why some candidates accept thousands in donations from shady special interests, and always seem to have one hand out for a cash bribe. Versus others who are willing to risk and put their own money on the line. It is a decision when one could have taken special interest bribes, but chose to stay clean by risking their own money, in order to not be indebted down the road owing favors.

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    1. Above comment is totally naïve.

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    2. Thousands and thousands of dollars at going into that Special Election in Georgia - a lot of it from outsiders. It's politics, and playing at politics is not cheap. Get over the "outside" money in Brownsville. Non-story.

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    3. above written by OP 10.33 from Houston or Erasmo from Austin... lol how is that working out for you... all your gimme-a-handout antics lost. No one trusts a bribe taker! Hello.

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  2. In short, yes. Candidates can loan themselves money.

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