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Ethics Commission OKs Crowdfunding For Legislative Campaigns

USA 2016 Presidential Election with American flag and money
Getty Images/iStockphoto
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USA 2016 Presidential Election with American flag and money

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has ruled that political candidates are allowed to use crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter to raise money for their own political campaigns.

Crowdfunding websites help people raise money for projects or causes in exchange for a cut of the proceeds.

In its formal opinion, the commission warned against promoting crowdfunding webpages on social media accounts maintained by legislative caucuses.

"A bright line should be maintained between informational, non-political activities that can properly be carried out using public resources, and partisan political activity for which public resources cannot be used," the opinion stated.

Last week, KLEC said that candidates for the state legislature can use the site to raise funds for their campaigns, as long as they follow state campaign finance laws.

Individuals can only contribute $1,000 per candidate per election.

The commission also warned against using any legislative stationary or the seal of the Commonwealth when using crowdfunding sites. Candidates are also prohibited from accepting contributions from lobbyists at any time.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. Email Ryland at rbarton@lpm.org.