Mark Takano Wants to Put an End to “Zombie" Campaigns
Long after the end of their campaigns and government tenure, political candidates continue to use campaign funds, with little regulation. A Tampa Bay Times report last year found roughly 100 of these “zombie campaigns” were still spending money even though their candidate’s political career had been laid to rest. In some extreme cases, candidates continued to spend funds on consultants and staff years after they passed away. Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA) is ready to battle the walking dead. He has introduced the Let It Go Act to limit how long former political candidates can hold on to campaign funds while presenting them the option to return the money to donors, donate it to charity, or transfer to another candidate -- all permissible uses under current election law. The bill would require that candidates dispose of the funds within six years of the end of their campaign or tenure in office. Additionally, anyone registered to become a lobbyist would be required to resolve their campaign accounts within one year of enactment. “Americans make financial contributions to a candidate of their choice with the expectation that those funds will be put to good use by the candidate’s campaign,” said Takano. “The Let It Go Act will help uphold that intention by ensuring that the hard-earned dollars Americans donate to campaigns every cycle are not being wasted by a candidate long after their campaign is over. And it will help restore trust that these funds are being used responsibly and not for personal gain.” More here.