/Mississippi governor’s race Finance reports offer glimpse at who’s funding top candidates

Mississippi governor’s race Finance reports offer glimpse at who’s funding top candidates

This was just one of many takeaways Mississippi Today’s analysis of the finance reports for top-funded gubernatorial candidates, which also included Hood, Lt. Governor. Tate Reeves and former Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court Bill Waller Jr. were also included in the report. Mississippi Today discovered that the reporting requirements were not being enforced. Candidates are required to submit monthly reports to the secretary-of-state’s office detailing where and how much funding was received during an election year. According to the 2019 Campaign Finance Guide by the secretary of state, each donation exceeding $200 requires filers to provide the following information: name, address and date. Contributors can also be listed in the report: type of contributor, occupation, employer, and the individual contributors’ occupation. Interviews with the Mississippi Ethics Commission and the secretary of state revealed that the state does not enforce the missing fields in finance reports. Foster’s campaign didn’t include the employer or occupation for any itemized contributions, even though it was required in its periodic reports. The secretary of state’s bureau sends a list to the Ethics Commission of all delinquent filers after each reporting period. This notifies the candidate and campaign committee of any fine. The Ethics Commission is required to require candidates or political committees to file campaign finance disclosure reports. Those who fail to comply with the requirements will be subject to a civil penalty …”. However, it’s not clear who is responsible for interpreting whether filings are “substantially compliant.” Jose Simo, the assistant director of Ethics Commission, stated that no agency has the authority to determine whether a filing is “substantially compliant”. According to a spokesperson for the secretary of state, “The statute is somewhat ambiguous” and does not address who has that authority. The list sent to Ethics Commission does not include late or absent filings. It only covers filings with missing information. Here are the key takeaways from each candidate’s financial reports. Also, searchable tables of their largest contributions ($3,000 and higher) as well as contributions by city: Bill Waller Jr. Robert Foster Jim Hood Tate Reeves