Ethics Commission caps donations by campaigns

In a clear reversal of an earlier ruling, the state Ethics Commission ruled Thursday that political campaigns cannot make unlimited financial donations to other campaigns.

In August, the commission ruled that politicians could funnel cash to other campaigns, although there was a law on the books that limited contributions.

The issue came to light on Aug. 17, when the commission heard and dismissed a complaint over $10,000 from the campaign of a dead man.

Warner Robins Mayor Donald Walker was running for re-election in 2009 when he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Later, his campaign sent $10,000 to candidate Chuck Chalk, who was running to succeed Walker. Political donations are supposed to be capped at $2,400 in municipal races.

But citing language in the Ethics in Government Act, commissioners ruled at the time that, unlike regular donors, political candidates can give as much as they want to other campaigns.

Thursday’s ruling referred to other language in the law that caps donations.

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