State law bars elected executive officers, such as then-Secretary of State Kemp, from accepting donations from anyone who is in a profession that the office regulates. The secretary of state’s office issues business licenses and certifications. However, since Kemp was running for governor, he was not subject to the law.
An attorney for Kemp said Kemp’s personal social media accounts were linked through the secretary of state’s website in 2013 — well before his campaign for governor began — and was not a campaign contribution of website use from the office. The complaint alleged that use of the personal account, which also promoted his campaign for governor, through a state website was illegal under campaign laws.
A third complaint said the Kemp campaign didn’t include the employers of those who contributed to his run for governor. David Emadi, executive secretary of the state ethics commission, said Kemp’s campaign made several attempts to get that information from donors, so there was no violation.
Emadi said the commission informed Abrams that simply putting “reimbursement” on her campaign expense forms was too vague and it allowed her to update the reports, leading the commission to dismiss that charge.
And commission staff said a complaint accusing Abrams of using her campaign to promote her book was purely based on a theory.
“The complaint said this could be happening so could y’all investigate,” said Joe Cusack with the ethics commission. “It lacks evidence that any of this actually occurred.”