When asked whether the campaign is paying Aldean, a Macon native, for his appearance, a campaign spokesman didn’t answer, saying only “we’re going to be in full compliance on all ethics requirements.”
Emadi said a stripped down Aldean performance with a guitar and an amplifier would not violate campaign law. However, if Aldean holds a concert with a band, and Jones is not paying the musician, it would be a violation because it would amount to an in-kind contribution. Given Aldean’s going rate for performances, it would exceed the legal limit for donations.
“We’re excited to host Jason Aldean in Athens next month — with the ethics commission’s written approval — following Burt’s massive fundraising haul in his race for lieutenant governor,” Jones campaign spokesman Stephen Lawson said.
Jones, a Republican from Jackson, said Friday that his campaign had raised $1.75 million from donors since he entered the race during the summer and loaned himself $2 million. His latest campaign finance report is not due until February.
“Everyone — except Burt’s competition, apparently — is looking forward to the event,” Lawson said.
Jones is squaring off against Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, and Republican activist Jeanne Seaver for the GOP nomination.
John Porter, a Miller campaign adviser, questioned the timing of the event and accused Jones of holding an illegal fundraiser. Miller’s campaign says he has raised about $3.35 million.
When asked for evidence that Jones was accepting donations during the session, Porter cited the event invitation for Feb. 19 that includes ticket prices — $7,800 for two VIP tickets and $2,500 for two general admission tickets.
“Burt is having a fundraising event during session,” Porter said. “Georgia law prohibits fundraising during session. It’s that simple.”