Board to reconsider campaign funds being used for child care
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Ethics Board is set to reconsider whether candidates for public office can use campaign funds for campaign-related child care.
The Advocate reports the board on Friday will hear an appeal of a ruling it made late last year. The appeal was filed by Morgan Lamandre, who was advised by the board that she could be penalized for using campaign funds to pay for child care while campaigning for office.
At the time, the Ethics Board told Lamandre, a Democrat running for a seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives, that the use of campaign funds for child care "is not an allowable expenditure."
Gov. John Bel Edwards has asked the board to reconsider, saying child care is a "reasonable expense" associated with running for office.
While the Ethics Board can levy fines against candidates who improperly use campaign dollars, Louisiana's political candidates routinely use campaign money to pay for athletic tickets, cellphone bills, and other perks without being penalized, the Advocate said.
The Advocate reported that male candidates have been allowed to expense child care in the past. In 2000, a different Ethics Board allowed a man to claim campaign-related child care expenses as long as the child care provider wasn't the candidate's spouse or minor child.
While the current Ethics Board is not bound by that opinion, its most recent ruling is at odds with past practice. Moreover, The Federal Election Commission ruled last year that congressional candidates can use campaign funds for child care.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com