Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Permissible use of unspent campaign funds

Permitted use of unspent funds

This will be a record fundraising season for the 2012 elections. When candidates withdraw or lose an election, what happens to any unspent funds?

The Federal Elections Commission has a detailed brochure that outlines what candidates who lose or withdraw can and can't do with contributions. You can see the brochure at

According to law, contributions may NOT be converted for personal use. Among automatic personal-use designations are: household food items and supplies, funeral expenses, clothing for political functions (such as a tuxedo or dress), personal mortgage or rent fees, dues or fees to clubs or other nonpolitical organizations, admission to entertainment events, investments.

Among the things contributions can be used for, according to an FEC spokeswoman and the brochure:

• They may be returned to contributors.

• They may be used to pay down debt incurred in a campaign.

• Contributions left over from a race can be donated to a legitimate nonprofit organization or to any national, state or local party committee.

• They may be kept and used for a campaign in another election cycle.

• They may be used to repay personal money a candidate has loaned to his or her campaign.

• They may be used to cover travel expenses for a spouse and children, if the travel is related to the officeholder's job.

• They may be used for gifts for nonfamily members.

Ins and outs of dual citizenship

In an increasing number of reports, the media refers to some U.S. citizens as "dual citizens," then names another country. I understood that the U.S. government prohibited dual citizenship for U.S. citizens. Has this law changed?

According to the State Department website ( "The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance."

It also says: "U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship. However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship."

Q&A: Permissible use of unspent campaign funds 08/22/11 [Last modified: Monday, August 22, 2011 3:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.