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Elected officials can raise campaign money to pay off debts

The Birmingham News reports: Newly elected public officials can hit up donors for thousands of dollars in campaign funds during their first weeks in office, under a decade-old interpretation of Alabama campaign finance law.

State law allows candidates to raise money for 120 days after an election to retire any campaign debt they might have. However, candidates are not limited to raising just enough to cover their net campaign debt, and in some cases they raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra funds.

Candidates and campaign workers say that allows them to pay off late-arriving bills. But others say the system is ripe for abuse and is a way to stretch the fundraising window. ...

The practice is common in Montgomery. A 1999 attorney general's opinion stated that candidates can raise money to cover whatever debt is listed on their campaign finance form during that 120-day window, and it doesn't matter whether they already had enough cash in their coffers to pay off the debt. -- Read the whole story --> Alabama's newly elected officials can raise money after taking office | al.com

There are two AG opinions from 1998-99 that allow this post-election fundraising to pay off debt:

99-00061

99-00090

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