Political candidates must turn in campaign financial reports on deadline to avoid disqualification from elections

Office of Government Ethics
Olivia Nightingale Nick Pagliarulo

Presidential candidates are required by federal law to disclose their financial records regarding incomes and various campaign expenditures for analysis. Within 30 days of announcing their intent to run for political office, each candidate must release varying amounts of information that are often too broad to carry meaning.

According to the Federal Election Committee, quarterly reports must be filed containing all of the receipts and disbursements regarding their campaign. A senior researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics explained that financial records "are not intended to be a net worth statement" but a "guard against conflicts and potential conflicts."

Local candidate's refusal to disclose financial information ended his campaign early

Recent District 1 City Council running man, Cory Sanders, failed to include various campaign spendings that stripped him of his eligibility to run for the seat. His initial campaign report listed zero expenses when he had actually spent over 700 dollars on yard signs. On October 31, Sanders received an email from a Board of Elections Supervisor inquiring about his unreported spendings on his campaign website and paper flyers. His dismissal from the campaign trail followed his refusal to send in a corrected financial statement.

Financial scandals are the most common types of scandals in political campaigns

Scandals such as withdrawing from a political race due to lack of sufficient financial records has the ability to tarnish one's reputation in the eyes of the public. Thirty-seven percent of scandals relate to financial controversies, which is the most common type.

This was seen recently in a debate with 2016 U.S. Presidential candidate, Marco Rubio. Attention has been drawn to the questionable use of his American Express card from 2005 to 2008. Rubio accepted the credit card from the Republican Party of Florida, which was used for personal purchases.

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