What is a ‘Campaign in a Box’ and Why is Texas Banning it?

A proposed law would ban the practice of writing a single check to cover campaign expenses, which can hide how a candidate spends their money.

By Rhonda FanningAugust 16, 2016 11:31 am

Wiseacres will tell you that the Texas Ethics Commission is an oxymoron – such is the state of public confidence in honest politics. But the Ethics Commission proposed new rules to force politicos to take the lid off what are called “campaigns in a box.”

Ross Ramsey, executive editor of the Texas Tribune, says a “campaign in a box” is when campaign managers write a single check to a consultant, rather than to each vendor the campaign uses.

“You don’t have to report every detail of what you’ve spent,” he says. “It’s a cat-and-mouse game. You write a law, they work their way around it…. This is the current work-around.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How it looked like a campaign consultant milked former governor Rick Perry’s presidential campaign for cash

– What a “campaign in a box” can hide on the spending side

– Why transparency in campaign finance matters in an election and what comes next for the proposed law