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Fund freeze: Kelsey barred from using PAC money for legal battles.

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TLDR:

– Former Tennessee Senator Brian Kelsey has been advised that he cannot use funds from his political action committee (PAC) to pay for his legal fees.
– Kelsey transferred nearly $200,000 from his state campaign account to his Red State PAC, and sought to use the funds for his defense in a federal campaign finance law violation case.
– The executive director of the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance issued an advisory opinion, stating that state law prohibits the use of campaign funds for a candidate’s personal use, including legal fees.
– Kelsey has switched attorneys twice in his federal case, prompting the inquiry into using PAC funds.

A former Tennessee Senator, Brian Kelsey, has been advised by the state’s top campaign finance watchdog that he cannot use funds from his political action committee (PAC) to pay for his legal fees. Kelsey, a Republican from Germantown, transferred $196,833 from his state campaign account to his Red State PAC last summer. He then sought a legal opinion on whether that money could be used for legal fees in his federal case after changing attorneys twice. Bill Young, executive director of the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance, issued an advisory opinion in November stating that state law prohibits the disbursement of campaign funds from a candidate’s own campaign account for personal use. This means that PAC funds cannot be spent on Kelsey’s legal fees.

The background to this situation is a federal campaign finance law violation case that Kelsey is facing. The specific details of the case are not mentioned in the article, but it is clear that he is seeking to reverse his conviction. The fact that Kelsey has switched attorneys twice also adds a layer of complexity to the situation, prompting the inquiry into using PAC funds for legal fees. The advisory opinion from the executive director serves as a clear indication that using campaign funds for personal use, including legal fees, is not permissible under state law. Kelsey will need to find other means to cover his legal expenses.

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