What to do about Murtha funds

The Hill reports on issues surrounding Rep. Murtha’s campaign funds following his death.

“The money can be given to charity, it can go to the party committee and it can be given to other candidates, within limits,” said Kenneth Gross, a Washington-based campaign finance lawyer. “And there were some old advisory opinions that allowed a candidate to will the money — Murtha could continue to run this operation from the grave.”

In practice, that’s typically not how the political action committee (PAC) of a late member carries on.

“Ultimately, the treasurer is responsible for cutting the checks and spending the money,” said Michael Toner, a former chairman of the FEC. “Usually what you see is the political team close to the member making recommendations; sometimes the wife of a former [member] is carefully consulted about where the former [member] would want money spent. But under FEC regulations, the treasurer is the person who has the ability to expend funds.”

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