Associated Press: Carson blurs lines between presidential candidate, doctor-author-speaker


Most political candidates focus only on their campaigns to avoid potential violations, said Lawrence Noble of the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington nonprofit group that promotes transparency in politics. For instance, if a candidate is getting paid to speak at an event, he or she has to make sure not to mix that with campaigning, he said. Continuing with paid speeches, book promotion tours and charity events and keeping those separate from the campaign is a challenge.

“It’s very difficult to do, and the dangers are high,” Noble said.

What Carson says at these paid speaking events is critical to evaluating whether Carson violated any campaign laws, Noble said. But most of the paid-speaking events are not open to the public.

The sponsor of the speaking event cannot subsidize campaign travel, Noble said. That could jeopardize the organization’s tax-exempt status.

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