Austin American-Statesman: Wendy Davis faces ethics question as she launches book tour


“This does get tricky,” said Lawrence Noble, counsel to the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C., a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works on issues of campaign finance and government ethics. Noble is also a former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission.

Noble’s expertise is federal campaign law, but he said several overarching rules apply: It should not appear that the publisher overpaid for the book. If Davis is doing another campaign event on the same trip as a book event, the publisher shouldn’t pay for the trip. The campaign and the publisher can talk to one another, but the campaign should not be dictating when and where they want the book appearances to be. If she speaks about the book, she should not be talking about running for office. The events should not appear to be campaign rallies. Campaign staff are better left behind.

“When you have campaign people involved in any way it is going to raise questions,” Noble said. “Being this close to the election does raise an added burden that they remain separate.”

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