Cerner Must Guard Against Conflicts of Interest as Exec Runs for Congress, Experts Say

The Kansas City Star

Candidates often take leaves of absence to pursue congressional runs, particularly if their employer has major business before the federal government. But Adkins, a former state GOP chair, has decided to stay on as a Cerner vice president during the campaign. “The employer is going to have to be careful not to do anything that could be seen as subsidizing the campaign,” said Brendan Fischer, director of federal reform at the Washington-based Campaign Legal Center. Federal law restricts government contractors from giving money to congressional candidates. Cerner will also have to protect against providing services to Adkins which could be seen as in-kind contributions under Federal Election Commission rules, Fischer said. Adkins should also “be careful not to do anything to imply the company’s support for her campaign,” he added.

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