Rep. Attica Scott Is Spending Big Via State House Account in Off-Cycle

State Rep. Attica Scott, D-Louisville, has been hitting the fundraising hard, and spending big in the first quarter of an off-cycle year, according to an expenditure report filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

Scott, who is considering a Democratic primary challenge to Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville, has been spending big the first several months of 2021 from her state House campaign account on a finance consultant and technical assistance– even though this is an off-cycle campaign year. 

According to a quarterly report filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, Scott began paying finance director Alice Harris $5,000 a month in February and March 2021 – the quarterly report only captures the first few months of the year. The next quarterly report is due at the end of June, and Harris is listed on social media as still working for Scott.

The Louisville Democrat has filed an intent to run in the 2022 Democratic primary for the state House seat, which covers her legally to raise money for the race 2022 state House race. 

What is also odd is another group of $2,500 monthly payments from Scott’s state House campaign funds to McNary Group starting in late January 2021 continuing through March for “technical assistance.” McNary Group is listed on its website as doing nonprofit consulting and implementation. 

Scott generally raises and spends small, according to Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (KREF) reports. What she has already spent this year is often what she will raise and spend during a campaign in-cycle. The 41st District representative did not face a primary or general election challenger in 2020. 

What is not allowed under the law is a transfer of state House funds to a federal election campaign, so any money raised in 2021 cannot be used to run for the U.S. House of Representatives if she decides to engage in that campaign. It is also not allowable for a candidate to pay consultants, finance directors, etc. for campaign activities from state campaign funds to a federal campaign. 

If Scott opts to run for Congress in 2022 against Yarmuth she will have to forgo a run for state House the same year, a provision in Kentucky law allows a candidate to only appear once on the ballot. Any money raised to her state House campaign can be transferred to other state candidates or the state party.

These moves by Scott, hiring a finance director and consultants off-cycle are not illegal for her state House race, but are odd considering all the circumstances. A call to Scott was not immediately returned.

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