State commission sets tighter fundraising standard

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Ethics Commission has approved an advisory opinion that says legislators should not raise money for a nonprofit groups or steer discretionary funds to it if they or their spouses serve on its board.

The commission voted 5-0 on Wednesday to approve the opinion, which said that fundraising for such groups could involve making solicitations from groups and individuals with matters pending before the state Legislature.

Ethics Commission Director Jim Sumner said the commission was trying to help prevent conflicts of interest.

Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, requested the opinion from the commission and was surprised by the fundraising ban when it involves a volunteer position on a charity board.

But he said he is glad to know the commission's stance.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)