PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Governor Shapiro’s inauguration has come and gone, and the administration is off to a fast start.
However, the governor has yet to release the names or dollar amounts that funded the inaugural celebration.
Is he required to make the list of inaugural donors public?
Aaron McKean, a lawyer with the Campaign Legal Center in Washington D.C.
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“Pennsylvania is one of the states where there are no requirements for disclosure or limits or restrictions on the money that can be raised or spent for inaugurations," McKean said.
Governor Shapiro’s inaugural committee was organized as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit.
According to the Internal Revenue Code, 501(c)(4)’s are “civic leagues, social welfare organizations, and local associations of employees…” and they can keep where their money comes from hidden.
"501(c)(4) groups potentially add an additional layer of secrecy for this kind of spending," McKean said. "Unless there's a specific rule in the campaign finance laws, of the ethics laws, requiring transparency for the for the funds that it raises, they aren’t required to disclose their donors."
So no, nothing in Pennsylvania law requires Governor Shapiro to disclose the list of donors or their contributions for his inauguration.
McKean says this break from prior administrations raises concerns over conflicts of interest.
“Is the governor going to be working on behalf of those special interests who are funding these inauguration galas?" McKean said. "Or is it going to be working on behalf of the voters? That's the key question."
FOX43 reached out to Governor Shapiro's office for clarity.
Among the questions, we asked if there was any plan to release the list of donors, if there was a cap on how much people could donate, and how much in donations was left over after the celebration.
At this time, the governor’s press office has not returned the request for comment.