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December 19, 2006

So Much for Campaign Finance Reform

by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math

Via Hotline, we learn "McCain is expected to forgo federal matching funds for both the primary and the general election. McCain can tap each donor for a maximum of $2,100 per race, and he can raise money for both the primaries and the general election race at the same time."

This was inevitable, once both candidates raised over $150 million for the primaries in 2004. In Congressional races, candidates may accept two $2100 checks from each donor, one for the primary and another for the general. But, funds not spent during the primary season may be rolled over to the general election, allowing the candidate to hoard funds until it truly matters. This, I would say, marks the end of the post-Nixon system of financing Presidential races, and will probably kickstart a conversation on how to once again free our Presidential candidates from the excruciating time sink that is fundraising.

Hopefully Mark Schmitt has something to say on the topic.

December 19, 2006 | Permalink


At the great risk of sounding stupid, didn't Kerry raise at least $100 million on the internets in 2004? Shouldn't that sort of small dollar fund-raising kinda limit the need to suck up to rich people? Just asking.

It sort of reminds me of news stories about the mob in the 1980s and 1990s in NYC. Prosecutors would brag they brought down 50 million, 100 million dollar mob businesses. Which made me wonder why the saps didn't just split the dough and retire to Florida instead of whacking each other, squealing on each other, and spending long stretches in prison.

Maybe "the internet can fund political campaigns and free politicos from evil rich people" story is just an urban myth?

Posted by: Fred | Dec 20, 2006 6:20:32 PM

At the great risk of sounding stupid, didn't Kerry raise at least $100 million on the internets in 2004?

Some numbers.

Contributions of $1000 or more accounted for 50% of funds. Contributions under $250 accounted for just over 25% of funds. 527s accounted for twice as much spending as candidate committees. So, the amount of money flowing into the campaign system from small donors is small.

It is still much faster and easier to raise money from people who will write checks for the maximum. The internet just means that other candidates have some alternative way of raising money. But that was true even in 1992, with Jerry Brown and the 1-800 number.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Dec 21, 2006 5:32:24 PM

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