Provision Tucked In Spending Bill Blows Up Campaign Finance Limits

Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson speaks at the Global Gaming Expo, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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At about the very end of the omnibus bill meant to prevent a government shutdown there’s a provision tweaking campaign finance laws that lets politicians ask for even larger donations from the wealthiest American donors.

On page 1,599, as The Huffington Post flagged, there’s a provision that creates a trio of funds within the Republican National Committee and its counterpart, the Democratic National Committee.

In each fund, one donor could give as much as $97,200 per year to three separate funds within the committees. That means, if the provision does become law, just one donor could give to all three funds plus current donation caps for a total of $324,000 in one year (or twice that much in a two-year election cycle). This means that the new provision would allow for ten times the amount of spending currently allowed, according to the Washington Post.

The provision’s change would essentially gut the campaign finance contribution cap established in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law in 2002. That law limits a donor’s giving to a national committee to just $32,400 each year in addition to the $32,400 annual donation to another fund that can only be used in a recount situation.

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