Sunday, April 13, 2008

If it is not a about sex, it must be about... MONEY ... again

As I wrote previously, Democrats should be very nervous about putting Senator McCain into a corner regarding his acceptance of public funding and the spending caps that come with that. Even the Dean-led DNC seems to get this, although their latest approach to the problem seems hapless to me.

Here are some important points to bear in mind about what how a candidate may use money donated during the primary season (aside from financing his or her campaign of course!).
  • S/he cannot put it to personal use, although s/he can repay loans s/he made to his/her campaign (both Senator McCain and Senator Clinton have lent their campaigns money).
  • A candidate can retain donations for a future run for federal office (for example, either Senator Obama or Senator Clinton could retain any leftover money for their run in the general election or their next senate race).
These are the typical fates of money raised by candidates who don't advance to the next round.

But given the money pouring into Senator Obama's campaign, some of the other permissible uses become quite interesting.
  • A candidate can donate an unlimited amount to charity, even one s/he creates (for example, John Edwards did this with at least some of the money he raised in various campaigns).
  • A candidate can donate an unlimited amount to a political party (for example, if Senator Obama does not win the nomination or withdraws from the primary, he can donate some or all of the money he has raised to the Democratic National Party, which works to ensure the election of all Dems on the ballot in November).

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