Campaign Financing: Over

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The Hotline notices that Hillary Clinton's campaign site encourages donations over the limit mandated by the campaign finance reforms of the 1970s.

Because the limit on individual contributions is $2100 per election, it means that Clinton is raising money for two accounts—her primary account and a general election account.

In other words—Clinton becomes the first candidate to officially acknowledge that she won't accept federal matching funds for either the primary and the general election.

We've known for years that Clinton has the potential to raise more money than God, and God certainly doesn't worry about post-Watergate "good government" laws. The larger issue is whether Clinton's move compels every other serious candidate to ditch federal matching funds. If so, one of the next president's first acts in office could be (blissfully) the dismantling of this ridiculous system.

NEXT: A Bad Idea that Deserves a Try

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  1. Dave, are you already high this morning? There’s no chance a Democrat will dismantle campaign financing rules. For them, its Do as I say, not as I do.

  2. So the theory is that because Mrs. Clinton doesn’t personally have to take advantage of a government program meant to level the playing field, she’s going to want to dismantle it?

    Does that sound like how Democrats think?

  3. “The larger issue is whether Clinton’s move compels every other serious candidate to ditch federal matching funds. If so, one of the next president’s first acts in office could be (blissfully) the dismantling of this ridiculous system.”

    Hell no because the system helps insiders with huge mailing lists like Hillary Clinton. Get rid of the rules and you could have a serious insurgent candidate like Ronald Reagan or Eugene McCarthy. That is the last thing the insiders in either party want. Campaign finance laws are good for incumbents, good for connected insiders, good for wives and children of politicians, good for the status quo and good for the media and terrible for the voting public, the country and the health of the Democracy. The insiders who control things can do the right thing and change it and also risk their privileges and positions or they can lie about the need for “clean government” and continue this abominable system and stay power. I have an idea which they will choose.

  4. Does that sound like how Democrats think?

    No, but “do as I say, not as I do” does.

  5. RC Dean: That’s true for all (electable) politicians.

  6. Before the thread gets too off-track, the “ridiculous system” Weigel was referring to is the system of federal matching funds, not campaign finance reform as a whole.

    In fact, the federal matching funds system would tend to harm candidates with a giant leg up in name recognition as a long donor list, by allow less-well-known candidates to achieve some degree of parity with the Hillary Clintons.

  7. Yes I agree Clinton does have the ablity to raise more money than every one else . I do only hope she is going to utelize it very wise.

    Thank you for sharing this story with me !

  8. So the theory is that because Mrs. Clinton doesn’t personally have to take advantage of a government program meant to level the playing field, she’s going to want to dismantle it?

    Huh? Did the post previously say something other than the seemingly clear:

    The larger issue is whether Clinton’s move compels every other serious candidate to ditch federal matching funds. If so, one of the next president’s first acts in office could be (blissfully) the dismantling of this ridiculous system.

  9. That’s true for all (electable) politicians.

    True dat.

  10. Joe,

    Weigel has shown time and again that he doesn’t know what he is talking about when it comes to election financing. The fact that he mixes up matching funds with CFR should not surprise anyone. In his mind is just the simplistic notion that election law = bad. He really can’t compute much more than that so you have to give him a bit of a break.

  11. The larger issue is whether Clinton’s move compels every other serious candidate to ditch federal matching funds. If so, one of the next president’s first acts in office could be (blissfully) the dismantling of this ridiculous system.

    Freedom and economics might actually defeat boneheaded, road to hell, good intentions? If I were superstitious, I’d pray for that.

  12. This couldn’t be more wrong.

    Federal campaign contributions from individuals (hard money) have been regulated for 30+ years. In recent years, the maximum contribution from individuals for an election went from $2000 to $2100. Individuals can donate a maximum of $4200 to a federal candidate, earmarking $2100 to the Primary and $2100 to the General election. If she were to lose the Primary, she would just refund the general election donors, I believe.

    This has NOTHING AT ALL to do with federal matching funds, and the post (as well as the Hotline post) demonstrates a misunderstanding of the campaign finance laws and matching fund eligibility.

    “Clinton’s move” as described in this post is to list $4200 as a suggested contribution on her website, with a disclaimer at the bottom clearly indicating how contributions are designated.

    Hmmm…if you really thought she were somehow flouting the individual contribution restrictions (which would, of course, result in FEC violations), why not come up with, oh, a round number like $10,000 or $50,000?

  13. I’ll amend that previous comment slightly–this is no indication that she’s forgoing matching funds for the PRIMARY. (Otherwise, what would the Feds be matching?)

    She still might do it, to be sure.

    Also–there are no “matching” funds for the general–that’s just public financing.

  14. So a politican who decries businesses recieving subsidies recieves subsidies to…

    Argh!

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