Courthouse News Service: Group Seeks Removal of Campaign Enriching Provisions from Tax Bill

Brad Kutner
Dec 5, 2017
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A nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog is asking Washington lawmakers to remove language from the GOP tax overhaul plan that they believe could further open the floodgates on troublesome campaign contributions.

The Campaign Legal Center, run by Trevor Potter, a former chair of the Federal Election Commission, sent a letter to leading Senators on the Appropriations Committee Monday asking them to remove language the group fears will have drastic consequences in the way politicians, churches, and private businesses work with money in politics.

The legal center’s main concern is a mechanism called a “joint fundraising agreement” that was employed by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.

These agreements allow a single donor to write individual checks to multiple entities, and let the candidate and national party combine the funds for a single purpose.

This, according to Brendan Fischer, director of the center’s Federal and FEC Reform Program, enables a donor to skirt the individual $2,700 limit per election to a presidential candidate; the $33,400 per year limit on contributions to a national party committee; and the $10,000 per year limit to each of a party’s 50 state party committees.

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“The Senate appropriations bill would make this already problematic situation even worse,” Fischer said.

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