A loophole in political fundraising laws is allowing presidential candidates to collect money for different campaigns -- providing a way for donors to give more than the limit on individual contributions. Candidates have already raised more than $2 million outside of their official presidential campaigns since the Nov. 7 election, using congressional or state campaign committees, political action committees or IRS Section 527 political groups.On the face of such a statement, there is truth, but there are some real limitations.
First, a federal candidate cannot raise soft money, that is unlimited corporate or union funds, in any amount at any time. Period. The law is absolutely inflexible on that score. If a federal candidate is raising money for a state committee where corporate contribuions are allowed, that candidate cannot solicit funds in excess of the federal dollar limits, usually $5,000 per year. The prohibition apply to 527 groups as well.
Now a Presidential candidate who is a sitting Senator say, can raise money for the Senate re-election campaign. This is true. The funds in the two accounts cannot be mixed. If the Congressional or Senatorial campaign transfers funds to the Presidential campaign, the Presidential campaign must take steps to make sure that the transferred funds don't exceed the contribution limits for individuals.
Sound complicated? Well it is and that is why so many campaigns have to spend so much money on lawyers to make sure they don't inadvertantly violate the law.