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Tag Archive: 1% of the 1%

The 1,000 donors most likely to benefit from McCutcheon — and what they are most likely to do

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If the Supreme Court lifts limits on aggregate individual campaign contributions, as it may very likely do in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, it will empower the limited number of donors who have the heart, the stomach and the bankrolls to contribute hundreds of thousands of their own money to determine who is in office. These truly elite donors are poised to be the big winners. In our recent analysis on the 1% of the 1%, we looked at the top 31,385 donors (.01% of the U.S. population). Today, we will focus just on the top 1,000 donors: the donors most likely to up their political giving if they are given the chance to donate even more. All of these donors contributed at least $134,300 of their own money in the 2012 election. Our best guess is that parties and leadership committees will converge on these donors, giving roughly 1000 people a unique ability to set and limit the party agendas. Presumably, they will shift their money from super PACs to party committees because giving directly to party and leadership committees affords these donors more opportunities to talk directly to party leaders, and increases their bargaining power within the party structure. And party leaders want to control the money and the messages it buys. fig12. Almost 2/3 of the Top 1,000 donors primarily support Republicans

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How many donors will benefit if the Supreme Court allows unlimited campaign contributions?

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Yesterday, my colleague Lisa Rosenberg previewed what’s at stake in the upcoming Supreme Court case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. On Oct. 8, judges will rule on the constitutionality of the overall limit on contributions to federal candidates and political parties. Currently, the limits are set at $74,600 to political committees, and $48,600 to candidates – $123,200 overall. If the court sides with the plaintiffs, those limits will be a thing of the past. Everybody is buzzing about what will happen if the courts lift the aggregate limits. Will more donors start writing multi-million dollar checks? Will the campaign finance system flood with even more money? mccutcheon

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