Dead People Have Donated $586K to Politicians

And some people want those donations to be unlimited
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2013 8:46 AM CDT
The super PAC backing Mitch McConnell says it was a clerical error that made it look like it got a giant donation from a dead man.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Last week, someone noticed that a super PAC loyal to Mitch McConnell had gotten a $100,000 contribution from GOP mega-donor Bob Perry on June 3, which seemed odd given that Perry died back on April 13. The PAC later said there had been a clerical error, and that it had actually gotten the money April 12. But the incident got USA Today interested, so it dug through federal records and found that posthumous donations aren't rare.

Since 2009, the dead have given $586,000 to federal candidates and parties, with all of the money coming from just 32 former people. The biggest beneficiary was the Democratic National Committee, with $245,000, followed by the Libertarian National Committee, with $153,200. These posthumous donations, generally made in wealthy activists' wills, are legal, provided they adhere to federal limits. But the Libertarian National Committee is seeking to remove even that restriction. "This is pure free speech," a lawyer for the LNC argues. "A dead person can't corrupt someone." (Read more political donations stories.)

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