Party Conventions: the Last Loophole for Big Donors

Issue may test McCain and Obama on their zeal to stop influence of big money
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 7, 2008 10:14 AM CDT
People cheer at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City.   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – Big donors are pumping big money into both party's conventions, one of the last remaining loopholes in the rules governing so-called soft money contributions, the New York Times reports. And while it's all perfectly legal, the issue may test the conviction of both Barack Obama and John McCain on their desire to eliminate the influence of deep-pocketed contributors.

The candidates are outspoken against special-interest money, but neither has spoken out against the convention donations. Meanwhile, both parties are going after contributions from corporations, promising easy access to political bigwigs. Republicans are faring better, which could raise a dicey problem for Obama if he tries to help. “He’ll be going to rich individuals and to corporations with lobbyists”—just what he’s promised not to do, says a campaign finance expert.