Small Print Lets Donors Write Big Checks

Individuals are giving as much as $70K to candidates and parties
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2008 12:38 PM CDT
John McCain has gotten up to $70,000 from an individual donor.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s small donors have grabbed the headlines this election, but the latest campaign finance reports reveal that big donors have been playing their biggest role in ages, the New York Times reports. Both candidates have used joint committees, which raise money for both the candidates and their parties, to subvert the $2,300 individual donation limit, allowing donors to give tens of thousands with one check.

Both have received roughly 2,000 donations of $25,000 or more, with financial employees giving the biggest portion to both parties. “This is subverting the whole notion of candidate contribution limits,” said one campaign finance expert. John McCain has solicited especially gigantic $70,000 donations from his wealthiest fans. One donor said his $67,800 check gave him increased access. “If you give 10 bucks they’ll talk to you,” he said, “but you might talk to a volunteer.”