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View Diary: IL-08: Joe Walsh reportedly offered $3.5 million in election help to switch districts (49 comments)

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  •  Can campaign funds be converted to personal use??? (0+ / 0-)

    I think they used to be...but I don't think that's possible any longer...

    Campaign finance is an area I'm only moderately familiar with; I could be very wrong.

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:08:14 PM PST

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    •  Not during the campaign, but... (1+ / 0-)
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      Marjmar

      after it's concluded, I believe it belongs to the candidate. If you think about it, there's obviously no provision to give the money back -- nor is it even possible to do so properly.

      The thing is, most campaigns either spend all they have by election day or keep it for the next election. Therefore, a situation where a candidate winds up with a pile of money but no office rarely comes up. Nonetheless, it's theirs. Think about it; where else would it go?

      "A man doesn't save a century, or a civilization, but a militant party wedded to a principle can." - Adlai E. Stevenson

      by Zutroy on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:37:41 PM PST

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      •  I don't know! (0+ / 0-)

        That doesn't sound right though...

        All I've seen is campaign committee disclosures, even for rather "defunct" (but still required to file as active, non-participation) campaign committees.  And what I've seen, when they finally fold the committee, is they "transfer out" the money to another campaign, candidate(s), and/or a charity.

        But it's all been really small potatoes in the scheme of things; couples of thousands...not big money in the millions.

        "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

        by Marjmar on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:08:44 PM PST

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        •  The thing is, they don't HAVE to transfer it (1+ / 0-)
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          Marjmar

          out to another political entity. You've got to understand that what happens to the money is usually dictated by political calculus. If you think about it, it sounds quite right because it's legally a donation, not a payment for goods or services. The part that's regulated is how they come by it and what they do with it when they're spending it on the campaign. Even then, there's a plethora of ways to divert it for personal use without violating any laws.

          When the campaign is over, the regulations continue to apply to the money only if it stays within the political sphere, IIRC. As I said previously, where the money goes is promarily dictated by political expectations. Simply because a candidate is theoretically capable of raising $20 million, tanking a campaign, having the campaign committee write him a check for $20 million, and getting the hell out of Dodge doesn't mean it's feasable to do so.

          Bear this in mind when you see a candidate bail a race with several million in the bank, because where that money goes is contingent on the political calculus of that particular situation. Politics is built on personal networks, and those personal networks have expectations about how a person is going to spend their campaign money. Flouting those expectations has an inverse effect on how much money that person has access to in the future, and jeopardizes their reputation.

          Given the logic of the situation, you can see why the lack of formal regulations on personal use are made up for by informal expectations.

          "A man doesn't save a century, or a civilization, but a militant party wedded to a principle can." - Adlai E. Stevenson

          by Zutroy on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:40:57 PM PST

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          •  OOOooohhh! (0+ / 0-)

            This:

            Politics is built on personal networks, and those personal networks have expectations about how a person is going to spend their campaign money. Flouting those expectations has an inverse effect on how much money that person has access to in the future, and jeopardizes their reputation.

            Of course.  Duh.  NOW I understand.

            Thank you for your patience and giving me your time and explanation.

            "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

            by Marjmar on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:48:04 PM PST

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            •  No problem at all. (1+ / 0-)
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              Marjmar

              Politics is a complicated organism that is frequently misunderstood. The more people that get what's going on, the better off everyone is.

              "A man doesn't save a century, or a civilization, but a militant party wedded to a principle can." - Adlai E. Stevenson

              by Zutroy on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:47:09 PM PST

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