“Limits unclear on new political party ‘slush funds’; Inaction by election cops gives Dems and Republicans free rein on spending”


The Democratic and Republican parties certainly don’t agree on how to run the country, but they are in sync when it comes to capitalizing on a new law letting them raise eight times as much money from rich donors than before.

The new money technically must be used only for specific purposes, such as legal expenses and improvements to party headquarters. The limits are, however, murkier than they seem, with some lawyers saying the money could legally pay for some election-related costs such as opposition research and data mining.

And the Federal Election Commission, tasked with regulating and enforcing federal campaign finance laws, is at an impasse over whether and how to issue rules governing the new party accounts. As a result, decisions about spending the money are pretty much up to the parties and their lawyers.


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