Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Dead Can't Vote, But They Can Donate

The dead can't vote, but they can give to political parties and candidates. In fact, 32 people listed on federal campaign records as "deceased" contributed more than $586,000 to Congressional and Presidential candidates and political parties since Jan. 1, 2009, according to a recent USA Today analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. Federal campaign rules allow individuals to make candidates and political committees the beneficiaries of their estates, just as they can leave money to charities. In first place among recipients of gifts from the grave is the Democratic National Committee, which garnered $245,000 from deceased donors. At the top of the list of dead donors is Raymond Groves Burrington, a Tennessee man who left more than $217,000 to the Libertarian National Committee. Current federal rules require political giving by the deceased to comply with applicable contribution limits. So an individual's estate cannot donate more than $5,200 to a federal candidate during an election cycle and no more than $32,400 to a political party each year. But a case pending before a federal appellate court in Washington, D.C., seeks to overturn limits for deceased donors. The Libertarian Party is arguing that it should be able to receive Mr. Burrington's money as a lump sum, rather than in annual installments, since "a dead person can't corrupt someone," reports USA Today. See the full story at http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/08/04/campaign-contributions-from-the-dead/2616245/

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