Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Walsh has $511G war chest with no war to fight

Walsh has just completed the most successful fundraising campaign he has ever run in a non-election year, raking in more than $761,000 in 2007. But that was before he decided against running again. Now he is poised to wield new influence on local, state and national politics as he heads toward retirement in the enviable position of having to decide how to give the money away. And he has plenty to spend.

...

Walsh could offer refunds to all who contributed to his campaign in 2007.
He could donate all his remaining campaign account to charitable organizations that qualify under federal codes.

Walsh can make donations to an unlimited number of congressional candidates, including his potential successor. But no single donation may exceed $2,000 per election.

He can spend money to close down his office operations, but those expenses must be completed within six months after retiring from Congress

Walsh could make unlimited transfers to local, state and national committees of any political party. But the money cannot be designated for a particular candidate.

The national political parties may give no more than $5,000 per election to a House candidate or $39,900 per election to a Senate candidate.

Some citizens groups say the campaign finance laws still need to be reformed because they leave plenty of room to buy access.

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