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Are candidates allowed to role-over remaining primary money into the general election?

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briv1016 Donating Member (407 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:15 PM
Original message
Are candidates allowed to role-over remaining primary money into the general election?
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 10:48 PM by briv1016
Lets say that come September, all the primary bills are paid Obama and McCain have "primary money" left over. Are they allowed to roll-it-over into the general election fund or do they have to treat it like general election money for the candidates who didn't make it? Also, is there a difference in rules for the two candidates because McCain is accepting Public Funding and Obama is not?

Edit for terrible grammar.
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. I believe so. Here you go:
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 10:26 PM by Pirate Smile
Obama's Money: $50 Million Raised For Primary, But It Doesn't Matter

By Greg Sargent - July 17, 2008, 10:48AM

Here's a bit more detail on Obama's $52 million June haul: According to the Obama campaign, some $50 million of this was raised for use in the primary, and $2 million was raised for the general.

Does this matter? Not really.

Campaign finance rules dictate that any money raised for the primary can be spent all the way up until the convention, even if the primary has already been settled. So Obama can spend the $50 million all the way up until the end of August -- not a difficult thing to do.

And as it happens, Obama could also roll over money left over from the $50 million for use in the general if he so chose. TPM's resident numbers-obsessive, Eric Kleefeld, checked in with Federal Election Commission spokesperson Bob Biersack, who confirmed that Obama can roll over that money because he's opted out of public financing and hence is no longer bound only to spend public money on the general.

So the only significance of the primary-general breakdown is that Obama can't spend the $2 million raised for the general until after the convention. And that obviously doesn't matter at all.

http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/07...
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briv1016 Donating Member (407 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks, but what about McCain?
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
3. No - especially if they are using federal financing.

If they refuse federal financing then they could ask the contributor to add it to the General Election fund - if they were not over the limit.

But what happens if the person has General Election funds from their campaign but was defeated in the primaries and added to the General Election.

More specifically what happens to HRC's millions that she has in hand for the General Election - but cannot roll back into her primary debt if she were added to the ticket - would those funds be useable for the General Election if she were the Vice Presidential Nominee?

I called around - called the FEC and a couple of experts I found on the internet - no one had ever raised that question before and they were stumped.

The best reply I got was this one from Joseph Birkenstock an expert on FEC rules from Washington DC



Hi Craig - the short answer to your question is that any candidate who does not
win their primary election is generally obliged to return any general election
contributions back to the donors.

I'm hedging this answer a little bit, however, because there are lots of
difficult issues presented when the presidential candidates in the general
election opt out of the public financing system. For example, the FEC's
regulation on this (11 CFR 110.1(b)(3)(i)) explains that general election
contributions must be refunded "f the candidate is not a candidate in the
general election."

With "sore loser" statutes preventing House and Senate candidates who lose
primaries from running in the general, this wording has never been at issue, as
far as I know, but it isn't obvious to me that Hillary, to make her our example,
would have to refund her general election contributions if in fact she does
become a "candidate in the general election" by running for VP. And without a
quorum on the FEC to review this kind of issue, I don't really see a way for the
Commission itself to speak to this authoritatively - I wouldn't be at all
surprised to see this issue pop up at some point as we get closer to the
conventions.
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briv1016 Donating Member (407 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. But considering that most of the contributions so far are designated for the primary,
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 11:24 PM by briv1016
how do they know who's money is leftover? Do they split it up proportionally and contact 2 million people?
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. when the money came in it went into the primary fund if somebody went over the $ 2600
primary limit then that money went into an escroll account.

Senator Clinton has gone back and asked if she can convert that money into her Senate Reelection campaign and if they agree then she can keep it for future campaigns but she cannot use it for past campaigns.

Moreover there is a fairly strict debt on raising money and repaying her personal debt. If she doesn't have enough money in something like 60 days after the nomination is decided then she has to eat that debt.
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briv1016 Donating Member (407 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I'm not talking about Hillary, I'm talking about Obama.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:48 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. no they keep track of what each person donates and the first $ 2600 that comes in is for the primary
and after that it is for the general.
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