Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Public Financing

Where does the money come from?

The public funding of Presidential elections is not financed by a standard Congressional appropriation. Instead, the program is funded by the three dollar checkoff that appears on federal income tax forms.

Who Receives the Checkoff Dollars?

Candidate at Rally Presidential Nominees in the General Election. The Republican and Democratic nominees in the general election receive a fixed amount of checkoff dollars. Nominees from other political parties may qualify for a smaller, proportionate amount of checkoff funds if they receive over five percent of the vote.

Presidential Primary Candidates. Candidates in the Presidential primaries may receive checkoff dollars, in the form of matching funds. Contributions of up to $250 from individuals are matched dollar for dollar. PAC and party contributions are not matchable.

Party Nominating Conventions. The national parties receive checkoff funds to cover the costs of their national conventions held every four years to select their Presidential nominees.

Why Did Congress Adopt the Public Funding Law?

Congress set up the checkoff in the early 1970's as an alternative way of funding Presidential elections. Candidates that choose to accept public funds can reduce their dependence on large contributions from individuals and groups. In the general election, the public funding system places the two major-party nominees on an equal financial footing in the campaign.

People were yakking about Public Financing as if it were a bad thing, which sent me in search of more info about it. I saved it as a draft (04/27/08) and do not have the link from the online brochure. Most likely found it at the FEC website.

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