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Friday, October 28, 2005

Campaign finance: Limits schmimits

Bundled_cashBy Greg Reeves

Ah, bundling. That's when you have so much money to give a political candidate you have to parse it out among family, friends, the willing homeless, etc., so they can donate it.
That's because of pesky campaign-finance laws limit individual donations.
A bundling-related world of hurt has descended upon Ohio GOP operative Tom Noe today:

  • TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A major GOP donor was charged with giving thousands of dollars to other people to contribute to President Bush’s re-election campaign in an attempt to skirt a $2,000 limit on individual contributions.
  • Tom Noe, a coin dealer already embroiled in an Ohio state government scandal, was charged in a federal indictment Thursday with illegally funneling $45,400 to the president’s re-election bid through two dozen friends and associates.
  • “It’s one of the most blatant and excessive finance schemes we have encountered,” said Noel Hillman, section chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s public integrity section.

Full AP story

The Star has poked into bundling in the past. Phenomenal reporter Joe Stephens wrote stories (1,2,3) that got a GOP presidential campaign vice-president fined $6 million in 1996 - the biggest FEC fine ever levied at the time. Joe is now in The Star diaspora, at the WashPost.

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