A Prebuttal to McCutcheon: Beware of a Naive Perspective, Parts 1 and 2

Beware of a Naive Perspective, Parts 1 and 2

A Prebuttal to Possible U.S. Supreme Court Rulings in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission

Shaun McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission challenges the constitutionality of federal limits on the total an individual can contribute to federal candidates, political parties, and political action committees (PACs).

In Part 1 of our two part series, Public Citizen finds that even if the U.S. Supreme Court only partially strikes down caps on aggregate campaign contributions when it rules in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the decision could still open the door to candidates and party officials soliciting individual donors for checks of more than $2.5 million, thus increasing the likelihood of corruption. A full elimination of aggregate limits would permit candidates to solicit checks of more than $5.9 million.

In Part 2, we estimate that eliminating the aggregate limit on contributions to candidates could enable candidates to transfer more than $74 million to the national party committees combined. Each donor would effectively be contributing the equivalent of more than $1.8 million to party committees, or more than 24 times the legal limit.