As a result of the different funding vehicles, some candidates are required to limit donations while others are only prohibited from taking checks from certain categories of givers. A few, including Santorum, have organizations that are not bound by contribution caps or public reporting requirements — their trips to Iowa and New Hampshire may be funded by unregulated, anonymous donations. “Nearly every prospective 2016 presidential candidate is raising and spending funds outside the candidate contribution limits, through super-PACs, leadership PACs and other groups,” said Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center and author of the organization’s analysis of the presidential campaign free-for-all. “They’re traveling to Iowa and New Hampshire; they’re hiring campaign staff; one has even opened an office in Iowa. They claim they’re not ‘testing the waters,’ but they look soaking wet to me.”
An exploratory committee, the traditional way to finance travel and events, can accept donations up to $2,700. Contributor names aren’t made public unless a formal candidacy is announced. That’s the cautious road chosen by Carson, Graham and Webb.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush represents perhaps the most aggressive path. His entry into the competition was accompanied by the creation of a super-PAC, Right to Rise, which can raise and spend unlimited sums. In addition, Bush allies created another political action committee (using the same name) that will be subject to a contribution cap of $5,000. Bush’s team has set a goal of collecting $100 million, through both political committees, in the first quarter of 2015.
Full Article: Money Chase for 2016 Is Wild, Wild West – Bloomberg View.