Dead People Have Donated Nearly $600K to Campaigns Since 2009

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Yes, dead people contribute to political campaigns. No, they’re not zombies. USA Today reports:

The dead can’t vote, but they can give money to politicians.

Thirty-two people listed on federal campaign records as “deceased” have contributed more than $586,000 to congressional and presidential candidates and political parties since Jan. 1, 2009.

This isn’t a scandal or weird error. Federal campaign rules allow Americans to make political candidates or committees the beneficiaries of their estates. (Dead people can also leave their money to charities, for instance.) According to the USA Today analysis of FEC filings, 32 dead people contributed the nearly $600,000 to presidential and congressional candidates and committees. The Democratic National Committee received $245,176 of the zombie cash, $163,200 went to the Libertarian Party, $96,329 went to the Green Party, $31,203 went to the Obama Victory Fund, and $25,000 went to the National Committee for an Effective Congress.

Currently, there is a case pending before a federal appellate court in Washington, DC, that seeks to overturn limits on political contributions from dead donors. (Limits on contributions are supposed to help curb political corruption, whether the money comes from breathing person or a deceased individual’s estate.) The case involves a man who left more than $217,000 to the Libertarian National Committee in 2007. “A dead person can’t corrupt someone,” Alan Gura, attorney for the Libertarian Party, argued. The fight over zombie campaign cash continues.

h/t Political Wire

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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