McCutcheon Money: The Projected Impact of Striking Aggregate Contribution Limits

Source: Elizabeth Ridlington, Miles Unterreiner, Robert Hiltonsmith, Kurt Walters, Dēmos and United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), Policy Brief, October 4, 2013

From the summary:
…Under current case law, the Supreme Court should uphold aggregate contribution limits as a decades-old protection against corruption, the appearance of corruption, and circumvention of base contribution limits.

But the Roberts Court has been willing to toss precedent aside to gut campaign finance laws in the past. So it’s worth asking, what would be the practical effect if the Court strikes a federal contribution limit for the first time?

“McCutcheon Money”
We project that striking aggregate contribution limits would bring more than $1 billion in additional campaign contributions from elite donors through the 2020 election cycle. Elite donors are defined here as those who gave (or are projected to give) at, over, or within 10% of the aggregate contribution limit….

projected “McCutcheon Money”: giving by elite donors

Today Supreme Court Ruled For Another Flood Of Big Money
Source: United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), Press Release, April 2, 2014

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in McCutcheon v. FEC to strike down overall, or aggregate, contribution limits to candidates and political committees. U.S. PIRG research found that this ruling could bring $1 billion in additional campaign contributions from fewer than 2,800 elite donors through the 2020 election cycle.

McCutcheon: Another Blow to Democracy
Source: Jesse Wegman, New York Times, Taking Note blog, April 2, 2014

Scalia’s new disaster: Why McCutcheon decision is scarier than Citizens United
Source: David Earley, Salon, April 2, 2014

With landmark decision handed down today, here’s what to know about McCutcheon v. FEC — and its effects …

The Supreme Court Takes Another Step to Advance Money in Politics
Source: Elahe Izadi, National Journal, April 4, 2014
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A Supreme Court ruling Wednesday in the biggest campaign finance case since Citizens United has opened the door even further for unlimited money in politics.

The 1,000 donors most likely to benefit from McCutcheon — and what they are most likely to do
Source: Lee Drutman, Sunlight Foundation, October 2, 2013

…So who are the top 1,000 donors who will be in highest demand? Here are four observations about their behavior in 2012:
– Top 1,000 donors are partisan donors
– Almost 2/3 of the Top 1,000 donors primarily support Republicans
– Top 1,000 donors gave primarily to super PACs in 2012
– More than a third of Top 1,000 donors came from the financial sector…