DeBlog: What Can You Do With Leftover Campaign $$?

On Twitter this morning, Jason Douglas asked, “What happens to the remaining money a candidate possesses after they drop out of the Presidential race?”

It’s a Good Question — but the reality is, candidates rarely have much money left in the bank. In fact, we reported that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty left the Presidential race with $453,000 of debt.

Rep. Michele Bachmann likely will also have debt. But if she happens to have money left in her campaign coffers, she can do a couple things:

• You can donate an unlimited amount of money to a charity

• You can donate an unlimited amount to a political party

• You can donate (within Federal election limits) to other national, state or local political candidates

• You can save it for another race

The biggest thing candidates can’t do with leftover money is to use it for personal expenses. In the “good ol’ days,” retiring lawmakers used to save the extra campaign cash and use it to go on vacation, buy a new Cadillac, that kind of deal. But in 1989, the Ethics Reform Act put an end to that practice.

Source: FEC

More from Jason DeRusha
  • Public Mooch

    She’ll donate it to her book that lost millions. BUy a million copies and give them to schools. Just like evereyone said in October. She will run until the selling season is over. It’s over, she’s gone. American greed at its best. I’m a republican by the way.

    • Swamp Rat

      @Public Mooch;
      Unless she somehow considered her book a campaign expense she can’t use the leftover campaign funds to pay off the book or show a profit. If she does this, she is liable under the 1989 Ethics Reform Act’s provisions and, ironically, liable under IRS regulations and statutory rules. As a former tax lawyer she should know this.

      The best suggestion we should be giving for Ms Bachmann for the excess campaign stash $’s is donate the funds to the Union Gospel Mission in St.Paul, Caring & Sharing Hands, or the Salvation Army where it would do some benevolent good. Bachmann said she is the candidate of the people so why not help those folks she claims she helps. This would be better use of those excess campaign funds than to use and waste them for political reasons or her next [abortive?] race for her Congressional seat in a new gerrymandered 4th District. Don’t you agree Mooch?

      • Rocks in her head

        One thing we have learned from Michele is that she is not big on history. So if there is a law on the books preventing her from keeping the money, well just sayin’.

        • Swamp Rat

          Good Points! Forgot those tidbits.

        • King

          What I like to know is who is going to end up with her $ 800,000 bus she been
          riding round in ?

  • See BS

    Can she use it to pay down the MN GOP’s Million dollar debt problem?

    • Swamp Rat

      NO!!! She better not! It would be illegal and unethical! Read the law–1989 Reform Act. She can give it to specific areas or uses but not for personal or political party gains! It she gave the excess up to the GOP deficit she would be in the deep legal [————] You fill in the blank! Need more be said?

  • True BS

    NOTE – she did not withdraw. She SUSPENDED her campaign. That means this evil beetch can continue to raise funds and retain funds.
    It’s addressed and discussed in detail on CNN and Yahoo news sites.
    She continues to redifine the word SLEAZY.
    I can only hope that the morons in the 6th say enough

    • Surreal

      It’s pretty funny how this deal works. She gets to continue to collect and add to her war chest but has no war. So when can use it for other political “causes” that she desires.
      As to why this is allowed is beyond me. It’s a legal but unethical and corrupt way to horde PAC and private money.
      I don’t think even this crazy dillusional woman ever believed she had a shot at the WH but she smells many ways to better herself and find personal gains. It’s hard to fathom that she has more than a handful of crazed believers but I bet if one had Hitler’s name on a ballot someplaces even he could garner 5%.
      Even a blind squirrel finds nuts as they say

  • maxey

    Refund the fees paid to her family business by gays seeking a cure through prayer.

  • Julie

    The GOP President named Ronald Reagan signed into law the ethics reform act. The sound of crickets is heard from the left when this issue is raised. Our current president, promised more regulation concerning this. Still waiting…
    Still waiting… Likely will hear something during his campaign, but will quickly go away once re-elected.

    • Frankie

      With the super pacs being practically unregulated ethics reform is almost a joke. Anything Obama wanted to do has to go through the Republicans. (Senate filibuster before they had a majority). I really don’t think anything could get done

  • TL the alligator

    why does every time i see her husband one word comes to mind……gay…..nothing against gays but thats the one word that comes to mind.

  • Donation

    Donate it to the lazy ,b lacks that hang around the public library every day instead of working. That amount of money can buy a lot of shiny rims and better cell phone packages for them. Maybe leave some for the 50% of society that pays no zero taxes. They could use an extra bump as well.

    • not true

      @Donation, that’s b s because a lot of people shoudln’t have to pay taxes when they don’t make a lot of money. The other 50% as you call them don’t even notice they are paying taxes since they are rich. I’m not to happy on the black comment either. Having a cell phone is a right and so is transportation. They are probably at the library stuyding for school anyways.

  • John in the 6th district

    Won’t she keep it and use it in a horrendous negative ad campaign again to reclaim her seat? Some representation we have here in the sixth district. We need six or eight freeway lanes from Maple Grove to St. Cloud SO bad, and Bachmann won’t support earmarks. Oberstar did. That’s why the good roads are in northern Minnesota with almost no traffic on them. And, yeah, that creates jobs too.

    • Joyce

      That “earmark” thing, didn’t B H O say he would get rid of them? One of the biggest lies ever!!!!

      • Okaaaaay

        Your brilliant _ LMFAO _ and “we have to stop this excessive gubbermint spending” _ uh huh – her bridge to WI at 3 times the cost of the most efficient one _ and hatred filled Witch of the 6th indeed sits on the Throne of Bullchit City. May she rot in her own poo-poo

  • Murph

    Anyone wanna bet that Bachmann doesn’t repay MN taxpayers a dime for what they paid for her bodyguards and whatnot ?? These political moochers have to go.Like the Colonies had it, one State one Vote! The rest of them are just more unneccesaryexpenses for working American’s to be burdened with while the corporations and their bigwigs plunder our wallets at will!

  • Murph

    In Wisconsin maybe they could use the funds to bail three GOV> Walker cohorts out of jail! They were arrested and charged with felonies today! Looks like the GOP governor of the year has some splaining to do Lucy! Crooked sleepy eyed GOP criminal will be gone soon! Recall or prison or both,just so it’s soon!

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