How To Give Sexy Campaign Contributions

The following is a guest post from J. at Budgets are Sexy. He’s a funny guy, the kind you even want to be internet friends with. Check out his blog or better yet, subscribe so you don’t miss a single post.

Man, thank goodness I didn’t shell out those 10G’s I was planning on sending to Obama! haha …. j/k of course. But seriously, i had no idea you couldn’t write them off. I bet you used to be able to, but like always, someone (or a bunch of someones) ruined it for all of us.

It’s surely not the end of the world, and def. shouldn’t be one of the top reasons to donate to a cause, but it did get me thinking. Esp. considering i was just about to donate for the first time ever to a campaign! (can you guess whose?) I would have just slapped it right into my “contributions” folder at home, an added it to next year’s tax #’s.

I guess it’s good that I subscribe to Money Magazine then 😉 Their brief, and to the point, write up on this caught my eager eyes on my daily commute in this morning. It was titled, “Funding Your Candidate” (June, pg23) and shared 3 things to keep in mind:

1. You can give only so much.
There are actually caps on how much you can donate – imagine that! Here are the limits each person can donate for 2008 (they are adjusted every 2 years for inflation):

  • $2,300 per candidate, per primary
  • $2,300 per candidate, per general election
  • $28,500 to a national party
  • $10,000 per state or local party
  • $5,000 per political action committee (PAC)
  • UNLIMITED donations to a 527 – some sort of candidate lobby group…maybe this is why I hear of people donating $100,000 here, $200,000 there?

2. Your info will go public.
W-O-W, never saw that one coming! (i’m being serious there…although to some of you it will probably come across sarcastic. haha) Apparently there were some reforms after Watergate, and every time you make a contribution, you ALSO have to provide the following:

  • your name
  • your job
  • your employer
  • your address

Now, if your total donations are UNDER $200, then your info will just stay w/ the campaign. BUT, and a very interesting one indeed, if your

contributions go OVER $200, your info then gets forwarded to the FEC, who then posts it on their website – FEC.gov !!! And then there is ANOTHER then, where it THEN gets picked up by sites like OpenSecrets.org, and FundRace.org who put them in searchable databases! Please excuse another one – W-O-W!

3. No Federal tax deductions for any contribution.
We already covered this one, but Money does a good job of pointing another option out for those deductible-hungry citizens. And that is to donate the said money to a charity that your candidate supports. This way, you help them out, the charity out, and yourself out 😉

So, what will i be doing with this new found information? I’m gonna donate directly to my man Obama. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve never once done so in my lifetime, and since my budget only allows for amounts UNDER $200, I won’t have to get freaked out about my info all over the net.

Nicole Ouellette
Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she's not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

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