Dems top list for most contributions from dead people

While it’s long been rumored that dead people vote in certain areas of the country, reports now show that 32 dead people have contributed nearly $600,000 to political campaigns since 2009.

A USA Today analysis of Federal Election Commission filings uncovered those donations following media reports linking a $100,000 contribution to a super PAC supporting U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to a contributor who had died. The McConnell campaign said the donation was made prior to the contributor’s death, and the error caused by a computer glitch was immediately corrected. But the USA Today report found that such contributions are not isolated incidents.

Individuals can leave funds to candidates and political committees as beneficiaries of their estates after they pass, but donations must follow contribution limits. Election laws say political donations to candidates for federal office cannot exceed $5,200 from an individual per election cycle, and donations to political parties cannot exceed $32,400 per year.

The Libertarian Party has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn contribution limits from the deceased. A Tennessee man left $217,000 to the party in 2007, but the funds must be paid out in annual installments.

“This is pure free speech,” Alan Gura, an attorney representing the Libertarian Party, said. “A dead person can’t corrupt someone.”

The Libertarian contribution is the single largest to any candidate or party since Jan. 1, 2009, but the Democratic Party has logged the highest total contributions from the deceased at $245,000, according to USA Today.

See the graph below illustrating USA Today’s findings.

Deceased contribution graph
Photo credit: USA Today

Read the entire USA Today report here.


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