One of the hurdles that a presidential candidate must carefully navigate is the ability to accept campaign funds without breaking the rules. While on the surface the rules appear to be pretty clear, just like with anything else, there are loopholes that get exploited and abused in campaign funding. According to the laws implemented by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), a campaign can accept up to $2,700 from each individual once in primary season and once in the general election. 2016 Republican presidential candidates have become quite skilled at developing novel tactics to get by those limitations. Organizations like super PACs give candidates the ability to raise enormous piles of contributions as long as no one from the campaign coordinates with the donors to solicit money. Herein lies the problem, and the reason for these three times Republicans used shady donation money for 2016 presidential campaigns.
1. Illegally Funded Campaign Advertisements
Forget all the talk about illegal immigrants, Marco Rubio has enough trouble with illegal contributions that could derail his efforts to get into the White House in 2016. Secretive special interest groups are in part to blame for the issues surrounding how Rubio paid for political advertisements. His campaign ads have been funded by illegally laundered money that came from a non-profit organization that does not have to report or disclose the identity of donors. This funding is supposed to be spent on social welfare, not for the benefit of a candidate to further himself in his election campaign. Even though it is illegal for an individual to contribute more than $2,700 to the election campaign, those same individuals can hide under the veil of the super PAC, and then dump unlimited funds into the campaign.
Rubio does not want voters to know the names of these individuals, so the money is laundered through social welfare organizations. These groups provide donor secrecy, non-profit status, and require that funds be used for only social welfare. Funneling funds to presidential campaigns through social welfare organizations is illegal. This loophole is being exploited by the Marco Rubio camp, and 100% of the $5.5 million dollars in political advertisements is being paid for by those exact social welfare groups. The political ads have not been paid for by the PAC money or Rubio himself, all from the loophole that allows illegal money to be used for political gain.