Wednesday, September 12

Kids Kontributing to Kandidate Koffers

The USA Today Reports

At 8 years old, Matthew Mardirossian is too young to vote. But he and his 7-year-old sister, Karis, each contributed $4,600 to help Democrat Barack Obama win the White House.

In Arizona, 15-year-old actor Hunter Gomez gave $2,300 to Republican John McCain, his home state senator.

Under federal rules, minors can make political donations — as long as it's their money and decision to contribute.

Massie Ritsch, spokesman for the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, said it's a way people "use their family members to circumvent the limits on individual contributions," which is $2,300 each for the primary and general elections.

"Chances are slim that a 6- or 7-year-old would knowingly give their money to a candidate. They would prefer to spend their money on G.I. Joes or Barbie dolls," said Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center.

How crazy is this? It looks like a legal loophole to allow more donations to be made by adults in the names of their children or worse, to allow minors to fritter away their inheritances on politicians. Yet another reason to support publicly funded elections.

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