Chris Dodd ‘Drops’ Re-Election Bid

Chris Dodd has filed papers dropping out of the 2010 Senate race. As Hotline explains, though, this is just an accounting move which allows him to “transfer all of his money he raised for his 2010 re-election to his WH campaign account without penalty.”

It’s a bizarre system, really. To the extent the federal government is going to regulate campaign contributions, it strikes me as rather sleazy that candidates are allowed to transfer money donated with a specific purpose in mind–running for president, the Senate, or whatever–and then use it for a different purpose. I’m quite sure many of his Connecticut donors would not have wished their money go to an ego-driven fool’s errand bid for the White House. Indeed, many likely have donated to another presidential candidate and are now faced with having that money canceled out, in effect, by money they donated to Dodd in good faith for his Senate re-election.

This isn’t a criticism of Dodd, per se. He’s simply playing the game according to the rules and other candidates, notably Hillary Clinton, are doing the same thing.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Campaign 2010, Congress, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. jpe says:

    That is really interesting. I can see how this is legal on the donee’s side, but this:

    I’m quite sure many of his Connecticut donors would not have wished their money go to an ego-driven fool’s errand bid for the White House.

    makes me wonder about the donor side. The legal rights of donors re: their program restricted gifts aren’t so clear (they’re clear on paper, but almost never litigated. There is a whopper of a gift restriction case coming down the pike in a few years over the several billion dollar endowment for Princeton’s government school, IIRC). What I wonder is how the assets from one PAC can just be transferred willy-nilly upon the dissolution of the first. Strange indeed.