The July 19th State Supreme Court decision striking down the campaign finance law approved by the General Assembly had the effect of reinstating the previous campaign contribution limits. But there are ways, within the law, to contribute more money.
The easiest way to spend more while staying within the law is through PACs – political action committees. Missouri Ethics Commission Executive Director Bob Connor says most of these PACs are restricted as to the amount they are allowed to contribute to a campaign – the same restriction that applies to an individual wanting to contribute: $1,275 for statewide offices, $650 for State Senate races, and $325 for State Representative races.
But there is no limit as to the number of PACs that can be set up with the State Ethics Commission, with each contributing the maximum. In one case, a contributor named Rex Sinquefield had made large contributions to various candidates back when the "no limits" law was in effect. Now that the limits are back, he has set up 100 of these PACs, with each able to contribute the maximum to a candidate or campaign.
While some critics say this is a way of skirting the law, Connor points out this is not a case of someone skirting the law, but rather a case of someone adhering to the law as it exists. Others can, and often do, give large amounts of money to PACs which, in turn, contribute to candidates. While most PACs face the same limits that apply to individuals, political party PACs are free to contribute up to ten times the amount that applies to individuals.