Our broken campaign finance system in two charts

<p>Image by PBS NewsHour / Flickr</p>

Image by PBS NewsHour / Flickr

The Washington Post just explained how broken our campaign finance system is in two charts.

For background: in 2014, Congress slipped in a few legal changes to adjust how much the Republican and Democratic parties can raise for the 2016 general election and what they can spend the money on, like legal expenses and the party headquarters (as seen in the charts below).  

But when coupled with the Supreme Court decision that same year that lifted how many candidates political parties a donor can contribute to … well, the political parties got a little more creative. Enter the jumbo joint-fundraising committees.

What’s a jumbo joint-fundraising committee? Put simply, a chain of accounts connected together that allow political parties to raise more money.

For example, the Trump Victory Fund created by Donald Trump with the Republican National Committee also includes 11 state parties (and that number can grow); the Hillary Victory Fund includes 32 state parties. When donors can contribute $10,000 per state, the math adds up quickly.   

The worst part? There’s no guarantee how or where some of the money donated to these funds is spent, as reports have highlighted.

Images via the Washington Post

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