What is soft money?

A viewer asked this question on 8/3/2000:

what is soft money?

madpol gave this response on 8/3/2000:

"Soft money" is money contributed directly to a political party rather than to a specific candidate.

Theoretically, this money is used to fund Party operations and to promote the Party's platform.

Politicians being what they are, however, it is usually used to circumvent federal campaign spending restrictions. This is done by running "educational" ads on key issues in markets where the party's candidate or his\her opponent is identified in the public mind with a particular stand on an issue.

While there are limits to how much individuals and organizations can contribute to a single campaign, there is no limit to how much parties and politically oriented organizations can spend on "Public Education."

JesseGordon responded:


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