The biggest Washington donors used to have a great excuse to keep their wallets closed when fundraisers came knocking: Sorry, I’m maxed out.
But a Supreme Court ruling swiped that line from them Wednesday when the justices tossed a rule that limited how much an individual can give to candidates, party committees and PACs.
Now, fundraisers hope donors, many of them lobbyists, will embrace their new legal right with gusto to give more across the board to candidates and party committees.
“I’m horrified, planning to de-list my phone number and destroy my email address,” said Ken Kies, who, along with his wife, has bumped up against the federal political contribution limits. “What I was really hoping for is a ban on lobbyists making contributions entirely.”
While it’s an open question how much new money will come in, it’s certain some will — and insiders are eager to make sure it greases the Washington economy.
“I’m poor again as a result,” joked Tony Podesta, a top lobbyist and major donor who is among the small number of K-Streeters who contribute nearly the maximum amount to candidates each election cycle. “The fundraising consultants are the only winner in today’s decision.”
Podesta said for those donors, the new rule “eliminates an excuse that people have to say I’m done for the cycle and I can’t do anymore, which means that people who do max out will end up giving more money than they used to to candidates.”