“You can raise money for the eventual nominee, and you have to tell people that you’re doing precisely that,” said Karl Sandstrom, a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, who is now senior counsel with Perkins Coie. The law firm has represented Crowdpac, but Sandstrom said he has not worked for the client and declined to discuss Crowdpac specifically.
Sandstrom added that a crowdfunding firm must collect the names and information of donors and transfer the money within 10 days.
Most of the donations for Collins’ opponent are being held by a political action committee dubbed It Starts Today, said Travers, the Crowdpac spokesman. It Starts Today reported having more than $3.7 million as of May 31. ActBlue has a separate, smaller amount ready to transfer, Be a Hero’s Jaff said.
The difference between that $3.7 million held by It Starts Today and the $4.1 million raised for the ultimate opponent to Collins may be explained by Crowdpac fees. Crowdpac formerly charged 8 percent on the contributions it collected, according to a news release from last year announcing that it was restarting under the leadership of Royal Kastens. Crowdpac’s fees went down to 3 percent after being acquired by Kastens’ company, Prytany.
When the money is transferred to the Democratic Senate nominee from Maine, it will be up to that person’s campaign to make sure that none of the donors has given in excess of the $2,800-per-election federal limit. A donor could have, theoretically, given both to the anti-Collins effort as well as directly to Gideon’s campaign, and it would be up to Gideon’s campaign to refund anything in excess of the limits, Crowdpac said.
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