People have asked more than once, so I thought I would create a page to explain. What exactly is “Seed Money” for Clean Elections Candidates?
Since Clean Elections candidates don’t receive funding to run their campaigns until very late in the process, combined with the restriction on only being able to put on a relatively small amount of their own capital, there needed to be a mechanism to allow these candidates a way to get the word out about their campaign, collect signatures and ultimately collect $5 donations. A mechanism called “early contributions” was created to allow the candidate a way to “seed” their campaign legally (hence the colloquial term “seed money”). Effectively, this is how Clean Candidates are able to do things like print their nomination papers, purchase booth space at events, print signs/banners for dressing up their event tables, gas money to get to LD meetings (or anywhere else in the state as my case may be), etc. Many people often ask, “Why can’t you just use your own money for that stuff?” The answer is we do! Unfortunately, we are only allowed to use a maximum of $1500 of our own money by law. So while it gets us a ways into the process, it’s definitely not enough. There are limits on seed money donations. They can only come from individuals (so don’t use your company credit card when donating online), they cannot come from political PACs or anything other than an individual, and not even a $1 donation from you own LD or Republican Club can be accepted. There is an individual contribution limit of $170 from any individual, in total, for a given campaign cycle (you can donate more than once, as long as the combined amount is <=$170) and the candidate my only collect up to about $29,000 in seed money in total. Any seed money left at the end (if any) can be used towards signs and the like, just like the funded money. So it is also a mechanism to get a minor “leg up” on opponents if the candidate is able to max out the number of contributions. Finally, it is important to note that seed money is different and separate from the $5 “qualifying contributions”. Those $5’s cannot be collected until 1 year before the elections (August of this year) and the campaign does not get to use that money at all. Those donations are simply a “counting mechanism” for the powers-that-be too verify that the candidate should get the funding. All of those dollars must be turning in and cannot be used by the campaign, not even as a “loan”. Now, if you are still reading this, THANK YOU! Please visit www.nickmyers.com/support to see how you can help out my campaign, and of course, don’t forget to sign the petition while you are there please! As you can see, every small donation can make a huge impact on a Clean Candidate’s campaign, and the success of that campaign really does depend on the direct generosity of people like you! Thanks again everyone!