To ensure a “fair playing ground” for all and to keep our future leaders accountable to the people, our current political system places strict rules on who can donate to a political campaign and where that money can be spent.
According to Karl Rove, one of the most experienced Republican political analysts, these rules may pose unorthodox problems for former President Donald Trump. Is he at risk of running out of money? Far from it. Actually, he may soon find himself with little room to spend.
Donald Trump’s Overabundance Problem
Currently, Donald Trump controls four separate political action committees or PACs:
Save America, currently with $103 million at its disposal
Make America Great Again, Again! Inc. , with $10.3 million in funds
Trump Make America Great Again PAC, holding $7.3 million
Make America Great Again Action, with an extra $700,000
In total, this is slightly over $121 million. Now, let’s compare this with the Republican National Committee’s total funds as of the end of June: $174.8 million. This means Trump alone can mobilize as much as 70% of the entire Republican party.
At first glance, this should make him a key player in the upcoming campaign. But according to Mr. Rove, the current political and legal landscape may get in the way.
Possible Options for These Deep Pockets
Campaign funds are invaluable when organizing electoral events, polling, and sponsoring ads. However, they do not represent an automatic victory. Regulatory bodies will also step in if a PAC’s funds are devoted to a different candidate or purpose than initially promised.
During a recent article for the Wall Street Journal, Rove foresaw two likely possibilities for this money.
An early presidential campaign
The first and most obvious move would be to use these funds for a Trump presidential campaign. After all, many individual and non-corporate donors who bought MAGA merchandise may have done this directly to support Donald Trump.
But Karl Rove warns this option may counter federal election law. If Donald Trump wants to start campaigning as a presidential candidate, he would need to start separate PACs to fund the new campaign – and begin separate fundraisers for them.
Such a move can easily prove unpopular: many voters and leaders may see this as competing against his own party for funds, which could create trouble down the line.
Supporting his early backers
The second option would be to support other candidates already running for the coming midterms. There is no shortage of fellow Republicans who endorsed him from the start of his political career. Moreover, some are running against Trump’s new critics. For example, Trump’s largest PAC transferred $500,000 to Harriet Hageman in the Wyoming primaries. This helped Hageman defeat Liz Cheney, who had recently joined efforts to impeach Trump.
So far, Trump has not been overly generous with many of these local candidates. Now is the time for him to show a helping hand to those who have supported him in the past. If spent wisely, this will help him demonstrate his own political power – and secure the loyalty of fellow lawmakers during a delicate time.