Presidential candidates have always looked for legal ways to get more campaign cash. In 2008, for instance, the Obama operation asked big donors to give around $30,000, just hitting the legal limits for giving to the campaign, DNC and related committees combined.
This year, by comparison, Hillary Clinton's organization can ask donors to give nearly three-quarters of a million dollars each. Here's how it works:
Donors who are rich – and willing – can give $5,400 to the Clinton campaign, $33,400 to the Democratic National Committee and $10,000 to each of the state parties, about $360,000 in all. A joint fundraising committee lets the donor do it all with a single check.
On Jan. 1, the contribution limits reset for the party committees, and the Hillary Victory Fund can go back to its donors for another $350,000 in party funds.
All told, a single donor can give more than $700,000 for the election. That's serious money, according to campaign finance lawyer Brett Kappel. He said, "It also shows you where campaign finance law has gone. We're now back in the era of soft money."