S.M. Oliva: FEC Fears the Dead Will Corrupt Politics

Raymond Groves Burrington, a Tennessee day
trader, died in 2007. In his will, he left 25 percent of his estate
to the Libertarian Party (LP). the Federal Election Commission
(FEC) told the LNC it could not accept the Burrington estate’s
bequest—at least not all at once—due to campaign finance laws.
 The LP sued, and the FEC retorted that there was no need to
rule on the issue, because “there is no reasonable expectation that
the Contribution Limit will restrict a bequest to the LNC again,”
given its minor party status. Yet, the FEC maintains the
contribution limit is necessary to prevent the “corruption” of a
politically irrelevant group like the LP. S.M. Oliva says this
makes no sense. After all, how could a dead man corrupt a

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