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Election Law Co-Chair Michael Toner Weighs in on the Waning Use of Federal Funds for Presidential Campaigns

Bloomberg Businessweek
February 21, 2012

Election Law & Government Ethics Practice co-chair Michael Toner, discussed the decline of the use of federal matching funds for presidential campaigns in a February 20 article. Currently, only one major-party candidate has agreed to limit his spending in exchange for federal matching funds.  As recently as 1996, every major party candidate accepted federal funds for their presidential bid. As the article reports, "under the federal financing system, the government this year will match up to $250 from an individual donation, with the maximum total amount set at $22.8 million, a number that rises every four years with inflation."

Mr. Toner said "Taking matching funds has really been seen as the scarlet letter. It says you're not viable and you're not going to be nominated by your party." He added that "absent a major legislative overhaul, no serious candidate is going to take public funds for either the primary or general election."