During his time at an upcoming “Louisiana Bayou Weekend” super PAC fundraiser, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., will be able to ask attendees how they like the Cajun cooking. And he’s free to inquire whether they bagged a gator during the weekend’s planned alligator hunt.
But he won’t be able to ask them to contribute more than $5,000 to its sponsor, the Fund for Louisiana’s Future, a super PAC created to support Vitter.
That’s because federal law prohibits federal candidates from officeholders from soliciting contributions in excess of $5,000 per year for super PACs, even though the groups may accept contributions of unlimited size.
It also doesn't matter "whether the funds are used for state or federal election work,” attorney Paul S. Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center told the Center for Public Integrity.
“The donor can always give as much as they choose to,” added Joe Birkenstock, an attorney at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C. “It’s a limit on what can be asked.”
The Fund for Louisiana’s Future is also registered with the state of Louisiana, which caps contributions to all political action committees at $100,000 per election cycle.
Since the advent of super PACs during the 2010 election cycle, federal politicians on both sides of the aisle have solicited funds for the unlimited-spending groups, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Neither Fund for Louisiana’s Future treasurer, Charlies Spies, nor a spokesman for Vitter immediately responded to requests for comment.