Since Clean Elections candidates don’t receive funding to run their campaigns until very late in the process, combined with the restriction on only being able to put on a relatively small amount of their own capital, there needed to be a mechanism to allow these candidates a way to get the word out about their campaign, collect signatures and ultimately collect $5 donations. A mechanism called “early contributions” was created to allow the candidate a way to “seed” their campaign legally (hence the colloquial term “seed money”).
Effectively, this is how Clean Candidates are able to do things like print their nomination papers, purchase booth space at events, print signs/banners for dressing up their event tables, gas money to get to LD meetings and etc. Many people often ask, “Why can’t you just use your own money for that stuff?” The answer is we do! Unfortunately, we are only allowed to use a maximum of $1500 of our own money by law.
So while it gets us a way into the process, it’s definitely not enough. There are limitations on seed money donations, as well. They can only come from individuals (so don’t use your company credit card when donating online), they cannot come from political PACs or anything other than an individual. There is an individual contribution limit of $180 from any individual.
If you feel so inclined to donate SEED money please know it is greatly appreciated and will go to help support the campaign.