WASHINGTON -- The Republican Party has launched a "super committee" to accept the super-sized donations from wealthy donors that are now possible because of the Supreme Court's ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.
The Republican Victory Fund, registered with the FEC as a joint fundraising committee on Wednesday, will allow a single donor to write a check of $97,200 to be split among the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. The GOP super committee was first reported by Politico.
Last week the McCutcheon decision ended longstanding aggregate limits on campaign contributions that, in this election cycle, prevented a single donor from giving more than $48,600 to federal candidates, more than $74,600 to political parties and PACs, and more than $123,200 overall. The new super committee created by Republicans will facilitate the efforts of any donor that wishes to blow past the old $74,600 party limit.
The previous largest check a donor could write to a joint fundraising committee was the $75,800 option offered in 2012 by both Obama Victory Fund and Romney Victory. That check would have combined contributions to a presidential campaign and party committees.
Chief Justice John Roberts, in writing his McCutcheon opinion, dismissed fears about the "hypothetical" creation of super committees that would take in large donations and, ultimately, move those funds around to evade the base contribution limits on individual giving -- currently set at $5,200 to a federal candidate, $10,000 to a PAC or state party, and $32,400 to a federal party committee.
The Republican Victory Fund shows that political actors are readying these very vehicles to accept large contributions, although it does not reach the breadth of the hypothetical super committee considered by Roberts that would link to all party candidates and committees and solicit $3 million checks from single donors.
Previously, Romney Victory circumvented the base contribution limits by linking to four state parties that were not competitive at the presidential level -- Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Vermont. Those four state parties then sent funds received from Romney Victory donors to swing-state parties. In a number of instances, contributions from specific donors to the four Romney Victory state parties were potentially sent on to swing-state parties to which those donors had already given the maximum.
Post-McCutcheon, super committees are expected to become the new tool for party leaders to raise huge contributions for key races and their parties. Both Republicans and Democrats are looking over that option.
In launching the first super committee, Republicans should be able to take rapid advantage. A Huffington Post review of FEC records found that 71 percent of donors who were already approaching or even exceeding the now-defunct aggregate limits were Republican donors.
The industry most likely to gain even greater political influence and access will be the financial sector, already the largest donor to electoral campaigns and activities. Forty-five percent of those post-McCutcheon donors reviewed by HuffPost hailed from the financial sector.