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The post-McCutcheon big money era begins

Chief Justice John Roberts
Chief Justice John Roberts
Allison Shelley/Getty Images

Today, the Republican Party took advantage of the recent McCutcheon v. FEC ruling to form a new "super committee" that can raise nearly $100,000 from a single donor.

The new entity will combine the fundraising strength of the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Each group on its own can raise only $32,400 from any individual. Democrats are expected to form similar joint committees.

Before the McCutcheon decision, joint committees were acceptable, but any individual donor could only give up to $74,600 per year to all federal committees and PACs. So a donor wouldn't be able to give more than that without bumping up against the aggregate limit. Now, a donor will be able to give $97,200 directly to this joint committee — and can then continue giving to many other groups.

It was widely predicted last fall that if the justices struck down the existing limits on aggregate donations, large donations to parties would ensue. And it's possible that even more elaborate "joint committees" will be created going forward. Theoretically, hundreds of candidates could combine their fundraising with the "super committee," allowing it to raise even more money from each donor — up to $3.7 million, according to the Washington Post.