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Fund raising for the 2000 presidential race not only is already in full swing, it is certain to break all records, making it the most expensive race ever. Despite the scandals that plagued the 1996 presidential campaign, candidates and parties are raising money for 2000 at an unprecedented pace, highlighted by Gov. George W. Bush’s revelation of a record-smashing war chest. The fund-raising frenzy promises to continue into the millennium as candidates try to keep up with Bush, and as party committees, recently freed by the courts from limits on independent expenditures, vie to outspend each other�not only in pursuit of the presidential spot, but also to influence the congressional map.

Why should corporate general counsel take note? Corporations and their employees may wish to have their voices heard during the upcoming electoral season, and in any event, they surely have been and will be prime fund-raising targets of presidential campaigns. Moreover, this fund raising will take place in essentially the same, often murky, legal context as the 1996 campaign, thereby raising similar potential pitfalls for the unwary. This is because neither the Federal Election Commission nor Congress has yet acted to change or clarify the rules to any significant degree.

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