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What happens to the money political candidates raise?

A KFOX14 viewer named Perla sent me this question: "What happens to all the money that candidates raise during political campaigns?"

The Federal Election Commission, which regulates political contributions, makes one thing very clear: Candidates cannot use the political contributions they raise for personal use.

But the candidates can use the money in a variety of other ways, whether they win or lose.

For example, they could donate the cash to other candidates, charities or political parties.

A campaign committee can donate up to $2,000 to individual candidates per election.

But it's a different story for political action committees, also known as PACs. There are currently no federal rules governing what happens with the money they raise, other than it cannot go to fund a federal candidate.

Politicians can also hold onto the money for their own future political races.

In addition, they can find creative ways to spend the contributions on themselves.

For example, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was given permission to use money that was left over from his 2014 re-election campaign to pay the legal fees he incurred during the so-called "Bridgegate Scandal," which occurred while he was governor.

Finally, candidates can create their own PACs with campaign contributions, using the money to support the political causes they choose.

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