NYT Lets You Play Political Donor

Want to give $1 million to Herman Cain’s presidential effort but don’t want the public to be privy to your generosity? Maybe you’re a billionaire itching to donate $10 million to help Democrats regain the House of Representatives and you don’t care who knows about it? Or, perhaps you’re a Ron Paul supporter with $200 to burn?

The New York Times has produced a simple “interactive feature,” “A Guide to Political Donations,” that shows, in each of the above cases and more, “how its done.”

Want to engage and maybe enlighten readers on an important but off-puttingly complex topic, like money in politics? That’s how it’s done. (At least, one way it’s done. The Times
likes to tackle this topic infographically—which, I, for one, like).

The Times uses hypothetical donor scenarios for its feature today but it could just as well have borrowed from the real world. Like, a wealthy CEO, who prefers to remain anonymous, wants to give $1 million to help Mitt Romney win the Republican nomination. Here’s how its done (form a company, have that company donate your $1 million to a Romney-supporting super PAC, then dissolve the company).

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.