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"Grassroots Democrats" steers the money to state parties

The New York Times reports: When Robert and Mary Lloyd Estrin decided to give money to state Democratic parties this year, they sent a total of at least $20,000 to Arizona, Colorado and Nevada - unexpected choices, perhaps, for a couple from California.

The selections, though, were anything but arbitrary. They were made on the advice of Amy Chapman, a Democratic operative whose job is to steer money and resources to state political parties, which were hit hard by the federal restrictions in the new campaign finance law. The process is known as donor direction: Ms. Chapman recommends where to give, and they write the checks.

"This is what campaign finance reform has wrought," said Ms. Chapman, executive director of Grassroots Democrats. "People are trying to work the system as they know it."

State parties have been grappling for months with how to gather the money needed to do the critical work of registering and turning out voters, after the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law imposed tough new rules that limited how parties can raise and spend money on federal races. -- Campaign Finance: Following New Rules, Parties Steer Money to the States (New York Times)