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Large donors have been giving to joint-fundraising committees

The New York Times reports: Much of the attention on the record amounts of money coursing through the presidential race this year, including in Senator Barack Obama’s announcement on Sunday of his $150 million fund-raising haul in September, has focused on the explosion of small donors.

But there has been another proliferation on the national fund-raising landscape that was not fully apparent until the latest campaign finance reports were filed last week: people who have given tens of thousands of dollars at a time to help the candidates.

Enabled by the fine print in campaign finance laws, they have written checks that far exceed normal individual contribution limits to candidates, to joint fund-raising committees that benefit the candidates as well as their respective parties.

Many of these large donors come from industries with interests in Washington. A New York Times analysis of donors who wrote checks of $25,000 or more to the candidates’ main joint fund-raising committees found, for example, the biggest portion of money for both candidates came from the securities and investments industry, including executives at various firms embroiled in the recent financial crisis like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG. -- In Fine Print, a Proliferation of Large Donors

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