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Presidential Election Campaign Fund Pays for Medical Research Too

A funny thing happened when Ken E. was filing his taxes using H&R Block software. When he got to the screen asking if he would like to give $3 to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, he clicked the “learn more” link and got an unexpected explanation in the fine print.


Election finance

Say what?

Apparently in 2014, Congress decided to no longer allow political parties to use taxpayer money from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund to finance their party conventions. Instead, it redirected that money to the “10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund” designed to fund projects related to childhood diseases. The law was named after Gabriella Miller, who, while battling a rare form of brain cancer herself, helped raise money to fund pediatric cancer research. She died at age 10.

Our consumer said, “Even in my wildest dreams I would not have connected giving to the campaign fund to mean that I am donating to pediatric medical research.”

For once, the fine print revealed a great positive surprise.

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9 thoughts on “Presidential Election Campaign Fund Pays for Medical Research Too”

    • They singled it out because it’s not apparent you’re donating to a pediatric research fund. Based on the original checkbox, it looks like a political donation, but it’s not if you read the fine print.

      • Maybe I was not clear. I do not think it is fair to list just one charity. They should list a bunch from which to chose.

        Edgar replies: my sense is that various programs/researchers apply to get money from this fund for the purpose of pediatric cancer research.

  1. How much out of the $3 I could actually give to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund will go to medical research???

    10 cents…
    1 buck??

  2. I disagree about the positive aspect. Even if we ignore the deception and we focus on consequences, “pediatric research” often involves much suffering and the deaths of non-human animals. Would be good to know more about this research.

  3. Everyone here is missing the point. The IRS and the government is lying to you. “Positive surprise” or not.

  4. I’m just surprised that anyone even looks at the $3 donation box. I’ve done volunteer tax returns for AARP for 14 years. Clients fill out paperwork in advance and there is a question asking them is they wish to donate to the fund. After hundreds of returns I cannot recall ever having a client indicating that they wished to donate and almost everyone just skips the question.

  5. This is honestly not a good change. I know it’s ‘for the kids’, but that fund has an actual purpose. Tiny changes like this just help to reinforce the 2 party system in the US.

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