Bechtel, Schwab Break Donations Dam

Charles Schwab, chairman of Charles Schwab Corp.

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Charles Schwab, chairman of Charles Schwab Corp.

Philanthropist Stephen D. Bechtel Jr., gave almost $100,000 last month to a Republican committee created after the Supreme Court struck down limits on aggregate campaign contributions.

Bechtel, who formerly led Bechtel Group Inc., the contractor that built the Hoover Dam, and his wife Elizabeth H. Bechtel each gave $97,200 on June 30 to Republican Victory Fund, according to a Federal Election Commission filing.

Republican Victory Fund is a so-called joint fundraising committee that distributed proceeds to the party’s three national campaign committees: the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm of Republican senators seeking to overturn a 55-45 Democratic majority in the November elections; the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is leading the campaign to defend the House Republicans’ majority; and the Republican National Committee.

Until April, individual donors in the 2013-14 election cycle could give up to $74,600 to national party committees and political action committees plus up to $48,600 to federal candidates, for a total aggregate limit of $123,200.

The Supreme Court on April 2 ruled in a 5-4 decision that the aggregate cap violated the speech rights of Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama Republican businessman who was seeking to give more than the $123,200 maximum. Republican Victory Fund filed its organizing papers one week later with the Federal Election Commission.

Billionaire Charles Schwab gave $53,700 to Republican Victory Fund last month.

Bechtel and Schwab are among the donors “most likely to exceed” the now-invalidated aggregate contribution caps, according to a January report by the Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Responsive Politics.

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