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Hard Money

The regulated contributions from an individual or PAC to a federal candidate, party committee, or other PAC, where the money is used for a federal election. Hard money is subject to contribution limits and ohibitions and can be used to directly support or oppose a candidate running for federal office. Hard money can pay for television ads, mass mailings, bumper stickers, yard signs and other communications that mention a specific candidate.


A no-nonsense attitude or approach to getting what you want in politics.

Hatch Act

A law passed in 1939 that restricts the participation of federal civil servants in political campaigns.

Honest Graft

Taking advantage of the money-making opportunities that might arise while holding public office.

Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA)

Includes two major provisions for political committees: restrictions on the use of campaign funds for noncommercial air travel and disclosure of bundled contributions.

Honeymoon Period

The first few months of an administration in which the public, members of Congress, and the media tend to give the president their goodwill.

Host Committee

The fund-raising committee set up by a host city to help defray the costs of a political convention. A city may also set up a host committee to promote itself as a potential convention site. Contributions to a host committee are not regulated. Corporations and labor unions may make large, unlimited contributions to a host committee. Individuals can also make unlimited donations even if they have already contributed the maximum amount to a candidate or party. Host committees are often considered a way for political parties to skirt contribution limits and raise soft money for the convention.

Hybrid PAC

A committee that intends to establish a separate bank account to deposit and withdraw funds raised in unlimited amounts from individuals, corporations, labor organizations and/or other political committees, consistent with the stipulated judgment in Carey v. FEC. The funds maintained in this separate account will not be used to make contributions, whether direct, in-kind or via coordinated communications, or coordinated expenditures, to federal candidates or committees. Also known as a Carey Committee.


The idea that there are too many interest groups competing for benefits.