If you ever consider contributing to a U.S. presidential candidate's campaign on their website, you'll have to give them your name, address, phone number, and e-mail.

I don't entirely understand why these details are important, but what really confuses me is:

Campaign finance law requires us to collect your occupation and employer.

You must include the name of your employer and your job title. It is law, but I can't find any information online telling me why this is so and why this matters.

If anything, I think it would make people uncomfortable and feel like there is the possibility of having, for example, their boss with differing political views find out who at their office is contributing to who and act based on it.

  • What is your question?
    – user1530
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 7:05

1 Answer 1


It's a paper trail to who is really donating the money. Employers sometimes compel or coerce employees to donate to campaigns. Here's something on that:


Imagine you're wealthy, you're an employer, and you have $2 million you want to give to some candidate. You don't want to violate rules on caps or raise eyebrows, so you give 400 of your employees some "overtime pay" in exchange for their contributing $5,000 each to your candidate. 400 times $5,000 is $2 million. You've just cheated the system.

Tracking donor employers is a way of cutting down on this known practice.

  • 4
    This is correct. And, frustratingly, somewhat moot with the invention of SuperPACs. Sigh. :)
    – user1530
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 7:06
  • 2
    Is there any evidence that this is the actual reason (as opposed to accidental side benefit) of this law?
    – user4012
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 2:50

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