I am a big absolutist on allowing campaign donations as an essential part of free speech largely without restriction. However, I have always wondered why we treat campaign donations after the election is over, made to the winning candidate, as anything but an outright bribe. I guess in theory one can argue that the candidate does not get access to it personally (it used to be that retiring public officials could personally keep the remnants of their campaign funds when they retire; the elimination of this rule spurred one of the last big incumbent turnovers in Congress as our elected officials rushed to beat the deadline and personally bank those leftover contributions.) However, many candidates lend money to their own campaigns or borrow money with their personal guarantee, and so money paying off these loans does indeed benefit the candidate directly. And candidates have numerous ways to shift campaign cash to benefit friends and family.