Campaign Finance Webquest
For this assignment use the following websites:
Center for Responsive Politics- Open Secrets
Federal Election Commission (FEC)
1. What is the FEC and what are its duties?
2. What is the difference between soft money and hard money?
3. What are the major provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA),
better known as McCain-Feingold?
4. What did the Supreme Court rule in the case of Buckley v. Valeo (1976)?
5. What is the maximum amount of money that an individual can contribute to another
individual's congressional or presidential campaign?
6. What is the maximum amount of money that a multicandidate Political Action Committee
(PAC) can contribute to an individual's congressional or presidential campaign?
7. Can a citizen of another country contribute to U.S. election campaigns?
8. What was the total amount of money spent in all races for the House of Representatives in the
2008 election? What was the average amount spent in the 2008 election? Why is more money
raised than spent (think about what the winner could do with the extra money)?
9. What was the total amount of money spent in all races for the Senate in the 2008 election?
What was the average amount spent in the general election? Why is it more expensive to run
for the Senate than for the House (think geographically!)?
10. What was the total amount of money spent in the 2008 presidential election by the
candidates? What was the average amount spent?
11. Of current candidates, what was the most expensive Senate race in 2008 and how much was
spent? What was the most expensive House race in 2008 and how much was spent?
12. In 2008 what percentage of contributions to John McCain and Barack Obama came from
individuals giving $200 or more?
13. What is bundling?
14. What is a political action committee (PAC)? Which are the 3 most important Democratic
PAC's for 2007-2008? Which are the 3 most important Republican PAC's for 2007-2008?
15. During the 2008 campaign what was the average amount raised by House incumbents and
House challengers and by those running for open seats? Why is so much more money given to
16. In 2008 how much money did John McCain and Barack Obama receive in federal funding
for the presidential general election?
17. What is a 527 committee?
18. In the 2008 election which six 527 committees received the most money AND what political
ideology/ viewpoint did they have?