CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

       HARD MONEY (money directly contributed to the candidate’s campaign)-
express advocacy ads (“vote for,” “vote against,” “elect,” “support”

      1971-Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA)
          o limited spending on media advertising
          o required disclosure of sources of campaign funds and where spent
          o required PAC „s to register with gov. & report contributions 7
          o created checkoff on tax return to donate $1 (later increased to $3) to fund
             & subsidize presidential campaigns

      1974-in response to Watergate, FECA strengthened, signed by Ford
      1976-strengthened again
          o individual contributions of $1000/candidate/election, with maximum
              annual contribution of $25,000
          o PAC‟s contributions must be thru official fund-raising committee, may
              contribute up to $5000/candidate/election with no annual limit

      1976-Buckley v.Valeo-1st amendment right to spend money from candidate &
       their families

   SOFT MONEY (loophole, money directly contributed to party, and indirectly to
   campaign)-issue advocacy ads (do not use express advocacy expressions)

      2002-Campaign Finance Reform Act (McCain-Feingold Act)
          o prohibited issue advocacy ads 30 days prior to primary and 60 days prior
             to election; e.g. NRA ad for Bush
          o increased hard money individual contribution limits to $2000 and PAC
             contribution limits to $10,000
          o full disclosure of contributors & how money was spent
          o prohibited corporate & union contributions if ad mentions federal
             candidate, after time limit

      2003-McConnel v. Federal Election Commission, preventing corruption overrides
       1st amendment rights

   527’S (new loophole, get name from Internal Revenue Code under white it falls)

          similar to SIG‟s and PAC‟s, that raise money through internet and
           “independently” expression opinion thru ads
          in reality, parties and candidates are aware of these 527 groups
          money is therefore neither going to the party nor the candidate directly
   January 2010-Citizens United v. FEC
       o overruled 2 precedents (McConnell v. FEC that upheld BCRA and
           Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce (1990) that upheld
           restrictions on corporate spending (before BCRA))
       o can no longer ban corporate political spending in candidate elections
       o supporters say free speech
       o opponents say corrupts democracy
       o basically repeals BCRA

To top