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Campaign Finance Explained

This Prezi attempts to explain the extremely complicated world of campaign finance for federal elections in the U.S.

Erik Lowe

on 16 November 2013

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Transcript of Campaign Finance Explained

Campaign Finance
Soft $
Citizens United

How money plays a role in elections...
Campaign Finance is confusing, but VERY important!

Money plays a HUGE role in politics, and it therefore
becomes very important for citizens to understand
how much money is being given
and where it is coming from.

Ignoring the $ behind politics would be a
fast way to lose our democracy.
National Parties
What's with all the 'NEW' stuff?
Political Action Committee:
Organizations that are created by citizens, coporations, politicians, interest groups, etc.
They attempt to raise as much $ as possible from donors.
Some donations are used as hard $ and given to candidates and political parties.
$ Given DIRECTLY to a candidate,
PAC, or Political Party
(overall limit=$123,200 every 2 years)
$ that is spent to INDIRECTLY support a candidate or political party
Super PACs
Political Advertisements for/against candidates
Voter Registration
Corporations and Unions
Organizations whose primary purpose cannot be political in nature. They may spend money indirectly on political issues that impact their cause. The money they spend does not need to be reported to the FEC, and the donors can therefore remain anonymous.
Ex. AARP, NRA,, etc.
Super PAC
A new PAC that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of soft $. However, they cannot give money directly to candidates. Super PACs will most likely make 527's less and less important.
In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled on an important case about campaign finance.
Citizens United -----> Wanted corporations and unions to be able to spend unlimited $ in elections. Afterall, we all have freedom of speech (1st Amendment) and should be able to spend our $ however we want. This means corporations and unions, as well as regular people.
FEC -----> Argued that corporations and unions are NOT people. Therefore, they shouldn't be
able to spend unlimited $. Besides, this would hurt regular voters who can't give millions of dollars,
and it could cause our political system to become corrupted by money.
The Court rule in favor of Citizens United
by a vote of 5-4.
This allows corporations and unions to give unlimited
$ from their profits to help elect or defeat
candidates. However, this $ cannot go directly to
Super PACs were also created as a results of this
Federal Election Commission
The government organization that tracks HARD $ and enforces the laws that limit donations.

Every donation must be reported to the FEC, including the name, address, and occupation of the donor.

Each candidate must also give the FEC receipts that show how all of the donated $ is spent,
Full transcript