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campaign finance

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by

michelle ashmore

on 30 January 2015

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Transcript of campaign finance

politicians use fundraising tactics to get money:
Types of Money
Finance Reform
US Congress has debated a variety of campaign finance reforms over the last decade.
Regulations
the proposals include:
in order to regulate campaigns and the amount of funds given... the government has created restrictions ...
think about White Collar and how there was the "hidden book of money" used for prostitutes, hit men etc.
because elections cost money --- candidates have to raise funds!
Campaign Finance
3) Interest Groups: organization of people with similar policy goals trying to INFLUENCE legislation and policymakers
1) direct mail

2) dinners, speeches, rallies
4) Political Action Committees:

main purpose: raise $ and distribute funds to influence candidates and advocate goals of the members
when they fund campaigns and participate in electioneering (recruit ppl to work for campaigns) they become PAC's
the public thinks they "buy votes" but they claim to be linkage institutions that represent the needs of the people
Super PAC's
can raise unlimited sums of money from unlimited sources (individuals, corporations, unions)

they can advocate for election or defeat via advertising -- TV, print, radio, online
Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) 1971
Federal Election Commission (FEC)
Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
Types of Reform
restrict amount of campaign funds spent on
advertising
for candidates

disclose the contributions and expenditures

limits
individual

contributions

tax payers can donate on tax returns
created after Watergate
job is to enforce FECA

establish public financing for presidential candidates

prohibit foreign contributions

restricted formation of PAC's and the amount of contributions
spending limits established by FECA were unconstitutional because they violate 1st amendment (free speech)

-must disclose contributions (leads to hard/soft money)
-limits the amount of personal contributions
-changed how FEC members are chosen.
Hard Money
funds that can be used for direct electioneering, but
ARE
limited by the FEC
Soft Money
donations to local and state political parties to be used for "general purposes" (not campaigning).

Virtually
UNREGULATED
by FEC
soft money leads to more regulations
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) McCain Feingold law -- 2002
527 organizations
McConnell v. FEC (2003)
Citizens United v. FEC (2010)
banned the use of soft money in federal campaigns

increase the limits on individuals and group contributions to candidates

Millionaire's Amendment --
increased contribution limits for candidates who faced opponents that give substantial sums to their own campaign -- balanced out $
committees that are tax exempt in election campaigns IF they aren't affiliated with a political party.

they take a stance on issues, not candidates.

Regulated by IRS, not FEC
because soft money is banned...
govt's interest in preventing corruption
overrides
free speech rights that you would otherwise
be entitled to

BCRA (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act) restrictions do not violate free speech
gov't cannot ban political spending by corporations in a candidate's election
1. Eliminate soft money contributions and limit independent expenditures (PAC's)
2. Increase limits on individual contributions
soft money - donations to state political parties for "general purposes". not regulated by FEC

independent expenditures - super PAC's -- give unlimited funds
why?
often used as loopholes to hard $
levels the playing field
individuals can't buy influence
increased disclosure
decreased overall cost of campaigns
why not?
it violated the 1st amendment
it weakens political parties
decreases political participation
* 2002 BCRA eliminated soft $ ... now we have 527's
increase the amount individuals can give to campaigns
why?
- spend less time fundraising and more time focusing on people's concerns
- decrease PAC influence
- decrease restrictions on 1st Amend
- decrease reliance on 527's
why not?
- people can buy influence
- too much money spent already
- increase the cost of campaigns
* 2002 BCRA
* McCutcheon v FEC
(2014)
NOT connected to an IG or PAC...
sole purpose is to raise $
where does the money from corporations go???
so... how much influence do corporations have?! Is this okay?
527's
tax-exempt group organized to raise money for political activities including voter mobilization efforts, issue advocacy, etc.

It must file either with the government of the state in which it is located or the Internal Revenue Service.

Many 527s run by special interest groups raise unlimited "soft money," which they use for voter mobilization and certain types of issue advocacy, but not for efforts that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate
campaign ad - in favor of or opposing the election of a candidate. Can attack or support, connected to candidate.



issue ad - talks about an issue. does not state the words "vote" or "elect". Can attack or support, but without any connection to candidates.
McCutcheon v. FEC
(2014)
changed the limits that individuals could give to elections...
Do limits on how much a person can give restrict our free speech? Is money free speech?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/overall-contribution-limits/
www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMvG54GjtRI&feature=youtu.be

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmQ37zm7-uU
Full transcript