Campaign Financing • Cost of Modern Campaigns • Campaign Reform Legislation • Post-Watergate Reforms (FECA) • Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) • Sources of Campaign Funding • Campaign Finance Regulation and the First Amendment • The Rise of SUPER PACS • Public Funding of Campaigns
FECA & the BCRA • FECA • Disclosure requirements • PACS: federally mandated, regulated fundraising organizations that represent groupsand can contribute directly to campaigns • Federal Election Commission to oversee regulations • Partial public funding for presidential campaigns • Contribution limits • Problems with FECA: Soft Money (issue ads/party building) • BCRA • Limits soft money contributions to parties • Limits issue ads within 30 days of primary and 60 days of general elections (overturned) • Limited amount of candidate’s own money that can be spent (overturned) • Problems with BCRA: 527 and 501(c) organizations
Sources of Campaign Funding • Individuals • Parties • Political Action Committees • Member PACs • Personal Savings • Public Funds • Soft Money Groups
Sources of Campaign Funding Direct Support • Individuals: See Chart • Parties: $5,000/election to House candidate and $42,600/election to a Senate candidate • Political Action Committees: $5,000/election to a candidate, $15,000/year to party • Member PACs: same as other PACs • Personal Savings: no limits • Public Funds: presidential election Indirect Support • Soft Money Groups: 527 & 501(c) organizations • SuperPACs
527 & 501(c)Organizations 527 Ads
Super PACS • Colbert Super PAC website • Colbert Super PAC Power Transfer • Colbert Romney Ad • Current Super PAC Ads
Areas of Debate • Should the government regulate campaign spending? • Buckley v. Valeo: Are limits on campaign expenditures consistent with the 1st Amendment? • Should we adopt a mandatory system of publically financed campaigns?