Campaign Finance Reform

1547 Words7 Pages
Elections shape the scope and size of our government. It’s an event where the people can decide the direction of a locality, a state, and even the federal government. Immigrants and youth who can’t vote are still impacted by the decisions of those being elected. Elections are paramount to our system of governance, however the way campaigns are run, and how funds are raised lack any meaningful oversight. The united states campaign finance system is in need reform, due to increasing deregulation, poor voter participation, and drastic increases third party spending. The root cause of this issue is our deregulated campaign finance system.
Campaign finance has been plagued by continued deregulation. The system has long been anything but perfect,
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The Bill was torn down over the span of forty years by court a series of cases, and new regulations. For the scope of this report, only the major court and legislative changes will be focused on. The most immediate slice to FECA came in 1975 from the Buckley v. Valeo court decision. This court case successfully overturned key provisions in the federal election campaign act. Candidates were now able to use unlimited personal assets to finance campaigns. Money used for political advocacy was linked to free speech. Many provisions of FECA remained in place after this decision, however the link between free speech and money laid the groundwork for other court cases that sought to dismantle FECA. According to Richard L Hasen (21), the final and most important case towards campaign finance deregulation came in 2010 with the Citizens United vs FEC case. The case was a suit between citizens united and the FEC over the timing of a political movie based on Hilary Clinton. The anti-Clinton movie was released inside the thirty day window before a primary election in which advocacy by corporations for candidates was banned. The Supreme Court found this to be a violation of free speech. The ruling gave corporations and unions first amendment rights. Additionally, the court ruling removed restrictions on expenditures for corporations and unions. Due to the Buckley v.…show more content…
With the knowledge that political advocacy has drastically increased following deregulation of the campaign finance system, and resulted in a lower turnout, fixing our system is not an easy matter. Many politicians have championed bills such as tester-murphy which unilaterally reverses the Citizens United court case. This bill would allow FEC to regulate money and stripe organizations first amendment protections. However according to outsiders such as Hasen this bill has two key problems. The first issue is in relation to its limitations. Under this bill the press would still be allowed political advocacy protections. With the rise of the internet it also allows for shadow press agencies to be created online and participate in political advocacy. Due to this loophole the funds from current donors would simply shift from a 501c4 to a press outlet. The second issue is this bill would need to become an amendment. With the divided political landscape, it is extremely unlikely a super majority could be formed by either the legislative body or the states to form an amendment (22-28). If Tester-Murphy was simply passed a bill swiftly overturn the
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