Cons Of Political Campaign Financing

1395 WordsNov 23, 20176 Pages
Political Campaign Financing Political campaign financing refers to all finances that have been raised and expended in order to promote political candidates, parties, and initiatives. According to a survey conducted in November 2018, when questioned “Do you know what political campaign financing is?” approximately 50% of respondents answered yes, 27% answered no and 23% answered that they had heard of it. The same survey relayed that only 4% of participants had positive views, 35% had negative views and the remaining 61% were unsure of their views on campaign financing. Yet when asked the question “Regarding the role of money in American political campaigns, what level of influence do you think money has?” 96% of respondents said too much,…show more content…
The FECA, however, opened the way for a major financing loophole: soft money. Soft money includes contributions and expenses that are technically not associated with individual candidates. Examples of this would be issue advertising as well as get-out-the-vote initiatives. Although soft money never directly reaches campaigns, the activities that it sponsors definitively boosts individual candidates in the polls and allows donors to remain unnoticed. The court case Buckley v. Valeo (1976) resolved the question: “Did the limits placed on electoral expenditures by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, and related provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, violate the First Amendment's freedom of speech and association clauses?” (Buckley v. Valeo). This question first came into play following the infamous Watergate scandal. Congress wanted to end corruption in political campaigns, particularly the financial contributions. Congress’ law created limits on the amount of money that an individual could contribute to a campaign. It was required the campaign to report contributions above a certain amount of money. This led to the creation of the Federal Election Commission, or the FEC, a governmental agency designed to enforce this statute. This influential case concluded that restrictions on individual contributions did not violate the First Amendment as
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