Presentation on theme: "Campaign Finance Reform"— Presentation transcript:
1 Campaign Finance Reform Unit IIElection ProcessCampaign Finance Reform
2 What you need to know about campaign finance FEC – Federal Election CommissionBCRA – Bipartisan Campaign Reform ActHard money = Federal moneyPolitical donations raised from federally permissible sources within the limits established by BCRASoft money = Nonfederal moneyPolitical donations made in such a way as to avoid federal regulations.
3 Overview History of Campaign Finance Regulation Beginning of time—Civil War: No regulationCivil War—1910Gilded AgeExceptionally scandalous politicians nationallyBoss Tweed1868: 75% of money used in congressional elections through party assessments1867: Naval Appropriations BillFirst federal effort to regulate campaign financeAimed at stopping the political shakedown naval yard workers for political contributionsProhibits officers and employees of the fed. gov’t from soliciting contributions1883: Civil Service Reform Act (Pendleton Act) prohibits the same solicitation of all federal workers
4 Overview History of Campaign Finance Regulation Corrupt Practices Acts of 1911 and 1925Set disclosure requirements for House and Senate ElectionsSpending limits ($25k for Senate; $5k for House)Ridiculously weak and regularly violated1971 Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA)1976: Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
5 Buckley v. ValeoBuckley v. Valeo, (1976), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States upheld a federal law which set limits on campaign contributions, but ruled that spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech, and struck down portions of the law. The court also stated candidates can give unlimited amounts of money to their own campaigns.
6 Campaign Finance Reform and Buckley I Original ProvisionEffect of Buckley v. ValeoExpenditure limitsOverall spending limits (Congress and president)Struck down partially (freedom of speech)Limits on the use of candidates’ own resourcesStruck down entirely (freedom of speech)Limits on media expendituresIndependent expenditure limits
7 Campaign Finance Reform and Buckley II Original ProvisionEffect of Buckley v. ValeoContribution limitsIndividual limits: $1k/candidate/electionAffirmedPAC limits: $5k/candidate/electionParty committee limits: $5k/candidate/electionCap on total contributions individual can make to all candidates ($25k)Struck down (freedom of speech)Cap on spending “on behalf of candidates” by parties
8 Federal Election Commission PurposeIn 1975, Congress created the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA)the statute that governs the financing of federal elections.The duties of the FEC, which is an independent regulatory agency, are todisclose campaign finance informationenforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions,oversee the public funding of Presidential elections.
9 FEC Rules & Regulations The Players GovernmentFEC – Federal Election CommissionCampaign CommitteesCandidatesNational Party CommitteesState & Local Party CommitteesSeparate Segregated FundsPACs connected to corporations, unions, etc.Nonconnected CommitteesAll other PACs527sIndividuals
10 Various Election Law Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) 1975 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) 2002Major changes under BCRA
11 McCain Feingold 2002The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002, also known as "McCain-Feingold," after its sponsors, is the most recent major federal law on campaign finance, which revised some of the legal limits of expenditure set in 1974, and prohibited unregulated contributions (called "soft money") to national political parties. ‘Soft money’ also refers to funds spent by independent organizations that do not specifically advocate the election or defeat of candidates, and are not contributed directly to candidate campaigns.
12 What does Federal Election Law Regulate? In GeneralThe financing of federal electionsSpecificallyDisclosure of financial activityContributionsReceiving and GivingExpendituresCandidate support activitiesFederal election activities
13 Types of Money Federal Funds Levin Funds Nonfederal Funds Collected from permissible sourcesSubject to contribution limitsLevin FundsFor state and local party committees onlyCollected from any entity except fed cand.Only used for certain types of FEANonfederal FundsSubject to state law onlyMay be used to pay for expenses related to not federal elections
14 Hierarchy of MONEY State Parties Federal“Hard Money”LevinQuasi-Fed $State“Soft Money”Federal MoneyMost limitationsFederal, state and local electionsLevin MoneyFewer limitationsSome Federal election activities, state and localState MoneyTypically, fewest limitationsState and local elections only
15 Where does my money go? It depends! Candidate Candidate specific activitiesContributions to other candidates, parties or causesDNC/RNCFederal candidatesAllocated nationallyState Party CommitteesFederal, state & local candidatesAllocated statewidePACsSupport candidates, parties that agree on specific issues527sSeparate campaign