FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION Between 1907 – 1966 laws sought to: Limit influence of wealthy special interests Regulate spending in campaigns Deter abuses through public disclosure of campaign finances 1971 – Congress enacts FECA Federal Election Campaign Act More stringent disclosure requirements 1974 – Congress establishes FEC Enforces campaign finance laws Independent regulatory agency Not tied to President’s cabinet
Campaign Finance Laws Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) Limits on resources and amounts of funds used to finance federal elections Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act Public funding of Presidential elections FEC actions involve: Determining which committees qualify for public funds Auditing those that receive funding
ROLE OF FEC Facilitating Disclosure Reports are available as soon as 48 hours for public review Clarifying Law Enforcing Law FEC learns of violation through: Review of reports Referrals Complaints
PACS & SUPER PACS PACS – Political Action Committees Private group that bands together to support candidates for public office Individuals can donate no more than $2,500 to campaign Corporations and Unions – no donations allowed SUPER PACs Also known as “independent expenditure-only” groups Can make unlimited political donations Rules: Cannot coordinate with any candidate or campaign
MEDIA’s ROLE IN ELECTIONS DOES MEDIA COVERAGE IMPACT ELECTION RESULTS?