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The Federal Election Commission and campaign finance Regulation

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1 The Federal Election Commission and campaign finance Regulation

2 Key Terms to Remember PAC: established by businesses, labor unions, and interest groups to channel money to campaigns Hard money: contributions restricted by campaign law Soft money: unregulated money contributed to parties for the purpose of party building activities Issue ads: ads that seek to inform citizens about critical issues. Some claim that this is a loophole to campaign finance.

3 The Federal Election Commission is…
An Independent Regulatory Agency Responsible for Enforcing Campaign Finance Law Regulator of U.S. House, Senate and Presidential Elections

4 Major changes to the FECA
Set limits on contributions Established the FEC Buckley v. Valeo Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 Banned soft money at the national level Restricted issue ads Increased contribution limits Indexed limits for inflation Citizens United v. FEC (2010) Government may NOT ban corporate spending in a political campaign

5 Other characteristics
Income tax check-off for public financing of presidential elections and party conventions Establishes matching funds program for primary elections First publicly funded election in 1976 (Ford v. Carter) National elections ONLY…NOT state or local elections

6 Banned Contributions Foreign nationals Government contractors
Those with green cards are able to contribute Government contractors Corporations and Labor Unions Contributions in the name of another No cash contributions over $100

7 What counts as a contribution?
Any donated items such as office supplies and equipment Discounted pricing Fundraiser tickets Loans and loan endorsements

8 Independent Expenditures
Money spent for a communication that specifically pushes for the election or defeat of a federal candidate Not connected with a campaign organization Does NOT count as contribution Unlimited (Buckley) Disclosure within communication

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