Difficulties of campaign finance reforms

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  • Created on: 08-06-14 09:30
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Campaign Finance Reforms- Difficult to Achieve
Campaign finance reforms have been attempted since the 1970s with
FECA, due to Nixon and the Watergate scandal. Since, there have been
attempst to further crackdown, since BCRA in 2002, however this has
been hard to achieve for a variety of reasons:
Candidates want to spend as much as possible to gain an advantage
over their opponent. If they have more money, then they have
more resources to draw from when campaigning and it is easier for
candidates to get their name known in campaigns if they have
more money to draw from them. Because of this desire to have an
advantage, there is has been a collapse of election financing
Donators want to donate. Donators tend to be pressure groups or
companies which want influence over government, and the bigger
the donation, the bigger the influence. Allowing them this
influence helps to give pressure groups an undue influence on
The role of the Supreme Court and the constitutional right of
freedom of speech, which prevents tv adverts being banned,
unless you want to be seen as repressing constitutional rights.
Bucky v Valeo also made limits on candidate expenditure, aside
from federal subsidies, unconstitutional. Citizens United also made
the electoral activities of independent groups exempt from
regulation, thus making it easier for candidates to receive
donations for their campaign.
The apparent impossibility of creating legislation without
loopholes in the legislation, demonstrated by the rise of "soft
money" (ie money from private donations), PACs (organisations
that are created by pressure groups to give money to candidates),
Super PACs (PACs with unlimited expenditure) and the rise of 527s
(groups extempt from taxes who directly influence elections, but
do not declare to be for or against a particular side) in 2004.


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