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Campaign Finance. Federal Election Campaign Act Buckley v. Valeo Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act McConnell v. FEC Money is the mother’s milk of politics. — Jesse Unruh, Speaker, California House of Representatives. Illinois 8th District. House Campaign Expenses. Senate Campaign Expenses.

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Campaign Finance

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Campaign Finance

  • Federal Election Campaign Act

  • Buckley v. Valeo

  • Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act

  • McConnell v. FEC

    Money is the mother’s milk of politics.

    — Jesse Unruh, Speaker, California House of Representatives


Illinois 8th District


House Campaign Expenses


Senate Campaign Expenses


Hard Money v Soft Money

  • Hard Money: Political contributions given to a party, candidate, or interest group that are limited in amount and fully disclosed.

  • Soft Money: Funds obtained by political parties that are spent on party activities, such as get out the vote drives, not on behalf of a specific candidate.


Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971


FECA: Contribution Limits


Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971


Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971


FECA: Public Funding


Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971


Buckley v. Valeo (1976)


Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002


BCRA: Per Candidate Contribution Limits


Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002


Soft Money Contributions (in millions), 1992-2002


Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002


Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002


Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002


Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002


Electioneering Communications

  • Broadcast, cable or satellite communication;

  • That refers to a clearly identified federal candidate;

  • Is publicly distributed by a television station, radio station, cable television system or satellite system for a fee; and

  • Is distributed within 60 days prior to a general election or 30 days prior to a primary election to federal office.


Electioneering Communications

Sponsor: Kentucky Democratic Party

Ad Frequency: 663 times between October 22 and November 3, 1998

ANNOUNCER: If Congressman Bunning gets his way, everything from milk to medicine would cost 30% more. Last week Jim Bunning said quote, "We ought to have a national sales tax." That's right, Bunning would create a whole new federal tax. Bunning wants to raise our taxes, but voted for a tax loophole that has let billionaires renounce their citizenship to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Tell Bunning, no loophole for billionaires, no new sales tax for working people.


Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002


Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002


McConnell v. FEC (2003)


527’S (THE NEW SOFT $$)

  • Named for the IRS tax code that gives life to these committees

  • A 527 group is created primarily to influence the nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates for public office.

  • Not subject to campaign finance laws


527 Committees


See the full list

Top 5 Committees Receiving Money


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