History of Federal Election Campaign Act and limits on campaign spending


"On October 15, 1974, President Gerald Ford signed into law the amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), the bedrock of modern campaign finance law. The amendments took effect on January 1, 1975. The very next day, Sen. James Buckley (R-N.Y.)-- older brother of conservative icon William F. Buckley-- sued the secretary of the Senate, Frances Valeo, in an all-out attack on the constitutionality of FECA. Buckley v. Valeo reached the Supreme Court in September 1975, and in a complex and at times impenetrable opinion, the court upheld the law's contribution limits, presidential public financing program, and disclosure provisions. But it struck down limits on spending, including so-called independent expenditures." (pg. 35)"At the same time, Bopp and his allies continue their push to dismantle the remaining campaign finance laws. Their latest target: the century-old Tillman Act, which bans corporations from donating directly to candidates. Should Tillman fall, companies won't need PACs, super-PACs, or shadowy non-profits; they'd simply hand checks to the candidates themselves and could theoretically create innumerable shell companies to skirt the existing $2,500 donation cap." (pg. 39)"In a recent poll, six in ten people said they disagreed with Citizens United; eight in ten said there was "too much big money" in politics." (pg. 39 - see (2) for original poll source)"Super-PACs, seven-figure checks, billionaire bankrollers, shadowy non-profits: This is the state of play in what will be the first presidential election since Watergate to be fully privately funded." (pg. 39)(1) Kroll, Andy. "Follow the Dark Money." UTNE Reader. Sept.-Oct. 2012. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/history-money-american-elect...(2) Greenberg, Erica Seifert, and David Donnelly. "Two Years After Citizens United, Voters Fed Up with Money in Politics." January 19, 2012. http://campaignmoney.org/files/DemCorpPCAFmemoFINAL.pdf

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