What is campaign finance reform?
This is a political effort to change money involvement during political campaign in United States political election. The attempt to change this finance for campaign started since 1867 by the legislation. To get this, the Federal Election campaign act of 1971 in United States passed the bill for the campaign finance reform. The Federal Election campaign act of 1971 requires any candidate to make known the sources of money spent for the campaign and for the contributions of the campaign.
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The amendment made to this in 1974 required that there is a limit to the contributions by the candidates for the first time which made them to create FEC which is the Federal Election Commission and made it independent enforcement agency. This provide a wide disclosure and also gave the maximum and minimum amount any candidates can spend on their campaign or the amount that citizens can spent separated from the campaign of the candidates to promote the view of their politics. The original idea of this was to restrict and prevent the affluence individuals’ influence in the campaign and thereby limiting their donations to $1,000 and the political action committees had their own donations reduced to $5,000 although this act was shot down by the Supreme Court in 1976 that it was unconstitutional.
The most recent campaign finance law by the federal government of the United States is the Bipartisan Campaign Reform act of 2002 also known as the BCRA of 2002 or the McCain Feingold after it was sponsored. This acts provided that there would be prohibition of contributions that are not regulated to the national political parties and the use of union and corporate finance were limited to funds ads that would be discussing the issues concerning politics within the 30 days of the primary election or the 60 days of the general election.
Campaign finance reform history
The history of campaign finance reform dates back to 1828 election when Andrew Jackson had his campaign launched through partisan newspaper network across the nation in other to get votes from the voters that were recently enfranchised and voters that were propertied. Andrew initiated a political patronage that had the political parties operatives rewarded after his election and this would have a weighty effect on the elections that would be coming up after or in the future. After this, the appointees were expected to make a portion of contribution from their pay to the political party. During the era of Andrew known as the Jacksonian era, corporations made the first contribution to power the statesmen. Although, Andrew claimed that his greatest struggle was the one between the money power and the democracy that made him battle against the second bank of the United States.
After this, the Pennsylvania idea was developed in 1850 by the Pennsylvanian republican, Simon Cameron. This idea was to divert the money of corporations in helping to maintain control of the legislature by the republicans. Threat of legislation hostility to force the interests of the corporations in paying for the measures of the defeat was used across the country by the political machines. As at this time, the senators in the US were being elected by the state legislature which can be bought instead of being elected by the popular vote.
Even though Abraham Lincoln arranged a few of $500 from many affluence donors, he got bankrupted when he tried to run his 1858 senate when he attempted to finance it. Although, he purchased the Illinois newspaper in other to support him in the election for president in 1860, it was this helped him to regain his lost money and he was able to gain more money. It was in this he had support from businessmen in New York and Philadelphia financially.
Parties began to rely on affluence individuals after the civil war to help them support their political goals even in the absence of civil service system, they were still relying on the support financially from the government employees. The naval appropriation bill which was passed in 1867 during the first finance law of the federal campaign prohibited and restricted the government employees and officers from lobbying for donations workers in the navy yard.