Campaign Spending

Topics: Campaign finance in the United States, United States, Elections Pages: 2 (718 words) Published: March 18, 2012
Campaign Spending
One interesting part of campaign finance is that there's no limit on what a candidate can contribute to his own campaign. Wealthy presidential hopefuls Ross Perot and Steve Forbes donated substantial chunks of their own fortunes. Mitt Romney, a candidate in the presidential race, has been the largest donor to his own campaign by a wide margin.

The Federal Elections Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971 prohibits corporations and incorporated charitable organizations from giving to or spending for a candidate. However, PACs are a good way for corporations to dodge this law. It seems like for every regulation in place, there's a loophole that allows groups to bypass it.

Bundling is another tactic used to skirt the regulations of the FEC. Bundling is when an individual gathers contributions from a large number of people and donates the money all at once to a campaign. The bundler often enjoys prominence in the campaign and can gain access to the candidate to make a plea for his or her special interest. Bundling is currently a hot topic of debate and frequently called out in reform talks.

. A cap on expenditure was initially made into legislation with FECA. However, the Supreme Court overturned the law in a landmark case just a few years later. The result of Buckley v. Valeo was that candidates have no cap on spending as long as the money is raised from private donors. Many state and local elections have voluntary spending limits and the result is usually a more level playing field for candidates. Politicians on the federal level are hesitant to back any provisions on spending limits because of the reality that more money usually ensures victory at the polls. In the future, there will likely be more calls for reform that will be met with resistance from corporations, unions and special interest groups. Regardless of what reform legislation may be passed, a lack of enforcement and loopholes have made the American public skeptical about the dedication to...
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