How Significant Is Money In American Presidential Elections

Topics: Federal Election Campaign Act, Elections, Election Pages: 2 (973 words) Published: February 5, 2015
How significant is money in American Presidential Elections? (30) Although the parties cannot exert tight control over candidates, their ability to raise and spend money has a significant influence. Studies have shown that the Republican Party spends six times more money on their campaigns than the Democrat Party. Since ‘Citizens vs FEC’ got the law passed that as much money can be given or fundraised to a campaign in any amount, sponsors, interest groups, corporate fronts and lobbyists can all contribute to a campaign. It is said that the huge significance of money compromises America’s democracy. This is why spending limits have been introduced. In the aftermath of the crooked Watergate scandal, anxiety over campaign finance led to the passage of two major reform bills—the Revenue Act of 1971 and the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974—that have set the guidelines and regulations for campaign finance. The Revenue Act was designed to implement federal financing of Presidential elections. Under the act, citizens were given the opportunity to check a box on their tax forms authorizing the federal government to use one of their tax dollars to finance Presidential campaigns in the general election. Congress implemented the program in 1973 and, by 1976, enough tax money had accumulated to fund the 1976 Presidential election. It was the first publicly funded federal election in U.S. history. The main provisions of the FECA placed limits on how much individuals and political committees could contribute to a single campaign and further instituted "public funding." It limited individual contributions to US$1000 and corporate contributions to US$5000. It also forbade foreign donors so that foreigners wouldn’t have any influence on the campaign. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) was created by Congress to administer and enforce the FECA. In presidential primaries, individuals could donate up to US$1000 to a candidate and the government would match these funds up to...
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