Campaign Finance Reform: The History, Present, and Future

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Campaign Finance reform has been a topic of interest throughout the history of the United States Government, especially in the more recent decades. There are arguments on both sides of the issue. Proponents of campaign finance limits argue that wealthy donors and corporations hold too much power in elections and as a result they can corrupt campaigns. Those who favor less regulation argue that campaign donations are a form of free speech. One case in particular, Citizens United vs. The Federal Election Commission has altered everything with pertaining to Campaign Finance.
Patronage was a prevalent part of early elections. During most of the early history of the United States, there was no legislation passed on behalf of campaign finance reform. The first time the federal government tried to regulate campaign finance reform was in 1867, when congress passed the navel appropriations bill. This bill made it illegal for government officials to solicit naval yard workers for money (Fuller). In 1907, the Tillman Act was passed. This act prohibits corporations and national banks from contributing money directly to presidential or congressional campaigns. This law only applied to general elections and was ineffective due to loopholes (Rowan). The Federal Corrupt Practices Act was passed in 1910. It requires House candidates to disclose campaign spending and the source of all campaign contributions. This Act was later amended in 1911 to make the act require that Senate candidates also follow the disclosure rules created by the law. The law was revised in 1925 to expand the list of who must file reports. The revision also states that these reports must be filed on a quarterly basis. The revision also mandates that all contributions over ...

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... election reform, people will just have to wait and see what the future of campaigns will be like.

Works Cited

Dowling, Conor M., and Michael Gerald Miller. Super PAC!: Money, Elections, and Voters after Citizens United. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. Print.

Fuller, Jaime. "From George Washington to Shaun McCutcheon: A Brief-ish History of Campaign Finance Reform." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 03 Apr. 2014. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Rowan, Beth. "Campaign-Finance Reform: History and Timeline." Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Rountree, Clarke. Venomous Speech: Problems with American Political Discourse on the Right and Left. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013. Print.

Sullivan, Kristin, and Terrance Adams. "SUMMARY OF CITIZENS UNITED V. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION." Office of Legislative Research. N.p., 2 Mar. 2010. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
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