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Campaign Funding & Limitations

Campaign Funding & Limitations - Federico Nusymowicz...

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Federico Nusymowicz 4.08 – Road to the White House 1. Explain the current rules as defined in FECA 1974. FECA 1972 repealed the Corrupt Practices Act, creating a more comprehensive system in its place, which regulated federal campaign financing of primaries, runoffs, general elections, and conventions. This system set ceilings on media advertising while requiring full and timely disclosure; additionally, it established limits on contributions from candidates and their families, permitted unions and corporations to ask members, employees, and stockholders for voluntary contributions, and it allowed union and corporate treasury money to be used for overhead in operating PACs. The 1974 FECA Amendments provided the option of full public financing for general presidential elections, matching funds for presidential primaries, and public funds for presidential nominating conventions. They also set limits on spending for presidential general elections as well as primaries, and for House and Senate primaries, revising the previously unenforced House and Senate limits for general elections. They created individual contribution limits of $1,000 to a candidate per election and a $5,000 limit for individual contributions to PACs. They also limited total individual contributions to $25,000 per year, while limiting a candidate’s contributions to his or her own campaign, limiting individual expenditures on behalf of a candidate to $1,000 per election. They ended the 1940 ban on contributions from individuals and groups working under government contract, abolished limits on media advertising, and finally created the FEC to administer campaign law. 2. How do you think Watergate helped to create a need for these new amendments to the law? The Watergate scandals created mass mistrust towards politicians; if the President himself could be so corrupt, checks needed to be made not only on executive power but also on all other politicians with some degree of control over our nation. Some sort of campaign funds regulation and enforcement agency, then, became a prime necessity. This gave rise to the FEC, which would from now on keep a close eye on party, election, and Presidential finances, as well as those of the House and Senate. Contribution limits were set to prevent further corruption from occurring (or at least to try to prevent it from occurring), limits on media advertising were abolished to create an incentive for greater competition among nominees, and elections became publicly funded to prevent skewed results.
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