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Loopholes in the Reforms

Loopholes in the Reforms - may legally donate millions of...

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Loopholes in the Reforms Since the 1970s, campaigners have found a number of ways around the reforms of the 1970s: Soft money: The new laws placed few limits on political parties and PACs. Although these groups could not give unlimited contributions to campaigns, they could spend an unlimited amount of money (known as soft money ) on such activities as voter education, registration drives, and getting out the vote. Example: In 2002, several wealthy donors, including Haim Saban, whose $7 million donation was the largest in history, gave money to the Democratic National Committee to build a new headquarters. Independent expenditures: In Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the Supreme Court ruled that, based on the First Amendment, a candidate may spend his or her own money in whatever way he or she wishes. This means that wealthy candidates
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Unformatted text preview: may legally donate millions of dollars to their own campaigns. Individuals and groups, for example, can spend as much as they wish on issue advertising. Such ads cannot directly say “vote for X” or “vote against X,” but they can say virtually anything else. Example: Most issue ads are clearly designed to sway voters. An ad supporting a candidate may say flattering things about the candidate and conclude by saying, “Call X and tell her you appreciate her work.” An attack ad can portray a candidate very negatively and finish by saying, “Call Y and tell him he’s wrong.” • Bundling: This is the practice of collecting donations from a number of people, then sending them together as a large payment to the candidate. The large donations might make a candidate feel indebted to the people giving the money....
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