Campaign Finance Reform paper

Introduction To American Politics

In the United States, elections are held after every five years, where respective candidates vie for several posts such the presidency, senators and so forth. Similar to other countries, respective and aspiring candidates are expected to undergo vigorous campaign sessions. However, before the campaigns, the electorate has to be definite upon defining and paving the way forward for the aspiring candidate. This entails having a transparent vetting process to ascertain that the candidate has no corrupt nor being bankrupt, an action that dictates he is free to vie for the specific position. Nevertheless, there is a need for the candidate to be a staunch member of a particular party, an action that dictates he must be financially stable. Through this, the study aims to offer precise information concerning campaign finance reform, whereby various factors shall be analyzed appropriately.

Campaign Finance Reform Defined

To begin with, the study is based on the query, what is Campaign Finance Reform? We refer Campaign Finance Reform as the activities which have been put into consideration to offer clear regulations on the manner through which the campaigns can raise capital as well as dictating the way through which this capital shall be utilized. Historically, we can infer the financing of the attacks through as one the very lengthy, an action which can be traced back from the main parties which do support respective candidates. Moreover, there has been an aspect that campaign finances do lack proper regulation, an action that can be dated from early 1971 (Woods, & Tan, 2019).  It’s at this specific period that the Congress went ahead and paved the way for the main reforms of the legislation upon regulating the expenditure. The expenditure entails how the capital raised shall be spent.

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 Applicability of Federal Election Campaign Act

Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) was installed with a bright aspect of establishing and setting clear policies which the candidates and the parties should report their overall contribution and also how to spend them. Conversely, with the new trend and changes in the political reforms, as well as updates, FECA has come up with newly established requirements which do surround the campaigns finance (Mendilow, and  Phélippeau, 2018). The elements can be explained hereafter.

In the first place, there is a need to disclose the main contributor and the amount of money the contributor has contributed. Secondly, the limits upon which each person contributed to the aspiring candidate must also be disclosed. The action shall aid upon realizing and setting precise pace upon indicating how well different stakeholders have high hopes to the candidature of the respective person. Third, FECA saw it more relevant for the unions, or the corporations to come up with clear policies which were supposed to indicate how the chief contributors and financiers were created as well as the procedures which regulated them upon their funding (Mendilow, and  Phélippeau, 2018). Lastly, the factor of the soft money was also supposed to be controlled, through policies which were limited and dictates that no respective candidate should be given money to lure his supporters. This indicated the campaign finances were fully utilized in an appropriate manner.

Come 1986, a good number of bills are believed to have been killed whistle their application at the United States Senate. The action was implemented by the bipartisan manoeuvres. Their overall reforms are considered to have to be the hindrance, where the main task was to ensure the bills could not be proposed nor presented to the members, with an expectation of being voted for.  Similarly, there was a belief that this bill was likely to offer more strict control of the campaign financial obligations (Southwell, 2017). However, come 1988, both the legality setbacks as well as the legislative were seen to offer a definite proposal, with a designation of limiting how the candidate could spend the finances.  Nevertheless, this could not mature up, due to the Republican filibuster.

In contrast to the amendment of the constitution, which entailed higher expectations, was trounced thus failed to achieve the aspirations.  Nevertheless, blocking of the motion and bill that could see the spending of the candidate being limited went down, with Republican being the main contributor of the failure. The Republican, with their high number in the senate, also blocked the elimination of the soft money (Haenschen, & Wolf, 2019).  Further, they also trounced the television advertising, where The Campaign Integrity Act, with the proposal of Asa Hutchinson, was also seen to block use of soft money upon financing the campaigns, where on the other hand, it was expected to be spent on the television advertisement.

Passing of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of the year 2002

Different from Republican, Congress went further and paved the way for the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of the year 2002.  The bill was framed after its immediate sponsor, sponsors, John McCain as well as  Russ Feingold, thus depicting the title McCain-Feingold Bill. President Bush accepted the statement in law, on March 27, 2002 (Woods, & Tan, 2019). However, President Bush, while signing the bill into law, addressed the house, where the main objective was to express his concerns with consideration of some critical parts of the constitution, “I believe that this legislation, although far from perfect, will improve the current financing system for Federal campaigns.”

Advantages of Campaign Finance Reform

First, Limited values for the Federal contribution are often configured to be adjusted from early 1974.  The incredible amount goes to utmost $1000, where the Federal Election Commission rests the case to stand at the maximum value of $2,900 for every election, as a candidate. Secondly, all the incumbents are always supported by their respective parties. The action is seen to pave the way for the people who work under the House of Representatives, who in reality are seen to be of great aid at Washington.  Third, the candidates are seen to have much time, where they are set to focus on different issues that pertain their campaign trail. Moreover, instead of putting much consideration and time to the respective parties, the aspirants get more time to realize and gather information of the societal expectations upon his win, including the current trends (Gierzynski, 2018). Lastly, the number of the prohibited groups are realized, an action that see different and willing members of the unions and organization contributing freely for the wellness and win of their respective candidate.

Disadvantages of Campaign Finance Reform

On the other hand, the Campaign Finance Reform entails a number of cons. In the first rank, the high number of individuals lack money of contributing to specific or the candidate of their choice.  The requirement of offering $2,900, is huge, an action which sees the high number of individuals lacking the amount. The work is thus being undertaken by the number of individuals, most the rich, who have a positive impact on the economy, leaving behind the ordinary citizens (Gierzynski, 2018).  Lastly, there is a high level of community segregation, where the high number of partisans in the U.S is likely to be segregated due to the economic challenges.


In summation, Campaign Finance Reform is not a one-person activity as the composition has fully explained. Further, the balance has indicated the overall pros and cons of the  Campaign Finance Reform, as one way of informing the aspiring politicians on what awaits them, ahead of being confirmed as the selected and voted in leaders. Therefore, Campaign Finance Reform should not be set aside, more so with regard to United States politics.


Gierzynski, A. (2018). Money rules: Financing elections in America. Routledge.

Haenschen, K., & Wolf, J. (2019). Disclaiming responsibility: How platforms deadlocked the Federal Election Commission’s efforts to regulate digital political advertising. Telecommunications Policy43(8), 101824.

Mendilow, J., &Phélippeau, E. (Eds.).(2018). Handbook of political party funding.Edward Elgar Publishing.

Southwell, P. L. (2017). Campaign Contribution Limits in California, Oregon & Washington: What a Difference It Makes. J. Pol. & L.10, 82.

Woods, K., & Tan, K. J. K. (2019). How Labor Unions Affect Firm Value: Evidence from Political Contributions in the United States. Available at SSRN 3109159.

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