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Buckley v. Valeo is a January 30, 1976 Supreme Court case that struck down key pieces of Congress’ post-Watergate money in politics reforms, and set the structure of modern campaign finance law.
Spoiler alert: they do not. Rules work in corporations favor and against workers.
How 27 states, counties, and municipalities empower small donors and curb the power of big money in politics
What do people mean by “money in politics” or “campaign finance reform”? Running for office requires money—for staff, travel, TV ads, etc. In many countries, much of the cost of public elections is paid for by public funds, so the voters control the process and candidates are only accountable to their constituents. But in most places in the U.S., election campaigns are funded only with private money, most of it coming in the form of large checks from wealthy donors.
Five years after the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision, what are the roles of large donors and average voters in selecting and supporting candidates for Congress?
McCutcheon struck down the limit on the total amount that one wealthy donor is permitted to contribute to all federal candidates, parties, and political action committees (PACs) combined.
Judge Kavanaugh's record raises serious concerns that he would expand the power of big money in politics, weaken voter protections, and insulate the president from the rule of law.
Big-money politics is a key barrier to people of color achieving equal representation.
The Supreme Court got it supremely wrong when it held that corporations had the same rights as people to spend money in elections.
How the dominance of politics by the affluent & business undermines economic mobility in America
Public financing of elections, as a state and local democracy reform, can help enhance the political voice and power of working-class people and people of color. It is an effective antidote to the outsized influence corporations and major donors currently have on both politics and policy.
Why we need an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose their political spending.
Democracy has at its heart a basic promise: citizens have an equal voice in deciding who represents them.
The extent of the money in politics problem, how we got here (from a legal perspective), and what we can do to create a democracy in which the strength of a citizen’s voice does not depend on the size of her wallet.
In 2012, just 61 large donors to Super PACs giving an average of $4.7 million each matched the $285.2 million in grassroots contributions from more than 1,425,500 small donors to the major party presidential candidates.
Outside spending organizations reported $1.11 billion in spending to the FEC through the final reporting deadline in the 2012 cycle. That’s already a 200% increase over total 2008 outside spending.
Americans of all political backgrounds agree: there is way too much corporate money in politics.
This memo outlines how the Justices lined up on the issues in Randall v. Sorrell, provides some analysis of the opinions, and touches on the implications for future reform efforts.
Our data sets were provided and cleaned by Public Campaign. For the purposes of this report, Public Campaign used federal campaign contribution data made public by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and then refined and augmented by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).
After getting the First Amendment supremely wrong in Citizens United, the Supreme Court now faces its next money in politics case. In McCutcheon v. FEC, the challengers are attacking a law that says that no one person can contribute over $123,000 directly to federal candidates, parties, and committees—that’s over twice the average American’s income.