Posted by julia from boston25.erols.com (22.214.171.124) on Friday, July 12, 2002 at 11:36AM :
In Reply to: Re: JULIA! posted by panch from pool0518.cvx20-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (126.96.36.199) on Friday, July 12, 2002 at 10:54AM :
: : Would you be so kind as to give me some info on campaign finance reform? I'm curious...
: +++Sure...it'll cost you though.
hehe - what would you like to know?
there was a new law passed (w/ the senate leadership of McCain and Feingold, and house leadership Shays & Meehan) that bans soft (non federal) money collection by federal party committes. There are basically two types of money in federal politics: hard money and soft money. Hard money is regulated by the Federal Elections Commission, and limits contributions from individuals and political action committees. Individuals under the old law could give a max of 1,000 and PACS could give a max of 5,000 (for primary elections, and elections, so a total of 10,000). Hard money can be used to directly elect a federal candidate.
Soft money, though, was COMPLETELY unregulated. The FEC didn't cap these contributions. That means that Amoco or SunTrust could give thousands upon thousands , if not millions, to a political party, because the soft money is used for "party building." Party building means, get out the votes, printing costs, the costs of maintaining staff, etc.
The reason why this bill was passed was because not all soft money was used for get out the vote and party building measures. The party committees , both Dems and Reps, used their soft moeny to directly support federal candidates, which is AGAINSt the law, by using the money to buy issue ads. These ads were veiled attempts to cast a negative or positive light on a specific candidate days before elections. Groups like the Sierra Club or the National Right to Life use issue ads and say that these ads are an expression of their free speech.
Right now the law passed says that issue ads cannot be posted within 60 days of a presidential or federal election. Also, there's no more soft money at the federal level. Additionally, individual and pac contribution limits (hard money limits) were doubled, so people can contribute more in a legal way.
the problem with this law is that a lot of groups, liberals and conservatives, use issue ads and soft money as a way to promote their causes. also, democrats rely heavily on soft money because that's where most of their money comes from: republicans, however, get most of their money from lots of PAC and individual combinations...
it's a pretty interesting topic....and to throw things in the mix, the FEC is not extremely eager about the new law, and liberal and conservative groups are challenging the constitutionality of the law int he courts....
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