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Title: Rethinking Political Party Contribution Limits: A Roadmap to Reform
Authors: Benton, T. Hart
Keywords: Political Party
Contribution Limits
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: 63 Loy. L. Rev. 257
Abstract: An insidious irony pervades the American federal election system: in an institution legitimized by accountability and transparency, the American public has no idea of the source of $184 million spent in the 2016 presidential election cycle. The proliferation of this so-called “dark money” is one of the many unfortunate results of a string of recent changes in campaign finance law since 2002. In that year, Congress eliminated “soft money” contributions to political parties—donations that circumvent the contribution limits and disclosure requirements federal election laws place on “hard money” contributions. These limits embodied a longstanding anti-corruption value in campaign finance regulation by restraining the ability of candidates to make quid pro quo political favors in exchange for significant campaign contributions from wealthy donors. In the wake of these measures, a line of Supreme Court rulings ensued allowing certain political groups to solicit unlimited contributions if spent on “independent expenditures”—political expenditures that are not made in cooperation with any candidate for office. Because these expenditures are “independent” from candidates, they foreclose any possibility of quid pro quo corruption.
ISSN: 0192-9720
Appears in Collections:Law Review

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