1939 Hatch Act


Bell ringer

“Bypassing Campaign Contribution Regulation” warm up

Linkage Institutions 2014

Elections & Campaigns, Political Parties, Interest Groups

Campaign Finance “Reform”

Today we will …

Objectives/ Agenda

Examine progress on campaign finance








“The Cost of

Campaigns” video

Slide notes review

Matching activity


HW- Ch. 7 reading questions

Fred Wertheimer in NYTimes Video: The Cost of

Campaigns | Democracy21Democracy21

Why do we need campaign financing?

1913 17th Amendment

1920 19th Amendment

Direct election of Senators.

Women's Suffrage.

Expansion of the electorate & importance of the common voter to the overall process

The Early Years

1939 Hatch Act

Congress prohibited contributions to federal candidates from federal workers and contractors & limited individual contributions to $5,000 per year.

1944 CIO forms first PAC

The CIO (union) formed the first Political Action Committee (PAC) funded through voluntary contributions and not union treasury funds.

1947 Taft-Hartley Act Permanent ban on contributions to federal candidates from unions, corporations, and interstate banks.

Leading to Watergate

1971 Revenue Act Established the public financing system for qualifying presidential candidates

Paid for by the voluntary $1.00 check off on income tax forms. Also provided $50.00 tax deduction for individual contributions (ended 1978) or $12.50 tax credit, raised to

$50.00 in 1978 and eliminated in 1986).

1971 FECA (Federal Elections Campaign Act)

Required full and timely disclosures, limited some contributions, capped spending, and permitted unions and corporations to form PACs.

POST - Watergate.

1974 Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA)

After the Nixon Watergate scandal Congress creates the FEC to enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act provisions.

Creates $1,000 individual contribution limit and a

$5,000 PAC limit.

Challenges to FECA

1976 Buckley v. Valeo - Supreme Court ruling that mandatory spending limits violate free speech mandates.

1979 FECA Amendments- Package of amendments to the election campaign act allows the use of donations to political parties rather than candidates (soft money)


BCRA – McCain-Feingold Law

2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act

Sponsored by Senators Russell Feingold (D-WI) & John

McCain (R-AZ).

Revised some of the legal limits of expenditure set in 1974, and prohibited unregulated contributions (soft money) to national political parties.

Also defined political ads as "electioneering communications" prohibiting any such ad paid for by a corporation or paid for by an unincorporated entity using any corporate or union funds

BCRA is Upheld.

2003 Supreme Court Upholds BCRA

McConnell v FEC

A divided Supreme Court upholds the Bipartisan

Campaign Reform Act, which had been challenged by both parties.

The decision preserved the soft money ban and restrictions on political ads, which were the most significant parts of the law.

BCRA is dismantled.

The Super PAC is born.

2012 Citizens United v. FEC

The ruling allows corporations and unions to advocate for or against candidates at any time. Two months later, in Speechnow.org v. FEC, an appeals court strikes down limits on contributions to independent-expenditure shops.

American Crossroads - American Crossroads

Restore Our Future

Home - Priorities USA Action

No limitations on independent expenditures

Matching Activity

Match the clues with each of the years.


Use your notes to answer the FRQ.

This is your “quiz”.