campaign finance, election reform
In order to have fair elections in the USA (which we have never had) we must have:
- Full public funding of public elections
- instant runoff voting
- proportional representation (end the electoral college.)
How campaigns are financed today:
- "Soft money": subject only to state, not federal, restrictions
- "Hard money": subject to federal regulation including
the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002:
- Bans the raising of soft money by national parties and federal officeholders and candidates.
- Regulates "electioneering communications", a class of issue advocacy broadcast ads (clearly identified candidate for federal office, targeted to the constituency of that candidate, broadcast within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election) that must now be financed and disclosed per federal law.
- Objective: to restore the system of campaign finance envisioned by Congress when it adopted and amended the Federal Election Campaign Act in the 1970s.
- Purpose: to block the loopholes that allow violation of longstanding prohibitions on corporate and union treasury financing of federal elections and disclosure.
- Opponents see the law as an assault on First Amendment speech and rights of political association.
- In particular, there was the infamous "money is speech" decision, Buckley v. Valeo, from the right-wing Supreme Court.