Campaign Finance Reform

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CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM ...HA! Even a cursory examination of the news media shows a number of key events that have placed campaign finance reform ("CFR") front and center. These include: record-setting "soft money" fund raising by both political parties in the last election; the problem of self- funded candidates; fund-raising from foreign sources; independent expenditures.These issues led the pack, but the hearty perennials, such as political action committee ("PAC") funding, electronic disclosure, public funding …

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…raised $75,853,472 while Democratic parties took in$65,126,376 in soft money from January 1995 through June 1996. The totalfor the 1996 election cycle could reach $250 million, three times more than in1992. It's illegal to spend soft money in support of any particular federalcandidate. In practice, though, the lines between party building and candidatepromotion have blurred. Along with the rise of soft money, there has been aproliferation of political action committees (PACs). Under current law, PACs(which are basically an associa