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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Campaign Finance Reform

2012 August 01

With the the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission Supreme Court ruling, parts of four decades of campaign finance regulation were ruled unconstitutional. Although the ruling did not get rid of all elements of our nation's finance regulation, mainly the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1972, it did create loopholes allowing for the circumventing of most elements of FECA and its successor, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (more commonly known as the McCain-Feingold Act).

Prior to FECA, the last campaign finance regulations came before 1950 and were scattered in an array of bills. FECA focused on limiting the role of the wealthy in campaigns and established additional requirements on disclosure. At the time of passage, the bill lacked an authority to regulate, making enforcement rare.

In 1975, with a series of amendments to FECA, Congress created the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and the possibility for publicly funded campaigns. In addition, laws were passed which limited campaign expenditures on individual, party, and Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions.

A series of court cases also affected the viability of campaign finance reform. In the first, Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the Supreme Court ruled that candidates can make unlimited contributions to their own campaign and spend as much as they want, as long as they do not accept public funding.

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold Act) passed in 2002, was intended to tie up the loose ends of FECA and the results of Buckley v. Valeo mentioned above. The act limited campaign contributions known as soft ...

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Member Volunteer Spotlight: Ruth Kranovich

2012 July 30

 For more information on volunteering at the Great Divide Ranch, click here...

Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts

2012 July 27

The United States House Appropriations Committee recently approved the Fiscal Year 2013 Interior-Environment Appropriations Funding Bill.  

National Intern Spotlight: Avantika Krishna

2012 July 16

For more information on our National Intern Program, click here.

July Common Ground E-Newsletter

2012 July 13

Sign up now for a copy of this monthly publication.

National Intern Spotlight: Megan Riley

2012 July 09

We threw the spotlight on one of our interns, Megan, and asked her a few questions about her time, so far, here at the Great Divide Ranch...

National Intern Spotlight: John Hogan

2012 July 03

We threw the spotlight on one of our returning interns, John, and asked him a few questions about his time, so far, here at the Great Divide Ranch...

Comments on The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590)

2012 June 27

The Supreme Court are expected to announce their decision on the constitutionality of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 this week. Read some recent comments on this issue here.

Are you a current student or recent grad?

2012 June 26

We are still looking for bright, politically-minded individuals for our 2012 National Internship Program available this Summer and Fall 2012. Spend 10-weeks at our beautiful ranch-style research facilities and help us provide citizens with the factual, unbiased information. Trust us, this isn't your typical internship.

Volunteer Spotlight: Janet Paduhovich

2012 June 26

Are you a member of Project Vote Smart? Are you interested in contributing your time to volunteering? Member Janet Paduhovich tells us about her experience volunteering for 2-weeks at the Great Divide Ranch.
For more information on our Member Volunteer Program, click here

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