Campaign Finance Reform Essay

987 words - 4 pages

People always tell you that there are two subjects never to bring up at a dinner party, one is religion and the other is politics. Why is that? It is because both subjects invoke very strong emotions. Rather than saying something inappropriate, most people avoid talking about religion altogether. But get those same people in a room and ask their political opinions, that is a different story. For many reasons, people are vocal about their political beliefs (Bentz, 2013). Unfortunately, individuals will judge people by their political beliefs first, without notice to other important aspects of their lives. And that is the reason that politics is not brought up in dinner parties.
The subject of campaign finance reform sounds so dull, but it is necessary to understand that reform helps to keep the society flowing smoothly. Therefore, what is the current status of campaign finance reform? In 2002 the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act was passed by Congress. It was also known as the McCain-Feingold Act (Sidlow, 2013, p.213). It banned soft money at federal levels and regulated campaign ads from interest groups because the enormous amount of money spent by interest groups for their ads had the appearance of corruption (South University Online, 2013). There is so much money floating around right now that I fear the common man may soon have little say in what happens in this country. Now the super PACs and 501c's are spreading their influences too. Can reform be a realistic expectation of the American political process?
Yes, reform is a realistic expectation in the American political process. Our forefathers intentionally left vagaries in the Constitution. They understood that in order to be long-lasting, some rules would need to be modified in respect to the times. The most famous example of a law that became archaic would be the 18th Amendment, Prohibition (18th&21st Amendments, 2013). Passed in 1920, Prohibition was a boon to the criminal mobs of the twenties and thirties. The intended effect was to eliminate crime and other social problems. Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect. It led to organized crime because it was so profitable. After widespread public outcry, the 21st Amendment was passed in 1933, repealing Prohibition. Without the flexibility built-in to our Constitution, this would not have been possible. One thing not mentioned in our Constitution, however, was soft money.
What is the role of soft money? What is soft money (ThisNation, 2013)? Soft money is the name given to contributions to political parties for anything other than contributing to a specific candidate for office. Soft money is a powerful tool because there is no limit on the amount of money that can be contributed (Sidlow, 2013, p.213). This is unlike "hard money", which is regulated by federal law. Soft money is sometimes called "nonfederal" contributions because it does not support a candidate for federal office. Labor unions and...

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