Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act essays
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 was signed by the President and enacted on March 27, 2002.This act capped a seven year effort to change federal campaign law, and marked the most significant amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act, in more than a quarter century.Among the components of the BCRA, there are two keys that have fundamentally transformed campaign finance law.First, the Act prohibits raising and spending “soft money” by federal oficeholders and candidates, and by te national parties. Second, the Act redefines what constitutes a campaign advertisement.The Act provides definition of acampaign ad and an issue ad.
The difference between “hard” and “soft” money comes down to a few crucial words, and on administrative ruling.”Hard money” goes to the candidate,and comes from political donations, that are regulated by law through the Federal ElectionCommission.Corporate and labor unions can not contribute to campaigns for federal elections.Individuals are allowed a maximum of $2,000 to a federal candidate, and $20,000 a year to a political party.
“Soft money” is donated money to political parties, and is unregulated.Because soft money is not regulated, companies, unions and individuals may donate any amount to a political partyfor the purpose of “party building”.Party buliding may consist of ads that educate about issues, as long as the ads don’t tell you which candidate to vote for.
Some feel the regulation on these moneys are inviolation of the Constitution, and the First Amendment.There have been several cases brought to the Supreme Court.The BCRA was enacted to prevent decption of existing federal campaign laws, laws that the Supreme Court has already upheld as constitutional.