Money in Politics: Financing Political Campaigns
Spring, 2015

This webpage is online at


I. The Constitutional Framework of Politics in the United States
     The Vision of the Founders: Realism and Its Problems
     The Dynamics of History and the Founders' Vision 
     The Paradoxes of Human Freedom 

II. History of Political Campaign Finance Reform
     Early Political Campaigns  
     A History of Campaign Finance Legislation
     Buckley v. Valeo (1976)   

III. Political Participation and Economic Inequality
      Political Action Committees
      Visible Political Money
      Invisible Political Money

IV  Citizens United v. FEC (2010)
      The Justices' Opinions
      McCutcheon v. FEC (2014)

V.  Responding to Citizens United 
      Who Defends Citizens United?
      Who Is Critical of Citizens United?
      Living With Citizens United

VI. The Future of Political Campaign Finance
      Economic Inequality in the United States
      Why Real Reform is Highly Improbable
      Plus ça change…




Money Spent in 2012 Presidential Election - from The New York Times - March 30, 2015

Koch Brothers to Spend Nearly $1 Billion on 2016 Elections - from Common Dreams

Money in the 2012 Elections - from The New York Times   

Totals Spent in 2012 Presidential Election - from The Wire

The Language of Campaign Finance - Word - PDF - HTML

Campaign Finance Glossary - from Open Secrets

Campaign Finance Citizens' Guide - from Frontline (PBS)

Campaign Finance Glossary - by Paul Peterson

Quick Answers to PAC Questions - from the FEC

Nine Things You Need to Know About Super PACS - from the Sunlight Foundation

Karl Rove, Super-PAC Strategies for 2016 Success - from The Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2015

Harold Meyerson, A Campaign Idea Whose Time Has Come - from The Washington Post, March 25, 2015

All 2016 Presidential Candidates - from the FEC

Alex Altma,  How Super PACs are Taking Over - from Time, March 25, 2015

Frank Bruni, Hillary, Jeb and $$$$: Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush and Fund-Raising for the 2016 Presidential Race - from The New York Times,  February 21, 2015

Ready for Hillary
Ready for HIllary Donation Rules - Word - PDF

Right to Rise - Jeb Bush Super PAC
Right to Rise Donation Rules - Word - PDF

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz Donation Rules - Word - PDF

Complaint Against Candidates - 2016 - from the Legal



Wealth Inequality in America -  Video - from the Center For Financial Social Work   

Inequality - The Global Situation

Chrystia Freeland - The Rise of he Super Rich - TED Talk - June, 2013

Ted Cruz - Lift All Contribution Limits on Campaign Cash - from - March 15, 2015

Ted Cruz - Candidacy and Money - from Open Secrets

Stand for Principle PAC filing with the FEC

Super PACs Reporting - from Center for Public Integrity

How Things Work - More or Less - A case from Pennsylvania in 2014...


Rebeccca Ballhaus, FEC Sets 2016 Limits -  from The Washington Post - February 2, 2015

FEC Campaign Disclosure Portal

Outside Spending - from Open Secrets

Big Donors t Super PACs - from Open Secrets

Political Action Committees - from Open Secrets 

Political Action Committees  -2016 - Summary - from the FEC

William Cassidy - Individual - from the FEC

William Cassidy - Listing

William Cassidy - Advanced Search - January 1, 20   - December 31, 2014

Super PACs Exploit Loophole - from Public Integrity

2012 Presidential Campaign Finance Graphics - from the FEC

Bill Cassidy and the FEC Reports

Koch Industries Political Action Committee - Report of Receipts and Disbursements - 2012 

Koch Brothers - from


Ted Cruz - from P2016

Ted Cruz - Official Website
Donate Page
Cruz Signs Up for Obamacare

2016 Potential Candidates - from P2016

Influence Explorer

MayDay PAC - a crowd-funded SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs
MayDay on NPR - November 15, 2014 - Audio

Evan Osnos, "Embrace the Irony" - from The New Yorker - article  on Gordon Lessig and the PAC to end PAC's (December, 2014)

The Anti-Corruption Act - from

What is Public Financing? - from

Public Financing of Elections - from Wikipedia

Randall v. Sorrell (2006) - the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Vermont's campaign finance law.

Public Opinion Polls on Public Financing of Federal Elections, 1972-2000

Half in U.S. Support Publicly Financed Federal Campaigns - from Gallup (2014)

Does Money Really Buy Election? - from Freakonomics

How Much Did Money Matter in 2012? - from Sunlight Foundation

Financial Infographics Menu - from

Richard White, When Excessive Wealth Meets Dysfunctional Politics - February 24, 2014 - from Reuters


Summary of Litigation Relating to Federal Campaign Finance Laws - from the FEC

Buckley v. Valeo (1976) - on website

Buckley v. Valeo (1976) - Summary

McConnell v. FEC (2003) v. FEC (2010)

Citizens United v. FEC (2010)
McCutcheon V. FEC (1914)

 40 Years of Income Inequality in America, In Graphs - from NPR

How Rich Are the Super Rich - from Mother Jones

Political Action Committee -  PAC and Super PAC - Definitions - from Open Secrets

FEC Regulations for 2016 Elections

26 U.S. Code section 527 - Political Organizations - from the U.S. Code

Types of Advocacy Groups - from

Paul Krugman, "Plutocrats Against Democracy" - from The New York Times, October 23, 2014

Presidential Campaigns of the 1800's - from

The Concept of Corruption in Campaign Finance - from Findlaw

Federal Election Commission

Federal Election Commission - Litigation

Campaign Finance Provisions of the U.S. Code - from the FEC

Campaign Finance Portal

Campaitn Finnce Institute

Campaign Finance - PEW Research Center

Campaigns and - The Women's Campaign School at Yale University

Wealth and Asset Ownership in the United States - from the U. S. Census Bureau

Poverty in the United States - National Poverty Center, University of Michigan (based on 2010 census)

Living in Near Poverty in the United States - 1966-2012 - U.S. Census Bureau

Norman Ornstein, The Effect of Citizens United Felt Two Years Later" - American Enterprise Institute (2014)

Robert C. Post (and others), Citizens Divided: Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution
(2014) - Michael Bloomberg's Website

American Crossroads - the website of the Carl Rove PAC.
Donation Page for
MoveOn Email - August 30, 2014

2014 Election Overview - from

"How Green Was My Election" - A story on the Slate website about how Tom  Styer spent $57 million--and lost.  (No date given.)

Politics and Public Opinion > Elections > Campaign Finance - the American Enterprise Institute
Justice Stevens' suggestion for a constitutional amendment on campaign financing:

Neither the First Amendment nor any other provision of this Constitution shall be construed to 
prohibit the Congress or any state from imposing reasonable limits on the amount of money  
that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns.  

Excerpt from John Grisham's Novel, The Appeal (2008)

Campaign Reform: An Overview - Council of State Legislatures (2014)

Bill Gates and His Wife Give $1 Million to Gun Control Push - September, 2014

How Campaign Finance Works - from How Stuff Works

Campaign Finance: Comparative Summary - from the Law Library of the Library of Congress

United States is Now the Most Unequal of All Developed Economies - Huffington Post (2014)

Viral Video is Right: We Need to Worry About Wealth Inequality in this Country - The Washington Post (2013) - video

Jeffrey Toobin, "Money Unlimited" - from The New Yorker, October  , 2014

The Story of Citizens United v. FEC - from The Story of Stuff Project

Open Secrets - a data-reporting website

The Impact of Citizens United v. FEC - from Open Secrets

Election of State Supreme Court Judges (2014) - from Judgepedia

Americans for Prosperity - the Koch Brothers' Organization

Heavy Hitters: Top All-time Donors - 1989-2014 - frm Open Secrets

Top Individual Contributors to Federally Focused 527 Organizations, 2014 Election Cycle - from - A Liberal Organization

Open Society Foundations - the George Soros Organization

Campaign Financing: A Brief History - from Time Magazine

Campaign-finance Reform: History and Timeline - from InfoPlease

G. William Dumbold, Who Rules America - an analysis of economic inequality in the United States - Redistricting Reform -  A reform website

State Redistricting Arrangements - from Ballotpedia

Agenda Project Action  Fund - a "progressive" website noted for its vicious partisan campaign ads

Louisiana Ethics Adminisration Program - Campaign Finance Portal

VoteSmart - a fine site for political data

The United States Project - The Top Campaign Finance Tools for Local News Sites - from the Columbia University Journalism Review

The Sunlight Foundation - advocating transparency

Follow the Money

Five Myths About Super PACS - from The Washington Post  (2012)

Public Financing of Campaigns: An Overview - from the National Conference of State Legislatures

Campaign Finance Reform - Helpful Links - from the National Conference of State Legislatures (2011)

Show Me the Money  - from EBSCO

Statutes and Rules on Candidate Appearances and Advertising - (2014)

Business PAC Dollars Move to GOP Candidate in Close Senate Races - from The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2014

214 Campaign Whoppers - from

Nick Canfessore (Interview) -  With New Campaign Rules, You Can't Really Follow the Money - October 28, 2014 -  from "Fresh Air" (

Go Beyond: Supreme Court Campaign Finance  Decisions Timeline - from Columbia Law School Magazine (Spring, 2014)

Compulsory Voting - from Wikipedia

"Where Is It Compulsory to Vote?" - from The Economist (September 13, 2013)

Campaign Financing: Comparative Study - from the Law Library of Congress

Thomas C. Fox, "Death Throes of Democracy in American," --from The National Catholic Reporter (November 9, 2014)

Former New York City Mayor Micahel Blumberg Writing Checks to Influence Eaast Baton Rouge School Board Races, 
- from the Advocate, November 17, 2014

Government Funding Deal Clears Way for Even More Money in Politics   - from Blumberg News, December 11, 2014

Omnibus Bill Allows Wealthy Donors to Give Even More to Political Parties - from The Washington Post, December 11, 2014

Wealthy Donors Sided With Democrats in Mid-terms - from the Associated Press

Campaign Finance in France - from the Law Library of Congress

Louisiana Campaign Finance Reporting Portal

Shields and Brooks - January 30, 2015 - PBS Newshour

Stevel M. Levin, "Keeping it Clean: Public Financing in American Elections - Center for Government Studies

Totals - 2012 Election - from

History of Campaign Finance Regulation - From the Federal Election Commission

James Fuller, "From George Washington to Shaun McCutcheon: A Brief-ish History of Campaign Finance Reform," - from The Washington Post - April, 2014

Scalise Raises Money with Joint Election Committee - from The Advocate, February 24, 2015

The Campaign Legal Center - a non-profit organization devoted to the legal aspects of campaign finance

Trevor Potter, Here's What I Learned When I Helped Stephen Colbert Set Up His Super PAC - from The Washington Post, January 21, 2015

Trevor Potter, When It Comes to Money and Politics, the Supreme Court Lives in a Different Reality - from Reuters, January 16, 2015

"GOP Race Starts in Lavish Haunts of Rich Donors" - from The New York Times, February 28, 2015

"Jeb Bush Exploits Non-candidate Status  to Rewrite Campaign Finance Playbook" - from The Miami Herald, March 2, 2015

"Bush Blows away GOP Rivals With 2016 War Chest," - from The Washington Post, February 13, 2015

Hillary: The Movie - Video


NCSL - Life After Citizens

Open Secrets - The Fallout After Citizens  

Souter, J., Dissenting in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life (2007) 

Sam R. Garret, The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress - (June, 2014)

Eric Holder's Speech Police: Justice Gears Up to Prosecute Campaign Coordination - [Editorial] - The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday  - (March 10, 2015)




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