Richard M. Nixon's Re-Election Campaign

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“Election campaigns for public office are expensive. Candidates need funding for support staff, advertising, traveling, and public appearances. Unless they are independently wealthy, most must finance their campaigns with contributions from individuals and from businesses and other organizations (legal).” In 1974, most of these campaigns were funded by individual corporations or small groups of wealthy donors. In 1972, insurance executive W. Clement Stone contributed approximately $2.8 million directly into Richard M. Nixon’s re-election campaign. Many in Congress felt the need to limit the influence of money in political campaigns in order to regain the confidence of the public in the wake of the Watergate scandal that led to charges of abuse …show more content…
The ban on soft money was one of the highlights in the legislation. Critics of the soft-money ban argue that the contribution of money to political parties is a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment. “The amount of money individuals might contribute to state parties in federal elections increased from $5000 to $10,000. The total amount these individuals might contribute to federal candidates, parties, and other organizations increased from $25,000 to $30,000 (legal).” Expenditures for advertisements on television and radio have steadily increased. Some reformers believe that government-licensed forms of communications should provide significant amounts of free airtime to candidates. Free airtime, reformers argue, would reduce the cost of campaigns and dramatically ease the need to raise millions of dollars. Televisions and radio stations are adamantly opposed to such a proposal, contending that it would be unfair to place the burden of reform on their industry. Politicians would have to document on a daily basis the source and size of every contribution, including donated labor and …show more content…
The spending ceilings and amount of public grants are adjusted for inflation each new election cycle. Public funds to pay for the program are collected through a voluntary $3 checkoff on a taxpayer’s tax return. The primary election matching fund program, party convention funding, and general election full public financing program are the three tiers of this reform. For the Primary election matching fund program, “Presidential primary candidates can receive partial public funding in the form of matching payments. The federal government matches up to $250 of an individual’s total contributions to an eligible candidate, up to a maximum of roughly $20 million (citizen).” Only presidential candidates seeking nomination by a national political party are eligible to receive primary matching funds. In addition, a candidate must establish eligibility to receive public funds by showing broad-based public support. This requires raising at least $5,000 in each of at least 20 states. Also there cannot be an individual who contributes more than $250 within the state. The candidate must also agree to “Limit total campaign spending of private and public funds for all primary elections to about $45.6 million, and limit campaign spending of

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