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Columbia Law School

Columbia Law Review

Law and Politics

1984

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Federal Election Campaign Act And The 1980 Election, Richard Briffault Jan 1984

The Federal Election Campaign Act And The 1980 Election, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

During the 1970's Congress and the Supreme Court paid the most sustained attention in American history to the financing of federal election campaigns. Congress passed a succession of measures, known collectively as the Federal Election Campaign Act ("FECA" or the "Act"), closely regulating the activities of candidates, parties, private organizations, and individuals in raising and spending campaign money.

Prior to FECA, election finance was largely an extension of the private marketplace. Campaigns were funded through private, voluntary contributions to parties and candidates, with donors contributing to the extent of their interest and wealth, and private economic inequalities were replicated ...