FEC court record describes in detail how, during the soft-money era, party leaders asked lawmakers to raise soft money
from donors who had business before their congressional committees; how donors were rewarded with plush ski getaways, dinners, retreats, cocktail parties, and special briefings with members of Congress; and how parties then directed the money raised to specific candidates at the request of donors.
But in 1999 he suggested a more partisan motive, telling The Washington Post, "Take away soft money
and we wouldn't be in the majority in the House and the majority in the Senate, and couldn't win back the White House.
Ansolabehere's group divided the Fortune 500 into three groups: 216 companies that did not make soft money
contributions, 142 that were modest donors (giving up to $250,000), and 142 large donors who gave more than $250,000.
donations reached their peak in the 2000 election, when
With soft money
having migrated to the 527s, and with hard money more than filling the vacuum for candidates and the parties, McCain-Feingold's remaining rampart is the Federal Elections Commission.
Over the last several election cycles, soft money
spent for issue advocacy communications gained great popularity.
The Supreme Court upheld the BCFRA's restrictions on soft money
to prevent donors from circumventing contribution limits that the Court upheld in Buckley and subsequent cases.
Our legislation aims to end the current system in which corporate treasury and union dues money drowns out the voice of individual Americans by banning soft money
and closing the sham "issue ad" loophole.
Minority leaders we interviewed supported a ban on soft money
as a means to curb the unchecked influence of party money, which picks winners and losers and produces political machines that act as barriers to entry.
The law, which took effect November 6, 2002, places curbs on soft money
As keeper of the world's thickest Rolodex of political donors, President Bush has little use for a ban on soft money
, and even less for McCain, his tenacious rival for the GOP presidential nomination.
The ban on soft money
(large and largely unregulated) donations to the national parties, the increase in hard money (small, regulated, direct contributions to candidates), and the severe limitations placed on independent political advertising collectively constitute the most-significant changes to campaign finance law since the post-Watergate regulations of 1974.
In 1998, he barely won reelection after he refused to accept soft money
has not been regulated by federal law until now.
President Bush says he'll sign the legislation, which effectively bans soft money
donations to political parties, much of which ends up earmarked for TV ads.