Campaign Finance Reform

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Any campaign finance reform must be structured within the framework of the Constitution.

When examining the role of the government in situations of participation in political processes, the role as the protector of rights and privileges as identified in the Constitution must be weighed against its role as a regulator of the political process. A primary principle of the First Amendment is to protect and encourage the rights of individuals and organizations to participate in our civic process (Federal Campaign Finance Law). This right to be involved in the political system is an important privilege and should not be taken lightly. Any campaign finance reform must be structured within the framework of the Constitution. Disclosure requirements are observed as means to deter corruption by requiring that contributions made to elected officials and candidates are made public in federal elections. Disclosure allows voters to make up their own minds based on the information that is placed before them. Supreme Court Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis believes, “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants, electric light the most efficient policeman” (Brandeis, 97). Brandeis’ statement laid the groundwork of the Sunlight Foundation, which was founded on the idea that utilizing new technology to facilitate citizens with information concerning Congress, will lead to the reduction of corruption, ensure greater government accountability, and establish public trust. The Sunlight Foundation claims that by, “providing timely online access to information about the Congress and its members will enable citizens and the press to better understand the activities of their lawmakers and the institution, to monitor the interplay between lawmakers and lobbyists, and enable Congress to better police itself” (Sunlight). Although I agree with the Sunlight Foundation up to a point, I cannot...
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