Political Party Finance under BCRA: An Initial Assessment

Anthony Corrado
Anthony Corrado Former Brookings Expert, Professor of Government - Colby College

March 11, 2004

How will campaign finance reform affect the role of political parties in federal elections? Will parties be able to maintain their status as principal actors in the electoral process? Will they have the resources needed to provide meaningful assistance to candidates, as well as to turn out party supporters on Election Day? These are the questions at the heart of the debate over the merits of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), Congress’s most recent attempt to control the influence of money in electoral politics. This paper offers an initial response to these questions by presenting an analysis of party finances after the first year under BCRA and offering an early assessment of the role of party money in the 2004 elections.