Regulating campaign finance, far from disappearing as an issue following the 1996 fundraising controversies, continues to be debated. Key First Amendment decisions are being decided by the state and federal judiciary. Next fall, the Supreme Court will hear its first constitutional challenge to campaign contribution limits since Buckley v. Valeo. And Congress, yet again, has taken up the issue of campaign finance reform.
In the 2000 election, campaign finance will face new twists, as politicians and campaign finance regulators grapple with the Internet’s emerging impact on elections, and as the 2000 presidential campaign sets new records for contributions, and raises new questions, about fund raising tactics.
A press briefing addressing these issues, and officially launching the Brookings Recent Developments in Campaign Finance Regulation Web Site, will be held on May 26. The web site will be an easily-searchable repository for federal and state court decisions, Federal Election Commission rulings, Congressional discussion, and scholarly research material on campaign finance. The web site will be demonstrated on a large screen, and computers will be available for attendees to navigate the web site.
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[The recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee report on Russian meddling] is a thorough and comprehensive view of Russia’s decades-long political warfare against the West. The lesson learned from Europe, which has borne the brunt of Russian attacks, is that Russia can be deterred but that requires leadership. For that reason, this report would have sent a much stronger message to the Trump administration if it had Republican support. As is, it is an urgent warning and a call to action, but it may fall on deaf ears.