Federal Election Campaign Act

The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) was the first serious attempt to regulate the raising and spending of money in U.S. federal elections. The ways in which it does so have important effects on political campaigns and their methods of communication with voters. Political speech is rarely directly regulated by FECA but, for the most part, is indirectly regulated by a combination of limits on the amounts of monetary or other contributions that lawfully can be made to federal candidates and parties, requirements that contributions and expenditures in campaigns for federal office be disclosed, and outright bans on certain corporate and union contributions, speech, and expenditures.

The FECA has been amended several times: in 1974 following the Watergate scandal involving the Nixon administration, in ...

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