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The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and its 1974 amendments faced a constitutional challenge in Buckley v. Valeo (1976). The resulting decision of the U.S. Supreme Court has set the parameters of constitutionally permissible regulation of political campaigns for over 30 years. Political campaigns depend on the mass media and require the spending of money. The relationship between political communication in the modern age and the raising and spending of money thus assumes constitutional dimensions:

[V]irtually every means of communicating ideas in today's mass society requires the expenditure of money. The distribution of the humblest handbill or leaflet entails printing, paper, and circulation costs. Speeches and rallies generally necessitate hiring a hall and publicizing the event. The electorate's increasing dependence on television, radio and mass ...
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