America’s Campaign Financing

Campaign finance laws are slipping away in the U.S.

Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate

SCOTUS says Ted Cruz can get the $260,000 he loaned his campaign repaid (by campaign donations post-campaign). The High Court ruled that the law limiting that amount to $250,000 violates a candidate’s First Amendment rights.

Because money is speech. Especially lots of it.

Now there’s nothing to keep rich candidates from tossing money at their campaigns. Not when they know they can fundraise afterward, win or lose. But grassroots candidates? Sorry, not sorry.

Redboxing

Even while federal campaign finance laws still exist in some form, candidates are finding ways around them. For instance, candidates are not legally allowed to coordinate directly with super political action committees (Super PACs) to reach voters. But Super PACs don’t have any limits on how much they can spend, so some candidates have found a way to hit that money train.

It’s called “redboxing.” That’s because the information the candidate wants to get to the Super PAC is often in a literal red box on their website, with words like “voters need to know.” This is then followed by downloadable B-roll, stock footage the candidate wants voters to see.

You know, in case anyone was looking. If a Super PAC happens to find that stuff, who can stop them???

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