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Bradley Smith


Commissioner and Vice Chairman, Federal Elections Commission; Author, Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform.

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Recent Commentary

PLAYING HARDBALL WITH SOFT MONEY: Is Campaign Finance Reform Constitutional?

with Richard Hasen, Bradley Smithvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

In March 2002, President Bush signed into law the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, better known as the McCain-Feingold Bill. The law bans political contributions known as "soft money"—that is, money from corporations, unions, and other organizations given to political parties for "party-building activities," thereby skirting campaign contribution limits. The Supreme Court has now taken up McCain-Feingold and will determine whether all or parts of the act will be upheld or overturned. Are soft money bans legal? Or do such campaign finance restrictions infringe on freedom of speech? Just how should the Court decide?