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Cost And Campaign Spending Limits

By Author: Arsenalo
Total Articles: 116

Finally, candidates for office are given a break on the cost of air time. In procedures originated by cable companies and in over-the-air broadcasting, Sections 315 (b)(l) and (b)(2) say that within forty-five days of a primary and within sixty days of a general election, politicians are entitled to the lowest unit charge for ad time. This means that charges for commercial time purchased to air political Tag Heuer Carrera Replica material may not exceed the lowest rate charged by the station for that class of time. This regulation puts political ads on the same economic footing as the ads of the largest advertisers, who purchase huge blocks of time at a discount.

In 1970, the FCC added the Zapple Doctrine to its list of requirements for broad-casters. The Zapple Doctrine gives all legally qualified candidates the right to the same access to purchased time as any one political candidate. If a station sells time to one candidate, then comparable time must be made available to opposing candidates who want to purchase it and can afford the purchase.

Many of the regulations we have discussed protect the public's access to political information. Because broadcasters are corporate entities whose existence is predicated on making a profit, they are inclined to limit the amount of time made available to candidates at a rate below the normal selling rate; they are reluctant to preempt a show like ER, which produces high advertising revenues, for a political broadcast that produces minimal revenue. The Zapple Doctrine and the affirmative right-to-access rules are designed to ensure that the corporate desire to maximize profits will not significantly impede the public's right to political information.

In 1971, Congress enacted the Federal Election Campaign Act, amended in 1974. The enactment of this law required that candidates running for the presidency or for Congress report campaign contributions and expenditures. It also "limited the amount of money that could be collected and spent, made public funds available for presidential contenders, and established the Federal Election Commission to administer and en-force the law."

Subsequently, in Buckley v. Valeo,6 the Supreme Court upheld limits on the campaign contributions of individuals and groups other than the candidate and upheld the limits on spending by candidates who accepted public funds. In 1992, both George Bush and Bill Clinton accepted public funds and the resulting spending ceilings. Independent candidate Ross Perot did not. As a result, in the general election, Clinton and Bush were limited to spending the $55.2 million each received in federal support, whereas Perot could spend as much as he wished.

The Court also permitted spending on a candidate's behalf by groups independent of the candidate. This provision gave rise in 1988 to such groups as Americans for Bush and the National Security Political Action Committee. The most famous ad of the campaign, the "Willie Horton" ad, was sponsored by a political action committee (PAC). PACs were less active in the presidential campaigns of 1992 and 1996 because of the rise of a new category of advertising, issue advocacy (discussed below).

By contrast, there is no limit on the amount of money a manufacturer may spend on behalf of a product, and there are no limitations on the sources the manufacturer may tap to raise money—provided, of course, that the money is raised legally.

The Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended, was designed to minimize the influence of large anonymous contributors on Cartier Pasha Replica government policy. The disclosure requirements were intended to ensure that the public would know to whom the candidates were indebted, personally and economically. The existence of these regulations made it possible for news reporters to determine which industries were contributing more heavily to one candidate than another and to correlate politicians' voting behavior with the sources of their campaign financing.

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