McCain-Feingold Act

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McCain-Feingold Act

Legislation in the United States, passed in 2002, that changed the way that campaigns for federal political offices are financed. It banned soft money contributions, which were unregulated, usually large, contributions to the national party committees, instead of individual candidates. It also required political advertisements to state what person or group paid for them.
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So McCain-Feingold prevented the ads from airing during the two-month period preceding the election.
Similarly, the Citizens United case invalidated the odious provision of McCain-Feingold that banned any organization from publishing an ad discussing a candidate within 30 days of an election.
FEC, which struck down portions of the 2001 McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law.
And the 1996 Democratic fundraising abuses paved the way for the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, better known as McCain-Feingold.
This is the best shot in the arm on the issue that we have had in a long time," says former Senator Russ Feingold, coauthor of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation.
Yet by 2008, after six years of evidence that McCain-Feingold did not reduce money in politics, McCain was no longer talking about it.
The Supreme Court had knocked back a provision of the McCain-Feingold Act that prohibited all corporations and unions from broadcasting electioneering communications.
It decided not only that McCain-Feingold was unconstitutional as applied to "Hillary," but it also did away with the law's prohibition on corporate electioneering, not to mention two previous decisions upholding it.
The McCain-Feingold Act of 2002 was an attempt to seal the cracks.
With Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in the majority, the court upheld the McCain-Feingold Act against a free-speech challenge by a 5-4 vote in 2003.
In response to the demand for reform, the best our Congress could come up with was McCain-Feingold.
McCain could heal some of the wounds merely by acknowledging the obvious, which is that McCain-Feingold has had unintended consequences, such as making money in politics less accountable.