In the US, citizens are limited to a contribution of $2700 per each candidate during an election cycle. However external organizations such as SuperPACs have no practical limits in how much they can raise from each contributor and no limits regarding how much money they can spend on helping each campaign.

So what's the point of campaign financing limits? Does it really stop anyone from pouring an unlimited amount of money into a campaign if they so wish?

  • 1
    The question many had, post-"Citizens United." Should make for some interesting responses. May 25, 2017 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


Note that SuperPacs are legally required not to coordinate with any campaign, nor endorse any specific candidate. They are issue advocacy driven. As you state there is really no bar here.

Critics of campaign finance reform legislation and schemas will state that the goal of such laws is to limit speech, especially political speech which is the most important aspect of the 1st Amendment, protect incumbents, and prevent criticism of those currently holding office from grass root attacks. It preserves a ruling class if you will. They will also state that the union exemption to these rules is utter nonsense and should be treated the same as corporations or individuals.

Proponents state that campaign finance reform legislation gets money out of campaigns and prevents special interests from purchasing politicians.

  • 1
    Except that "issue advocacy" is a farce. My issue may be that "Candidate X of Party Z is an idiot. Call Candidate X and tell him not to be an idiot." - aired via airwave saturation bombing in the weeks before an election, but, according to Scalia, that's not actually advocating for or against a candidate because the magic words did not appear. Wink-wink, right? May 25, 2017 at 16:13
  • 2
    Not to mention that there is active collaboration often times.
    – user9790
    May 25, 2017 at 16:18
  • What???? {/fake shock} May 25, 2017 at 16:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .