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Campaign finance reform

Campaign finance reform is the common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns.

Campaign money in the U.S. system comes in two forms: hard money, which are direct contributions to political candidates, which must be declared with the name of the donor and are limited by federal caps; and soft money, which are contributions to political action committees, and are largely unlimited, though they cannot go directly into supporting a candidate, but rather into such elements as what are known as "position" ads, which are advertisements for a candidate's positions or thinly veiled attacks on the opponent.

Campaign finance reform was a major issue in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, especially with candidates John McCain and Ralph Nader.

Major organizations in favor of campaign finance reform include Common Cause[?].

In 2002, spurred by the collapse of Enron, a major contributor to politicians at all levels of the U.S. system, reformers in the House were able to pass campaign finance reform legislation over the objections of the Republican House leadership. The Senate then gained the requisite 60 votes to shut off debate (in fact, 68) and passed the House version of the bill 60-40 on March 20, 2002.

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