Republican Senator John McCain has spent much effort trying to reform campaign finance. What constitutes desirable reform is still debated. © Terry Ashe/AP Images
• Federal Election Commission: Administering and Enforcing Federal Campaign Finance Laws
• Common Cause: Campaign Finance
• Hoover Institution: Campaign Finance
• Campaign Finance Institute: Campaign Finance eGuide
• CQ Politics: PoliticalMoneyLine Guide to Presidential Races - 2008 Presidential Race
• Washington Post: Campaign Finance - Summary Figures for the Presidential Candidates
• New York Times: Election Guide
• Campaign Money: Searchable data base of campaign contributions for Presidential and Congressional candidates beginning in 2000
• Center for Responsive Politics - OpenSecrets.org: '08 Presidential Fundraising
• Project Vote Smart: Campaign Finance
• Campaign Finance: Developments in the 110th Congress (09/28/2007)
• Campaign Finance Reform: Regulating Political Communications on the Internet (09/20/2005)
Foreign Press Center Briefings
• 2008 Presidential Campaign Finance Overview (4/13/2007)
• Campaign Finance and the 2008 Presidential Election (4/18/ 2007)
Please note: This page has not been updated after the Elections on November 4, to better illustrate the election cycle that lead to the election of President Barack Obama.
Running for election to federal office in the United States requires candidates to raise enormous sums of money to finance their campaigns, and the raising and spending of that money is highly regulated by the U.S. government.The offices of president, senator, and representative are federal offices. They constitute the elective members of the White House, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. The campaigns for election to these offices are regulated by federal law, which also dictates how campaigns may raise funds, from whom, and how much. Federal campaign finance laws are separate from state laws that regulate elections for state and local offices, such as governor, mayor, or member of the state legislature. Accordingly, a candidate for federal office must abide by the federal laws, which are somewhat complex and restrictive. Presidential candidates find it necessary to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for campaigns directed at a nation of more than 100 million voters, but the way in which these candidates raise and spend this money is highly regulated. For more information please see How the 2008 U.S. Elections Will Be Financed from the eJournal The Long Campaign.
• America.gov: Public Financing Helps Fuel U.S. Presidential Campaigns (April 2008)
• America.gov: “527” Committees Spend Millions on Political Discourse (April 2008)
• eJournal USA Article: How the 2008 U.S. Elections Will Be Financed (Nov. 2007)
• America.gov: Federal Election Commission Regulates Presidential Campaigns (Nov. 2007)
• America.gov: Rich Candidates Abound as Presidential Campaign Costs Rise (Oct. 2007)
Follow the Money
• Federal Election Commission - Summary receipts and disbursements of Presidential and all Congressional candidates; Search by candidate and year; then drill down to detail on individual contributors.
• Follow the Money - Candidates for state office and their campaign contributors; Contributors by industry or special interest for a state.
• Fundrace 2008 - Search by street address to determine the people in your zip code giving more than $200 to a presidential candidate; May also search by name of an individual.
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U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany /Public Affairs/ Information Resource Centers
Updated: March 10, 2009