Campaign finance reform did not become a major issue in the U. until the 1970's, when the Watergate scandal convinced the citizens that they needed to stop the flow of money to political campaigns. Elections before the 1970's did not require much money, but lately election can cost up to $250 million. Across the county elections could cost up to $2.2 billion. This money is required to hire campaign staff and mostly for television and radio advertisement. So as a result congress has to spend more time raising funds. Where does the money come from? Well large amount of money is donated by corporate, and this is bad news because than congress will be likely to favor the companies that have donated large amount to money. Campaign reforms stated in the 1972 and hardly any law have been passed; the newest major one was passed in March 25, 2002.
In 1972 president Richard Nixon signed the Federal Election Campaign Act into law before Watergate scandal became public. The new law strengthened disclosure requirements, set strict new laws on contribution and spending in federal election and also created a system of public financing for presidential election. In Buckley v. Valeo in 1976, the court made an important distinction between spending limits and contribution limits because spending limits were unconstitutional and only contribution money should be limited to fight corruption. In 1979 congress passed additional amendments to the FECA, in response to politicians" complaints about the old law requiring the disclosure. The amendment reduced the amount of paper work and limited what financial information had to be given. .
FECA places limits on the contributions to support candidates for federal office. An individual can give up to $1,000 on the other hand the PAC's are given a limit of $5000. These limits on the campaign contributions are considered "hard money" limits. Corporations have been prohibited from contributing to political campaigns since the Tillman Act of 1907, but they always find a way around it to support a candidate.