The Campaign Finance Guide

The Campaign Finance Guide
We have recently entered a new era in federal campaign finance. In March Congress passed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of , better known as the McCain-Feingold law--the most comprehensive change in federal campaign finance law in more than two decades. Twenty-one months later, the Supreme Court upheld the law's constitutionality in a decision that solidly affirmed the premises on which the law was based. 

The Campaign Finance Guide offers a practical explanation of the new campaign finance laws that governs how money can be raised and spent in federal elections. It provides a broad overview of the federal laws governing political actors and their activities. It also explains how these laws are administered and enforced--and what you can do if you want to seek redress under campaign finance law. 

As an introductory Guide, this publication does not address every question or concern that may arise under the campaign finance laws, but instead provides access to many additional sources if you want to pursue a technical question. New questions arise regularly in the campaign-finance world. For this reason, the online version of The Campaign Finance Guide ( will be updated regularly and offers links and more information on the issues covered herein.

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Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
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  • Analysis of what it all means
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Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
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Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.