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6 J.L. & Pol'y 137 (1997-1998)
Campaign Finance Reform: Still Searching Today for a Better Way

handle is hein.journals/jlawp6 and id is 145 raw text is: CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM: STILL
Joel M. Gora
I first encountered campaign finance reform as a young ACLU
lawyer twenty-five years ago, in 1972. Three old-time dissenters
came to the ACLU offices in New York with an incredible story.
In May of that year the group had run a two-page advertisement in
the New York Times advocating the impeachment of President
Richard Nixon for the bombing of Cambodia and praising those
few hardy-and clearly identified-Members of Congress who had
sponsored an Impeachment Resolution.' The advertisement was
turgid, wordy, legalistic and not very slick, but it embodied the
essence of what the First Amendment stands for: the right of
citizens to express their opinion about the conduct of their
government, free from fear of sanctions or reprisals from that
government. Nonetheless, before the ink on the advertisement was
barely dry, the federal government had hauled the group into
federal court.
How, we wondered, could this be possible? We were especially
mystified since this was a time, the Spring of 1972, when New
York imes Company v. Sullivan was protecting the most vigorous
citizen criticism of government officials against libel suits,2
 Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School; co-counsel for challengers in
Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).
I would like to acknowledge the support of a Brooklyn Law School Summer
Research Stipend grant for my work on this article, and express my appreciation
to Mark McCauley, Class of 1999, for his research assistance.
See United States v. National Comm. for Impeachment, 469 F.2d 1135,
1143-47 (2d Cir. 1972).
2 376 U.S. 254 (1964).

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