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32 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 493 (2012-2013)
Leveling the Playing Field: Reconsidering Campaign Finance Reform in the Wake of Arizona Free Enterprise

handle is hein.journals/stlpl32 and id is 523 raw text is: LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD: RECONSIDERING CAMPAIGN
Campaign finance reform and regulation have become areas of increasing
governmental and public interest. This is especially so in an era of heightened
contribution and expenditure amounts. For example, Barack Obama's
campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee, spent over one
billion dollars from the beginning of 2011 through the election of 2012.1
Meanwhile, the campaign for the President's Republican opponent, Mitt
Romney, along with the Republican National Committee, spent nearly $850
million.2 And while these figures are shockingly high, they do not take into
account money spent by independent Super PACs, or political action
committees, which spent, in total, more than $600 million in the 2012 election
cycle.3 As the amount of money spent in elections continues to increase, the
Federal government and states have enacted regulations that attempt to stop the
sharp rise in campaign expenditures.4
After the passage of the Federal Elections Campaign Act in 1971, there
have been many Court decisions that have provided guidance for modem
campaign finance regulation jurisprudence.6 One thing the decisions seemingly
all have in common is a general avoidance of instituting a so-called leveling
1. Jeremy Ashkenas, et al., The 2012 Money Race: Compare the Candidates, N.Y. TIMES,
http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/campaign-finance/ (last visited Apr. 19, 2013).
2. Id.
3. Super PACs, OPEN SECRETS: CTR. FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS, http://www.opensecrets.
org/pacs/superpacs.php (last visited Apr. 19, 2013).
4. See, e.g., Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. § 431 (2000) (invalidated in part
by Fed. Election Comm'n v. Wis. Right to Life, 551 U.S. 449 (2007) and Davis v. Fed. Election
Comm'n, 554 U.S. 724 (2008)); The Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act, ARIZ. REV. STAT.
ANN. § 16-940 (1956) (overturned in part by Ariz. Free Enter. Club's Freedom Club PAC v.
Bennett, 131 S. Ct. 2806 (2011)).
5. See Federal Election Campaign Act, 2 U.S.C. § 431(2000).
6. See, e.g., Citizens United v. Fed. Election Comm'n, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010); Davis, 554
U.S. 724; Wis. Right to Life, 551 U.S. 449; Randall v. Sorrell, 548 U.S. 230 (2005); McConnell v.
Fed. Election Comm'n, 540 U.S. 93 (2003); Fed. Election Comm'n v. Colo. Republican Fed.
Campaign Comm., 533 U.S. 431 (2001); Nixon v. Shrink Mo. Gov't PAC, 528 U.S. 377 (2000);
Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976) (per curiam).


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