Elections

Published — November 15, 2017 Updated — January 22, 2018 at 8:46 am ET

A modern history of campaign finance: from Watergate to ‘Citizens United’

Introduction

A legal war has been waged since the campaign finance reforms that followed the Watergate scandals, when Congress passed the bedrock for our modern money-in-politics regulatory regime. And while reformers have notched significant victories, deep-pocketed deregulators have slowly chipped away at major provisions by challenging them all the way to the Supreme Court. Here’s a look at how we got here, to a system where unlimited and often undisclosed cash is used to directly influence modern elections.

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