The Impact of Recent Events on Public Opinion on Campaign Finance Disclosure Reforms in Fort Worth, Texas

The recent events that have taken place in Fort Worth, Texas have had a major influence on public opinion regarding key campaign finance disclosure reforms. With the lack of regulation of campaign finance being seen as a potential death knell for democracy, many election lawyers are now focusing their attention on campaign finance law. The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) has declared that states cannot impose limits on the total contributions of individuals or groups, but existing restrictions on contributions per candidate were not addressed and, therefore, were not altered. In addition to this, some states have limits on financial contributions to candidates, which vary depending on the source of the contribution and the position the candidate is running for.

Furthermore, laws that restrict contributions made during a legislative session differ from those that address contributions made outside that period or to foreign contributions. When it comes to reporting, this varies depending on whether the expenditure is carried out by a committee or an entity outside the committee. Fifteen states distinguish between committee reports and non-committee reports; committee reports are usually submitted quarterly or annually and include a reporting requirement before and after elections. Off-committee reports are usually published based on the date and amount of expenditure. Although not all states set limits on contributions to campaigns or other political contributions, all require that information related to political contributions or expenditures be disclosed.

Polls have revealed that Americans overwhelmingly support limits on spending on political campaigns, and most believe that the new laws could effectively reduce the role of money in politics. The Political Reform Division administers the provisions of the California Political Reform Act, including its most essential purpose of ensuring that election campaign revenues and expenditures are fully and truthfully disclosed so that voters can be fully informed and that lobbyist activities are regulated and their finances disclosed.