UC Law SF International Law Review


Campaign finance laws have been adopted in many countries to combat corruption, to moderate campaign costs, to equalize the financial ability of candidates to win elections, and to reduce disparities in the influence of contributors. This Note compares the American and British efforts to control campaign financing. The author finds that many of the goals of campaign laws have not been met in the United States, because the laws have had to remain within first amendment limits and because the laws have not been enforced on a regular basis. More effective campaign finance laws have been adopted in England, but at the expense of freedom of speech. The author proposes that both England and the United States place more reliance on laws requiring that candidates disclose contribulors' names. The author also suggests that subsidies for broadcast time and postage costs would make access to the advertising media more fair.