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BCRA: Making a Difference

by Anthony Corrado
The 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) is the most important piece of campaign finance legislation since the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act. BCRA addressed the two biggest problems in the campaign finance system by banning the use of soft money in federal elections and placing new restrictions on candidate-specific issue advocacy advertising. On its passage, it was heralded as a major victory by reform advocates. But would the law fulfill its promise? The early returns indicate that BCRA has passed its first major tests (including the legal challenges) and is making a difference in the financing of national elections.