The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002 amended campaign finance law by banning unlimited soft money contributions to political parties and reforming the financing of advertising close to an election. In this ruling the Court is clearly concerned with the amount of money being donated to political candidates which leads to the appearance of impropriety in gaining access to elected officials that in turn may influence legislation. In ruling on the constitutionality of this legislation, the Supreme Court also provided insight into its view of mass media effects. In applying the principles of cultivation theory and the media framing paradigm, the groups that can fund more commercials have an advantage with voters who may believe these repeated advertisements and vote for that particular candidate. This paper posits what might be the Supreme Court’s view of the media effects debate by examining its ruling in McConnell v. FEC.
- campaign finance,
- media effects,
- election communication law,
- First Amendment
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_fortunato/1/