Campaign Contribution Limits

Disclosure of campaign contributions is important, but no matter how timely and complete disclosure is, it will not be enough if Pennsylvanians really intend to take back ownership of their elections and government. Disclosure reveals, but does not end the anti-democratic pattern of campaign funding. Overt action to level the playing field is essential if we are to change the political culture of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania's now is one of just eleven states that do not limit the amount of money that individuals and PACs can give to candidates. So while most other states have some basic protections against auctioning elections and public policies to the highest bidder, the sky is the limit for the power of political money in Pennsylvania. This "tyranny of the campaign dollar", as former Governor Casey put it, dominated by large givers and PACs, undermines public confidence, discourages participation by individuals in the electoral process, and deprives citizens of democratic representation. As the Kettering Foundation's landmark study found, citizens believe "that campaign contributions seem to determine political outcomes more than voting."

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