Presidential Campaign Funds

April 6, 1928

Report Outline
Amounts Expended in Presidential Campaigns
Purposes of Campaign Expenditures
Sources of Party Campaign Funds
Federal Laws on Party Financing
Proposed Reforms in Campaign Financing

In each of the last two presidential campaigns charges have been made by candidates later defeated at the polls that huge slush funds were being raised to buy the presidency for their Republican opponents. In 1920 James M. Cox, the Democratic candidate, charged that Republicans were raising a fund of not less than $15,000,000 to debauch the electorate, and in 1924 Senator LaFollette, the independent candidate, charged that a still larger sum than had been used four years before was being expended on behalf of President Coolidge's candidacy.

During the progress of both campaigns political contributions and party expenditures were investigated by committees of the United States Senate. The first committee reported that the Republican and Democratic parties, through their official committees, spent in the presidential campaign of 1920 a sum in excess of ten and a quarter million dollars, and that this figure did not by any means represent the entire amount of money expended in the campaign. Senator Kenyon, chairman of the committee, characterized the expenditure of these vast sums as a present and growing menace to the nation.

Although there were three parties in the field in 1924, the total of political expenditures in that year's campaign was smaller than in 1920. The Borah committee, which investigated the 1924 expenditures, gave figures on outlays by the national and state committees of the three parties in its report which totaled $8,-553,605. These figures were not represented as being complete, but so far as they went the committee believed them to be substantially accurate.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Campaign Finance
May 06, 2016  Campaign Finance
May 28, 2010  Campaign Finance Debates
Jun. 13, 2008  Campaign Finance Reform
Nov. 22, 2002  Campaign Finance Showdown
Mar. 31, 2000  Campaign Finance Reform
Feb. 09, 1996  Campaign Finance Reform
Mar. 29, 1985  Campaign Finance Debate
Oct. 11, 1974  Campaign Spending in Europe and America
May 03, 1956  Campaign Controls
Apr. 18, 1952  Control of Campaign Abuses
Jun. 05, 1946  Campaign Spending and the Law
Apr. 15, 1940  Money in Politics
Jul. 01, 1931  Revision of Federal Corrupt Practices Act
Dec. 01, 1929  The Vare Case
Apr. 06, 1928  Presidential Campaign Funds
Aug. 17, 1926  Excessive Expenditures in Election Campaigns
Aug. 10, 1926  Illegal and Corrupt Practices in Elections
Jul. 16, 1924  Election Costs and Campaign Contributions
Campaign Finance
Campaigns and Elections