Campaign Controls

May 3, 1956

Report Outline
Prospect for Revision of Election Laws
Present and Proposed Campaign Rules
Federal Control of Primary Elections
Control of Labor Spending in Elections
Special Focus

Prospect for Revision of Election Laws

Revision of the federal laws on corrupt practices in political campaigns, proposed after virtually every national election and then allowed to slip out of sight, may finally be achieved in advance of the 1956 presidential canvass. President Eisenhower's veto of the natural gas bill on Feb. 17, and the circumstances that brought it about, spurred the Senate's majority and minority leaders to join in support of far-reaching amendments to the Corrupt Practices Act of 1925. The bill carrying the amendments, introduced on Feb. 28 by Sens. Lyndon B. Johnson (D-Tex.) and William F. Knowland (R-Cal.), has no fewer than 83 additional senators as co-sponsors. It is expected to be brought up in the Senate shortly for debate and action. Calls for hearings, chiefly from labor spokesmen, have been ignored because a Senate subcommittee held an exhaustive inquiry on the subject only a year ago.

Inquiries Into Campaign Donations By Lobbyists

The President said, when he vetoed the bill to relieve natural gas producers of federal price regulation, that he agreed with the basic objectives of the measure. He withheld approval because of “highly questionable activities” which he described as “so arrogant …as to risk creating doubt among the American people concerning the integrity of governmental processes.” The reference was to lobbying activities to which attention had been directed initially by Sen. Francis H. Case (R-S.D.).

Case disclosed on the floor of the Senate, Feb. 3, that he had rejected a $2,500 campaign contribution proffered by a lawyer from another state who had made inquiries about his attitude on the natural gas bill. The disclosure led to an investigation of that particular incident by a special Senate committee and to the broader investigation of lobbying and campaign spending opened by another special Senate committee on May 1.

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
Campaign Finance
Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and Elections
Lobbying and Special Interests