On Demand Audio

Alternatives to Big Money in Politics

(983 reviews)

Produced on April 08, 2016

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$ 59 Election, Campaign, & Political and Public Interest In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

The law of campaign financing is complex, with constant development in case law and reform ideas. Especially since the 2010 Citizens United decision, states and cities have begun to experiment with new rules aimed at encouraging small donors to participate, disclosing the sources of independent spending, and reducing the influence of the biggest spenders. Some reforms have been quite successful, while others have failed to achieve their goals for a variety of reasons.


Brent Ferguson, Counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice, provides a short introduction to the constitutional and statutory parameters of campaign finance law, and focuses on emerging state and local reforms. He also reviews national and local advocacy and legislative strategies being proposed as alternatives to big spending in politics. He addresses the constitutionality of these reforms, their strengths and weaknesses, and discusses likely areas for future reforms. 


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand the constitutional and statutory parameters of campaign finance law

II.    Gain an overview of state and local reforms that aim to reduce the influence of big spending in politics

III.   Learn about other reforms being proposed as alternatives to big spending in politics

IV.   Recognize likely areas for future campaign finance reforms


Credit Information

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Brent Ferguson

Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

Brent Ferguson is Counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy program, where he works on the Money in Politics team. Before joining the Brennan Center, he clerked for Judge Michael Chagares of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Judge Jeffrey Miller of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Prior to his clerkships, he was a litigation associate at Dechert LLP. Brent graduated from Columbia University Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and served on the administrative board of the Columbia Law Review. He graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in political science.


James R.

Very informative!

Frank B.

Timely and informative.

Janet H.

Very informative; excellent lay out of the law in this area

Pamela W.

Interesting discussion of this important topic.

Earl H.

very well developed materials..extremely well organized....pace was slower than desired..picked up in enthusiasm..very satisfied

Herbert Z.

Very informative and well presented.

John S.

Helps bring clarity to a confusing area.

P Rowland G.

Very worthwhile discussion on all aspects of the topic.

Rufus W.

superb and very thoughtful and timely

Elizabeth K.


richard d.

good cle

Louis D.

Excellent presentation!

Nancy C.

Excellent content and lovely easy to listen to and yet compelling presentation! My favorite online CLE so far.

Beth S.

Very useful overview

Tobias P.

I learned a lot from your program and used it immediately in my campaign finance studies.

Claire P.

Awesome presentation

Amy S.

Interesting discussion of an important topic.

Maria D.

Excellent! Comprehensive, well-described, and a lot of great information. Great presentation style.

Severin W.

Excellent and neutral overview of the legal landscape. Well done!

Richard C.

Perfect for an election year! An excellent recap of spending laws, with an array of suggestions for making some improvements.

Steve S.

Very useful

Steven B.

Very good presentation

Marian B.

Best campaign finance review that I have heard.

Daniela F.

Very topical and informative

Rebecca J.

Glad to see engagement with w real ethical issue.

Michael B.

very timely

John A. M.

Excellent, well organized explanation of campaign financing law. An excellent presentation and a valuable public service.

Henry H.

Great content, crisp presentation, very useful written materials.

Geoffrey K.

A lot of very interesting ideas discussed with regard to the regulation of political contributions and spending. Good program.

Lawrence G.

concise and relevant

Matthew D.

I felt it was a worthwhile lecture. Would recommend to those interested in campaign finance.

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