Realistically viewed, the public does not care much about campaign finance. However, the commentators and politicians involved with the campaign process care a great deal. Yet, of those who have expressed any view at all about our topic, few still believe that the existing distinction between expenditures and contributions is satisfactory.
I agree with Judge Winter's statement that, from the point of view of the speaker, the distinction between contributions and expenditures is pretty weak. This is because the choice between the two is made by a donor, who looks for the most efficient way to espouse political ideas and pursue her political goals. Accordingly, in his celebrated Buckley brief, Judge Winter correctly argued that if we restrict the manner in which a donor may express herself, it will directly limit the articulation of her political goals. The distinction between contributions and expenditures is becoming even more infirm. Most importantly, the distinction does not deal with the present campaing scheme because it permits both the operation of PACS and the contribution of so-called "soft money."
Election Law | Law
Henry P. Monaghan,
Comments on Campaign Finance Reform,
J. L. & Pol'y
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/3568