1932

Abstract

Campaign finance disclosure is the last (somewhat) robust regulation we have in American campaign finance, and it is under threat. We urgently need more research on disclosure. Regulatory complexity makes studying campaign finance disclosure daunting. It also creates so-called dark money and anonymous speech online. Scholars must understand the existing regulatory loopholes as they plan studies to avoid biased estimates and understand the conditions in which their results generalize to a broader population. The court's disclosure jurisprudence is thin and based on largely unproven assumptions. As the research on campaign finance disclosure matures, scholars should take a broad view of the costs and benefits of disclosure, rather than the narrow, court-led focus many studies have had until now. We must also take seriously the ways in which cognitive limitations can limit the benefits of disclosure. I explain the doctrine and review existing studies, highlighting opportunities to expand the literature.

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2018-10-13
2024-04-16
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