Graduation Year

Fall 2011

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Paul Hurley

Reader 2

George Thomas

Reader 3

Gregory Hess

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2011 Patrick Paterson


Justifications for campaign finance regulations in the United States have traditionally taken one of two approaches. The first and most common has been to allege that unrestricted campaign contributions and expenditures lend themselves to corruption, or to the appearance of corruption. The second, used far less often than the first, has argued that unchecked spending on an election compromises the principle of political equality--the idea that each individual should have equal say in the democratic process. This paper defends political equality as a value worth preserving, demonstrates that our current campaign finance system is dangerous to political equality, proposes some solutions to that problem, and evaluate the constitutionality of those solutions.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.