Political Campaign Finance

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Nathaniel Persily, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, can provide expert comment on the constitutionality of the new political campaign finance law, which will be debated in federal court this week before going to the U.S. Supreme Court. .

Professor Persily teaches courses in constitutional law and contemporary issues in law and politics. His areas of expertise are campaign finance reform, voting rights, election law and congressional redistricting.

He's currently working on two articles about campaign finance, "Soft Money and Slippery Slopes" for Election Law Journal and "Parties, Money and Corruption" for Oxford Press. Professor Persily has published articles on the legal regulation of political parties in Columbia Law Review, NYU Law Review, and Georgetown Law Journal. His writings include "Candidates v. Parties: The Constitutional Constraints on Primary Ballot Access Laws," Georgetown Law Journal (2001), and "Toward a Functional Defense of Political Party Autonomy," NYU Law Review (2001).

Professor Persily says the law will hurt Democrats more than Republicans:

"Republicans have always been more successful in gathering smaller contributions from a large number of individuals. The McCain-Feingold regime will make fundraising more costly and bias the system in favor of rich individuals as opposed to large aggregations of wealth that have been the Democrats main source of funding."

Professor Persily says the law won't stop questionable fundraising practices."The political parties have already found ways around the law. The result has been the creation of shadowy non-party parties to become the repositories of corporate and union money."