AMERICAN NOTES: Electoral Fumbling

A welcome outcome of the Watergate scandal was the creation by Congress of a Federal Election Commission. The six full-time commissioners, at salaries of $38,000 a year, would be charged with the administration of the 1974 federal campaign-finance law. The measure puts strict limits on presidential campaign gifts and provides for public financing (through funds collected from taxpayers) of presidential campaigns. Though some experts fear the public-financing provision may be unconstitutional, the law's passage was hailed as a landmark in political reform, and the elections commission was due to begin its work on Jan. 1,1975.

The commission has not even...

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