The law on limiting campaign expenditures has been changing over the
past couple of years. But the law on limiting campaign contributions
The standard in many instances is more liberal than with campaign expenditures, in others it is the
same. And the application of the standard is highly contextual. A law in one jurisdiction, or at a particular time, might be constitutional, while in another jurisdiction, or at a different time, it is not.
Contribution limits are an important part of government ethics,
because contributions from those doing business with local governments,
often called "legal bribery," are a major source of the belief people
have that government officials can be bought. Removing this appearance of impropriety is a principal goal of public campaign financing programs.
The state of the law on
limiting and banning campaign contributions from, and their solicitation by, restricted sources, including contractors and
lobbyists, as well as their principals and immediate family members, is
well summarized in the
Second Circuit's decision in Green Party v. Garfield