Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002: Summary and Comparison with Previous Law [January 31, 2003] [open pdf - 69KB]
"This report summarizes the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (P.L. [Public Law] 107- 155) and compares it with the previous law (in most cases, the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. § 431 'et seq'.). In general, the new Act took effect on November 6, 2002, the day after the 2002 general elections, although certain provisions had different effective dates, as noted herein. Much of the recent campaign finance debate has revolved around the issues of so-called hard and soft money. In general, the term 'hard money' has been used to refer to funds raised and spent according to the limits, prohibitions, and disclosure requirements of federal election law. By contrast, 'soft money' has been used to describe funds raised and spent outside the federal election regulatory framework, but which may have at least an indirect impact on federal elections. Since the new statute described herein became effective, however, regulation was extended to some aspects of soft money that hitherto had not been regulated by federal election law."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31402
U.S. Department of State: http://www.state.gov/