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The financing of national and state elections has been a political topic in the US since the early nineteenth century. In 1828, then-candidate for the US presidency Andrew Jackson was one of the first politicians to create a campaign committee to help him raise money, secure votes, organize rallies and spread his message to the public. One of the results of Jackson's organizing was that voter turnout nearly doubled in the presidential election of 1828 (in which he was victorious). However, Jackson's innovation also served to dramatically increase the cost of running a national political campaign. The rising price of campaigning led to the "spoils system," in which government jobs were given by victorious political parties in return for financial support from wealthy citizens. As a presidential candidate only 20 years later, Abraham Lincoln paid for his campaign out of his own pocket, which, even with the support of donations

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Timeline

2/19/2013: Supreme Court granted certiorari in campaign finance case

11/7/2012: Colorado, Montana passed ballot measures seeking campaign finance reform

10/24/2012: Seventh Circuit allowed cap on campaign contributions for upcoming election

10/23/2012: Supreme Court rejected challenge of Montana political contribution limits

10/16/2012: Ninth Circuit allowed Montana campaign contribution limits for upcoming election

10/9/2012: Ninth Circuit reinstated Montana campaign finance law

 ...[more]

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