A successful election campaign depends on communication, and communication costs money. However, it is believed by some that money has the potential to corrupt a candidate, to drive him or her to serve their own interests or the interests of their campaign donors rather than the public good. For instance, there is a belief that an unusually large financial contribution could influence the voting behavior of an elected official. Campaign finance laws are intended to reduce the potential for corruption, or even the appearance of corruption.
There are three main avenues for regulating campaign finance. Few states rely on just one; most utilize a combination of two or three. These three primary methods are disclosure, contribution limits, public financing. Also, see Life After Citizens United.