This list of suggested reading material is intended to help League members get started in learning about the complex topic of Money in Politics. This is an initial list designed to orient League members and the general citizenry to the issues. Other suggestions will be added to the list in the future. The readings were selected with several key considerations in mind. First, the material is considered relevant to the scope of the work of the Money in Politics Committee, such as providing a historical overview of the subject matter and/or addressing recent events.  Second, the material is generally accessible and available for either purchase or review on-line.  Third, the list represents differing points of view and different aspects of the general topic so that the reader is exposed to a broad range of viewpoints and appreciation of the complexity of the issues. No single source covers all aspects of the topic. The material is intended to be educational in nature and does not represent the viewpoints of the League of Women Voters.


La Raja, Raymond J. 2008. Small Change: Money, Political Parties, and Campaign Finance Reform. Ann Arbor. The University of Michigan Press.

Lessig, Lawrence. 2011. Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress – and a Plan to Stop It. New York. Twelve Hatchette Book Group.

Magleby, David B., Editor. 2014. Financing the 2012 Election. Washington, D.C. The Brookings Institution.

Mutch, Robert E.  2014. Buying the Vote. New York.  Oxford University Press.

Powell, Lynda W. 2012. The Influence of Campaign Contributions in State Legislatures: The Effects of Institutions and Politics. Ann Arbor. The University of Michigan Press.

Samples, John. 2006. The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform. Chicago and London.  The University of Chicago Press.

Teachout, Zephyr.  2014. Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United. Cambridge.  Harvard University Press.

Tokaji, Daniel P. & Strause, Renata E. B. 2014. The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections. The Ohio State University Moritz School of Law. Electronic link:

Vogel, Kenneth P. 2014. Big Money. New York. Public Affairs Perseus Book Group.

Chapters in Books:

Levy, Robert A. & Mellor, William H. 2008. “Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech.” Ch. 5 in The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom. New York. Penguin Group, pp. 89-106.

Stevens, John Paul. 2014. “Campaign Finance.” Ch. 3 in Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution. New York. Little, Brown, pp. 57-79.

Other Sources

American Civil Liberties Union. 2012. “Taking Back Our Democracy: Responding to Citizens United and the Rise of Super PACs.” Testimony submitted to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, July 24. Available at:

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