Political finance

Political finance covers all funds that are raised and spent for political purposes. Such purposes include all political contests for voting by citizens, especially the election campaigns for various public offices that are run by parties and candidates. Moreover, all modern democracies operate a variety of permanent party organizations, e.g. the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee in the United States or the Conservative Central Office and the Labour headquarters ("John Smith House", "Millbank Tower") in the United Kingdom. The annual budgets of such organizations will have to be considered as costs of political competition as well. In Europe the allied term "party finance" is frequently used. It refers only to funds that are raised and spent in order to influence the outcome of some sort of party competition. Whether to include other political purposes, e.g. public relation campaigns by lobby groups, is still an unresolved issue.[1] Even a limited range of political purposes (campaign and party activity) indicates that the term "campaign funds" (used as subject heading in Library of Congress cataloguing) [2] is too narrow to cover all funds that are deployed in the political process.