MONEY MAKES THE campaign go 'round, pure and simple. But campaign finance laws are complex and changed recently with the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, more commonly known as the McCain-Feingold Act.

One major controversial change the act made was to ban national party committees and federal candidates from accepting "soft money" donations.7

Soft money is money donated to a party for general use and not specifically designated for a particular candidate.8

Candidates are also required to report their campaign contributions and expenditures to the Federal Election Commission each month and to each state prior to its primary or caucus.7

Search for financial records by candidate, Political Action Committee, party, business or individual contributor at the FEC Web site.