Campaign finance reform has always been motivated by a definition of democracy that does not count corporations as citizens and holds that self-government works best by reducing political inequality. In the early years of the twentieth century, Congress recognized the strength of these principles by prohibiting corporations from making campaign contributions, passing a disclosure law, and setting limits on campaign expenditures. These reforms were not controversial at the time, but conservative opposition to them appeared in the 1970s. That opposition was well represented in the Supreme Court, which has rolled back reform by granting First Amendment rights to corporations and declaring the goal of reducing political inequality to be unconstitutional. Buying the Vote analyzes the rise and decline of campaign finance reform by tracking changes in the way presidential campaigns have been funded since the late nineteenth century, and changes in the debate over how to reform fundraising practices. A close examination of major Supreme Court decisions shows how the Court has fashioned a new and profoundly inegalitarian redefinition of American democracy"-- Provided by publisher.