They are supposed to uphold the ethics and principles of good governance. In principle, the politicians, being public figures, are supposed to lead exemplary lives, without being influenced by any vested interests. The corporate houses too are required to operate their businesses in such a way that the no harm is done to the society, to the environment and the polity of the nation/s. With the emergence of globalisation, the concepts like 'corporate governance' have emerged for managing the businesses more effectively.
Media in general and electronics media in particular, too plays a very important role in telling the people about the values, ideas, opinions and culture of any political party and organisation. Therefore, now there is an exponential increase in the reliance on the broadcast media for political campaigns. This has proved to have a powerful role in making or breaking the chances of any political party. Opinion builders are entrusted with the task of spreading good words about the candidate (often this is termed as planting stories). In addition, candidates take up extensive tours to meet as many people as possible. All such exercises require good amount of money and hence the need for arranging funds.
While it is true that businesses are supposed to work within the framework of rules and guidelines formulated by the political bosses, it is now an accepted fact that politics too cannot survive without a 'big' helping hand from businesses. But companies are placed in an unenviable position of being labeled as sympathizer to one particulars party or candidate if they support one at the cost of the other. Just in case the results are different, then there's a threat of retaliation. During earlier times, politicians used to get finances from some big companies, in a hush-hush manner so that their political affiliations are not divulged. This trend continued for quite a while, but gradually started resulted in arm-twisting tactics on the part of both politicians as well as corporate houses. This led to the debate of bringing in more transparency in matters relating to political campaign finances. Such reforms are being supported by political parties as well as business houses. Some business houses are not very happy with the unreasonable demands from some political quarters, while the behavior of some politicians and political parties under the influence of money-power has also brought down the image of governments. There are some differences in the manner and extent of implementation though. Such attempts to regulate campaign finances are being supported by people at large and if theirs is any opposition, it comes from within the political establishment. In USA the common term for such political efforts is campaign finance reform (Chapman, 1999).
In US campaign funds are generated by the politicians and the political parties' mainly using four sources (Cantor, 2007);
i. Own funds of political leaders, their family and friends
ii. By soliciting contributions from individual citizens
iii. Using the party funds (which too require to be replenished from time to time)
iv. Different interest groups (comprised business etc) generally with the formation of political action committees (PAC) on political, social or economic issues.
v. Public funds (available only for some elections like Presidential elections)
A first timer to