Instead of the complicated current campaign contribution laws, I propose the following replacement.
There shall be no limit upon donations from a single person or entity to any campaign or political party. But every donation, no matter how small, will be logged and available to the public. From a donation of $.01 to one exceeding $100,000,000, they will each be logged. For repeat donors, a running tally for each candidate and party will be calculated.
Donations may be made anonymously, for example money placed into a jar at a public event, such as an airshow or fair. However, all such money shall be logged as anonymously donated, and the full amounts shall be made publicly available.
Anyone may run an advertisement of any kind in print (including magazine, newspaper, and billboard), online, on television, or on the radio at any point during the 16 months preceeding any national election (such as for president), the 11 months preceeding state elections (eg governor, senator), and the 8 months preceeding local elections (eg mayor, representative). A comprehensive list of elected positions and their group placement will be available separately.
This system will encourage more people to donate to their favored causes, and give a high level of accountability for candidates once they are elected. Any elected official must maintain the list of donors for their entire term, and for 7 years after they leave office. Any thoughts of impropriety will be easy to verify or repudiate based upon the list of donors, and the amounts they contributed to the candidate.
Money contributed to parties and other political action groups (such as the ACLU, AFL-CIO, NAACP, NRA) may be used for any purpose the group wishes, unless particularly designated by the donor to be used in a specific way. There will be no limitations upon running advertisements of any kind in the months leading to an election beyond the starting dates stated above.
Starting dates for for advertisements are counted backwards in full months from Election Day, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The date for local elections is 1 March of the year of the election. For state elections it is 1 December of the previous year. The start date for national elections is 1 July of the previous year. Advertisements in general (ie for or against a given party or cause, but not for or against a candidate or current official) may be run at any time, with no restrictions.
Incumbent candidates may not advertise for an upcoming election until the start dates listed above. They may appear in any general public service announcement (including tourism promotion) spots, but may not mention anything about their upcoming candidacy for any elected position. Any PSA which has a political message, beyond having chosen a currently elected official as the spokesperson, can not be run except during the times listed above, and they will be classified as election campaign advertisements. Such ads may not be funded from tax dollars, only from the candidate's own funds. Any PSA made by an appointee of a currently elected official will follow the same rule.
There will be no restriction upon any qualified individual from campaigning using entirely his/her personal funds and not using funds raised from outside sources. Any such campaigns and associated advertisements must bear a notice indicating the candidate has not used outside funds. All advertisements run during a campaign will indicate where the money to fund the ad came from (ie personal wealth or raised funds). If any campaign contributor's funds account for more than 3% of a candidate's total funds raised, a notice must be posted in any advertising performed indicating such.