These limits on expression do not affect only wealthy donors or prominent candidates. On the contrary: Groups without a broad base of support are the ones that rely most heavily on large donors to make their voices heard. Almost by definition, political minorities, newcomers, and outcasts will find it harder to reach enough people to raise the money they need through many small contributions. Their base of support is simply too narrow. One can analogize the process to that of raising capital in financial markets: If no investor could put more than $5,000 into a company, large-scale IPOs would become a thing of the past. Established companies might be able to raise large amounts of capital from tens of thousands of small investors, but capital-intensive start-ups would be doomed.

The Myth of Campaign Finance Reform > Publications > National Affairs (via Instapaper)