Political Campaigns Political Campaigns Conventions and the Primaries The High-Tech Campaign Computers Media Organizing the Campaign Line up a Campaign manager – manages the details and day-to-day operations Get a fund-raiser Get a campaign counsel – federal regulation Hire media and campaign consultants Assemble a campaign staff – coordinate volunteers, complete all tasks. Plan the logistics – Scheduling and publicity. Political Campaigns Get a research staff and policy advisors – feed candidate policy info. Hire a pollster – find out what is on voters mind. Get a good press secretary – handle the press effectively. MONEY AND CAMPAIGNS “Money is the mother’s milk of politics” Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974 • Created Federal Election Commission (F.E.C.) Six member bipartisan body which enforces campaign finance laws. • Provided federal matching funds for Presidential campaigns for candidates who raise at least $5,000 in 20 states. • Limits Presidential campaign spending for those candidates who accept federal funding. • Requires disclosure of contributions and expenditures by all candidates. • It tried to limit campaign contribution to $1,000. Supreme Court declared this a violation of Constitution in Buckley vs. Valeo (1976). Buckley v. Valeo 1976 Find info “Soft Money” Loophole- 1979 amendment to F.E.C. allows political parties to raise unlimited amounts of money without violating campaign spending limits. Wealthy individuals have contributed vast sums of money to both parties- business and labor, PACs have also. (Unless this loophole is closed, the F.E.C. Act is meaningless and charges of corruption will continue.) NOTE CAMPAIGN SPENDING REFORMS HAVE MADE CAMPAIGNS MORE OPEN AND HONEST. The Proliferation of PACs The 1974 F.E.C. Act allowed any interest group to give up to $5,000 to any candidate in both primary and general election. Buckley vs. Valeo (1976) allowed PACs to spend unlimited amounts if done “independent” of the campaign. By 1992, there were 4,195 PACs –gave $178 million to Congressional candidates. What did they expect in return? Does this corrupt the system or is it just pluralism? ‘if it is corrupting at least it is open.” (See Table 9.1 p237) Cost of Campaigns High tech campaign costs have soaredneed for more campaign funds more dependence on PACs. The proliferation of PACs more contributions more expensive campaigns = Symbiotic relationship. What do PACs expect? Greater access to elected officials and a more favorable representation. (see tables 9.2, 9.3 p238) Critics Say: PAC money is corrupting our democratic system. Money buys votes as officials dependent on campaign contributions can’t afford to alienate their benefactors. Example . LEMON LAW REPEALED IN 1980 AFTER NAAD DONATED $1 MILLION TO BOTH PARTIES PAC’s Defenders of PACs say there is no hard evidence that PACs buy votes or have influence on Congress. 1.PACs normally give money to candidates who already agree w/ them. Contributions seldom change votes. 2. Presidents don’t change position on issues – they are too high profile and they receive public funding so there aren’t as dependent on PACs. Does money buy Election Victories? Candidates cannot win w/o substantial campaign ‘war chests.” However, Gary Jacobson claims ‘the more incumbents spend, the worse they do” ( When they do, they usually are in trouble and/or face a strong opponent). Doctrine of sufficiency = candidates have to have “enough money” to get their message out to voters. (Outspending your opponent is not necessary). MONEY AND CAMPAIGNS “Political Persuaders” = professional campaign consultants They can make or remake the image of the candidate. Political ads address issues better than news coverage, which typically cover the “horse race” or “campaign game.” (50-60% of campaign costs will be for T.V. ads). MONEY AND CAMPAIGNS Impact of Campaigns = less crucial than believed 1. Can reinforce voter’s preferences for candidates 2. Can activate voters to work for, or vote for candidate they prefer. 3. Seldom convert voters to vote to vote for the other candidate (Campaigns change few votes). Why? a. Voters have “selective perception “ and generally pay little attention to campaigns. b. Party identification is still a strong influence c. Incumbents start w/ strong advantage (almost 90 % are reelected).
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