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					Campaign Finance


The “Benjamin's” of campaigns. . . .
Thought of the day. . .

   Should there be a limit on who
    contributes money to a campaign or
    how much?
       Is this not an issue of free speech?
       Why or why not?
Activity

   You are running for Congress, can
    you get public funds? Is there a
    limit on how much money you can
    raise or who gives you money?
   Now, you are running for President.
    Can you get public funds? Is there
    a limit on how much money you can
    raise or who gives you money?
Answers. . . .

   Congress:
       No public funds; no limit on how much;
        no limit on who gives;
   President:
       Yes, public funds; yes, limit on how
        much; yes, limit on who gives
Now. . . .

   In a couple of sentences, with your
    partner, explain why the difference?
    They are both national offices,
    correct? Shouldn’t they be equal?
The Basics

   New law
       BCRA elevated limits
   Presidential candidates get
    “subsidies” on a matching fund
    basis
   Limits:
       Individuals—2,800 to candidates
       PAC’s—5,000
Court Cases. . . Laws. . . .

   Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
       Upheld limits on contributions
       Struck down limits on spending
   McCain—Feingold Bill (2002)
       Bans soft money donations to national
        parties
            Soft money???
       Limits soft money donations to state
        parties
Court Cases. . . Laws. . . .

   McCain—Feingold continued
       Doubled “hard money” contributions
            Hard money??
       No change in PAC limits
Overall. . .

   No subsidies for congressional
    campaigns
       Further advantage for incumbents
   No limits on “527s”
       Money donated to a “group” that
        engages in political campaigning
          Swift Boat, MoveOn.org,
          Mainly “issue advocates” or “single issue”
           groups
Interest Groups

   Madison—wanted to eliminate them
       Factions are inevitable, must control
        their effects
       Fed 10
   Reasons for growth???
       How many can you name???
Answers. . .
   Economic developments—grange
   Governmental policies—either pro or con
   Diversity of population
   Weaknesses of political parties
   Reforms of 1970s opened up lobbying as
    “cool”
   Technology
   Interest groups beget other interest
    groups
Types of Interest Groups
   Traditional
      Goal—to promote economic interests of
       its members
   Nontrad—Protest
      Goal—to protest the status of its
       members and to convince government to
       take remedial action
   Ideological—
      Goal—to support programs and policies
       consistent with their beliefs /
       philosophies.
Interest Groups

   Traditional—
       Grange, AFL-CIO, Chamber of
        Commerce, AMA, ABA, etc.
   Non-Traditional—NAACP, NOW, ACT
    UP
   Ideological—Christian Coalition,
    ACLU, “Think Tanks.”
Types of Interest Groups

   Single Issue
       Goal—to get government action on one
        issue
   Public Interest
       Goal—to bring about good policy for
        society as a whole
Interest Groups

   Single Issue—NRA, NARAL, MADD,
    PETA
   Public Interest—League of Women’s
    Voters, Sierra Club, Public Citizen
Tactics

   In your table groups, how many
    tactics of interest groups can you
    name?
Tactics of Interest Groups--Answers

   Mass Media
   Litigation
   Campaign Contribution
   Report cards
   Lobbying
   Mass mailings
   Targeting
Lobbying

   Interest group lobbying is generally
    most effective on narrow, technical
    issues that are not well publicized
   Functions of Lobbyists
       Influence government
       Provide information to government
       Testify at hearings
       Help write legislation
The Case FOR Lobbyists

   Working in pairs, how many
    arguments can you come up FOR
    lobbyists?
Answers. . .

   Provide useful information
   Means of participation
   Means of representation based on
    interest, rather than geography
       Linking mechanism “third house” of
        congress
   1st amendment protection
   Madison and “loss of liberty”
The Case AGAINST Lobbyists

   Working in pairs, how many
    arguments can you come up with
    AGAINST lobbyists?
Answers. . . .
   Rich and powerful are
    overrepresented
   Equality is sacrificed
   Single issue lobbyists create
    political polarization
   Lobbyists contribute to the diffusion
    of power
   National interest is sacrificed for
    narrow interests
PAC’s

   PAC’s—group that fund raises for
    favored candidates
   1974—600; today—4,100+
       Reason campaign finance reform
        limited “single” contributions in favor of
        “opened” contributions
   Growth—
       1972—8.5 million; 2004—384 million
Effectiveness of PAC’s

   50 HOR candidates raised >
    $500,000 each from PAC’s; only 4
    lost
   38 Senate candidates raised
    >$500,000 from PAC’s; only 7 lost
PAC Strategies

   Who gets the “bread?”
       Incumbents—2004, 79% of PAC money
        went to congressional incumbents, 7%
        went to challengers
       Winners
       Those who are likely to grant access
       PAC money makes up a higher % of
        congressional campaign funds than
        presidential funds
Strategies

   What are some strategies used by
    PACs?
PAC Strategies

   Voter education projects
   Independent expenditures, 527’s,
    issue advocacy ads
Who has a PAC?

   Corporations-- ~50% of all PAC’s;
    Largest growth in these since 1970s
   Non-connected (Ideological)-- 25%
   Professional/Health/trade-- ~15%
   Overrepresentation of upper/upper
    middle classes and under
    representation of the poor

				
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posted:9/28/2011
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