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Campaign Finance

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  1. Campaign Finance Objective: To better understand campaign finance and its influence on political campaigns November 20, 2013 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/campaign-finance/

  2. I. Federal Election Campaign Acts, 1971-1974 • Established FEC-regulate elections • Candidates-disclose?? • Must disclose contributions $ expenditures • Pres. candidates-receive fed. Subsidies (tax check-offs) • Accept fed. Money=spending limitations… • $84 million in 2008 general election (McCain excepted/Obama did not – first major candidate to not accept) • Must raise at least $5,000 in 20 states

  3. I. FECA 1971, 1974… • Contribution limitations: • $1000 per candidate, per election • PACs: $5000 per candidate, per election, no overall cap II. Effects of Buckley v. Valeo (1976) • Court upheld limits on campaign contributions • Courts struck down limits on the amount individuals could contribute to their own campaigns(1st amendment-free spend) • Perot-$60 million 1992 • Romney-$44 million 2008

  4. III. Campaign Reform Act, 2002 (McCain-Feingold Bill/BRCA) • Regulates soft money to NATIONAL political parties (Soft $=???) • Soft Money =undisclosed, unlimited donations to parties for party building activities (Now all money to the parties is regulated and capped by the FEC) • Limits soft $ to STATE political parties-$10,000 (restricted to): • Voter registration, get out the vote drives • Doubles “hard money” to $2000 (goes up with inflation-$2600 in 2013/14) • Hard Money =disclosed, limited donations to candidates • No change on PAC limits ($5,000)

  5. III. Citizens United v. FEC, 2010 • BRCAbanned corps/unions from “electioneering communications” • 60 days of gen. election and 30 days of primary (unions/corps.) • SCOTUS ruled: • Allowed corps/unions to air ads explicitly supporting or opposing a federal candidate (ISSUE ADVOCACY ADS WERE BANNED FROM DOING THIS PRIOR) • Eliminated the bans on electioneering communications • Kept rule that bans corps/unions from donating directly to candidates • Can say vote for or against THEREFORE…SUPERPACS http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-17-2012/colbert-super-pac---not-coordinating-with-stephen-colbert http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/stephen-colberts-super-pac-ad-mitt-ripper-15371195

  6. III. Analysis • No subsidies for congressional campaignsincumbency advantage • Minor parties5% of pop. Vote in previous election in order to receive subsidies • Parties are weakened even moreCandidate centered campaign vs. party centered campaign ($ goes to candidate) • Growth of PACs and candidate dependency • Cost of campaigning has risen (MEDIA – 250,000 to over 3 million for Super Bowl) More time spent fundraising

  7. III. Analysis • No limitations on independent expenditures • “527s”engage in political activities, receive unlimited contributions, spent on voter mobilization and issue advocacy ads, no money to candidate (CANNOT SAY VOTE FOR OR AGAINST) • PACSengage in political activities, contributions to candidates are limited, can be given to candidate (Realtors PAC), report to FEC (CAN SAY VOTE FOR OR AGAINST) • SUPERPACSengage in political activities, contributions cannot go to a candidate, contributions from individuals are unlimited, report to FEC, (CAN SAY VOTE FOR OR AGAINST) http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/249055/september-15-2009/the-word---let-freedom-ka-ching