Download e-book for kindle: Better Parties, Better Government: A Realistic Program for by Peter J. Wallison
By Peter J. Wallison
Each federal crusade finance reform legislations enacted due to the fact that 1971_ostensibly meant to maintain politicians sincere and restrict the impression of contributors_has in truth safe incumbents through lowering the cash to be had to challengers. even supposing the courts have struck down a number of the such a lot egregious incumbent-protection measures enacted by means of Congress, vital ones nonetheless remain_particularly regulations on what political events can spend in aid in their applicants. those regulations clarify why reelection premiums for incumbents are so high_up to ninety eight percentage in contemporary years_despite record-low approval rankings for Congress. the simplest method to switch this pro-incumbent approach is to raise the limitations on political events, letting them develop into either the primary automobiles for political fundraising and the crucial resources of crusade money for his or her applicants. this might increase investment assets for challengers, enhance the events, decrease the looks of corruption inherent within the present candidate-centered fundraising process, and finally increase American democracy. In higher events, larger executive: a pragmatic application for crusade Finance Reform, Peter J. Wallison and Joel M. Gora consultant us during the complicated tangle of legislation, principles, laws, exceptions, exemptions, and secure harbors that represent our present crusade finance regime, and clarify tips on how to reform the process with a unmarried switch: finishing the limitations on spending through political events in aid in their applicants. This unmarried reform will make elections extra aggressive, increase the candidate and coverage offerings on hand to electorate, and thereby rework American politics.
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Additional info for Better Parties, Better Government: A Realistic Program for Campaign Finance Reform
As we will show, almost every key provision of those laws seems to have been designed to benefit and entrench incumbents. Spending limits and contribution limits—the keystones of all modern campaign finance “reforms”—are both of great assistance to incumbents; they reduce the amount of money that challengers can raise and spend and thus magnify the advantages of incumbency. These advantages include, among many others, appropriated funds for staffs, free communications to the state or district, constituent services, name recognition, access to and coverage from local media, and backing from interest groups eager to aid and support an incumbent who has the power to help or harm them.
Although most of the sources of campaign funds for challengers had been narrowed, the possibility of a wealthy challenger now could not be excluded. This gave rise to the ingenious “Millionaire Amendment,” which was added to the BCRA as an incumbent-protecting sweetener. Its obvious purpose was to counter the impact of a self-financed candidate for Congress by stipulating that in any House race in which one candidate contributes more than $350,000 to his own campaign, the other candidate will be entitled to an increase in contribution limits of three times the normal amount; under a slightly different formula, favored Senate candidates could get a six-fold increase in the contribution limits in their races.
Contribution limits that are too low,” the Court held, “can . . ”48 At the state and local level, in fact, we find a lot of variation in contribution limits, including many cases in which there are no limits on contributions to candidates by individuals or political parties, or both.
Better Parties, Better Government: A Realistic Program for Campaign Finance Reform by Peter J. Wallison