The Federalist Society presents Professor Allison Hayward, Vice President of Policy for the Center for Competitive Politics. She will be speaking on recent efforts at campaign finance reform, including the emergence of Super PACs and their effect on the 2012 election cycle.
EditorialIncumbents in Congress usually have a huge fund-raising advantage over challengers. Big donors correctly assume they will probably be in office for years, and curry favor with contributions that only wealthy challengers can match. So why not try to neutralize this advantage by spending money on behalf of challengers?
by Jacob SullumIf so, super PACs are more like a jolt from a defibrillator than a dagger in the chest. In both presidential and congressional primaries, these independent groups, funded mainly by wealthy individuals, have increased competitiveness, which is usually considered good for democracy.
by Alicia Mundy and Douglas BelkinThe leaders of the Campaign for Primary Accountability, a new political-action committee that is roiling House primaries across the country, are conservative and mostly Republican. But the heartburn they have been causing is bipartisan.
EditorialIt’s against the law for rich people and corporations to buy elected officials. But we’re about to find out whether they can buy elections, which is virtually the same thing.
by Dan FroomkinPolitical spending by deep-pocketed donors and cash-rich corporations threatens to sow chaos in this year’s congressional races, political consultants warn.
by Ian Duncan and Matea GoldA “super PAC” that has spent more than $35 million on behalf of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has accepted donations from federal contractors despite a 36-year-old ban against such companies making federal political expenditures. At least five companies with government contracts gave a combined $890,000 to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC, a review of federal contracting records and campaign finance data shows.
by Brian NaylorThere has been one constant throughout the GOP campaign — Mitt Romney and the superPAC that supports him have vastly outspent his rivals.
by Amy SchatzCongress decreed in 1971 that candidates must get the lowest price for ads in the weeks before an election. The Federal Communications Commission followed up by requiring that stations make political-ad information public so candidates can be assured they’re all getting the same deal.
by Howard DarmstadterWe view the secret ballot as a fundamental democratic principle. Without it, citizens could be subject to intimidation or reprisal. Why should we feel differently about political contributions?
Candidates and parties
by Robin Bravender
Lawyers at DB Capitol Strategies are telling the campaign finance watchdog agency that it’s unconstitutional to bar individual donors from spreading their wealth among as many candidates as they’d like, despite the legal limit of $46,200 that they are currently permitted to give to candidates each two-year election cycle.
by Gregory WallaceHe predicted Sunday “there will be scandals and then maybe we will reform again.”
by T.W. FarnamPresident Obama is struggling to draw in big-dollar donations, with half as many people writing large checks to his campaign than at this point four years ago.
by Kenneth P. VogelRick Santorum can’t keep up the fight against Mitt Romney with momentum alone: He needs cash and organization.
by Keith M. PhaneufConnecticut’s public financing program for state elections has “adequate resources” to fund this year’s legislative campaigns, according to a new report released Friday from the state’s chief elections watchdogs.