Brad Smith and CCP Experts in the News this Week

It has been a busy week in the world of campaign finance.

Yesterday’s NY Times Room for Debate forum featured the question, “Can a politician win without Wall Street?”  CCP Chairman Brad Smith commented on misconceptions surrounding corruption’s relation to contributions:

Historically, elections have always been funded by the “1 percent.” Even in the earliest days of our republic, wealthy individuals like Thurlow Weed and corporations such as the Bank of the United States were key funders of campaigns. Yet we survived and thrived. In 1968, the last presidential election before passage of the Federal Election Campaign Act, Eugene McCarthy got his influential anti-war campaign off the ground in days, thanks to a handful of wealthy individuals who contributed the equivalent of several million each in today’s dollars.

 On the other hand, candidates who have been most successful at small dollar fundraising tend to be on the fringes of mainstream politics — think of George McGovern, Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, for example.

People say that they think campaign contributions corrupt, but what they seem to mean is that they think that contributions corrupt their political opponents. Polling shows that voters whose party lost the last election are far more likely to think government is corrupt. But President Obama’s supporters don’t think he is corrupt, and nor do Mitt Romney’s. Few people believe that their candidate is corrupted by contributions, or that his sources of funding will change his preferred policies, how he governs, or whom he appoints to office.

Other media hits for CCP are as follows:


The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.